Just played Runaway World, and experienced a bout of nostalgia for the days when I was working on Lilies. I know you’ve heard this many times, but it never gets old for me.

It’s just, I tried so hard for Lilies, you know? I truly believe I did the best I could for my first proper novel. I actually love my characters. And yeah, I know, it’s melodramatic, but I don’t know, that’s how I like it. Don’t writers write the stories that they would want to read? But of course, I would want my readers to like the stories I like too. Too bad they don’t.

But you know, in my life, I’d always gotten what I wanted if I tried hard enough for it. I guess this is the first instance where I tried so hard but reaped nothing. I guess I’m just not used to it.

In Mint, the setting is different from Moonlight. Mostly because Moonlight takes place, well, at night. But Mint is sort of like Lilies, in terms of setting. It takes place in a butterfly farm, a herb garden, and of course, Wroughton. I’ve never been so in love with a place I’ve created (did that come out sounding conceited?). It’s just all light and open, bright and colourful, vivid and passionate and full of life. Okay, I’m gushing. Maybe that’s why I prefer Lilies more to Moonlight. The setting. Also, Moonlight isn’t half as funny as Lilies, if I do say so myself.

In Mint, I’m going to make Reynold (the male lead) a funny, laidback guy who drives Leigh (yes, Jerm, I know it sounds like the name of a reindeer – sleighbell, sleigh, Leigh – but it’s growing on me), the protagonist, nuts.

The only problem is, what is at stake for them? What are their character motivations? Leigh is strong-minded, independent and is trying really hard to prove herself and be the responsible one in the family. Reynold, well, isn’t. The only thing or person he remotely cares about is his trouble-seeking younger brother, Kyle. So I guess Kyle is the one at stake. I decided last night that Leigh, being goal-driven and everything, shall have her achievements at stake. And what better than her job at the herb garden and her volunteer work at the butterfly farm? If her job were at stake (not to mention her credits for community service), would she trade Reynold’s brother for what she wants?

Now, there’s your story. Anyone who is nice enough to read the first few pages I’ve come up with can contact me at jcxw2590@yahoo.com.sg and request for the pages. Tell me if it’s working so far, okay, before I go any further? (Ie, too much backstory, too much rambling, too much dialogue, too light-hearted, etc?)

Now I just have to, in the words of Tim Gunn, make it work.

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