I wish I had a fix to give you that svelte summer look, but this blog has nothing to do with your body.
My friend suggested just shopping for underwear, rather than pay to send lingerie to Maui. Her friend had checked out that option, but could not find a store that carried her brand of underwear. She wanted her own panties enough to pay $85 to have them arrive in two days.
Last year I flew to Laura Drake’s for some quality time before we drove to San Antonio for the RWA conference. When unpacking at Laura’s, I found I’d forgotten my newly-purchased fancy dress slacks. After Laura took the whip out of my hand (I’m very good at beating myself up) she took me shopping. I settled for reasonable substitutes.
A month later, on the way to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. I had a two-day layover with the friend I was going to travel with. We’d done this “layover” thing on other international trips to cross-pack and pick up last minute items, and it works well for us. The first morning I discovered I’d forgotten my morning protein powder. You can only buy this powder online.
She took me to Whole Foods, but I couldn’t find anything I’d used before. I called a friend at home and asked her to go to my house and overnight the bag I’d left on the counter.
An hour later I received a call from my friend. “Just buy another kind. It’s going to be almost two hundred dollars to send this.”
In your story, how far will your characters go to get what they need?
By the middle of your WIP, you’ve established goals, motivation and conflict for your characters, but the brilliant plot may be stretched thin and your reader may have forgotten those goals and the motivation if you haven’t steadily ramped up the stakes. How do you fix those lackluster scenes?
Is there something that your hero needs before he can continue his quest? It could be something physical, like a new barbecue, or something visceral, like a chance to confront someone. What is he willing to pay, either in money, sweat or emotion, like pride? What a perfect place for conflict and decision-making to push your story forward or to get to the turning-point!
Maybe your heroine wants something badly enough to act in a way that takes your story in a whole new direction. That your reader didn’t see coming. Fantastic! In my last book, the heroine wanted to win an athletic competition. She wanted to win enough to accept the help of a person whom she looked down on, didn’t respect, and didn’t trust. That decision took the book in a whole different direction. Changed her life, too.
Can you introduce something into your story, even if it’s a just need for a latte, that becomes so important to your character that she is willing to do almost anything, spend much more than she rationally should, to get it?
The panties, or protein powder, you add don’t have to change your story, particularly if you’re just looking to fix that saggy middle. You could use a“quest” for satisfaction to inject a little humor into your story. You could even create conflict between characters. I’m sure you’ve been with a friend or a loved one who did not recognize your need for something and words became swords. Maybe now that episode is a source of laughter and funny stories, but at the time, you were fully engaged in the battle.
Finally, showing your character’s willingness to “go the distance” with something that others may consider inconsequential will make the actions of that character more believable when she fights for what she must have at the end of the book.
Do you have a story about something you had to have that you’re willing to share? Do you laugh about it now, or is it still a source of irritation (and teasing)? Can you think of a place in your WIP that could use panties or protein powder?
Fae Rowen discovered the romance genre after years as a science fiction freak. Writing futuristics and medieval paranormals, she jokes that she can live anywhere but the present. As a mathematician, she knows life’s a lot more fun when you get to define your world and its rules.
Punished, oh-no, that’s published as a co-author of a math textbook, she yearns to hear personal stories about finding love from those who read her books, rather than the horrors of calculus lessons gone wrong. She is grateful for good friends who remind her to do the practical things in life like grocery shop, show up at the airport for a flight and pay bills.
A “hard” scientist who avoided writing classes like the plague, she now shares her brain with characters who demand that their stories be told. Amazing, gifted critique partners keep her on the straight and narrow. Feedback from readers keeps her fingers on the keyboard.
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