We must write or paint or make music that pleases us, and,  we are fortunate, what we love will be loved by others, too – Writing the Novella by Sharon Oard Warner

Thinking “She’s Not That Good” may make for a better novella than novel, I’ve been reading “Writing the Novella” by Sharon Oard Warner. The current chapter I’m reading is “What’s the Story Question?” This, of course, has led me back to my previously published novels/novellas and those story questions. For example, here are my top 5:

1. Real Women Wear Red – Is pink a woman’s favorite color from childhood to grave?

It was the chick lit heyday and pink was hot – not only were covers in pinks but one Bachelorette had a completely pink wedding. And while I have worn pink many times, I never forgot those candy apple red shoes I just had to have when I was about 8-years-old. So, naturally, just to be different, I had to write Real Women Wear Red.

This was my third novel but the first to get an agent and publishing contract.

Btw, one woman told me, “Real women wear whatever color they want to wear.” Of course, but for my book, I chose to highlight red, considered to be a power color.

2. Real Women Sing the Blues – What if you left your corporate job to pursue your dream?

The sequel to Real Women Wear Red where I explore the idea of leaving behind the corporate life to pursue your dream, something we probably all think about. Personally, I started with writing and moved into music.

3. Letters on Balboa Island – What if a woman regrets leaving behind the one who got away? What if she could have made a different choice?

This book was a very personal story for me because it was a fictionalized version of my mother sending my father a “Dear John” letter and then marrying somebody else, who I grew up calling “dad.” I liked to think she’d had regrets.

4. Myths of the Fatherless – What if you meet your father for the first time that you can remember as an adult?

The story idea in #3 was so strongly-felt for me that I had to write a nonfiction version of my search for my father.

5. Déjà at the Blue Diamond… – What if a psychologically abused woman imagines her second husband is her first husband in disguise?

Okay, so this one is a little far-fetched. In fact, the opening scene came to me in a nightmare. I couldn’t let the story idea go so I had to write the book. Originally, it was called “Déjà Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon” but some thought the word “saloon” made it sound like a Western so I left off saloon, even though my ear liked the lyrical rhythm of it.

So what is the story question for “She’s Not that Good?” Is not knowing her true identity getting in the way of pursuing her real dreams of career and romance?

Do you often consider the story idea before writing your book or does it just unfold as you write?

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