Saturday, April 28, 2007

Writing - not as easy as it looks

Thanks to everyone who had a comment on my last post. It's been a conundrum. Apparently, I had discussed the concerns about Alex's growth and motivation at great length with my critique partner. Once I finished inputting the notes, I realized we had dealt with his issues quite well.

While I was out shopping with my sixteen year old nephew tonight I found a weevil pendant. I have no intention of wearing the real bug encased in acrylic but it did remind me of Nea's pet - which in turn reminded me of the incident that shoved Nea out of the grove, the nymph world and away from her mother. There is some really heavy stuff in that moment and the weevil is a constant reminder of her mother's betrayal. Ultimately, the poor little weevil will also be proof of her father's true demonic nature. So it all works.

As soon as I have it finished, I'll post an excerpt for Mary(the rest of you can read it too :D ) It involves a tornado, a trailer park and a few unfortunate - wait, I can't tell you that it will spoil the surprise. It's nasty, but understandable. Isn't that what you said? You would forgive her anything if you could identify with her? Oh, I hope so. Cause this whole writing thing is no where near as easy as Bryan makes it look with his whole oh-I-just-thought-of-this-and-posted-it-without-reading-it-through posts. Yeah, I'm bitter. I'll simply channel it into Nea's character.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I've spent the last ten days talking. About writing, about life, about truth. I'm understanding the snag I've encountered in my book much better. And it begs the question, which is more important - the story or being published?

My heroine is a demon who wants to convert the hero into a demon. Is it a romance with paranormal elements or a paranormal with romantic elements? Answering that question can have a significant impact on the first one. Each publisher has different guidelines; elements they're looking for, others they abhor.

Cathy's thoughts about love led us to a conversation about truth. In love and life. About self-truths and the way people respond to that honesty. Some embrace it while others flee. It takes courage to be that truthful.

Redemption is impossible without soul deep sincerity. Right now Nea has neither. My fear has been how to make her a demon yet sympathetic at the same time. She's done some rotten things but nothing reprehensible.

I've known some people who've done some truly horrible things. People who struck out in anger, in anguish, in self-defense. People who confronted the ugliness within and eradicated it. Their redemption is sincere, and believable. I'm not sure that would fly in fiction, particularly romance.

Everyone has their own opinion. Everyone has their own life story. Everyone has their own triggers as to what they would never read in a book. Jenny Crusie had to create two posts to manage all the comments on that one.

I've been easy on Alex and Nea because of a concern that my original intent would alienate some readers. I think this makes the story weaker. So now I'm thinking about putting it all back in. Demons are nasty creatures but not Nea. If she really hates and hurts as much as she does, why has she been so careful with her rage? Furthermore, I've set up her backstory to suggest that she's feeding people's evil expectations of her. It's a fine line and I've failed with the darker aspects. For both of them.

Is it better to be true to the characters and story or true to publisher demands? It won't sell if Nea killed people. Who will believe that love showed her the error of her ways? What drives Alex to the point where he seriously considers becoming a demon? Someone dies. Part of the flaw lies in my timeline. He wouldn't be over that trauma in the two weeks that follow that revelation.

Alex's black moment isn't black enough as it stands without the death. Without any true evil on her part, he's not horrified enough by Nea's existence, nor his own actions in a situation that drove him to this moment. The way I've written it doesn't ring true.

Despite the fact that I'm not published and likely shouldn't take a big risk so early in my career, I'm convinced I have to write the story, and characters, with as much honesty as I can. Nothing irritates me more than when a writer isn't true to their characters.

But how do you feel? Would you expect the demon heroine in a romance to be nicer than your average demon; no matter how well motivated she is to commit evil acts? Regardless, Alex must plunge into a pit of despair and seriously consider Nea's offer or the reader will not believe in his black moment. Or Nea's redemption when she saves them both.

I have more thinking to do.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Can't blog. Writing

Nea and Alex are each sitting on a shoulder, giving their own personal versions of what's going on. While it may be informational and entertaining,it's also distracting as hell. I'll have to blog more another time.

My most sincere apologies.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


I was just inputting some of my notes and came across the word hurt. I had underlined it three times so that I would remember how intense it had been. When I transcribed it, I changed the font to bold. Which got me wondering how to convey everything that I meant with just that one word. We've become so used to text messaging and all the word processing that allows us to make shortcuts.

But I need to show the who, what, when, where, why and how of that hurt. I tend to write with the radio on. Primarily country music because each song is a short story. While I was thinking about Alex and how he hurt, I want you to live by George Canyon came on the radio. The words are evocative and heart-wrenching. The video doubly so because I know the air force base at which it was filmed. But the lyrics do a brilliant job of showing all the emotion contained in the title.

And while the song is full of a hurt so different from Alex's, I realized why I underlined and bolded that word. Alex thinks his hurt is physical. There's a lot of pain in his body. But deeper than that is the pain in his soul. He's been bruised and battered in ways he can't comprehend. He doesn't understand and that, as much as the pain itself, leads him to behave in such an uncharacteristic way.

Despite the above link, I can't watch the video too often. Alex can't look beneath the surface of his hurt to the wounds that run soul deep. But both are excellent studies in motivation.