First off, thanks everyone, for your kind words on my last entry. I really, really appreciate it! [heart]
For the moment, I am working on something new that I'm calling either JAY, KAE & ELLE or SHOTGUN WEDDING. (Or something else I haven't thought of yet!)
The majority of the particulars are very different, but some of the emotional character stuff seems to be coming from a place I was in when I got married (and divorced) when I was twenty/twenty-one. I've been making a very strong effort NOT to use characteristics or events from my life for this. Not that I don't think it could make for a good story. But I've just worked with a few writers who have started their novels based on real stuff, and then have gotten hung up on those things. They have had a hard time seeing that actions and situations that occurred in real life don't fit the theme and story they're trying to create. The humans they used for inspiration don't always make sense as characters, so readers have a hard time understanding their motivations.
So, I keep spinning my story around. Instead of having Jay be like this, I'll have him be like this. Instead of Kae feeling like this, she'll feel like this.
Then, yesterday, I realized something surprising: some of this stuff would truly make better sense if it more resembled real life things. For instance, the doted-upon kid who is super smart, motivated, and confident would not make the same choices that the lonely kid who is moderately smart, lazy, and insecure would make. I'm trying to write the former and have him behave like the latter. Which doesn't make as much sense for the story. My ex-husband (as I saw/see him) makes for a better, more realistic character than the one I've been creating. How weird is that?
I'm proceeding with caution...