Monday, April 23, 2007

Going Home . . . figuratively

I've discovered that you can go home again. At least in books.

When Sara and Flynn couldn't get from the brownstone to the coffee shop in 4 months, I knew that something had to change. It was luck, I suppose, or desperation, that made me rethink the setting. It isn't something that I often think of changing. Usually I'm pretty clear on where a story belongs.

Once before, when I was beginning Finn's Twins, I made a setting switch. But that was the result of editorial suggestion. My very savvy editor said, "Instead of the Bahamas, why don't you think about setting it in New York City."

And I did consider it -- and eventually did it. And it completely changed the book. In fact it made the book heaps better. The energy in New York City pervaded the story, made Finn a very different type of guy, and gave him a whole different environment to react to and grow out of.

Maybe that's why, when Flynn and Sara couldn't make the trek in a straight line down a paved street to a coffee shop, I thought (eventually) that perhaps there was something in the setting that wasn't working for them. And I was right.

Moving the story's beginning back to Elmer made all the difference. Sara is at home in Elmer. She's in her element. She's confident, steady, stable, in control. She belongs there in a way she never belonged in New York. She's got her act together there. She's not searching. She's already found what she wants.

Or she thinks she has. And then she discovers that she might be wrong.

It's trickier for Flynn confronting her there, too. She's got reinforcements there. She's got a family circle. She's in control. And he has to come in and face the memories of what happened the last time he was there. He has to face her -- and their son. And then he has to get her out of there and halfway round the world to Ireland.

He's working on it. I'm wishing him luck. And at the same time, I've loved my trip back to Elmer, to meet up again with a lot of my old Code of the West characters.

It's been a lot of fun 'going home' again.


Blogger Liz Fielding said...

I loved Finn's Twins, Anne and yes, it was full of energy. I seem to recall a neat little double entendre in there somewhere, too. If I haven't given it to the dd I'll hunt it out.

And congratulations on getting your characters moving.

Mine are stuck outside a storage facility at the moment. I wanted to get them inside so that they could have hot sex and I just couldn't make work. Obviously, a complete brain seizure on my part since I write traditional contemps and not contemporary contemps. Like you, I need to go back to rethink what's happening here.

24 April, 2007  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Hi Liz,
I know the 'double entendre' you're referring to ;) -- Grace Green grabbed me at an RWA conference one year and said, "I can't believe they let you say that!"

My theory is, they didn't notice. Or maybe my ed did (she was a good ed!) and decided it was worth it. Anyway, I'm glad it was in there. And thanks for remembering.

Stuck outside a storage facility sounds, um, cold. Or maybe that's because it's cold outside here right now. I suppose it could be hot. I hope there's a bed or at least a sofa in the storage facility so that when/if you finally do get them in there, they'll have some place to get it on.

Mine were stuck in the living room with a cat and a too-short sofa for what seemed like the ice age, but they've finally made it upstairs. Nothing torrid happened, though. What is it I write? Hmmm.

But I do have a piece of my book I had no idea I even needed until this afternoon. That's comforting. I'll go put it in my box! I'm glad you got yours -- and your book. Hope you're enjoying it!

24 April, 2007  

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