I'm busy working on edits on The Marine's Heiress. Actually it's a total rewrite using the rough first draft as an outline. I'm suffering a lot of uncertainty as I work through the middle third of the book. It's not a saggy middle. Lots is happening and the story is moving forward. I think my characters are interesting and worth investing in but....
This book is being written under my pen name, Susan Kelley, and is intended to be a science fiction romance like its predecessor, The Marine's Queen. My concern is the romance. Is there enough in the book? I hope to send this novel to my romance editor by this time next month, but I'm worried about it. Have I let the science fiction story overwhelm the love story?
I'm fortunate enough to have a lovely swimming pool. I vacuumed it one week ago and within two hours, it started to turn green. A very pretty, translucent green. Realizing I didn't shock it as recommended after vacuuming, I attended to that. It cleared up for a bout an hour and then turned green again. I double shocked it. Cleared up and then clouded again. I knew I was out of my league in pool diagnosis though I guessed the ph balance was upset. So I went to the pool store, ask the experts, and heard how all the recent rain, especially acid rain, would disrupt the pool balance. The nice man advised me to double-doubled shock and then bring in a sample of the pool water to them for analysis if that didn't work. They would be able to tell me exactly what I needed to add to clear the water. Today my pool is no longer cloudy.
Asking the experts was so much easier than stressing while I tried to figure it out on my own. The pool experts can tell me exactly what I need to fix the problem. Applying the same principal to my writing, I'm going to stop worrying about the balance of science fiction and romance in my new book and let my editor tell me if it needs something added or something deleted. I'm going to write the book as feels comfortable to me and wait for the test of the experts.
Who do you go to when you feel uncertain about your writing? What part of your writing do you most often question? What percentage of romance does a book need to have to be a romance?