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