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Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear . . .


Those are the cries of a writer caught in a dilemma of her own making. Plotting is always difficult for me. So the problem is: I’ve got this character—my heroine—a “lady” in Regency England who must spend a good deal of time alone with a man—the hero—without compromising them to the point they have to marry (yet). So far I’ve fiddled with the timing, added and deleted characters, but nothing quite works. And this is the first book of a three-book series and I’ve already signed a contract, and it just ain’t working and if I could just get it firmly started and—and—and—

And life is a bitch.

I know: this, too, will pass; screw your courage to the sticking place—and I’m sure there are dozens of other clichés I could incorporate here, but none comes to mind. Can you imagine that? I am usually the queen of clichés!

I’ve never written a series before. I have to get this first book right! Mind you, it is the plotting, not characters that is frustrating me. So far, I really LIKE my people.

Many of my writer friends write “from the seat of their pants”—that is with little in the way of an outline. That ain’t me, babe, that ain’t me. I must have a detailed outline—I need to know precisely where I am going and how I am going to get there. That is probably the essential problem here. I usually have a 20- to 25-page outline for a full-length novel. This time I tried it with about half that. Back to the drawing board! (I know: yet another cliché.)