I'm well past the halfway point in Her Make-Believe Husband, and it's breezing along. Writing a story is sometimes like putting a puzzle together. I have a dozen sticky notes and pages of one line reminders for things that I now need to thread through or wind up or go back and add to make the story cohesive.
I'm a completely linear writer - I go at the story from beginning to end - but then I go back and insert little details as I think of them. For example, I have four dogs in this story - two of them are "on camera" often, but I kept forgetting one of them, so I had to go back and figure out where that dog was all the time. Children and dogs are often a challenge to "direct" in a story.
I just got through a fairly research intensive chapter, not that I had to use that much research, but I had to know it to make the scenes believable. I have scenes at the 1882 Exposition in Denver, and I was disappointed that there were very few photographs to be found online. Pictures, as we know, are often worth a thousand words. If I can visualize it, I am there.
So I'm putting all the pieces together, Mariah and Wes, who are forced into a pretend marriage; John James, Mariah's son who believes Wes is his father (everyone believes Wes is his father, actually); Mariah's huge extended German family, who play a big part in the plotting and motivation; and the themes: loss of control, entrapment, damaging secrets.
Oh, this book is fun. Have I mentioned the hero looks like Hugh Jackman?