Right Kind of Wrong is the third book in my Decadent series. And, for me, it has been the hardest to write. Both of the first two books ended up being shorter than I thought anyone would want to read, even after I fleshed them out with more detailed events and more interesting sub-plots.
Writing book three has been an uphill battle, though I’m pretty sure both of the first two books felt that way when I first wrote them. I’m due to embark on ‘real’ editing soon, with my beta readers and I’m looking forward to hearing their reactions and seeing what they think of Tam’s story. At over 400 pages, as I do my own edits, before sending the manuscript to them, I’m apprehensive.
You see, I have a thing for misunderstood bad-boys-turned-good. That’s what Tam is. He’s that wounded, injured guy, who no-one understands. He was inspired by some of my favourite strong-man-with-a-soft-interior characters, like Westley from The Princess Bride, Angel from Buddy and Radcliffe Emerson, from my favourite book series, The Amelia Peabody collection. He’s strong, but he has hidden emotions and pain that only that one person with the right heart can see.
His story originally existed as a pretty lame solo novel, about a faux BDSM fraternity. It was awful – and I can say that, because I wrote it. But, I didn’t know how to fix it, until I imagined the bad boy of the story, Zavian, as Tam. I’m really happy to have rescued this atrocious story, because some of the characters in it – Levi, Mack, Casen – I really loved and wanted to features somewhere.
There was never going to be a softer side to Tam, when I first wrote Decadent. In fact, there was never going to be a second book. But as I wrote Konnor’s part of the story, The Other Side, came into fruition. The same happened here. I contacted Tracy, my awesome beta reader and friend, one night, while editing The Other Side. I realised I wasn’t happy or satisfied with the ending and asked her opinion. She agreed that something wasn’t quite right about it.
After some discussion, Tracy came up with the idea to write Tam’s story and make another book, to give me more time to find the ‘right’ ending for the series. I’ll admit, I wasn’t particularly happy with that idea. I didn’t want to commit to another book and start from scratch. I wrote a few filler chapters and ended up discovering my ending with Tam, from The Other Side. It worked so well that I knew she was right.
The problem was coming up with a plausible story. I didn’t want to start from scratch, so I went through my discarded, but saved, stories and found my BDSM one. I decided to worry about the plot later, since Levi, Mack and Casen fitted so well with my idea of where I wanted Tam’s story to go. I had about 40 pages of notes, for the story, pretty detailed, with conversations and planned events, so all I had to do was build on that.
I started by writing out my notes into story form, starting from where The Other Side left off. I focused solely on Tam’s story at first, then added in little aspects of Konnor and Grayson’s when it seemed appropriate. From there, Right Kind of Wrong took off, better than I’d hoped.
Soon those 40 pages of notes turned into over 400 pages of novel. My notes from the BDSM story quickly became, mostly, useless as Tam directed the plot, stage by stage, into what he wanted it to be. Other than a few specific scenes – Leander’s storyline, Tam’s sex scenes and the characters of Levi, Mack and Casen, barely anything of that original story still exists. And I couldn’t be happier.
Now I just need to cut those 400 pages down to something that a reader is happy to sit down and read. Both previous books are around 200 pages, so I’d like to keep this one similar, if not closer to the 300 mark. I don’t want some Epic novel that takes forever to read, that readers will lose interest in. But I also don’t want to cut out anything that makes it a good or better story.
Thankfully, I have a few side-stories, like Levi getting his own romance, and Grayson and Konnor’s relationship, as well as Konnor and Lachlan working on their friendship, that could be wheedled out or cut altogether, just to make sure that this story stays focused on Tam. I’ll have to wait for beta reader feedback, before I do anything drastic. I love the story as it is, with a few exceptions, so I’ll let my beta readers decide what they want to read and what is excess. But rest assured, anything excess that gets cut will be available on Wattpad, as a side story.