Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Status... better than quo

Alex O'Loughlin
These are exciting times!

The status right now is that the book is in the capable hands of my editor Anne deRidder who is reading line for line word for word of the entire manuscript and sculpting it to the golden masterpiece it will be at it's finish.

Meanwhile my peer review ladies have devoured all those same words and the feedback is in, just a few minor changes but aside from that there are four swooning ladies for a said Mr. Rowan MacLaoch... and well whisky, Scotland, and jam & nutella sandwiches.

For those who are interested here are a couple notable quotes from peer review:

A comment early on at the beginning: "I have a feeling I am going to have some late nights with this book! A sign of a good book for me is one that I don't want to put down and this is surely it."

"Becky---I love your writing style! Thanks for sharing this with me. As I am reading this, I keep thinking Becky--this is it---this is huge!"
Gerard Butler

"The thing I love the best is the chemistry between the main characters..."

Another outcome of the peer review session was the debate over what Hollywood actor would be cast for Rowan (main character, clan chief of the MacLaochs) and while it was a passionate debate there was only one clear winner, Alex O'Loughlin. If anyone is in touch with him can you let him know? Thanks.

Though I must have the last say... who else could be a better Scottish clan chief other than native Scotsman, Gerard Butler?

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Legend of Lady MacLaoch Page is here!!

This is a quickie to let folks know that the page dedicated to Legend is finally up and running! See above, or click here.

Also, with the excellent encouragement from my peer reviewer Annie Small I have an o-fficial author's book page on Goodreads. View The Legend of Lady MacLaoch's page here. If you have a Goodreads account be sure to add Legend to your list of "Can't Wait Books For 2011" -- WHOA!! It's actually happening. (!!!)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sledgehammer Winner and Wordstock

For those in the know, my team (Disciples of Ba'alat) have won the Sledghammer Writing Contest and will be reading the short story (Varney's Revenge) this Saturday at Wordstock. Come see us, we're slated for the Wordstock Community Stage from 12p -1pm.

Read the full Varney's Revenge story here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Birds and the Bees

Illustration by Hoang Nguyen from Diana Gabaldon's The Exile
In the life of a writer you will sometimes, and more often in love stories, be called upon to write a sex scene. Now before you wet your panties thinking that it must be the easiest thing that a writer can do, let me let you down slowly. It's not. It's the most voyeuristiclly difficult thing you'll ever do... with one caveat: only if you're any good at it.

Now. The first thing to remember in writing is that as a writer you are a facilitator, this only applies obviously about stories that aren't about you. Being a facilitator means that your characters speak and show you their story and it's your job to write it down and this applies to sex. Sex for every human being is different, it still gets done in the same general way of one goes in the other, but there is much much much more to it than that.

For example, take two people named John and Sally. John and Sally have had an entire book devoted to telling of their story and now is the time when their relationship comes to the next level – no pun intended. If they are in the grocery store line as the facilitator you know that they don't just throw down their produce and start going at it. No, they buy their produce and take it back to Sally or John's apartment (let's say that they aren't' so horny that they can actually do that). Let's say it's Sally's apartment (she's much cleaner) and they get back there and finish putting away the groceries. It still isn't time as the facilitator to have them suddenly be without clothes and mechanically start jirating on each other. There needs to be build up, because two people don't just start having sex without a buildup. Even if the story is about a whore and a client, they don't just start having sex, money is exchanged first then they get down to it. Coming back around to my point is that when you have two characters who have arrived at the point in the story where the next step in their relationship is the ultimate and final piece of joining together, you have to know your characters well. You need to know them intimately. You need to know if she's clawer, if he's a talker, if she makes weird sounds or if he enjoys the soft skin at the nape of her neck. Because you don't write sex from your perspective you write it from theirs.

I am finishing the second completion (rewrite) of the end of my most recent novel and it means that I needed to re write the sex scene. And no, as some might think you cannot recycle sex scenes. There are little nuances that change with every rewrite, the small links in the character that break or become stronger in the characters persona that will change the way they have sex. For example in the original the main character enjoyed a heady foreplay that involved heads in dark places. Though this go round it's not that way, it's softer, more sweet and straightforward but still explosive in the finale.

I found that when I attempted to write the scene this last time that I had separated myself from my characters and was writing what I thought would be thrilling for readers. I'm surprised my characters didn't just stand up and walk away in frustration. Instead I had to scrap it three times before I started a fresh and said, “show me.” And they did, surprisingly it was much softer more poignant than I had originally written it. So, while you may think that sex is as easy to write as it is to do, think again. It is instead a labor of love.
Pun intended. :0)