I have reached this strange point of total immersion in the story where I can no longer see if they're doing something because they choose to, or whether I am forcing their hand and therefore the story. I've suddenly found it very hard to become objective.
When I was editing on Wednesday, I was pretty happy with the way things were going. But today, as I'm going through my second draft, I am having visions of an editor reading it and thinking "weak plot, not enough conflict, silly heroine -- but the hero is OK".
I'm worried that my characters have no goals. I was reading an article on conflict earlier this morning by a popular Silhouette author and in talking about the conflict of characters with opposing goals, she used the example of Romancing the Stone: a story I am very familiar with. She said, quite succinctly, "Jack Colton wants the treasure map to get the gem. Joan Wilder wants the treasure map to rescue her sister." You can't really get plainer than that.
So then I thought about my story and, quite distressingly, drew a blank. I had a niggling worry when I did my first read-through that my characters didn't appear to have very clear goals, and now I am really worried about it. My heroine's goal as far as I can see it is that she needs to know why the hero broke up with her so unceremoniously ten years ago. She's been married and divorced in the meantime, but suddenly it all smacks of neediness. She got on with her life, but now that she's in close proximity to him again, all she can think about is how to get her answers. Is that normal?! I keep trying to think of how I would act in her situation, or how I would want her to act if this was a romance novel I was reading by another author. And I thought I'd done it OK, but...
And for my hero's goal, well -- I'm not sure that he has one...
This is TERRIBLE!!
Just finished reading: Face of Deception by Ana Leigh