by Tawny Weber
I'm in the midst of plotting a new book and there's nothing more fun than What If. Well, maybe getting punched in the gut. Or root canal without novocain. Or stubbing your toe in the dark, then falling over the dog and smacking nose-first into the footboard. Not that I've done any of those things. I just equate them with the fun of plotting and What If.
Don't get me wrong. I love What If. I love the process of coming up with ideas, of bouncing possibilities and finding the perfect maze that eventually frames my story. Even more, I love discovering characters and finding the ins and outs of what makes them tick, and tock. And eventually, click together.
What I don't have so much fun with is when I'm almost finished plotting a book and outlining it, and I think its pretty solid. Then I see something that makes me go Ooooooh, I want to do that instead. For instance, the book I'm working on now has a military hero. Max, my hottie hunk, is a wounded war hero and home to make some decisions. Now as I'd originally plotted him, he's a pretty by-the-book kind of guy. A patron of the follow the rules club. And a total sweetie with that soldier boy exterior.
Then, last night I watched Hurt Locker. Wow. Intense, powerful and isn't a bad boy with a little bit of crazy appealing? James is way too out there for my story, but suddenly all I could think of was how much fun it is to write a bad boy. A wild man. An edgy, intense, over-the-top Alpha with something to prove.
Now see, this is the stubbed-toe frustration part of plotting What If for me. I really like my original plot. And to be honest, if I change heroes, I'd have to come up with an entirely new plot to suit this kind of hero. Or I could simply write two separate books, right? Except which one to write first? What would be stronger? The hero or the bad boy? Both are hot, both are sexy, both have unlimited appeal.
ARGH... see my frustration? What If has me cornered and I can't write my way out.
So I'm turning to you... Tell me, what would you rather read? A heroic military man who, while having a few demons, is a pretty by-the-book kind of guy? Or a bad boy soldier boy with a chip on his shoulder who needs to prove something before he can let himself find love?
I'd love to know what you think and am willing to provide bribes. I'll pick one random commenter to win any book from my backlist.
Tawny Weber writes hot, spicy stories for Harlequin Blaze. In January 2010, her novella, YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS, was out in the Blazing Bedtime Story anthology and her next full length Blaze,, RIDING THE WAVES, will be out in September 2010. Come by and visit her on the web at www.tawnyweber.com