Thursday, March 31, 2011

Writing Love Delivery

I am both an author and a line editor at MuseItUp Publishing.  I write for adults as Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz. My first release through MuseItUp is Love Delivery, coming in August, 2011.  In November, my historical romance, Lady-In-Waiting will be published.  My time-travel romance, Mirror, Mirror, is scheduled for December, 2011.

Authors often struggle with their writing.  When I first thought about writing Love Delivery, I wanted to tell a story about two people who were ordinary.  I didn't want them to be gorgeous models, nor did I want them to be working in high-paying, high-profile jobs.  I once worked in a donut shop as a teenager and thought this would be a job a woman might do who didn't have a college education.  She would be a pleasant person who enjoys social contact. She would be intelligent and capable of managing the store and other employees.  Ann, my main character in Love Delivery, is just such a person.  She doesn't drink because an ex-husband was an alcoholic.  She doesn't eat red meat because she loves animals. She's lonely and afraid of relationships after her failed marriage.

Tom, Ann's love interest, is a hard-working man who also doesn't have a college degree.  He's handsome in a rugged sort of way and earns his living by delivery supplies to the donut shop where Ann works.  He also is lonely and afraid of relationships.  His former wife coerced him into a loveless marriage, and he, too, is hesitant to try again. Ann and Tom are physically and emotionally attracted to each other.  They share many of the same interests, and they both begin to believe they are ready to move on with their lives an enter a new relationship.

Sounds like this would be an easy story to write, yet I struggled with it.  Writing romance shouldn't be difficult.  After all, we all have romance in our lives.  Yet, to put this on paper, an author must be able to craft a story that holds a reader's interest, have obstacles for the main characters to over come, and be able to let the reader know what's going on, not only in the woman's head, but the man's head as well.

This is where my problems writing Love Delivery began.  Switching points of view is a difficult piece of writing to perfect. If the writer hops from one head to another, without making a clear scene switch, the reader is lost.  It's easy to jump back and forth, paragraph to paragraph, but that leaves the reader in a quandary.  The trick is for the writer to be able to show the reader what the two main characters are thinking about each other but yet keep these thoughts separated by scenes. 

I tried writing the story in only Ann's POV, but Tom's POV kept intruding.  Then, I tried writing it in Tom's POV, but once again, Ann's thoughts wanted to be heard.  I had read some romance where the author successfully jumped back and forth between characters' points of view and tried that, too.  I thought I finally had it, but when I submitted Love Delivery, the response came back:  interesting story, good characters, but too much head-hopping.  Back to the computer I went.  This time, I was able to bring in both characters' points of view, but I did so by hearing Ann's thoughts in one scene, closing the scene and then turning to Tom's thoughts by starting a completely new scene in the story.

The end result is a story, which I hope you as a romance reader will enjoy.  Look for it at the Muse store in August.


Pat McDermott said...

Congratulations on whipping Tom and Ann into line, Penny :-) POV is a difficult aspect of writing to master, and not only for new writers. I'm so glad you found the formula that worked best for Love Delivery. It sounds like a wonderful story.

Wendy said...

Thanks for sharing your knowledge on overcoming the head-hopping problem we all face. I like the idea that you have characters we can all relate too. Now I'm interested in those obstacles you mention and how Tom and Anne overcome them

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz said...

Pat, POV is definitely tricky! I'm always amazed at how much there is still to learn even after having been published numerous times.

Wendy, you'll just have to read Love Delivery to see how Ann and Tom work things out :-)