It's almost Valentine's Day and I have to confess I'm feeling quite aaaahhh. That's partly due to the fact that I'm getting an awesome birthday/Valentine's combo gift from my husband that makes me feel he truly believes in me and what I'm doing. That's always nice. I've also been working on a "love scene" in A Marriage of Necessity and, being the queen of fluff, I love love.
Having worked on the book quite a bit, yesterday I sent my pre-readers the most recently typed-in portion. There's so much more that I've written in my notebook that needs to get typed in! Still, as I do get the typing done I send it along. Christina Janzen, author/illustrator/friend extraordinaire, responded in this way:
It was all so glossed over and vague....SURPRISING for you. I understand you want it to be all about the romance and the feelings and not the details of the sex. But still...so much build up, and all those pent up feelings... I think that scene needs more attention and description...not pornographic or anything, but of their rush of feelings and her fear and trepidation melting away into passion and desire. MY humble opinion...
And I so appreciate her "humble opinion" as well as the fact that when I send something to her I know she will tell me the truth. And the truth....she was right. I knew it but have been battling with the issue of how much "love" to show (evidenced somewhat by a previous post). Now don't get me wrong. I CAN and have written some very provocative scenes. However, as I go forward with this book, I keep asking myself how much I want to show. This is going into print!!! Unlike a story written in my notebook that no one will see but me....this scene will be put out there for the public. It's not much different than spoken words. Once you speak them, they can never be taken back. It's caused me to ask myself some pretty interesting questions like how much does it take to show love?
Lisa Shroeder, an author of children's and teen books, had some interesting comments in her post yesterday called Writing Romance (Lisa Schroeder's Journal: Writing Romance). According to Lisa's blog, "All three of my YA novels have some romance in them. Not a ton. But some. And not the rip-your-clothes-off-and-fall-into-bed kind of romance. The kind where it's the little moments that show you the love between the two characters." She talks in the same post about a letter from her editor where he talks about the reader needing to see the characters falling in love even before the characters do. It's a great, thought-provoking post, especially for me as I continue to question.
Well, I'll tell you, I did rework the love scene. I took Chris' comments to heart concerning showing the feelings and her fears melting away into desire. I think her return comment sums it up nicely:
OKAY! Now THAT's what I'm talking about. Much more emotionally charged, and I was really hoping there would be "tear filled eyes." I kind of figured she would be really torn and want to and give in, but be all mixed up about it and weepy for multiple reasons. It's complicated, no doubt. I think you did a beautiful job on the re-write. Wouldn't change a thing!! Oh, and when a guy whispers a woman's name like that...very sexy, especially if he is looking intently into her eyes. Good job!! And not smutty in the least!!!
I'm feeling pretty happy with that! I can't wait for the rest of you to get to read it so I can get your opinion. I'm sure I'll continue to question myself as to how much "love" is enough. But for now, I'll bask in the aaaahh of this scene and the season as well. Happy Valentine's Day!!!
Read Chris' Blogs: http://absolutely--positive.blogspot.com/ and http://shineintexas.blogspot.com/