Last night Capt. Bob, my in-house editor, and I discussed my story arc for Rogue’s Island, as well as the following two books in the series.  Normally I’m reluctant to discuss my works in progress, even with my husband (especially with my husband!) for two reasons:

1.  Too much talking about the story releases the pressure needed to write the story.

2.  Bob has a keen eye and a ruthless red pencil.  He is invaluable when it comes to copy editing, but if I show him my early drafts (which are dreadful but contain promise) his remarks can be disheartening.  Reminds me of my high school English teacher, Mr. Eaton…

But as a brainstorming partner, our minds and tongues loosened by a bottle of chilled Pinot Grigio, my husband had some excellent advice to offer.  I realize part of my writer’s block I’ve been suffering from lately, comes from some story arc and timing problems I hadn’t fully considered.  In writing an historical fiction series an outline is essential.  I’ve always hated outlines, yet I’ve learned you have to have some idea of where you’re going and how you’re going to get there for it all to come together.  Characters can still surprise you, and the outline has to be tweaked or even restructured, but the grand story arc should be in place, as well as the major plot points.  Otherwise, you risk writing yourself into a corner with no way out.

Capt. Bob, my in-house editor

Rogue’s Island is taking me to colonial Rhode Island and St. Croix in 1765.  Some characters from Star-Crossed are resurfacing, and will play a role in future books as well.  My brainstorming session with Bob last night has opened possibilities to me I had not considered.  Instead of diminishing my need to write the story, it has fueled it.  Thanks, honey, for your thoughts — and for fixing dinner.  (Spicy stir-fried shrimp, yummy!)  Tonight it’s my turn to cook.  But first I have some writing to do…