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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

When a Story Goes Awry by Paty Jager

Last month I was telling you about all the fun things I had going on and how the last book of the Letters of Fate series was just about finished. That is the story that went awry.

I finished the book but wasn't happy with it. I had someone read it and give me feedback. From the feedback, I realized the story had moved away from the romance and become to centered on the religious history. At the beginning, when I'd conceived the idea for the story, it was all about the love and bond between the hero and heroine.

Frustration set in as I tried to recapture the emotion and feelings I'd started with and ditched to restart the book adding the historical research I'd found. The frustration level over not being able to figure out how to keep what I had and fix the story had me hating sitting down to write and being crabby. My husband said if writing makes you this upset, maybe you shouldn't be writing. I replied it's not the writing it's this book.

And while I don't like quitting a project, I had to stop this one. After discussion with other writers and suggestions from the person who read the book, I decided to set it to the side and move on to the book(s) that were pulling at my attention.

Having given myself the space from the story, I've realized I need to go back to my original thoughts, and push the version that I'm aggravated over into the pile of manuscripts I wrote before becoming published and let the dust bunnies collect on it.

Henri: Letters of Fate will be published, most likely at the end of the year. After I've written two mysteries and started the new historical western series. I love the hero and heroine in Henri and I want to give them their story. The one that I started out to write before my research took me down the wrong path.

Writers: Have you ever discovered you had a book that had gone the wrong way? If so, did you fix it right away or give yourself time to figure out why it was going wrong?  Readers: Do you mind a book taking longer than planned to get published as long as you get a good story?

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 30+ novels, a dozen novellas, and a passel of short stories of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters.
This is what readers have to say about the Letters of Fate series- “...filled with romance, adventure and twists and turns.” “What a refreshing and well written love story of fate and hope!”


  1. Yes,I've had it happen. I had one I put aside for a year and when I got back to it, it came together. I wouldn't force it or put out something that I felt less than good about. Have you thought of publishing two books-- one nonfiction with your research and the other the romance using only the tiny tidbits that don't block the story.

  2. Hi Rain, No, I don't want to have yet one more genre I'm trying to promote/sell. I'm at a good place with this story and know I will finish it, just not now and without the element I brought in after I'd started the book.

    1. I said book but was thinking article (can I blame it on the cold?). True West likes pieces about history that others might've missed. It would take though some photos for them. The advantage is you'd get your name in places we don't always manage. I love the magazine and it's read as soon as it comes in for the interesting stuff they reveal. I don't think I've seen one there on the Indian schools, which can go from tragic to offering a good education. (One of my nieces went to one in the Midwest for her college).

  3. Paty, I have stories that went awry! Because I was on a deadline, I published the last one even though some of the romance was missing. I like BRIDE'S ADVENTURE, but it needed more emotion between the hero and heroine. That's what happens when I let my deadlines get too close before finishing a project. I'm enjoying your Letters of Fate series, by the way.

  4. HI Caroline, I've stopped pushing my books out so fast because I felt like they weren't coming out the best they could be. Which was part of what bothered me about stepping away from this book. It meant another two to three months my fans would have to go without a new book. But that was better than putting out a book I wasn't happy with. That's funny about the Letters of Fate. After I polled my readers and they made it clear they preferred a different type of series than Letters of Fate, I've had quite a few people say how much they liked the books. I can't win! But I am more excited about the new series than I was about the Letters of Fate. I'm glad you are enjoying the LOF books!


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