What do you do when your characters decide who they love? Ok, so a sort of strange opening question, but hear me out. Sometimes, love just doesn’t work out the way we plan. I mean, if it did, we wouldn’t have as much need for those dating sites or stories of lost love where one person is trying like heck to get the other back. It’d be kind of a boring place. Sometimes love just ain’t enough, especially when they don’t want to cooperate.
I’ve got two examples of what I mean. One: my hero in Tangled Up initially told me he was pining over his ex—Mindy. I sat down to work out his story.
Turns out, Mindy is only half the equation. There’s another him. Fine. Really. I really liked the push it gave me to step out of my safe zone and write something I didn’t think I could. It wasn’t enough for Arran to want Mindy and it wasn’t enough for him to love Sav. Their arrangement made me think of the Beatles’ song Oh Darling. “When you told me, you didn’t need me anymore, well, ya know, I nearly broke down and died.” Mindy thinks Arran doesn’t love her. Sav’s afraid Arran doesn’t love him. And yet, there’s a huge clusterschmuck.
Wasn’t exactly as I’d planned. I had Arran and Mindy together with no Sav in sight. He wasn’t even a twinkle in the eye. I assumed it would be a pretty MF story. Boy, was I wrong. But yanno, I rather liked it that way.
Here’s example two: In Careless Whisper, I had the idea that the hero and his ex would get together. Now that was a really rough draft. I had the idea, again, that it would be a pretty, simple MF. I got the MF part, but I sure didn’t get the simple part. Ryan’s convinced he needs the love of his ex-wife back. Can’t live without her—even though he’s living without her. My heroine, Samara, can’t stand the hero. She thinks he’s a total klutzy buffoon.
There was spark between Samara and Ryan, but I thought, gee, these two do not like each other. I guess my instinct on them is totally off. But then I put them in a room together. She told him off in a way no one else had done and wonder of wonders, it turned him on. He still has an emotional attachment to his ex—she was his ex and she’s dead, I can’t hold it against him, nor would I. It’s tough to lose a family member. But then again, Careless Whisper isn’t exactly everything it seems—it’s more.
Like I said above, both books turned out differently than how I planned, but they worked. Has this ever happened to you? Have you had a pairing all planned out and found out it wasn’t going to happen just the way you thought? I’d love to know.
And for a treat, here’s an excerpt from Careless Whisper:
Samara sipped from her soda can and stared at him. Ignoring the words coming from his mouth, she focused on the passion blazing in his eyes, the lilt in his voice as he described the hauntings—and the blob of cheese on the corner of his mouth. Just reach across and politely wipe it off? Say something? Point discreetly?
Kiss it off!
She gasped. Yeah, kissing it off presented a whole gamut of delicious ideas, but she’d just told him not to put the moves on her. Wasn’t the flip-flopping in order to turn the tables a bit…sexy, wrong, enticing, childish, against her personal rules? And whoever the voice was needed to keep quiet before she did something she’d both enjoy and regret. Guys like Ryan, no matter how much they claimed, didn’t fall for women like her.
“You aren’t listening.”
Heat infused her cheeks. “Sorry.” Samara busied her hands by moving his soda can off the opposite corner of the map. “One more time?”
“You heard something.”
“Yes.” She sighed. “But you also have cheese, right here.” Gingerly reaching across the table, she slid her finger over the melted dairy product.
Molten lava lit up Ryan’s eyes as his tongue darted out to taste her. Sucking her finger into his mouth, he moaned. Electricity zapped through her system and dampened her panties. Who knew a glob of cheese could lead to an erotic act?
When he released her hand, Samara sank back in her seat. Everything in the room seemed to fade away, except Ryan and the raw need sizzling between them. Something deep in her gut told her fucking him would be everything she imagined and so much more. Hell, seeing him naked would probably make her come, it had been so long since she’d been with a man.
Then jump on him and have fun for a change.
About Wendi: I always dreamed of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I tend to write books with titles taken from songs because music is one of my many muses.
I earned a BA in education at Kent State university and as well as a Masters in Education from Nova Southeastern University. I’ve tried my hand at teaching, waitressing, and retail sales, but writing holds my heart.
I love NASCAR, romance, books in general, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, and my menagerie of animals. I have six books under contract and more than my brain can handle percolating. I can’t wait to share them with you! Visit me on my site and my blog!