Archive for June, 2013

Ha ha, I punned. I’m sorry.

Okay I’m not sorry.

Anyway, this week’s Trifecta prompt was the word rusty, third definition which goes a little something like this:

3a : of the color rust  

b : dulled in color or appearance by age and use <rusty old boots>

And without further ado here’s my entry:

Darkness.

The tang of copper.

Shane sat up with a metallic jangle and a groan of protesting muscle. The air smelled of salt, the same salt that had reduced the walls of his cell to a rusty patchwork that longed to give him tetanus. He shot them a cautious glance but the walls stayed put. So he wasn’t set to be crushed to death. That gave him some hope for the future. The shackles around his wrists and ankles were less comforting. They showed no signs of the wear that his cell did. Their bright silver winked at him mockingly.

What had he done to deserve this?

Then he smiled.

Oh. Yeah. That.

People were awfully touchy about assassination attempts it seemed.

Steal My Ideas

Posted: June 24, 2013 in prompts, Uncategorized, writing
Tags: ,

No, really. Steal them. They’re prompts now.

I’ve been writing a long time and quite frankly a lot of it is crap. But there are also bits here and there that are decent or interesting and maybe they’d do well in someone else’s hands. I’ll be posting a few prompts and snippets at a time from now on. If you want anything I post here, take it with my blessing. If you use it and it gets posted or published somewhere, let me know (here or on twitter I’m @mixeduppainter) and I’ll link to you.

Oh and if anyone has a prompt preference do let me know and I’ll see if I can dig anything out for you.

#1: snippet

Lena laughed quietly as she watched her little girl doing laps around one of the pedestals with a vase of flowers on top.

“Look, Mommy, look!” the girl squealed, wobbling back and forth with her arms out wide. She ran into Lena’s arms and they giggled together.

I turned my eyes back to the front. Mother was still peacefully asleep in the coffin, unaware of the spectacle going on at her wake.

#2: description

He thought she smiled too much for someone who didn’t seem at all happy.

#3: scenario

A woman (or man) picks up a young hitchhiker who tells them a story before disappearing at the next stop.

(Do I need to warn people that there is “language” in this blog post? It’s about sex scenes so you’d think it would be obvious but just in case:

WARNING: mild language ahead and also a lot of confusion. This was a very confusing post to write.)

 

Writing a story with romance elements is difficult. Insanely difficult more often than not. And why?

Because of the sex scenes.

Sex scenes are one of those things that seem to divide people. Some prefer the lead up and “close the bedroom door” approach. Others like full contact, explicit sex. Somewhere in the middle lies that purplish area of prose in which I fear to tread.

And what is my preference?

Hell if I know.

How much is too much? Where do I draw the line for “too graphic?” Or too long? Not long enough? (This is starting to sound like a euphemism and maybe it is.)

I still haven’t figured out where to draw my line in the sex scene sand. In fact, I think I’m more ambivalent about them NOW than I was when I started.

I’ve considered cutting all the sex scenes from Forgotten Monster. I know. It’s shocking. It would also shrink the book by at least 5k. Some people would probably like the book better like that, without the clutter and the complications of sex. Just one problem. With Taisce and Sef, the sex scenes have their own plot. They’re not just going at it like rabbits (though they are doing that too). There is a conversation going on. Usually it’s literal but sometimes it’s a mood, a show of trust or comfort. If I cut the sex scenes, Taisce and Sef’s personalities would be cut in half too. So despite some misgivings, the sex scenes stayed.

Sef was thoroughly pleased by that of course.

But of course the difficulties didn’t end there. Smutty scenes come packaged with their own specific problems. Namely the language. I’ve never been a fan of purple prose and I just feel silly writing about manhoods and cores and blah blah anyway. So I either play coy with the sex scenes, drifting through them like an obscure fog, or I charge in guns blazing and (in their case) dicks out. XD It wasn’t an easy choice to make. And I still haven’t made it, not completely.

