Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Thorny Bramble at Midpoint

Still working on Queen of Swords (now subtitled "a tale of witchcraft, dark faeries, tarot cards & undying love"--is that too much?) but hit a bit of a wall at midpoint. At RWA this year, there was a session on how to address "sagging middles" but it was SRO (not unlike the session on writing good sex scenes), so I had to choose something else. My middle isn't sagging, exactly (well, mine is, sadly, but I meant the book's); it just needs a good deal of re-engineering (think suspension bridge made of words and punctuation rather than steel and cable). I've rewritten the beginning and now need to hook it up with the old ending, which I rather like but is now full of incongruities. For the past few days, it's been a bit like hacking my way through a thorny hedge with a very dull pair of garden shears (my brain, I'm afraid).

Part of the problem is that I'm rewriting (unguided) for my old agent, who doesn't like sex. Well, I really can't say how she feels about sex in real life, but she doesn't seem to like an over abundance of it in the novels she represents. And the more I write and put my work out there, the more I realize that what I gravitate toward writing is erotic romance. Not erotica, erotic romance. There is a difference, which, perhaps I'll explore in another post one of these days. So, I find myself writing erotic scenes in non-erotic language, an interesting exercise/challenge for sure, but is it still too erotic for said agent/publisher?

I'm never going to write squeaky-clean. My paranormal characters are blood-drinking dark faery incubi, for pity's sake. Hard to omit eroticism and keep it real. Know what I mean?

Oh, well. Guess I'll find out in due time. And if she doesn't like it, I'll just send it elsewhere. In the meantime, here's another wee taste of the rewrite. Here, the hero encounters his female housemate (the lesser of two villains), who's coveted him for ages (her name is Branwen, but he thinks of her as Shelob, the man-eating spider from Lord of the Rings).

He watched her bend over a box, her backside temptation made flesh. It was early yet and he’d not yet showered and changed for their evening out, so he still wore his kilt. Beneath his sporran, his body responded to the visual stimuli. How could he feel such powerful lust for a creature he despised? Well, perhaps despised was too strong a word. Despising her took more effort than he cared to muster on her behalf. He sometimes wondered if, in a strange, screwed-up way, he slept with her sometimes precisely because he felt such indifference. But she didn't, which made their infrequent trysts les liaisons dangereuses.
She professed to be in love with him. Not that he believed her capable of the emotion. Love required a degree of selflessness she lacked. Still, her delusion persisted, keeping him at bay. He needed the act of love to be free of entanglements, and Shelob saw him as a fly in her web. What was it Tolkien had written about her? He retrieved the passage handily, having read it numerous times: “. . . she served none but herself, drinking the blood of Elves and Men, bloated and grown fat with endless brooding on her feasts, weaving webs of shadow; for all living things were her food, and her vomit darkness.”

Okay, did that totally suck? I'm still looking for critique partners and beta readers, if anyone's interested. Feel like I write in a bloody vacuum.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Writing smexy paranormals with a Celtic twist. Blogging about good books.