If I Only Had a Plot

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Lighting a candle is not helping me come up with one for my current wip.

I have several scenes written. I know the characters fairly well, especially the hero. But I’m in that “what is this book about?” stage because I don’t exactly have a plot. I have a blurry idea of a plot that won’t come together in my head or anywhere else. Certainly not on the page.

As part of my novel-writing process, for every book I have a file entitled “notes” usually attached to a character’s name, in this case, the hero, Niko. My earliest entry in “Notes Niko Morales” is 6/28/10 which is probably when I first had the idea that Niko, who appears in A FOREVER KIND OF GUY could have his own story.

Why, you may wonder can’t I come up with a plot? Contemplate this gem of an entry from my notes file:

7/18/10 OR…

She keeps the kid because the child’s mother is actually her half-sister, although maybe she doesn’t know it at the time. Maybe her father had an affair with this woman’s mother (history repeats itself) who was a maid in their house 20 years ago…and his wife found out??? And sent the woman back to whence she came, but the woman was pregnant with his child and he knew it but before he could make other arrangements his wife got rid of her. So then he tracked her down and maybe has been sending her money all these years to help support his child and he’s the one who got her into the States and got her work in his household? But she doesn’t know he’s her father? Or does she? But he encourages the heroine to keep the child. I think maybe he’s had a stroke or somehow been disabled and the heroine is like his voice. Or he can instruct her to do as he wishes but is somehow impaired and needs her to carry out his wishes. So maybe he knows the woman is his child. Maybe he tells the heroine? Or she has suspected and he confirms it? And neither of them knew about the affair between his daughter and her husband.

So…internal conflict, loyalty to her father, hatred of her ex, responsibility to an innocent child who’s actually her father’s grandchild. Where is mother in all of this? Bitchy and oblivious? She can’t know and never wanted let’s just call her Leslie to keep the kid.

So there’s a parallel here. Leslie’s father had an affair with a maid which produced a child and then Leslie’s husband did the same thing. Only she ends up with the child even though she has mixed feelings. Maybe she tries to love the kid, but isn’t quite there. Maybe she’s afraid to be free or to let her guard down. In her experience, men are not to be trusted. Somehow through Niko she will learn to trust and to love and be herself. She’s tightly wound and holds herself inside. A control freak.

I think my mother let me watch way too many soap operas when I was a kid.

Apparently I started thinking about and making notes about this book three years ago.

I hope if I keep writing this story will straighten itself out and all will become clear. That’s what happened with THE FIRST TIME AGAIN. That’s what happened with all of them, I suppose but it’s a frustrating process, which leads me to wonder once again why more writers aren’t bald.

Visit me at www.barbarameyers.com where you can check out my next release, THE FIRST TIME AGAIN, from Samhain Publishing.
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Follow my infrequent posts on Twitter @barbmeyers and @ajtillock

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