Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Confession and Redemption

OK, So I am moving at a snail's pace on the last three scenes of my current project and need a break. I find a good joke to be the perfect pick-me-up. Here's one I heard recently.

A young woman goes to confession.
She kneals and says, "Forgive me father, for I have sinned."
"Confess, and be forgiven," the priest says.
"Last night I picked up a strange man in a bar and took him home with me. I invited in my home and he made mad passionate love to me seven times throughout the night."

The priest looks at the woman through the screen and thinks very hard for nearly a minute before saying, "Squeeze the juice of seven lemons into a glass and attempt to drink the juice all at once."

"If I do this, will I be forgiven of my sins?" The woman asks.

"No," the priest responds. "But it will help to wipe that damn smile off your face."

The moral?

Sometimes being bad can make you feel oh so good.
Now you have an idea where the derogatory term "Squeezing lemons" originated.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Almost there!

OK, I know what you're thinking. I've really been doing a terrible job keeping up to date on my posting here. You would be right. I think at least other writers that frequent my blog can understand. I'm at that point where I'm nearing the end of a draft. That frantic last chapter where I struggle to ensure all my plot lines converge, all the wrongs righted (maybe not all, since I like a little irony) and the heroine and hero are joined in happily ever after, or at least happy for now.

The closer I get to the end, the more my mind is bombarded with thoughts of things that will happen beyond the end of this story. Yes, I guess that means I'm already dreaming up a sequel. With that said, I sure hope I can find someplace willing to publish my weirdness.

I believe the story will likely stretch beyond 50k if only by a few thousand. This might qualify it, lengthwise anyway, at the lower end of a novel-length work. But the subject matter and graphic nature of some of the content will most certainly land this work within the erotica genre somewhere.

The only issue I have is exactly how to classify it. On it's face, it is a romance of sorts with a woman desiring a real long-standing relationship. Sure, seems easy if your mortal, but much more difficult if you are a demon Succubus and you drain the life out of every man you become intimate with. Of course, throw in the fact that you need that energy in order to sustain your very existence.

I've also brought in elements of a crime story. My main character is the one perpetrating the crimes and the man investigating her soon becomes her lover.  Now, as if a story about a succubus is not "paranormal" enough, add in that the reason my main character is able to have a relationship with this man is that he harbors a secret of his own - he is a werewolf.

He is being followed by some hunters from the werewolf pack that has the member that originally turned him. Oh, and by the way, that man is the pack alpha. My main character is also pursued by the leader of the demon clan that cast her into the mortal world as punishment for trying to have relationships and keep her men alive.

So where does this leave my story. Could it possibly get any weirder? The answer, of course is yes, it can. But I am going to leave that information to be found only by those that may someday read this work.

I will post some excerpts of the work as I edit, so stay tuned!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Character Assassination

Have you ever read a story where you thought, Wow, I bet this minor character could have a story of their own, and then had to drudge through the rest of the story no longer interested in the main character?

I know I've read a couple books like this.

I was recently working on a story where I ran into some difficulty in how to move my main character forward. In reality, My main character was at the point where she was going to have to do something that she, and I, was not too happy about. Nonetheless, the action was needed for character development and to move the main plot forward.

So, I let it rest for awhile and worked on some scenes involving a supporting character.

The more I wrote and thought about this character, the more real that character became to me; and his story began to develop to levels rivaling the main character.

I've now added multiple scenes involving this character and some other minor characters, that may not be so minor for long, and even dreamt of these characters in their own story.

I'm now mulling over some sequel possibilities involving my current support character as the main character in his own story. I'm afraid the wonderful character I thought of as fuel for this story, is diminishing in importance and lifespan. Damn, I hate when that happens.

What about you? have you ever had a minor character rise in status throughout a story? Have you ever started a story with one character in mind and developed such a powerful minor character that they took over?

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What Time Is It?

I was working on a writing project recently and discovered that I had created a huge gap in time between some of my scenes. Somehow I had gotten it into my head that I could somehow increase tension by allowing a full year to transpire without event.

I quickly realized that my little gimmick was only bringing the immediacy, and therefore tension, down in my story.

I do my best to steer clear of flashbacks and flash forwards and large gaps in time mostly because of my own experience and skill-level. I tend to write along linear time lines whenever possible. I've tried to write backstory through flashbacks before but it turned out catastrophically wrong.

I haven't seen too many articles dealing with time in a story but I can draw from other authors for examples.

By my first example, I must refer to a story I am currently reading by David Morrell called "The Shimmer." Mr. Morrell deals with flashbacks or backstory by having his POV character remember something that was done or said in the past and then simple starting the next paragraph or scene with a date.

The simple use of a date brings the reader to that time. The reader knows they are about to read about something that happened long ago but affects the story in present time.

Many other authors (too many to list) use the prologue to deal with large gaps in time where a story might actually begin at a certain time although one must read some backstory to understand present events.

How about you? How do you write in changes in time in your stories? How do you deal with flashbacks and flash forwards and memories of your characters?