|This Time Next Year available HERE|
By Catherine Peace
Sorry, guys. I don’t mean shoes, although there’s a spectacular joy in those, too. No, today I’m thinking about the wedges that we, as authors, drive into our characters’ relationships. Be it a conflict of interests, a conflict in social statuses, or good old-fashioned hate turning to love, these plot devices help make our writing worlds go ‘round. They also tend to make us the devil.
For This Time Next Year, I depended on two: Moira’s hate/fear of Kiernan, and Kiernan’s self-deprivation, which keeps him from even wanting to attempt a relationship. These wedges were introduced incredibly early in the story—Chapter 3 to be exact—and most often give us the smallest devil rating: 0-3 depending on your deviousness.
(However, wedges can be used in the beginning, near the middle, or even toward the end of a story. So you’ll have to adjust your devil rating accordingly.)
The above with Kiernan and Moira is an example of using a wedge in the beginning. It already creates tension and gives the characters something to fight for from the start, and readers something to cheer on.
Sometimes, though, it’s fun to drive your couple apart. Maybe it’s an old flame coming back into the picture, or a secret that threatens the relationship? Throwing these into the middle usually constitutes a devil rating of 4-7. If you’re really bad (an old flame AND a secret???), you can nab an 8.
So what does it take to get a 10 (or 11 if we’re on the Spinal Tap scale)? When the wedge you drive into the relationship results in a will they/won’t they cliffhanger. And especially if said will they/won’t they spans over several books *cough* Charlaine Harris *cough*. Heck, that might even nab you a 20.
However, it’s important not to abuse your wedges. Like with our beloved shoes, overuse can cause them to wear out, so only pick wedges that perfectly compliment your story. You definitely don’t want to commit a fiction faux pas.
Blurb - This Time Next Year
Vampire Kiernan Shaw has never forgotten the night twenty years ago when he’d been forced to stand by while another vampire killed a six-year-old girl’s parents in front of her. He’s spent the better part of the last two decades watching over her, protecting her and hoping for an opportunity to make amends one day.
Ever since surviving the vampire attack that killed her parents, Moira Curran has dealt with the resulting nightmares and abandonment issues the only way she could—by throwing herself into her biochemistry career, preferring a life of a hermit in her lab to facing the reality of her lonely life.
Madame Eve brings them back together for one fateful night. An immediate bond of sizzling chemistry and respect forms, but can it heal her fears and his guilt?
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