Ever have a conversation with someone that ends up going wrong and you can’t figure out why? Sometimes you simply give up and walk away, throwing your hands in the air trying to figure out what was wrong with the other person and why they held the attitude you did. Later, you talk to a mutual friend and they tell you how frustrated the other person was with you and that only makes things worse.
Sometimes it’s misunderstanding that causes it. But more often than not it’s what Sol Stein calls ‘different scripts’. This is when each person comes to the situation thinking they are right and the other person is wrong. Or they don’t understand.
Different scripts is the foundation of many of my romance novels and it’s trickier to write than one may think. For instance, in my book coming out in February my heroine, Ella, is operating from the script of “I lost my child I can’t either face being around kids or think I can take care of kids”. My hero, Cord, who has three adorable children, sees her reaction to his children and reverts to his script which is “My wife was more involved with her work than the kids and died as a result of this”. So Cord filters Ella’s frightened reaction to his children through his ‘script’. He’s aloof, upset and tries to keep his kids away from Ella. Which only reinforces her script.
Various editors have told me that one can’t base an entire story on a misunderstanding. But different scripts is far deeper than misunderstanding. The hero or heroine’s view of themselves is ingrained and underlined by the various experiences they’ve had. And it causes great pain so they’re either hiding it or thinking they’re over it when they’re really not.
My job as a writer is to put them in contact and to have the various situations and conversations they have slowly peel away their misconceptions of each other. This takes place over the majority of the book. The finale comes when they are willing to see the error of their own ‘script’ and understand where the other person is coming from as well.
If you want to find out more about Cord and Ella, you’ll have to wait for the book, Courting the Cowboy, coming out in February. For now here’s a sneak peek of the cover. Hope you manage to get hold of this book and find out how Cord and Ella managed to resolve their differences and get on the same page. So to speak. Take care.
If you want to find out more about my books and my writing check out my website: www.carolyneaarsen.com and get a chance to download a free e-book.
Or you can head over to Instafreebie and get a copy of Homecoming over there.