Cassie & Dustin


Today, my writing session at Starbucks allowed me to reach another milestone: Cassie & Dustin’s story is now the correct length for Harlequin American Romance.

They want 55,000 to 60,000. Cassie & Dustin now come in at 55,686.

That makes another completed first draft. I had to add about 10,000 words to beef it up to the meet the word requirement. (I’ll have to do the same thing to Bree & Mike’s story, too. Guess that’s next on my list.)

Also on my list? Printing this puppy out for editing purposes, but that will have to wait until I get my computer back. This one isn’t equipped to print with my printer.

Crap. It just hit me: Now I have to write a synopsis and query letter, too. Ugh. Can’t I just hire someone else to do that for me?

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My time away from the day job, fortunately, has not meant a vacation from writing.

I must say I haven’t gotten as much accomplished as I’d hoped: A couple thousand words written in editing mode and three rejections received from agents.

Still, at least I’ve been getting something done. That’s no small feat when I can’t seem to settle to any single project. Not one of my stories is demanding my full attention.

I’ve been doing some reading, too. As I’ve mentioned before, it seems that when I’m reading more, I’m writing less. I read Jennifer Crusie’s “Faking It” and now I’m zipping through Vicki Lewis Thompson’s “Chick with a Charm.” (It’s the sister story for the one I read last month, “Blonde with a Wand.”) The hero and heroine are great. Can’t wait to see their happy ending.

In fact, I’m about to take myself to breakfast, where I intend to finish the book. Then I’ll camp out at Starbucks for a few hours and hopefully get some more writing done.

I’m trying to go back in and add a more substantial conflict to the second Willow’s Grove story. My hero and heroine, Cassie and Dustin, meet at Brad and Erin’s wedding and dislike each other immediately. Then they find out they’re working together (he’s an FBI agent assigned to a kidnapping case and she’s the police reporter covering the story).  I have the witty banter down cold, but they don’t have any deep-seated reason for their squabbles — yet.

I hope to rectify that situation soon. Her roller coaster moods remind him of his bipolar mother and she doesn’t want to get involved with someone who’s only in town for a short time. It should help me expand the story to the required length. Right now it’s at about 49,000 words, which means adding at least 6,000.