Since this is my first novel, I'm not ashamed to admit that my first draft was pretty thin on conflict and suspense. Even a simple romance needs intrigue and roadblocks to hold a reader's interest. Plus, Henderson House is more than a simple romance. It's also about the roles we play in our family and how hard it can be to break free from them. My plot deepened in the second draft and I experienced the thrill of putting these characters I know so well into new and more stressful situations and seeing how they responded and transformed. Still, I couldn't shake the feeling that there was more going on behind the scenes with Florence and Bessie than even I knew.
My short description of the novel on Inkshares reads:
An Oklahoma spinster falls for a divorced man during May of 1941, but her manipulative sister and a dark family secret threaten to keep her from the altar.
I realized last week that while a secret does threaten to keep Bessie from the altar, it isn't really a dark secret and I want it to be a dark secret. I want my short description to be true! So, I let myself think about the story for a few days and sure enough, I woke up Saturday morning and Bessie told me what I needed to hear. She told me a truly dark secret and I'm pretty darn excited to work it into the fabric of the narrative.
For me, I feel confident trying an addition or change to the plot when I look at the manuscript and realize all the groundwork has already been laid for this new development or revelation. It's as if the story itself left markers for me as to where I should insert the bread crumbs, modify a comment, change a response. When the change you're considering eliminates some of your doubts about the plot, it's probably a good idea to try it.
I've been in touch with the folks at Inkshares (yay!) and they have their hands full right now as they begin to schedule launch dates for books that were delayed due to COVID-19. So I'm back in the driver's seat. I know I have a publisher (pinch me) but I'm not under the gun to deliver a manuscript (phew!) I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and get at it. I will keep my readers updated on Inkshares regarding the revised chapters. If you're not already following me on Inkshares, click here to follow.