Saturday, February 14, 2009

Getting Closer

Untouched word count @ 26,800.

I'm getting closer to my 'catch up' goal! Woot! And I'm also getting closer to the part of my story where the love interest is introduced, and that is going to be very fun to write. I already have a lot of scenes written down, scrawled into notebooks as great dialogue came to me and I had to find some way to preserve it. Now I just have to find all the notebooks scattered around my house and try to decipher my hurried writing to see what I actually have to work with.

But I have a question: Is 28,000 words (out of a projected 90,000 or so) a bit late in the book to introduce the love interest?

In my mind I am writing a love story, but I feel like the first 1/3 of the book is not a love story at all, but very important for the main character's development.

Here's the gist of it:

A young girl named Gwen has been stuck in a hospital for most of her life. When an angel of death comes for her soul, she doesn't want to let go. She tries to bargain with the angel, and ends up striking a deal: Gwen will act as a death angel and take three souls, after those three souls she will be given a second chance at life.

Gwen thinks this is easy and she's all for it at first. She's sure that a second chance at life is all she's ever wanted. In the first 1/3 of the book she goes after the first two souls, and by the end of that she's convinced she doesn't want a second chance at all- she wants peace, she doesn't think the world holds anything more for her, she finally accepts the natural cycle of life and death and is ready and willing to move on. But she doesn't know how to get out of her bargain.

When she can tell that the third and final soul is ready for her to take, she has already convinced herself that she doesn't want anything to do with that. But she still finds herself drawn to this final person. And when she finally lets herself go to where the person is (at her own funeral, no less). She discovers that the soul in question belongs to James- her childhood crush, her best and only friend from her past before the illness stole her life from her.

Without thinking, she breaks the biggest rule of being a death angel: she intervenes with death and saves James' life. And of course there's a catch. Since she was the death angel specifically assigned to James, if she so much as touches him, he will die instantly. James doesn't know this; he's convinced that Gwen faked her death, and he's desperate for answers.

The last 2/3 of the book revolves around James looking for answers, and Gwen trying to avoid him, despite the fact that she never got over him (and he never got over her). She finally reveals the truth to him, and warns him that he cannot touch her at all if he wants to live. But they are dangerously in love, and despite common sense they embark on a perilous courtship.

But Gwen's rule-breaking catches up with her, of course, and she is forced to choose between moving on to an afterlife that will possibly separate them for an eternity, or taking James' life in exchange for her own and starting over, without the love of her life- a love so strong death couldn't even stop it., well that little question kinda turned into a mini synopsis for my story, but oh well. :p

What do you guys think of the story? Do you think the concept works even with the first 1/3 of the book lacking the heroines love interest?

Please, please, please let me know what you think!

<3 Kat


  1. Number one, I am intrigued by your story! I think it sounds fresh and fun! I don't think that is too late to introduce a love interest at all. What is your story truly about though? Is it a romance novel? If so, then that may be a little late...

    It sounds pretty suspenseful to me, and being paranormal, I think that you might be okay with what you have going. I'd have to know just a bit more to tell for sure, though.

  2. I think the romance is a big factor, but I think the story is more about the MC's experiences in total- not just the romantic parts.

    As of now I'm classifying it as YA contemporary fantasy.

    Thanks for the input! I will keep you in mind when I finish it and need some beta readers. :p

  3. Sounds to me like it should be OK not to introduce him until later on. First off, I'm not sure how Gwen is able to tell which lives she has to take, but introducing him sooner might kill some of the suspense. I think it'd be important to have him present in the novel in some manner (ie. memories) before he actually shows up just because of his level of importance in Gwen's life. But shoehorning him in earlier when it should be Gwen's development we're concentrating on doesn't sound like the right route to take.

  4. He is mentioned pretty early on; Gwen returns to her house and sees a photograph from her childhood and he gets about two paragraphs of brief intro.

    Part of her reaper abilities is that she can sense what lives she has to take- it's just a supernatural feeling that guides her in the right direction when it is that person's time. She can't tell anything about them until their death is imminent, which is why she doesn't know she's going after James until it's almost too late.

    Thanks for your input!

  5. You might be speaking to the wrong person here, as I was just critiqued in my memoir about bringing in my own experiences with French guys and the media way too early into my story, and that it distracted my readers.
    It seems to me that you're doing the right thing as long as your story flows, which is seems to be doing. Go with what feels right to you, and you can always have some "expert" read it later.

  6. Sounds very interesting. I'd read it.

    Do you watch Pushing Daises? They have a similar "I love you but if I touch you, you will die" theme. They get around it with seran wrap.

  7. Like Lady Glamis, I think the story intriguing. I certainly wanted to know what happened next. Yup, it has all I ask of a good story.

  8. Thanks for the input guys!

    @Lauren- yes, I've seen Pushing Daisies, and I love the whole forbidden love-can't touch theme. I wanted to work with a similar theme, but still be original- I hope the whole "grim reper/angel of death" accomplishes that!