`1` Romance worth killing for
Shattering Romantic Suspense
Author Websites
Elisabeth Naughton
Joan Swan
Linda Winfree
Author's Latest Releases

Coming Soon

AddThis Feed Button

Industry Blogs We Like
Agent Obscura
Anatomy of a Book Deal
Bookends Literary Agency Blog
The Bradford Bunch
Buzz, Balls & Hype
Jennifer Jackson, Literary Agent
The Knight Agency
Magical Musings
Mid-Willamette Valley RWA Blog
Kristin Nelson, Literary Agent
Jenny Rappaport, Literary Agent
Miss Snark
Murder She Writes
Paperback Writer
Romancing The Blog
Running With Quills
Working Stiffs
Samhain Publishing
Wine Country Romance Writers, RWA
Author Blogs We Like
Elisa Adams
Carol Burnside
Brenda Coulter
Tanya Holmes
Larissa Ione
Lydia Joyce
Elisabeth Naughton
Patti O'Shea
Edie Ramer
Kate Rothwell
Marissa Scott
Lynne Simpson
Amie Stuart
Joan Swan
Karin Tabke
Stephanie Tyler
Linda Winfree
Recommended Resources
Agent Query
Charlotte Dillon
Common Redundancies in Writing
Cop Talk--Karin Tabke
Crime in Mind
Cruisie/Mayer 2007 Online Workshop
Kiss of Death RWA Chapter
Publisher's Marketplace
Romance Agents
Romance Writers of America
Previous Blogs
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
What We're Working On Now

Elisabeth: Marked

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
33,126 / 95,000

Joan: Buried Secrets

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
68,000 / 115,000

Linda: Facing It

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
45,540 / 85,000

:~: Monday, August 20, 2007 :~:

Self-Inflicted Torture

It's official. After this book is done, I am never EVER writing another reunion story.

Ugh. I'm losing eyelashes right and left.

Any other writers out there have trouble with these stories? Reunion stories are my FAV's to read. I love them. There's something magical about two people who found love, lost it and then found it again together. You can't help but root for a hero who lost the woman he loved and realizes she's the only one in the world for him. Writing them though? Ack! A whole different story.

The WIP is a classic reunion story. Lots of mistrust. Lots of heartache over something that happened in the past. Lots of misunderstanding that, had the hero and heroine really known each other the first time, never would have been an issue. Because I've read so many different reunion stories, I know there are as many varied ways to write a reunion story as there are reunion stories out there. Some writers use flashbacks. Some weave backstory in with "memory" paragraphs here and there. Some start a book in the past, write the past as the present for a few chapters then skip ahead to the present and the real story when they get back together. Still others weave the two together.

One of the most compelling reunion stories I read was To The Brink by Cindy Gerard. A divorced woman is kidnapped and the only man she can turn to to save her is her ex-husband. In order to understand their romance though and invest the reader in the story, the writer blended the past and present. She'd write one chapter in the present (as the hero's trying to save her), one in the past that chronicled their love affair. It sounds odd, but I found myself turning pages faster and faster. I needed to know what happened in the present and how he rescued her. I needed to know how they fell in love and ultimately what broke them up because his desire to rescue her in the present was so strong. I'd never read a book written that way, but it totally worked.

As I sit here working on my self-inflicted torture device (AKA: The book from hell), I'm seriously contemplating how I'm getting the past into the present. At the moment I have those pesky memory/internal paragraphs as each character thinks back about the other. I even have (gasp!) a flashback here or there. Purists will say both of these techniques slow pacing, but in a reunion story, I think you have to use what works. If your readers aren't interested in the characters' first love affair and knowing why it ended, they aren't going to be interested in the current one.

So, what's your preference...as both a reader and writer? Do you read or write reunion stories? What have you found that works? What have you found that doesn't work?



Blogger Linda Winfree said...

You're right -- reunion stories are challenging. I've written three and each time, I've not told all of the backstory. It's there, in bits and pieces as the reader needed to know it, but in mine, it wasn't as important as the here-and-now story -- how they were coming back together.

Of my reunion stories, Del and Barb's was probably the hardest to pull off. I ended up rewriting extensively at my editor's suggestion, and just about all of the changes had to do with finessing the backstory to suit the current characters.

I'm not sure I answered your question. :-D

3:50 AM  
Blogger Elisa said...

I loved To The Brink, too. She did a great job with the backstory, even though I don't think I could effectively write that way.

I love to read reunion stories, but I don't love to write them. I've written a couple, but I do find it tough to get in the right amount of backstory without going overboard.

8:21 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home