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Mar 11, 2009

Orc Armies, Please Apply Within

My goal for today is to finish the latest revisions to Book 1, then get it out to armies of beta readers, who, hopefully, will attack it like orcs in an elf village, and not only identify all the scenes which still REALLY REALLY SUCK but also give me some inkling how to improve them.

I know. I shouldn't obsess. I should GET ON WITH BOOK 2. And I should STOP TALKING TO MYSELF IN ALL CAPS.

Here are the scenes which particularly worry me:

* An explicit sex scene. Do I really want to include this in the novel?
* A non-explicit sex scene. The only thing worse than explicit sex is vague sex.
* A scene which involves an abortion and a talking bear. (No, the bear is not the one getting or performing an abortion.) There's just no way to do a scene like this right. (How did this even sneak into the book? I promise you, this was NOT my idea. I had no clue the characters were going to do this. Help!)
* A scene where I try to show my heroine as both suicidal and happy, at the same time. Huh?!
* Pretty much every scene to be found in the last 35,000 words of the book.

P.S. Sorry for the rash of blog entries. I always do this -- squish in three dozen posts on my blog one week, then go for a month with nothin'. The number of blog posts is proportional to the amount of procrastination I am engaged in to avoid working on my wip. Please don't feel obliged to comment, unless you too are procratinating something, in which case, make merry with remarkery!

P.P.S. I'm kidding about not feeling obliged to comment. You should drop everything else in your life to comment on my blog, otherwise I will have pressed REFRESH over and over again, obsessivly, compulsively, constantly, insanely for nothing.


Scott said...

Tara -

* Explicit Sex Scene - is it absolutely necessary? Can the book survive without it? If 'no' to the first and 'yes' to the second question . . . delete. : )

* Non Explicit Sex Scene - this is my preferred favorite scene. I don't need all the details. I have an active imagination. My favorite scenes in TV/Movies (and books) are where the characters go into the bedroom, shut the door, and the viewer/reader is left to fill in the blanks. Boy, have I filled in the blanks a time or two. I'm just saying . . .

* The Bear and The Abortion - now, that could be the title of your next novel! Again, if this isn't really necessary and just sort of fills space in your novel . . . delete. I also find my characters doing unintentional (at least as far as my intents went) things all the time. Many times, I edit out those scenes during one of the countless edit processes.

* Suicidal and happy at the same time - isn't that the same thing as the Republicans and Democrats totally agreeing on everything?? Does your heroine suffer from manic depression? That would definitely cause the happy/suicidal thingy!

Lastly, get on with Book 2, especially if Book 1 is ready to go out to the beta readers. You've completed Book 1, pat yourself on the back, have a glass of wine or adult beverage of your choice, and do what you obviously enjoy doing: write!

Tara Maya said...

Scott, first off, thanks for your comments because they are really helpful. :)

I'm going to think about it.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

I love the picture at the top of this post!

As for the potential problem scenes I'd let your beta readers know about these and ask them to pay special attention to them, and then wait to see what they say. In the meantime, I'd work on book two.

Good luck!

The Screaming Guppy said...

I'll make sure to keep these things in mind when I read. Hopefully, I can help?


And the best thing I've done for my sanity lately is stop looking at the manuscript I sent you. Work on something else for a while - it makes you feel so much better, I promise!

Editing and rewriting is so not the creative stuff we writers love the best. Blargh, I hates it, I do!

Traci said...

Oh no! Watch out little boy!

Litgirl loves explicit sex scenes in books! YAY! All jokes aside, explicit is subjective. What is explicit to one may not be to another. I say, if it is essential to the plot / characters...why not? I have one or two in my book.

BookEnds LLC (Jessica Faust) had a good post about this subject not too long ago.

Anonymous said...

Those do indeed sound like some interesting scenes! As for both sex scenes, do they advance the characters or plot? Then keep them. I don't mind explicit or vague, as long as it fits the characters. I prefer explicit over vague if given the choice.

Once you get the book out to your beta readers, take a short breather and then start on the second book. It'll keep you more occupied than fretting over what your beta readers might be doing to your poor manuscript.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Tara, it looks like others have given you much more great advice than I could give! I always sex shouldn't be there if it doesn't serve a very specific purpose to the characters and the story. Nothing worse than just throwing it in there just for interest's sake. And vague sex scenes... yeah, they can be bad. I think tasteful is what I strive for. :)

Good luck!

Traci said...

But Glam...some of us are going through dry spells! LOL :-)

Sara Raasch said...

That picture cracked me up!

Oh sex scenes...I really have nothing to say. Just "oh sex scenes." That pretty much sums it up.