Wednesday, July 11, 2018

When It Comes to #Research, #KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid by Margo Hoornstra



We’ve all done it. (In other words, please tell me I’m not alone.) Research. We have a topic to explore, and think we’re going in the right direction then

**SQUIRREL**

off we go in another.

This happened to me last week as I plotted out the suspense conflict (read good versus evil) of my latest work in progress – Book 3 in the Brothers In Blue series – On The Make.

She no longer believes in heroes or happily ever after. He’s determined to prove her wrong.


**SQUIRREL**

(Sorry. Just had to throw that in there.)

Anyway, the suspense conflict revolves around the heroine’s evil ex brother in law and the contested inheritance of a piece of valuable real estate. So off I went on a relatively uncomplicated research journey. Right?

Well, actually...



**SQUIRREL**

Rights to survivor in real estate. Titles. Deeds. Joint tenancy. Joint tenants with right of survivorship JTWROS. Sole ownership. Joint ownership. Title by contract. Per Capita – by head count. Per Stirpes – by roots. Did I mention my heroine is an attorney who specializes in real estate? A professional in her own right.



**SQUIRREL**

I need, rather she needs to know these things. Right?
Then there’s the Board of Directors she has to deal with. Right? Did I mention her husband was a real estate magnate? Oh, and that he’s recently deceased? Oh, and that, unbeknownst to her, she was more a trophy wife to him than anything else. (Maybe she needs a revenge motive.)

**SQUIRREL**

Oh, and that she’s been left with two adolescent boys to raise. Not the real estate baron’s progeny BTW. So how about she hangs on to the deed evil brother in law wants to get his hands on until she gets all her late husband's affairs in order. Or she knows what her husband WANTED to do with the property and sets out to complete his legacy. Or, how about she has no clue about any of it?

Needless to say, I bounced these ideas – volleyed is more like it – off CP extraordinaire Jannine. Which resulted in a return email that began – “I hate to toss cold water on your motive…BUT, none of it makes much sense.”

Oh, dear, that’s not what I wanted to hear. But, after more back and forth, here’s the final plot point result.

Passed through generations, the eldest child inherits the property. OR, upon the eldest child's death, a younger sibling, BARRING a direct decedent of said eldest child. So...if my heroine got pregnant before her husband died...


**SQUIRREL**

Oh, but the hero needs to be involved. (Almost forgot about him.) He’s a cop moonlighting as a super hero in a movie being filmed on location at the property in question – rather contention. She meets him through one of her boys. But, now there needs to be a secret baby/accidental pregnancy tossed into the mix. Of course with said hero involved or where's the 'romance that can never be?' Oh, no, that calls for a one-night stand. And, danger, don’t forget the danger.


**SQUIRREL**

She discovers she’s pregnant. He, happily, believes the baby is his. It’s not, but she needs to foster that belief or suffer dire consequences at the hands of evil ex-brother in law. Who has also discovered she is pregnant. However, she’s come to love the hero. Her boys have too. He says he loves her back.

She has to deceive him. Right?

What will happen when he discovers the truth?

That was what I planned to write about for today. But…


**SQUIRREL**

Then this arrived in my e-mail box.

The cover for Book 2 in the Brothers In Blue series On The Force.




And, of course, I couldn't help but share.

What do you think? Beautiful, huh? I agree. Goes nicely, I believe,  with Book 1 in the series, On The Surface.





With due credit to TWRP Cover Artist Diana Carlile.

Can't wait to see what she does with the cover for On The Make.

Which I need to get back to. And, now that we've come full circle...you guessed it...



**SQUIRREL**

My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and the stories I write, please visit my Website

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22 comments:

Leah St. James said...

Margo, Margo, Margo -- one of these days we must compare family trees. I'm sure there must be some shared DNA somewhere! I got embroiled in a similar situation for my WIP, but it had to do with the creation of a trust. Off I went to research types of trusts -- irrevocable, revocable (and is that pronounced re-VOKE-able or REV-uh-kuh-ble anyway?), constructive trust, special needs trust....so many trusts. Then I threw in a mysterious "trust protector"--all of which is making the EVIL BROTHER really annoyed. :-) Needless to say, I spent considerable time on this. I love your story concept! And the cover for ON THE FORCE is fabulous!

Vonnie Davis said...

