Story Excerpts

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Good Idea

Never underestimate the power of a second pair of eyes. :-)

After months of mulling over my TWOI rewrite, I knew something was keeping the story in Mediocre Land (Awkward City), but I couldn't put my finger on what exactly. So I turned to my writer buddies with the first ten chapters and pleaded for help. And one buddy did uncover what evaded me...

My manuscript has a split personality. (I shouldn't be surprised that it reflects its author's indecision regarding genres.) It can't decide whether it wants to be laugh-out-loud comedy, or dramatic and intense.

And then Writer Buddy threw me this question: "could it be a Historical RomCom in disguise?"

A Historical Romantic Comedy?

My first reaction was, Good idea, but me? I have my moments, but I'm not that funny. And then, my favorite movies paraded across my mind. Bringing Up Baby, White Christmas, Undercover Blues, The Scarlet Pimpernel... The Shakespeare comedies, specifically, The Comedy of Errors. There's definitely a theme connecting my favorites.

But can I write comedy? Though I have managed amusing story scenes (stumbled across them completely by accident), and even pulled off a funny hero, humor doesn't bubble out of me when I talk or blog or write, and if it does, its not planned. A Historical RomCom? *gulp*

In order to save TWOI from the "ideas" folder, I need to take a risk, and giving the story a focus on funny is a brilliant idea. The worst that could happen? I waste time on a disastrous rewrite that is far from amusing. Definitely a risk worth taking. And if God is behind this, it will work. I just need push aside my insecurities and write it through.

And here's a "whoa" moment... After talking to God about this, I opened up Pinterest, and saw this crafty, little quote staring back at me.

Photo Link

My writer buddy suggested reading Jen Turano's novels. Do you have some recommendations for a good RomCom read?


Amber Stokes said...

I loved coming across that pin - although for a different reason, as I've been a little scared of getting too "dark" with my next inspy historical romance... Plus, it fit with my heroine, who's a poet. :)

Anyway, historical romantic comedy sounds so fun! I've read one of Jen Turano's books, and I think she would be a great example. Then there's Mary Connealy's Westerns and Karen Witemeyer's books. :) Have you read Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson or Fly Away Home by Rachel Heffington? Not sure either of those are exact fits, but they're both unique and sweet historicals. :)

Best wishes on your writing! I've enrolled myself in Camp here's hoping I can finish the first draft of Morning Glory soon!


Gwendolyn Gage said...

Amber, I think it was your pin that I came across. ;-) I love the idea of a poet heroine, and will be praying that God inspires and guides you as you step into uncharted territory, and work to finish your draft of MG.

Mary Connealy is so funny! I've read her Christmas novel, and have one of her books on Kindle. She makes humor look so effortless. :-) I've read "A Tailor-Made Bride" and "Short Straw Bride" of Karen Witemeyer, and her more subtle humor elements work wonderfully with her style. I think that's what I need to wider in the genre, and experiment until I find my unique groove. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your recommendations!

Jennifer Major said...

You can TOTALLY do this!!! You have a great wit, and I'm itching to see what happens....

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Thanks, Jenn! Coming from the queen of funny herself, I'm encouraged that you would think so! :-)

Andrew said...

Good question - I can';t think of any offhand.

But my sense of what's funny is a bit different. Last weekend I had a bit of an accident with an electric drill - drilled into the big joint of my thumb.

I thought it was, sincerely, the funniest dim-bulb thing I;d seen in a long time. My wife could not understand why I was laughing about it. After I explained, she was still wondering!

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Oh, Andrew, that sounds so painful! Yikes! It's funny how men and women find humor in different things. ;-)