Back on the Wagon

My apologies for having been offline for so long. I became ill and ended up in the hospital for 5 days. I just came home on Saturday. Prior to that I wasn’t feeling up to blogging.

I have two chronic mental illnesses that come back to haunt me now and then. I have bipolar and borderline personality disorders. I have had these diagnoses for over 16 years and though I do well most of the time now, I still have episodes. This one was mostly depressive and probably began sometime in December. I caught things while they were still moderate. When I have severe episodes, it takes me much longer to feel better. Writing is therapeutic for me, but I admit I didn’t do much of it in the hospital. But it was on my mind.

I began reading On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels when I was an inpatient. I got through the first five chapters or so and took a lot of notes. I think the character I need to work on the most is my hero, Michael. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, he has no character arc. I also need to work out an external conflict. The fact that my heroine, Lisa, is terrified of relationships makes for a good internal conflict. but there also needs to be something going on outside of her head. Michael should probably get frustrated after a while with the internal conflict Lisa has and lash out a bit.

Another character I need to work on is Mikey, the ex. I need to find something sympathetic about him. Right now he is very flat. It was fun writing him since he is based on my ex-boyfriend from years ago, but that doesn’t make him an interesting character. I need to come up with a way to make him less two-dimensional and more realistic. Everyone has good and bad qualities, even ex-boyfriends. If I make him more sympathetic, it might be easier to generate some external conflict, too. That would be an added bonus since he does contact Lisa during the course of the novel.

I probably made about two pages of notes while reading. It was difficult for me to concentrate with all the activity on the unit. The last day I was there, I didn’t write/read at all as I was trying to stay out of my room. They encourage socialization, so I stayed in the day room all day and talked with other patients. I hope to continue reading Leigh Michaels in the coming days, though reading is still a bit difficult. My reading comprehension suffers when I am sick. I hope you are doing well. Happy creating!

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