We're back to that old chestnut again - the word count discussion.
MsCreativity brought something to my attention that I hadn't heard about. Evidently HMB are now counting pages rather than words, so it'll be computer count rather than actual word count that matters. Has anybody else heard anything about this?
I really don't like the idea of having to do page counts as that doesn't suit the way I set up my manuscripts during the writing phase. I have just one long document, y'see, and no idea how many pages that will actually be covered when it's finished. Words are much easier to count.
For the time being, I'm sticking with the 50,000 - 55,000 words for the Tender line as I'm sure if it's wrong and they want to buy one of my stories, somebody at HMB will let me know. It would be interesting to hear what, if anything, others have heard, though. (Debi. Do you understand now why I fuss about word counts so much?)
Anyway, I'm now exactly 2,500 words into my new story. That equates to 4.5% of a 55,000 word manuscript. That doesn't sound much after working with 87.3% and the likes but I'm sure it'll soon grow.
I've put the 'old' ms away for a few days to let it rest before going for the revisions. Don't ask me why I've decided to do this, it's just something that feels right. I suppose we all have our own ways of working and nothing's more right or wrong than any other way. Didn't somebody once say that the only right way is the way that works for you?
I'm trying something new this time. I've seen quite a few writers use pictures of people (mostly famous but not always) as inspiration for their heroes/heroines. I've never done that before and certainly didn't during Sherry and Leo's story, but this time I've decided to give it a try.
Here's my idea of Alex. He's a 39 year old news reporter.
What do you think? Obviously he'll have to have that stubble shaven off for work but when he's relaxing... that's another story. I think he looks drop dead sexy, especially as he's wearing a suit. That's how he looked when he turned up at Darcie's house to take her to dinner, after she hadn't seen him for four years. How she kept herself from leaping all over him I'll never know! Perhaps I ought to be writing for 'Presents' rather than 'Tender', being as he's most definitely the kind of guy that women like Darcie would end up wanting to do the sort of thing you have to take your knickers off to do. My mind's eye has given him a few more 'smile lines' because of his age, but I think that just makes him all the more sexier. (Am I showing my age now?)
Anyhow, this is Darcie. She's pretty, isn't she?
She's 33, single and is perfectly happy with the way her life is, thank you very much. She hasn't dated since she lost her husband six years ago and doesn't intend to. I can see that Alex would be attracted to Darcie but although she can see he's handsome and loves him as a friend, she just doesn't want a relationship. She has her reasons, obviously, but I think Alex is going to have to show her a good time or two, don't you?
It'll be interesting to see whether having pictures of my characters will help them develop or not. I'll keep you posted.
PS: Have you ever wondered how a HMB novel is produced? If so, take a look at Fiona Lowe's website. She was lucky enough to get to see her very first book being produced from start to finish. Can you imagine how much fun that must have been?