Because, you know, it's so much easier to answer questions than it is to start from pure scratch and try to figure out on one's own what people want to know. (I borrowed this idea from Jenny Freitag, by the way, and she's had great success with it so I thought why not try it myself.) But to give you a little bit of Gen. Inf...
First of all there's The Rochesters. This has been my mere working title for a long time now, but I'm seriously considering making it the for-reals title. Because titles should tell readers what the story's about, and this particular story is about the Rochesters-- a big, noisy family that names pets after Dickens characters and plans birthday parties in the midst of wedding preparations and goes on picnic breakfasts without a Word of Warning and takes in an orphaned cousin for the summer. I'm not at all sure that this title is eye-catching enough, but until/unless I can come up with a better one, it's doing very nicely.
Anyway, my goal is to finish TR's first draft by the end of August. I'm hereby asking you all to hold me to that. Currently it stands at about 35,500 words but I'm making some rather drastic changes to the beginning and of course intend to add quite a bit to the end as I'm not even halfway through the story. Heehee. I anticipate the final draft being some 85,000. Ish.
I've blogged a good deal about the Rochesters and their quirks already, so you can check out their tag if you want a bit more to go on. (Do ask questions, though. Please. It's the point of this post. I should hate for the poor thing to go to waste. Blog posts are people too, you know.)
Then there's the Jennifer story, so named because the main character's name is Jennifer. I know. I'm so original. But hey, Jane Austen named one of her best books Emma, so I'm in good company. (No, I am mistaken. That is not good company; that is the best.) This is one of my first forays into the world of contemporary stories, and I'm feeling quite liberated as I piddle with it. No need for historical research or attempts at accuracy in the dialogue... nope, these characters live and work and recreate (that's the verb form of recreation, right? Right?) much as I do. Except that my main character's circumstances are quite different from mine.
In brief, Jennifer Farnham's parents were tragically killed in a car accident when she was nineteen (my MC's seem to have a running theme of dead parents... I hope that doesn't indicate something bad about me) and she was left with the responsibility of caring for her three-year-old brother Ethan. Foregoing college plans and balancing a part-time job, keeping the rent paid at a tiny apartment and potty training a precocious toddler would keep her busy enough, but on top of it all she has to deal with her worldly and unsympathetic grandmother, who would like nothing more than to take over Jennifer's life and be in charge of both her and Ethan. Yay, I have now succeeded in sounding exactly like the back of a cheesy Hallmark DVD. Score.
Oh, and then we throw in a young married couple who take Jennifer and Ethan under their wings, so to speak, and the guy Jennifer had a crush on in tenth grade who is suddenly back in her life again, and an elderly lady from church with a tongue like a metal spatula (it's like a knife, only not quite as sharp, and it often accompanies cake) and you have a story that I'm having way too much fun with. In my head, that is. The amount that I actually have written is sad and pathetic and humiliating. I'm working on that. And my plans for August pretty much solely revolve around TR anyway, so I doubt I'll do much work on Jennifer and her crowd, but she's always at the back of my mind and will be waiting for me come September. So ask questions about her, too.
And of course anything else you might like to know.
You're the bestest.