Designing a room is a lot like writing a book.
I have two friends who are interior decorators. One taught me to sew (thank you Emily!). The other taught me about color and how to decorate a room.
You begin with a focal point. This is the piece the theme of the room revolves around. We have a front room. One of those rooms people make a formal living room then put a velvet rope across it. Me, no velvet rope across mine. We use it. Or at least I do to write in the winter. It’s the warmest room in the house.
DH and I didn’t begin the room with a focal point. We were going to paint the walls a Kelly Green. Through some odd circumstances we did not get around to buying the paint before we started shopping for the couch. Good thing.
We went to our favorite furniture store to see our favorite salesperson. They don’t make commission and spend a lot of time with you. We’d bought stuff here before this adventure. She ended up showing us a couch that we fell in love with. If you had said I would love a couch in this shade of green, I would have laughed. But I loved it. Too bad it would not go with Kelly Green.
Oh well. We can rethink the paint.
This is what it’s like when an idea finally congeals for a book. I think I’m going to write about A when I finally think it through or it goes to that place in my brain that solves these problems, I end up writing about B.
While at the furniture store, I sat in a wing-back chair. I hate wing-back chairs. I’m short and that hump in the back hits my write at the top of my head. I swore once I’d never have a wing back chair. This one was different. This chair was also a recliner. And it fit me. Perfectly when I flipped up the foot rest. And it matched the couch.
This is like using a plot device you swore you’d never use. For me it would be changing your identity to hide the past. My heroine in A View to a Kilt did it to hide who her ex-husband is. You must use the tools around you. Never say never.
So now we had a couch and a recliner. So now was DH’s turn to pick a chair. We went somewhere else for that. He picked what I considered something that didn’t match. At all. I could not talk him out of it.
Guess what. It has aged and now looks great in that room. On top of that, it’s the most comfortable chair in the house. Sometimes your editor has an idea for your book and you don’t want to do it. When you finally do, your book is so much better for it.
So now we had couch, two recliners and DH was going to make the tables. We found a paint and the next thing we needed were window treatments. I was going to sew these (thank you Emily). I called on my other interior decorator friend for a fabric book. I described the paint and the idea behind the room. She dropped off a book and I chose the fabric before she’d even driven out of my neighborhood.
This is like brainstorming with your critique partners. Sometimes they come up with some fabulous ideas for where your plot needs to go.
Writing a book and making it the best it can be is just like decorating a room. You need a clear idea of what you want. Input from others is always welcome and never put aside a plot device that might actually work in the long run.
A contemporary romance about a dog that brings two people together who don't want to be. She's a vegetarian veterinarian who needs cash for a no-kill shelter. He's the heir to a hot dog fortune who must give away money before he gains his inheritance. Sounds like a perfect match. It isn't.
She didn’t have time to soothe his ego. If he couldn’t understand about animal emergencies than she couldn’t explain it to him.
Not now. Not ever.
Running down the steps in front of the hotel, she stumbled. When she landed upright, the heel of one shoe broke. “Damn. Cheap shoes.” She pulled them off, standing in her stockinged feet.
She gave the valet her ticket then waited for her car. A light drizzle, dropping the temperature. She shivered hoping the valet hadn't parked too her car far away from her.
After what seemed like an eternity, the young man pulled up. She shook his hand, slipping him some bills for his trouble. At least she tried. She ended up dropping the bills. He reached for the money the same time she did. Her shoulder hit him in the eye.
The parking guy managed to stay on his feet. Daria landed on her butt in a puddle. Another dress ruined. “How about I let you get the money?”
"Can I help you up?”
“Maybe you better not.”
Along Came Pauly: http://amzn.com/B00EN33QNI
Thanks for having me today.