I am happy to announce that the first draft of Book 2 of The Soiled Dove Sagas is complete at 85,300 words. When I got to about 66,100 I realized I had a story that could be sold as a Happily Ever After Romance, but it wasn’t where I wanted it to go. I wasn’t writing a romance, though this ended up very much following the general Romance outline. It actually ended up with HEA endings for both of my characters at that point. What to do? I plunged on and took the story where I’d originally planned, with a few minor side tracks.
This book is told from Roxie Edwards’ point of view and she was my secondary character in The Ruby Queen. I wanted to give her a story of her own and I think this one is a heck of a ride. I still have editing to do, but I doubt I will change my ending. I suppose I could take those 17,000 words and make them the beginning of book 3, but that just doesn’t seem right from the stand point of the story itself.
I am planning to write book 3 from the point of view of both characters. Each will get a chapter, one following the other. I’ve never written that way before and think it would be fun to get into each of their heads in the same book. It will also be an interesting way to end the series. Will it end with the possibility of further books for these characters? Very possibly, as they are still young women in our modern world standards. Roxie will be 32 and Mattie 28. In the 1870’s they would be considered well past their primes, however, especially after having lived the lives they have as Women of The Trade.
I am tinkering with the idea of an Erotic Romance based on the one that happens between Mattie and a character in this book, showing how she gets her Happily Ever After ending in this book. Of course, we know it won’t last because she will be back in The Trade in Book 3. Oh my, what to do?
I fear this is a quandary many writers face when dealing with reoccurring characters in their books. One of my favorite authors, Marion Zimmer Bradley had many reoccurring characters in her Darkover novels. She made a career writing around that group on their world. In fantasy it is easier. You can age your characters without giving much thought to what their longevity may have been due to living conditions.
My stories take place in the 19th Century West where life was hard, diets were poor, and their work as prostitutes made for shorter lifespans. If they didn’t get beaten to death by clients or contract a sexually transmitted disease, they were very lucky. The use of alcohol and drugs to smooth the rough edges of their business also took a toll on many women. While it is true that many of these women found husbands, life in the West on a small ranch or farm made for short lives.
Until next time: Write on!