Saturday, January 1, 2011

Romance woes

I'm working on my untitled romance. Since I'm hoping to sell it to Harlequin for their Intrigue line, it has to be between 55,000 and 60,000 words, and my first draft fell about 5,000 words short of the minimum. I'm now adding a small subplot and fleshing out some early scenes that were a little too rushed anyway. Hey, these two people are falling in love! I need to give them lots of time to gaze longingly at each other.

I'm close enough to being finished that I really need to come up with a title. I've been browsing through the official Harlequin website to see what the titles typically are, and I'm concerned that my book doesn't fit what seems to be a theme of 'sexy cowboy lawman protects woman in danger.' My characters are a woman who's been hired to take care of a farm and the farm owner who thinks he's turning into a vampire (but who's actually being poisoned). Something tells me I might be just a leetle out of focus.

I should have paid more attention to their guidelines when I was plotting this thing: it says right there, "Kidnappings, stalkings, women in jeopardy...are examples of story lines we love most." Well, my heroine does end up in peril toward the end, and the hero does save her, but she's not in peril from the git-go and I suspect that's going to mean this book does not sell to Harlequin. And I think we can safely say that with all the trouble I've had with this rotten book, I'm not a romance writer.

But what can I do? I've already written the wretched thing. Anyway, I'm thinking about titling it Shadows over Oakhill Farm. What do you think?

12 comments:

Aaron Polson said...

I think it sounds like an interesting plot. What do I know, though?

K.C. Shaw said...

Well, I think it's a dud. Seriously, I don't think there's a market for it. *heavy sigh* This'll teach me to stray from my range of interest. If I was more familiar with the romance genre, I would have known from the start what I was doing wasn't going to work.

It is kind of an interesting plot, though. If I do say so myself.

Richard said...

Trivial solution! Just swap the genders of the main characters.

K.C. Shaw said...

You know, I really did consider that. Unfortunately, it would make the book so boring no one would want to read it. The main character would do nothing but feel sick all the time from the poison.

Diana said...

I think it sounds like an interesting plot. Before revamping it (no pun intended) check the other Harlequin imprints. You might also look at Mira, Zebra, and other publishers of romance of the same length. I'm sure that there is an imprint that it would fit into.

K.C. Shaw said...

Thanks, I'll do that. I was just so discouraged last night--all that work for nothing! But Harlequin's not the only publisher out there.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Would it help if your character ate a lot of ice cream and complained about feeling fat?

Cate Gardner said...

What can you do? Send it off and see what happens. I doubt you'll lose any sleep if they say no.

Verification word: cardingi - definiton: your book is almost a cardigan but went off track.

K.C. Shaw said...

If I did that, it would turn into a memoir. :)

K.C. Shaw said...

Cate--I knew I should have put buttons on!

abrokenlaptop.com said...

I totally dig the plot! It may or may not be Harlequin's speed, but it's awesome and it'll sell somewhere.

So tell me why you decided to write for Harlequin anyway? Is it a challenge? For a change of scenery? Would you go by a different name? It's intriguing to me, and sounds like a lot of fun!


-Mercedes

K.C. Shaw said...

It's a bald-faced attempt to sell out and make some money. It's been a real education, though, that's for sure. I think I'm going to send it to Samhain once I finish the synopsis and do some final polishing. And yes, I plan to use a pseudonym, although it's not really a secret--I just don't want to startle anyone who's expecting my usual writing. :)