Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Killing off Your Darlings

With a title like that you might thing I mean characters. Or if you didn't know, you'd think I was a crazy person. ;)

This is a post about losing interest in a story and a series.

I had my mind set that I would write one more Letters of Fate book even though they didn't seem to hit it off with readers, and my newsletter peeps told me in a survey that they preferred a different type of series. But I had two characters that I wanted give a book.  I thought, I'd make it a quick and easy book to put out, one with a fictional Indian School and play up the romance.

Instead, I kept researching, came up with a real mission that was in the area I wanted to put my Indian School, then as I dug further, I had to rewrite the first 100 pages. I continued, the story evolved from a short sweet read into an intense, steamier read. Then I brought in someone to help me with the religion of the mission. It was one I wasn't familiar with. All the time I was working on this in the back of my mind I was seeing the chart from the survey and knowing it wasn't really what my readers wanted. And I had the next mystery and the new series swirling in there as well, knocking constantly on my brain. I sat down and planned out the first four books of the new series, Ladies of the Silver Dollar Saloon, and started researching for the next mystery book.

After spending two weeks trying to make the Letters of Fate story work with the religion, the conflicts, the romance, I was just getting more aggravated. While I didn't kill off the characters, I set them aside. I may one day finish the book or I may one day use the characters in the new historical western series I'll have out later this summer.

Right now I'm working on Fatal Fall the next Shandra Higheagle Mystery. I'm much happier, haven't snapped at my hubby lately and looking forward to the next books rather than dreading the one I'm writing.


Cathryn Cade said...


I so relate! Nothing like being in the middle of a piece when your heart has moved on to other stories... it bites.

So wise of you to query your readers about what they want to see next. I've recently repubbed a genre mashup series. Got a few very nice notes from readers informing me they won't be reading as they only want 1/2 that combo from me. Sooo ... onward.

Love your graphics & header, btw. Lovely branding! And I mean the author kind, not cattle, lol.

Paty Jager said...


Thank you for the support. I like the new branding too. It's crisp and clean and gives a subtle hint to both genres.