I’m a little woozy after having novel surgery done today. I met with a couple of very sharp, very supportive writers and let them flay The Viscount’s Mouse. The story started out as a tale of a young, plain, disabled woman of little means who takes a job as a governess, only to be sexually harassed by the brother of her employer. He eventually realizes he loves her, but she is fired and goes off to find her really rich and noble relatives. There’s more stuff before the happily ever after. Well, forget that.
Now I get to kill off Miles’s sister Belle. Never liked her anyway. Sadly, his brother-in-law also must bite the big one. And Miles’s parents. But his nephews come to live with him. And his estate is in probate because of some plot device I have to come up with. If he doesn’t come in to a great deal of money soon, his creditors will take things away from him that he doesn’t want to part with.
Now, Cassie, on the other hand, gets to keep one of her parents, but that’s okay because the one she keeps goes off and leaves her with Miss Farnham at the school. The Dorset Cottage will have been lost long ago, and there is a bad guy who steals from the school and is one reason Miles can’t get his fortune right now.
They meet at the same inn, but instead of Miles being a philanderer who is escaping a jealous husband, they are both looking for the bad guy there. Miles offers Cassie a job as governess to his nephews, and while he can’t pay her right now, she will have a roof over her head and meals.
The awesome part of the surgery involved the constant application of Why and What If? The Darkest Moment almost has to be written first, then you can find your way to it easily when you get to the beginning. My synopsis of the first version was all about plot, and very little about characters. This story is character driven, and just a wonderful excuse to throw a Regency party in my head.
I can’t wait to get started on it, but will need to finish my Regency Banquet sequel first. And make sure the Bowman’s Inn anthology is off to a good start. But THEN, I am writing this sucker and using all the skills I am blessed with.