Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Can you Let It Go? Let Them Go(ooooooo!!!!!)?

I am still a relative newbie to the magical world of Medical Romances and am already struggling with one thing in particular: letting my secondary characters run off into their own glowy sunset and carrying on with whatever it is life had in store for them.

Perhaps it’s control freakery (Moi? Never. Is your tie crooked? Here, let me just wipe that bit of – oooops) – but when I wrote my first ever to be published book – The Surgeon’s Christmas Wish – I just HAD TO KNOW what happened to everyone who had been smote with bad fortune. So I wrote them. (Cue: books two and three!).

Then I hit book number four – a fresh start. No luggage from idyllic ski resorts, or beaming in the peachy sunwashed glow of a new day for these characters. No hangover issues from a tour in Afghanistan or an avalanche gone horrifically wrong. So I’m writing and I’m writing and – Kapow! Bam! These two characters were so smokin’ hot for each other there was hardly room for a waiter to even get an elbow in on their action (not in a kinky way…just to make sure Madame and Monsieur were entirely sure they didn’t desire some creme brûlée). And I’d even started the book with the intention of writing a secondary character in who would get his own scrumptious love story. No dice. We didn’t need him. Maybe he got a text. A short one. Step aside secondary character – Ali and Aidan are too busy falling in love to pay you any mind!

So that was interesting.

Book number five (just put the icing on that one) – I’m at it again. I can’t bear leaving a couple of the gals behind. They very desperately deserve an HEA. WHAT TO DO?

What do you do? Or is it all mixy uppy like it is for me? As a reader – how hard do you find it to let fate take its own course with the secondary characters…or do you often wish….as I do – there was more? Are you a series reader or a stand alone romance lover? Or…as is often the case…is this a case of putting on my best Disney voice and letting it go…then putting on my best Beatles voice…and letting it be?

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12 thoughts on “Can you Let It Go? Let Them Go(ooooooo!!!!!)?”

  1. Hi Annie! Great post. I quite happily start with new characters in every book, though in book 4, when I sent my copy in to ed, she mentioned whether the heroes sister was going to get her own story? I contemplated it, thought okay, maybe, but I haven’t done it. I’ve been accosted by new characters, whose story was much more important (or so they told me!) I tell myself I will write the sisters story next, though, but honestly can foresee that I won’t, as I get too many story ideas (a good thing, I appreciate) and always like the thrill of starting fresh.

  2. Hi Annie!
    Seems to me that you have been struck by an affliction that strikes so many of us romance writers (and readers!) You start out with your couple; you pile on the angst and work through their problems; you prepare for their happy ending and reach it but – wait a sec! – what about characters X, Y and Z? You can’t quite find it in your heart to abandon them. After all, they are “real” people now they have appeared in your book. You just have to know what happens to them . . .

    Some stories just need to be told and my advice is to tell them or they will drive you mad, niggling away at the back of your mind. Other books, like your no. 4 (can’t wait to read it!) are complete in themselves. That’s it. The End. Move on.

    Just go with the flow and don’t worry about it. It’s all part of the fun of being a writer.
    love to you and your pesky characters,
    Jennifer

  3. I have a couple of three-book series in hand – one that started with Wanting Mr Wrong and one that started with The Contract. I think these evolved into series because the ‘friends’ of the heroine in each story were so important. The challenge for me in the follow-on books is to not get too dogged down in recapping what happened in the previous stories, but to give the newbies their chance to shine! It’s kind of fun to revisit characters – but I do love a standalone book myself. Story is over, let’s move on to some new people.

    1. Very good point. My latest meant-to-be combo ultimately ended up being stand alones. They could be tied together only because of the name of a clinic they both had in common – but other than that…I am learning to say sayonara and – lo and behold! It helps me focus on the romance more. Quelle surprise!

  4. I agree with Avril, series are great when you have those pesly secondary characters that MUST be heard but they’re a tricky balance as well! For example I’ve read the first in a series where I found the brother way more intersting than the hero….. gotta be careful of that 🙂

    1. Yup – sexy, interesting brothers….always awkward if you’d rather be kissing The Other One. I once dated a twin. That was weird until I met the twin and figured out I got the one I wanted. (Phew!) *Looks suspiciously over shoulder to make sure DH isn’t reading this!*

  5. HI Annie. I admit to not letting my secondary characters get too much attention, and in most books it’s bye bye from me. Though sometimes one will niggle at me until I write their story, but not often.

  6. I’m not one that has a hard time letting go of secondary characters. In fact, I don’t have many in my books. I might make writing the next one easier if I did carry over a few characters.

    1. Or maybe it makes writing the one you’re writing easier because you’re not busy worrying about when the secondary characters are going to fall in love! Hee hee! Ahhhh….the glories of writing…

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