Today did not start well. Where yesterday I managed over 1,200 words in just over an hour and a half, in the same time this morning I only just managed 600. And they were a painful 600. Bitty, all over the place, the characters thinking one thing then doing the complete opposite.
Then I got stuck in the mother of all traffic jams on the way to work. The only positive thing about gridlock is that it gives you time to think. And I realised that the reason my scene wasn't working was because my heroine was saying 'yes, I'll go with you' to the hero when she wanted to say 'no'. Why? Because if she doesn't go traipsing around with the hero there's no story. That's me speaking. The author.
Then happily, when I should have been working, I clicked the link from the Harlequin Blog through to the list of critique winners on the eHarl community site and lo and behold - I was one of the chosen five!
A real, live HMB editor read and commented on my opening page. And in a few simple words she caught the essence of my entire opening chapter: We get the sense that she's a loner, that she longs for human companionship, but that after everything she's been through, she can't handle getting to know people or being around them.
And there's the answer. Melissa just wouldn't say 'yes'. The hero's going to have to work a whole lot harder to win her over. And I'm going to have to work a whole lot harder to get her to the point where she'll say 'yes'.
So guess what I'm doing tonight?
The rest of the editor's crit is here: http://community.eharlequin.com/forums/write-stuff/so-you-think-you-can-write/day-one/harlequin-editor-week-challenges/challenge-on-1