After this post, I hope Diana puts two squirrels on the cover of "On the Make." 'Nuff said there! Loved your post and the almost frantic way it played out. I've been there. It sounded familiar...and then...then this...oh, and I could have this and then that happen. I never get to the squirrel stage. I can barely escape the butterflies circling my head.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Oh, Leah. Surely we are related and in a great minds kind of way! It is true WE as writers need to know so much more than our characters let on they know. Love when the EVIL relatives become annoyed. Good job! Isn't that just one fantastic cover? I am so pleased. The only suggestion I made was that it be the color blue. The rest is pure Diana Carlile artistry.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Yeah, Vonnie, two squirrels in the top left corner watching EVERYTHING! I like it. Butterflies would work too. It's just so NICE to know I'm not alone in my affliction...uh...tendencies...uh...work ethic! Yeah, that's it, work ethic.

Jannine Gallant said...

I don't have squirrels. I have ducks, mostly in a row. SORRY! What can I say...my mind is fairly orderly. You were definitely trying to make your plot too complicated. KEEP IT SIMPLE seems to be something I shout at you fairly often. I'm glad I was able to help corral those damn squirrels before they got completely out of control! LOL

Margo Hoornstra said...

Maybe that's why we always do so well together, Jannine. Your ducks and my squirrels. I'm sure the squirrels will get out again in the future and begin running all over the place as they tend to do. Just so you know. ;-)

RE Mullins said...

I felt like I was reading about myself. I get lost in research and can waste HOURS on something so very minor to moving the story. But I find research fascinating and enjoy these side trips.

Margo Hoornstra said...

It's all part of the process, Robin. And if we enjoy it, why not? Once in a while at least.

Patricia Kiyono said...

I am SO RELIEVED to know I'm not the only one who takes forever to research one "simple" question! I think it's because people aren't one-dimensional. We have multiple interests and concerns, and we're all connected with other people who also have multiple things they're juggling. So every time we introduce a new character, we have more layers of their lives that we have to research. Not to mention all that social media and other stuff we do online. Great post!

Brenda Whiteside said...

What Vonnie said. Love your mayhem. I DON'T THINK I'm that bad (or good) but I do go in circles at times. At any rate, you have quite the creative mind, Margo!

Alison Henderson said...

Oh, Margo, I'm dying here, wiping away tears. I've been exactly where you are. In fact, I'm there on EVERY SINGLE BOOK! And the squirrels--let's just say they're my spirit animal. LOL

Rolynn Anderson said...

Research maelstroms...easy to swirl in, not easy to get out. Our 40,000 pound boat got pulled into an ocean one...scared the hell out of us. Same with following a research thread, which leads us further and further into things we don't know...gnat's eyebrow stuff. Like trying to understand the economy or bitcoins or quantum theory. I take heart though. 99% of the people reading our books will think we have a brilliant grasp of the concept.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks, Patty, and very true. So I really am not alone in this. Cool. I like to think ALL of the information I glean from one of my many research journeys is going to prove to be valuable at one time or another.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Ha! Ha! Brenda. Circles might be preferable to my all too scattered trips. A creative mind, huh? I'll take that as a compliment and have to tell my kids. They always refer to the way my mind works as something else we won't go in to here. LOL Good to know you're in this with me.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Wonderful, Alison. I tend to have a certain kinship to squirrels myself. Maybe we aren't as off base as we, and others, sometimes think we are. Maybe.

Margo Hoornstra said...

I like the way YOU think, Rolynn. 99% of the people reading our books will think we have a brilliant grasp of the concept. We all need to hold that mind set.

Alina K. Field said...

The legal stuff confuses even the lawyers, LOL! Hope you get it all sorted out.

Margo Hoornstra said...

So true, Alina. Keeping it simple helps my confusion. ;-)

Alicia Dean said...

Oh wow....my head is spinning! LOL. Glad you were able to corral those squirrels. :) Yes, keeping it simple is definitely best. YES...the new cover is AMAZING!!!

Margo Hoornstra said...

How my mind’s been working these days, Ally. Squirrels all over the place. Simple. Focus. Got it! For now. Amazing is right. Even down to the shadow of that single guy standing there watching.

Diane Burton said...

Since I'n into science fiction (most of the time) I compare it to the Black Hole of Research. Man, is it easy to get lost there. It's the fault of those darn side links. Click on one, then another, and another and you have no idea where you are or how you got there. Squirrel is so right. (BTW, I love the movie UP; the dog's name is the same as my son, who often got distracted LOL)

Margo Hoornstra said...

So true, Diane. Sometimes it nearly impossible to find your way back. The distraction must be a guy thing too. I think it's because they aren't programmed to multi-task. But then, what's my excuse? LOL