I spent two days pondering word usage for these sex scenes. I wish I was kidding. My friends can attest to the fact that I debated the likelihood of Taisce’s internal monologue including the word cock. I finally decided that it would not. He’s much too proper for that. He’s also unlikely to wax poetic about rippling muscles, throbbing members, or surging anything. (Sef would but only because he’s a sarcastic bastard and he knows it would annoy Taisce. *makes note for future sex scenes*)

Every time a sex scene shows up in my plot I take a moment to analyze it. Do I really need it? What does it change in their relationship? How do they arrive at the scene? What will they do?

These are the decisions I’m left with and they’re frequently hilarious. Much as I complain about writing sex scenes they’re starting to amuse me.

Am I great at writing them? No.

Are they easier to write? Hell no. Taisce made me feel supremely uncomfortable writing the first two or three. I felt like a voyeur and no doubt it showed in the awkward writing. One more thing to fix with editing.

Am I going to stop writing them? Nope. Because my characters need them. I guess I can live with the fact that frequent m/m sex scenes may turn some readers away.

Will I stop giggling every time my characters use the word prick? Eh, probably not because I’m still a twelve year old at heart.

I wish I had a one size fits all plan but just like anything else, sex scenes have their own rules, most of which I’ve had to make up for myself. I’ve made them for this story. I’ll have to remake them when I move on to the next story. And maybe someday I’ll thank Taisce and Sef for giving me so much practice at writing them. Someday. Maybe when I’ve finished giggling.

This weekend’s Trifecta challenge was a complete story in 3 sentences. I think I succeeded. Mostly. *nervous*

Seems like a strange color for a murder weapon but the dead guy certainly didn’t stab himself with the pink handled chef’s knife. The cops follow the trail of blood to the bathroom where his wife is still washing her hands.

“Well that settles that,” she says.

I haven’t done a blog post in a while. Oops. I’ll blame it on writing book 2 of Taisce and Sef’s story. I’m 18k into it now and the character roster this time is already three times what it was in book 1 (not hard to accomplish when I only had two main characters and about 3 secondaries but still…) So in honor of book 2 I’m sharing another scene.

For those of you just joining our program. Book 1 introduced Taisce, an arrogant young nobleman, and Sef, a man with more secrets than any sane person should have. They met. Hijinks ensued. “Hijinks” being a euphemism of course. This time around Taisce and Sef are in Blume (Taisce’s hometown) and surrounded by Taisce’s family. Namely Taisce’s sixteen year old sister, Adeline, who I love. A lot. Can’t imagine why.

At this point in time, Taisce has found Sef giving Adeline drawing lessons. I think that’s all the background you need. Usual disclaimers apply: largely unedited, bad grammar, euphemisms, and Taisce should really know better than to snoop…

 

It was bright in the garden, brighter than Taisce would have expected. The sky was heavy and white with clouds. He shielded his eyes with one hand. Taisce picked his way over the walk, watching for loose stones and unevenly packed earth. He’d taken more than his fair share of tumbles out here and he was enjoying this short moment before they noticed he was close. He paused beside a large spire of arbor vitae, half hidden unless they cared to search for him.

“Your eye will improve with practice,” Sef said.

“My brother has taken quite a liking to you,” Adeline said in reply. It was almost enough to send Taisce tumbling from his hiding place. He pressed a thumb to his lips to seal in his protests.

“Does that have some bearing on these lessons?” Taisce was surprised at the cutting edge in Sef’s voice but Adeline just laughed prettily. He could picture her waving away his remark.

“You’re both so sensitive. I’m not going to tell anyone. Don’t worry. But you should be more careful. The others are stupid but they’ll figure it out soon enough with the way you carry on.”

“They’re not my concern.”

“They should be. You’re a servant. You can’t just bugger the son of a noble and expect to get away with it.”

“Adeline!”Taisce cried in the scandalized tone of a matron. He was stumbling over the walk towards them before he remembered himself and pulled up short.

Sef’s lips twitched with amusement but whether it was from his sudden appearance or Adeline’s indelicate remark it was hard to say.

“Don’t peek!” Adeline cried back. She hurried to turn her papers from his prying eyes.

“What kind of nonsense are you talking, Adeline?” Taisce barked. He could feel the red heat in his face but there was little he could do to calm it. “You’re being indecent.”