Thursday, November 16, 2006


In between grousing about my on-going kitchen remodel and my day job, I’ve been doing some fairly heavy rewrites on my current wip (work in progress for any non-writer types here). I’m at the stage of the first major turning point about one third into the book.

The hero, who hasn’t been entirely truthful to the heroine (she thinks he’s someone he’s not), is going to ‘out’ himself. But the way he has to do it makes him look as if he’s actually betrayed the heroine–revealed her secrets to the authorities and caused her arrest. He’s got his reasons, of course, valid reasons. She doesn’t see that. All she sees is betrayal by a man she was falling in love with.

She’s understandably angry and feeling rather foolish. And even when the hero arrives to break her out of jail, she doesn’t trust him.

He has to get back into her good graces for two reasons. He needs her help to accomplish an important mission and he loves her, can’t imagine a life without her in it. What’s a man to do?

Flowers and candy can’t earn trust. Neither can sweet or charming words. Only selfless acts, some supreme sacrifice perhaps, will do it. Maybe. Trust is, after all, a very fragile thing and once broken is harder than Humpty Dumpty to put back together again.

But it has to be done. Why? Because, in my humble opinion, real love can’t exist without trust. Looking back, I see that as a theme that exists in one form or another in each of my books.

In Heartstone, Keriam has to learn to trust herself before she can trust her hero, Eric. It’s his act of self-sacrifice to save her that spurs her trust and liberates her to love him completely and selflessly. And that allows her to use the Heartstone to fight the Gawan.

Likewise, in Altered Destiny, Liane meets an exact look-alike of her cheating ex-husband in the alternate Earth to which she has been transported. She has to get past her hero’s physical appearance in order to learn to trust him and from that love grows. I was just a little trickier with Altered Destiny and gave her hero trust issues too (what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, no?) But it all worked out in the end. Their love for each other sparked the battle for Earth’s liberation.

But this current wip...the hero is going to have to suffer-a lot-before he earns the heroine’s trust again. The question is how?

Any suggestions?


MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott said...

Poor man. It seems to me as if he's paying for the other man's sins.

Trust issues are hard to deal with. It's a delicate balance because you don't want to drag on the problems too long, and build the trust as you go, but at the same time do not want to resolve it too soon.

I have a couple of ideas where the h/h are pulled apart for some reason and trust broken, then they have to come together again. I find it a real problem with pacing. I don't know why that is. It's shouldn't be any different than any other conflict. I don't know if it's because there has to be more backstory so the reader knows why the trust was broken, or what.

It is very hard to tread that fine line.


Skylar Masey said...

Oh goodness...when I read "exact look-alike" I got flashbacks of all the feedback I got from agents/judges about ALL I EVER WANTED, my book with look-alikes in different realms.

Is there perhaps a direct opposite action the hero can do that her ex would never have done? The first idea that occured to me is for him to spring the heroine from prison/jail or prove she didn't do what she's accused of. Though the second would work better if they did it together:0)

If she is there to witness his physical and perhaps emotional battles to attain the evidence to clear her name, it will hold more credence.

Trust is a hard thing to rebuild in a relationship, but sometimes it doesn't have to be a big action/thing that replaces that final link as long as it resonates with the person who was hurt.