Bethany and Cody are chattering away in my head and I’m getting more and more antsy to start telling their story. Today, I spent an hour or so sketching out a basic plot.

Since I’m not much of a plotter, that’s already more plotting than I usually do for a book. I’m thinking it might be time to sit down and write.

Of course, if I do more pre-planning, it’ll make the actual writing easier, right? I keep hoping that’s the case. Usually, I just have a vague idea that something has to blow up in my characters’ faces … this time, I already have a great Black Moment in mind.

It’s been a busy weekend: I’m also doing some research on agents, in preparation to send out queries on “Blind Date Bride.” I’m excited about that story β€” and I believe in it.

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Thanks to inspiration that struck on the drive down to the Boyfriend’s, I ended up writing 2,595 words today.

According to the Excel spreadsheet I’ve been keeping, that’s almost the most words I’ve written in a single day. (Only one day is higher, with 2702.)

Now I’m that much closer to finished with this manuscript. Maybe I’ll even be able to finish before the month is out.

I still have at least a couple of scenes to write before I get to the dreaded Black Moment … and then I’ll have to make them miserable for a while. (I’m really not good at that part. I hate making my characters suffer … probably why I struggle with conflict so much, but that’s another story. I’ll get to that post soon, I promise.)

My instincts are right on track.

At least that’s the gist of the feedback from fellow NARWAn Kelly, the first person (besides myself) to read through the entire first draft of “Blind Date Bride.” All 330+ pages of it. (And it took her less than a week!) πŸ˜€

She loved the hero and heroine, Damien and Kari β€” alwaysΒ  a good start.Β  She found their best friends interesting, too (also good, because I always kind of envisioned giving them their own book.)

Her main suggestions for improvement: More sex (or at least thinking about sex), less eating; more explanation of the awful things Kari’s ex did to her to make her mistrust Damien at first; and a longer black moment β€” or at least one with more depth of despair.

I’d already been thinking I need to torture Kari and Damien a little more before I let them get back together … and I can see the other two points, as well.

It’s good to know I’m at least headed in the right direction. I can’t wait to get started on some revisions.

The plan is to start entering a few contests in preparation for next fall’s Golden Heart competition. (This is the story I’d wanted to enter last time, but didn’t think I’d have it finished. Turns out, I was right β€” but it’s going to be ready for the next one, doggone it … even if that does mean writing another synopsis.)

It’s nearly 1:30 a.m. and I’m ready to leave work (after spending an hour playing Bejeweled and generally wasting time online).

Figured that if I post that I’m going to go home and write, I’ll actually do it. Right?

I actually had a great idea for an extra scene in “Blind Date Bride” on the drive up from the Boyfriend’s this morning. It was writing itself … and it’ll extend the post-black moment, pre-reunion part of the story that feels rushed every time I read it through.

So the plan is to head home now and start writing it. I don’t need to go to bed until 3 a.m. anyway! πŸ˜€

I also need to send out a couple of queries that I didn’t get around to doing on Monday.

I only went to bed three hours ago, but when the Boyfriend called this morning on his way to work, I was too excited to go back to sleep.

Why? I finished “Blind Date Bride” early this morning. It was about 5 a.m. After an early night at work (due to the blizzard, we cleared the paper by 9 p.m. β€” why can’t we do that EVERY night?), I headed back to the house to write.

At first, I sat with the laptop on my lap while I watched TV. Then, at 11 p.m., the satellite dish went out. It was just me, the laptop and iTunes on the computer.

I was on a roll. Since Kelly helped me talk through my Black Moment, and I already knew exactly how I wanted it to end (with a wedding β€” a real one, to contrast with the TV-network-hosted one at the book’s start), I just kept going … and going … and going.

Like the Energizer Bunny, I wrote, until β€” at a little before 5 a.m., I thought the momentous words “The End.” 90,300 words, 334 pages double-spaced in Times New Roman.

My question? What do I do now? I’ve Β been so focused on finishing this thing that I’m at a bit of a loss.

I think I’m going to set it aside for a few days at least, and then give it a good read-through so I can start editing.

Today, since I’m not driving anywhere, I bake! I have several batches of WW-friendly cookies planned. (Originally I’d planned to bake AND write. Maybe I’ll work on one of the other two WIPs on my computer … or start working on that query letter for my GH entry, “Operation Snag Mike Brad.”

So many options … and the rest of the week stretches before me, a “staycation” on my schedule. I’m off through the weekend. Woo-hoo!

I’m up to the part of the book I hate β€” the dreaded “black moment” where I have to break my characters up just so they can get to their Happily Ever After.

I have two problems with this:

  1. I like my characters. I love that they’re together and happy. I don’t want to torture them by breaking them apart.
  2. I’m not quite sure how to get them there. The heroine, having been abused by an ex, has issues with men, especially men of the hero’s size (tall, dark and handsome). Of course he can’t actually hit her, or no one would like him. (Plus, it’d be out of character.) But she has to feel threatened enough to walk out on him.

Aargh! This is the hard part!