Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Maybe Baby … or Not?


I love reading books that contain children and love the way they add a different dimension to the characters, the story, and the relationships within the book. There’s nothing sexier than a handsome hero with a soft spot for a baby, right?

But for some reason, I struggle to write about children. Really, really struggle.

Odd, considering that I love children and have two beautiful, busy children who are my life and soul.

I’ve just completed a book that ended with the heroine falling pregnant. Well, that was the initial plan and part of the initial synopsis I sketched out. As the book is the first book in a series of three books, I had the idea that the child would be a link throughout all the books for something great. A bigger purpose. As I neared the end of the first book in the series, before I knew it, I’d deleted the idea of a baby ever coming into the series. It clashed with another idea I had for book two, and a baby in the series felt … wrong. A close friend of mine, who is often my sounding board for ideas with this particular series, laughed at me and said: “Shame, you just killed off a baby.” True, I killed off the idea of a baby. When asked why I didn’t want a baby in the series, I couldn’t answer, but the question added some fuel for thought.

About a year ago, I wrote a romantic suspense novel. The idea popped into my mind and I began writing non-stop. The novel flowed at an excellent pace, the dialogue sparked between the characters, and the words simply came out of nowhere. Throughout the book, it was suspected that the heroine might be pregnant with the hero’s baby (long story but that’s the gist of it). I reached almost 50 000 words (with ease) when it was finally confirmed that she was pregnant. And guess what? My entire story crashed and burned from there. Hm.

Stumped, I put the book aside until recently hauling it out for another look. I read the book again, intrigued by the storyline and the characters. Just as I began to wonder why I’d abandoned the book, I got to the part where her pregnancy was confirmed. And yes, you guessed it … the book crashed and burned. Again.

So, my question is … what is it about a baby that makes my story crash and burn? I’m a mother with years of experience to my name. I should be able to pull this off with ease … or not.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I just haven’t found the right story yet. Maybe a baby hasn’t fit in with the characters I’ve created so far. Maybe I’m simply not comfortable with the time, space, mess, dialogue, and cuteness a child would require in my books. Up to now, cuteness hasn’t factored in with the personalities of my heroes and heroines. As I enjoy making life hard for them by constantly throwing them into hot water, a baby would cramp my (and their) style.

Or maybe, just maybe, it could have something to do with the fact that I have two small children (and often many of their friends and cousins) constantly around me at home, and the reason I can’t incorporate children into my fantasy world is that I simply have my fill of them at home?

Having said that, I’m off to give my kids a hug!

Write with joy,

Rae Rivers

10 comments:

  1. What a lovely and honest blog post! I love reading about other writers' processes in their books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathy! I also love to read about other writers' processess when writing. Thanks so much for the visit. x

      Delete
  2. Interesting question Rae! I definitely don't want babies in my books! The heat level would just freeze over if I had to think about a child being present in any of the scenes!

    And yet ... babies have been used to great effect in some books! I've even been known to wipe away a tear or two!

    I guess it all boils down to personal preference. Mine is definitely no kids allowed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Amanda - for me, a baby does affect the heat level of a book! :) I've read some wonderful books that involve babies or children, but I personally just can't seem to pull it off with ease. Maybe one day. Thanks for stopping by. x

      Delete
  3. Interesting questions, Rae.

    I don't write babies or pregnancies into any of my stories either, and I think it might be because my stories are more flirty, contemporary romances rather than a hearth and home type feel. My heroines might one day have children, but at the point where I'm writing about them, they're still single and 'footloose'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Romy. Thanks for the comment and for taking the time to stop by. Children are always on the cards for my characters in the future too, just not right now. "Single and footlose" ... love that! Gosh, can't even remember life before children!

      Delete
  4. I'm a mother of 2 beautiful kids with a 3rd on the way but I don't write stories that include babies. My stories are not that kind of sweet. Perhaps one day. I never say never. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Kiru. Maybe one day for me too - but definitely not right now. Best of luck with your new baby! Thanks for the visit!

      Delete
  5. There's something cute about babies, and young kids in general, that lends itself to, well, cuteness in a story (I know, my brain is on fire, innit? LOL)
    But I think this applies to lighter stories, rom coms and the like. In the 2 stories where I have pregnancy/baby and/or little kids, both are on the cuter, lighter side and (hopefully) funny. One even revolves entirely around the heroine's unplanned pregnancy.
    I think kids in general change the tone of a story. They just don't lend themselves to dark, and drama the kind that would not be considered cute and sweet. In another of my books with a deeper/serious theme (heroine is a widow, hero is a reformed alcoholic), she has kids, but I knew the cuteness of little kids wouldn't work in that setup, so I made the kids teenagers.
    Cuteness lends itself to some genres... and truthfully, these genres are the toughest to write :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Zee. Thanks for the visit! And yes, you're right, I suppose it all depends on the story. My latest book is darker than my usual style so including a baby didn't feel right. Definitely a tough challenge for me to write about children! Maybe one day? Lol. x

      Delete