Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been hanging out with new stories.
Sure, I’ve got three manuscripts in varying stages of completion and a goal of getting them all buffed and polished so I can enter them in the next (and final) Golden Heart contest, but there are new, seductive story ideas all around, just clamoring for my attention. Who am I to ignore them?
Maybe all of the reading I’ve been doing in recent months (a book-a-day anyone?) has kicked my imagination into gear, or maybe the editing project I just finished triggered some new creative brain cells; who knows.
Actually, I’m pretty sure it was Jilly.
Last week, in the comments on my post about Diversity in Historical romance novels, she said:
“You could make a fantastic series about a gaming club or a group of spies made up of (say) brilliant, dashing hot heroes and heroines who are excluded from the uppermost echelons of society because of their birth and blend in their interactions with the Upper Ten Thousand. I’d read it.”
I jokingly answered that those characters could “form the basis for my new series: Outcast Hearts”, and my Girls in the Basement dropped what they were doing, grabbed on to the new idea, and ran with it. Once I waded through the avalanche of potential new story ideas and weeded out the crazy root-beer-float induced plot lines, I realized I might just have a pretty good basis for a series.
That makes four!
For those playing along, I also have my cozy Cassie McColl Mysteries, my as yet unnamed contemporary series that I only seem to make real progress on during NaNoWriMo season, and the initial Regency series that started it all.
The Regency series figures a group of men who were all in the same regiment during the Peninsular/Napoleonic war and, now that Napoleon has been taken care of for good, are back home and getting on with their lives. It’s an interlinked series, where most of the stories happen around about the same time-frame, kind of like Jo Beverley’s Company of Rogues series. They’re stand-alone, yet interwoven, and won’t (I don’t think) need to be read in a particular order. One of the stories may, in fact, be a cross-over with the Outcast Hearts series. We’ll see.
I have a spreadsheet full of names and timing and plot-points – just so I can keep all the details straight – but what I don’t have is a name for the series.
And that, dear Reader, is where you come in.
The working titles for these stories are:
- A Convenient Heart
- A Traitorous Heart
- A Matter of Honour
- A Rescued Heart
- Heart of a Warrior
I’ve temporarily been thinking of it as my Regimental Hearts series, but just don’t know.
Got any suggestions? I’d love to hear them.
Oooo! Love the idea for the series, Elizabeth!
I attended a workshop by Damon Suede recently and he has this thing with verbs…as in, every book centers around a verb, and if you get out your trusty Roget’s and look up all the synonyms for that verb, each chapter could literally carry the theme of that word (his book “Verbalize” explains this in more detail). For example, the verb for my first book, “His Lady to Protect,” is (duh) protect. Look up the synonyms for that, and there are varying degrees of protection, from chaperon to insulate. But the overriding theme is protect. Other verbs in the other books in the series are honor, defend, desire, love, and redeem.
Perhaps if you think of each book in terms of a verb (what the hero is doing, what he’s done, what he’s avoiding, what his — to put it bluntly — “schtick” is?), perhaps that could serve as the launching point for solidifying the book titles?
Once you have the book titles squared away, perhaps the series name will come from that? Although I admit I like Regimental Hearts (particularly if these guys are hard-hearted and war-ravaged — the double-entendre is a nice effect).
My two pence, for what it’s worth. 🙂
Good suggestion, Justine. I actually picked up Damon’s book after the session of his I attended at RWA a few weeks ago – sounds like I better move it to the top of my reading list.
(-: Sorry about the root beer. Maybe lemonade or ratafia would work better as a plot driver? LOL. At any rate, it sounds like a fun line of enquiry!