Rescued By That New Guy in Town
By Jeff Salter
Our blog schedule is ‘open’ this week, which some of us use as an invitation to promote one or more of our stories.
All the usual stuff is posted farther below, but I thought I’d first reveal two bits of what I call sidebar.
I had read somewhere that the heroine and hero MUST meet before the end of page two … and that got my dander up. “Who dares to make such rules,” I bellowed. “Surely, if the story is interesting enough, the reader can wait ‘til the third chapter to meet the hero,” I intoned.
Well not long after that, I subbed a novel to a small publisher who declined it and also noted, “the hero doesn’t even appear ‘til the bottom of page five.” Well, of course, I fumed. And right there, I decided if that was the granite-engraved law of the land, I would find a way to tweak it. So I opened my story with the heroine in total darkness.
In that way, even when the hero shows up a few pages later, she can’t see him … and won’t for several more pages of groping around. And when she finally DOES see him, he’s dressed as a pirate (because they were both at a Halloween festival). It takes at least another entire chapter before she even learns his real name!
Nobody’s inquired directly if it was difficult to write in first person from the heroine’s POV … or asked why I even tried.
Yes, it was difficult. In fact I wasn’t certain I could do it, so I just started writing and told myself I’d give it 20,000 words to see if it was working. If not, I could re-do those 20k words in third person and then finish the novel.
By the time I had reached that 20k point, I found I enjoyed writing first person … and (after the adjustment) it was kind of cool to be inside Kristen’s head.
Why did I try? I had recently gotten burned (for manuscript A) in a contest for what the judge called ‘head-hopping’ … and I’d also received some feedback from a beta reader (of manuscript B) which suggested that she couldn’t follow the story because she didn’t know whose POV was operating.
My reaction to both points: Who cares? Why does it matter? Let the story reveal itself … don’t worry whose head it is. Et Cetera. I had written both of those manuscripts in what I referred to as omniscient narrator. I know it exists because I had to study it in high school. So why wasn’t I allowed to use it?
Well, that’s a whole different blog column. The point here is that I decided to silence all those critics by sticking with ONE POV. But whose? Knowing that the market of book readers and book buyers is predominately female, I figured the POV must be of my story’s heroine. And that’s how/why I embarked on this direction.
So you can see that my romantic comedy had some strange beginnings. Some were shaped by my reactions to so-called RULES … or my efforts to get around them.
I hope you like the result.
When Kris awakens in a costume, behind wooden bars inside a pitch-black community center, her only available rescuer is the hung-over new guy in town (who’s dressed as a pirate). Problem is: she’s sworn-off men, especially buccaneers.
Badly burned four years ago by a player who ruined her financially, Kris Prima’s heart is locked down as tightly as her lifestyle is confined by those massive debts. When first assisted by recent newcomer Ryan Hazzard, Kris is resentful, slightly afraid, and determined never again to trust men. But when court-ordered community service brings them together once more, she begins to appreciate Ryan’s charm, good looks, and capable manner.
With all the rumors and assumptions which followed Ryan from a large metropolitan area, how can small-town Kris even begin to trust him? And why won’t he explain any of those situations? Through her efforts to learn Ryan’s mysterious past, they share further experiences: many comedic, one quite dangerous, and others very tender. Despite several misunderstandings, Kris’s bottled-up feelings slowly re-awaken and she finally learns enough about Ryan to know she wants him in her life somehow. Kris regains her ability to trust a man and her heart is freed from its jail.
Now, also available in audio format from Amazon’s Audible.com
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