I'm currently obsessed with a novel-length story I want to write for the Harlequin Memorial Day challenge. It is a romance (of course) that involves two of the unit mates of my hero for the first novel in the series. Don't have a title for it yet and the characters don't even have last names, but between my three notebooks, I have enough for a good length book. I'd planned for this to be a nice little scene in the third novel and how lucky I am that it's blossomed.
The heroine is a petite red-head named Harry. Actually, it's Haroldean (they expected a boy and those are family names), but she is Fierce. Well, of course, she's a Marine. Unfortunately, she's been blinded and is back in the States to try to start her new life. While she'd had a kind of a crush on the hero from my first book in the series, she realizes the man she'd considered just a friend was her real love.
Back to reality for a moment. A friend called and mentioned something her husband said that upset her a bit. She knew if she mentioned it to him later, he would say, "That's not what I meant." I can't tell you how many times in my almost 23 year marriage that has happened. But, my friend and I are sighted. We have cues from our husbands, even if it's only an eye roll or teasing grin, that my character Harry would not have. I also put together several pieces of information I had from a class I taught that included interpreting non-verbal cues in improving customer service.
Thus, I have a second major conflict/misunderstanding/obstacle to keep my hero and heroine apart. Can't make it too easy, can I? That's what I've really enjoyed about the first two books is that I keep throwing challenges at my characters and they keep overcoming them. After all, my heroes are smart, funny, handsome and wealthy--a lesser woman would collapse at their feet immediately. But, that wouldn't be any fun at all for the characters or for the reader.
So, what have we learned from this, kids? There is a purpose to playing Jewel Quest III, because it allows you to put these various ideas together, scribble them down in your notebook and string them together in the computer to make a narrative for the enjoyment of all. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.