Jun 8, 2016

What to write next...?

 I have a book due at the end of the month…and, of course, all of my concentration should be on it, but I’ll let you into a little secret—if I don’t know what my following book is going to be about, I get a little antsy. I like to know that advance. Not in any detail, you understand, but in terms of themes and the main tropes. I'm going to write a reunion story next or an office romance or...  If I don't, panic starts to build--and I get short of breath whenever I think about it.

But I’ve yet to settle on anything. Not for lack of trying! I've been playing with all sorts of story ideas, but so far nothing has stuck. That's when I came up with the inspired idea to pop on over here and ask what  kind of story you’d most like to see. :)

So let’s list a few tropes to help us warm up:
* Friends to lovers
* Enemies to lovers
* Reunion story
* Royal story

I’m going to rule them all out. Why? Well, quite frankly, I think a good friends-to-lovers story is seriously hard to pull off. I’ve done two (His Christmas Angel, and First Comes Baby…). So before I dip my toes into those particular waters again, I want it to be because I've been gifted with a marvelous flash of inspiration. :-)

As for the next two—there are elements of enemies-to-lovers in my current story (only minor, though, so I could rethink this). And my February 2016 release was a reunion story. And while I love reunion stories with all of my madly beating heart, it’s probably too soon to do another one just yet.

A royal story will be fun one day. But at the moment I think the Romance / Forever / Cherish line is a bit flooded with them. So I’ll save that one for a rain day.

Some other tropes that do have potential:
* Cinderella story
* Beauty and the Beast
* Office romance
* Marriage of convenience
* Fish out of water story

Do any of them appeal to you?

Instead of an overall story trope, what if I consider some individual story elements, like:

* An unexpected baby!
These are always so much fun. I don’t know why--maybe it’s because babies force a heroine and hero to work out what they want, and to fight for what’s important. Also, babies (especially the fictional kind) are seriously cute. There’s lots of inbuilt emotion in an unplanned pregnancy / baby story.

* Sheikh hero
I’ve never done one, but what do you think? Ooh, I could set the story in a glorious desert landscape with a nearby oasis where my heroine could nibble delicately on dates and Turkish delight. (Uh huh...guess whose fantasy it is to nibble on far eastern delicacies ;-) ).

* Virgin heroine
These can be tricky. But they do tap into a really attractive fantasy of a sexual awakening (Sleeping Beauty!) with a seriously scrummy man. :)

* Glamorous setting
I LOVE armchair travel! Where would you most like to see my romance set—Rio, Trinidad, Egypt, Paris, Singapore, Puerto Rico…?

So come on—play the game. What story would you most like me to write:

* The Sheik’s Pregnant Cinderella
* A Puerto Rican Marriage of Convenience
* The Virgin’s Impossible Boss
* The Sheik’s Impossible Virgin (dear lord I can’t believe I wrote that)
* The Virgin’s Vegas Adventure
* Called to Duty by the Sheikh
* The Billionaire’s Scandalous Deal
* Bodyguard to the Plain Jane

 Please feel free to come up with your own title. You never know, you might just help me find the spark of inspiration that I need. :-)


  1. If I were an author and couldn't decide, I would write down on slips of paper hundreds of ideas, then draw 5-10 of them to see if I could incorporate all of those ideas into one story. Something like: virgin, broken-down car, cowboy, he has children, cuts down trees, likes to bake, twin, and model. I think it would be fun to think up storylines that incorporate them all (or at least most of them) successfully. Of course, there might already be some caveats (like a medical book might be in a series based at a hospital), but it would be fun to include those too.

    1. Ooh... You know what, Laney, that's a truly excellent idea! I once started a three jar plan with:
      1. Ideas for heroines
      2. Ideas for heroes
      3. Plot ideas

      But throwing everything into the one jar, drawing 5 (or 6 or 7) of them and then making connections -- what fun! Making up the lists would be oodles of fun too. Guess what I'll be doing this weekend? :-)

      Thanks, and sending smooches!

  2. Oh Michelle

    Choices and more choices LOL this is one reason I could never be a writer :)

    But for me one of my favourite troupes is a Cinderella story and I have to say I really have a soft spot for Sheikhs so The Sheikh's Pregnant Cinderella would be my pick they could meet on a beach someplace Cinderella could be scavenging for odds and ends washed up on the beach :)

    Have Fun

    1. Oh, yes, Helen! All of those choices! But sometimes it's like having too many TV channels -- you flick and flick, but can't settle on anything, LOL.

      And thanks for your vote! I have to admit finding myself rather drawn to The Sheikh's Pregnant Cinderella. :-)

  3. I'd like to see The Billionaire Sheik's IMpossible Virgin Puerto Rican Marriage of Convenience please Michelle :-)

    Seriously though....love Laney's idea. Might have to start doing that myself!

    1. LOL, Amy, I'd expect nothing less from you. ;-)

      Totally agree about Laney's idea, though -- it sounds like fun. :-)

  4. Michelle,

    Love the idea of Bodyguard to the Plain Jane, but maybe that's because I've got a bodyguard in my next book. And I can imagine you doing a great Vegas adventure!

    Laney, your idea is such fun. I think I'll have to try it next time.

    Michelle, hope you come up with something suitable soon!

    1. I do find the title, Bodyguard to the Plain Jane, rather intriguing, Annie (and yay for your upcoming bodyguard!)... But then a Vegas adventure could be a lot of fun. So many possibilities, LOL.

      As for Laney's idea, I think it's inspired. :-)

  5. Bodyguard to the plain Jane. Oh, please!

    1. Ooh...so that one grabbed you, Malvina? Shall have to ponder it a bit more. :-)

  6. I'd love you write AA's story!!!
    Seriously, I love the bodyguard idea too! And Laney's idea...I just might do that for my next brainstorming session!

    1. LOL, Louisa. I am seriously tempted by AA's title. If I dropped the Puerto Rican setting, it's a story I can almost see. ;-)

      Maybe we need a LoveCat's Writing Retreat where we could put Laney's idea into action. :-)

  7. Didn't answer this yesterday because I'm having a similar dilemma. There are a lot of solutions there but nothing grabs me - even to suggest to you. So, as Louisa says, go with AA's idea. It's a cracker.

    1. Aw, hugs on the lack of inspiration, Sue. I hope something grabs you soon. I now have sheiks, plain Janes, bodyguards and Puerto Rico whirling like dervishes in my head. Let's hope, when the dust settles, that I have something inspiring (and that makes sense!). :-)

  8. OMG yes, please write AA's story!! haha I would totally read it.

    I always love a good 'twin swap' or 'wrong brother' kind of story. Not as many of those around, they're always fun.

    1. Ah, now...I do have a twin story running around in my mind, but it's a bit "hot" for the Forever line. Never thought about 'wrong brother' -- definitely potential there. Thanks, Stef!

  9. MIchelle, your head must be spinning with ideas! I look forward to seeing what you decide to write. Anyone of those ideas would be fun.
    I love Laney's plot storming method - looks like lots of us will be trying it!
    Did someone say: "LoveCats writer's retreat?" I'm putting my hand up for that!"

    1. I know, Kandy -- how much fun would a LoveCat's writing retreat be? :-)

  10. You guys always make me smile. Thanks for that!

    1. It only seems fair when you've brought a huge smile to all of our faces with your creating-a-story idea, Laney. :-)