Not In the Plans

Not In the Plans suddenly has a double-meaning.  It is the working title of a manuscript I started writing awhile back, but it also describes the current state of affairs of said manuscript.  Some interesting things have been happening since I posted the two chapters I’ve written of Not In the Plans, suggesting things that were, well, not in the plans. 

I started Not In the Plans about six months ago and then abandoned it after just two chapters.  I’ve had some thoughts of going back to it once I finish Back to Me, but no strong feelings one way or another.  So, I decided to throw out what I had for the first two chapters and see what people had to say.

Imagine my surprise when I checked my blog stats yesterday and today and the most read post (of this blog’s short life) turned out to be Not in the Plans (Jackson Calhoun).  This is where Interesting Tidbit #1 comes into play.  Jackson’s story is supposed to be Chapter 2 of Not In the Plans.  The first chapter was posted the day before and is from Savannah “Savvy” Davis’ point of view.  Interesting Tidbit #1: Jackson’s post has been read 3x as much as Savvy’s.  This is despite my warnings at the top of Jackson’s post that his story begins after Savvy’s and that hers should be read first. 

Interesting Tidbit #2 popped up on Twitter.  A follower (a male follower, I might add) suggested that Jackson’s chapter come first, before Savvy’s.  He went on to suggest that the whole book be from Jackson’s point of view perhaps.  Maybe even make Melanie Clark into Melanie Calhoun, Jackson and Savvy’s daughter.  I smell a soap opera brewing.

I don’t foresee making Melanie the daughter of Jackson and Savvy, but the rest is intersting.  I got an email from a friend who reads the site who also suggested that Jackson’s chapter come first.  So, now I’m thinking, maybe that’s the way to go.  Part of the reason I lost steam on Not In the Plans was that several people from a writing group hated Savvy so much they said they wouldn’t read the whole book.  I wonder if they’d feel differently if Jackson’s chapter becomes the first, that way the reader sees Savvy through his eyes first. 

As for telling the whole story from Jackson’s point of view, I’m not sure about that one.  I don’t think I’ve ever read fiction told entire from a male’s point of view where the story was about a male-female relationship.  So, I wanted to throw it out to anyone who’d like to chime in: have you read fiction told entire from a male point of view that was about a male-female relationship?  If so, did you like it?

Honestly, I don’t think I can write an entire novel from Jackson’s point of view.  In fact, Not In the Plans is the only manuscript I’ve worked on that I haven’t written in first person.  I liked the idea of telling the story from both Jackson and Savvy’s point of view. 

Would love to hear feedback on the male point of view issue and whether you agree that Jackson’s chapter should come first.  I’d especially love to hear from those of you who read Jackson’s chapter and didn’t read Savvy’s at all – why?  I know you’re out there; I can see the click counts!  🙂

Maybe I’ll write a full manuscript for Not In the Plans after all….

**Update (7/18/10): I have decided to flip Jackson and Savvy’s chapters.  Thank you to everyone who commented on this on Twitter, Facebook and here!  Also, a big thanks to Inside the Book for linking over to Not In the Plans.  Inside the Book has a tremendous book (on baseball, if you’re interested) and has been a huge supporter of my efforts on my other blog, It’s a Swing and a Miss.  Their post has driven over 500 unique visitors here in a 3-day period, many of whom have given me some great perspective as male readers.   

Check out more on Not In the Plans here and the first two chapters in their new order here.

Not in the Plans (Savannah "Savvy" Davis)

NOT IN THE PLANS is a manuscript I started almost a year ago that never made it past the first two chapters.  I’m still considering picking it back up when I start sending out queries for BACK TO ME.  Until then, I’ll share it here.  The first chapter is from Savvy’s point of view.  I’ll post the second chapter, from Jackson’s point of view, tomorrow.

Affair.  Savvy couldn’t chase the word out of her head, not even with the top down on her convertible and female rock band Saving Jane blaring over the premium sound system.  It was the type of word that was hissed or spat out of someone’s mouth, not one that was casually bandied about in pleasant conversation. 

Savvy jammed her foot down on the accelerator and flooring it past her condo.  She wasn’t ready to face Jackson yet.  Affair.  Damn, there was that ugly word in her head again. 

That’s not what she was doing, was it?  No, she thought.  Sitting on a couch with Sullivan in his office while he expertly rubbed her feet was not an affair.  It was just two colleagues unwinding after another long night of pouring over voluminous corporate due diligence.

Savvy didn’t have the heart to pass her condo a second time, knowing Jackson hated when she worked this late.  She slowed as she circled back to the front of the building and eased her car into the underground parking garage.  After making her way to her assigned spot, she took her time raising the top to her shiny new BMW Z4. 

Savvy had purchased the car as a reward for successfully closing a multi-million dollar real estate development that was certain to make her a lock for partner when the vote came up at the end of the year.  She loved the little red convertible and how sexy it made her feel when she slid behind the wheel.  Even though her long blonde hair, blue eyes and tall, lean frame would have made most women jealous, she hadn’t felt attractive in awhile.  Maybe that’s why she hadn’t stopped him when Sullivan began flirting with her a few months ago.

Savvy knew she was stalling as she stood there staring at her car, trying to avoid the crisis of conscience she might have when she walked through the door and saw Jackson’s adoring face.  She took a deep breath and turned on a perfectly spiked heel to head towards the elevator.  She spent the ride up to her 22nd floor condo assuring herself that weeks of flirtation with Sullivan, and the occasional foot rub or shoulder massage, did not qualify as an affair. 

By the time Savvy made her way down the long, narrow hallway and put her key in the front door, she was convinced she had nothing to feel guilty about. 

When she swung the door open, however, and saw the candles burning on the mahogany dining room table, a lump began to form in her stomach.  Judging from the wax that had streamed down the sides of the white tapered candles, they’d been burning for quite some time.  Silhouetted behind the dim glow was Jackson’s face, hardened into a glare as he held his arms tightly clenched against his chest. Continue reading “Not in the Plans (Savannah "Savvy" Davis)”