I’m on the home stretch in my rewrite for ‘MMMM’ but as I rewrite/edit I’m having to ask myself the question, how many sex scenes are too many!? They are all there for reasons but at last count I have five, which seems quite a few for a 50k novel.
I know you’re probably all dying to hear what the editor said regarding my query about the Black Moment being plot contrived or not!?
In my revision letter, I was pulled up a lot on ‘plot contrivances’.
One eg. ‘It did feel very coincidental that P and C ran into Tim (that’s her nasty ex btw) and his wife together.’
In the above scene, running into her ex-fiance with the hero triggers an important conversation about P’s backstory and conflicts. The editor however wanted me to think of another way to make this happen. She suggested maybe they run into a doctor who delievered some bad news to P instead.
Now I can see how this is slightly less contrived – cos both P and C are working for a children’s charity in a hospital and therefore could more likely run into a doc. But it STILL feels a little contrived to me.
I find it really hard to decipher what’s contrived and what’s an okay coincidence!?
Take the BM (which I’ve written in the original incarnation but am not up to in the revised version yet). P cooks a lovely, romantic dinner for C and just when she’s expecting him to turn up, another man who really, really likes her, turns up instead and is in the throws of proposing to P when C arrives. I’ve hopefully foreshadowed this enough through the story so that readers won’t think ‘What the?’ when he does. The reason I wanted the other man to show up is that I wanted C (the hero) to realise that in just having a ‘fling’ with P, he’s holding her back from what she really wants. Then he sees the hugely romantic dinner laid out and freaks.
This triggers a heated discussion where he makes her confess that she does want marriage, babies, the whole shebang and he leaves.
So my question is… is the other man a plot contrivance or because I’ve foreshadowed it throughout and am using him to make C sit up and think, is it okay? Would love to hear your thoughts.
I could do this scene without the other man. Have C come upon the romantic dinner and simply freak out, but personally I think it’s much stronger if he sees that there’s someone who loves P enough to want to give her marriage and babies and so he realises he should take himself out of the equation. But I could be too close to this, so I’d love your thoughts and opinions.
I think I’ve realised I actually quite like it when external forces (not earthquakes and fires etc, but things that are more likely to happen) give the hero or heroine a shake-up! Perhaps that’s my downfall – I like a bit of action
Is that they’d only be able to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the Oscars and let’s face it, we want our heroes to hog centre stage!
Have I confused anyone yet?
I know, I know we all spend far too much time surfing blogs when we should be writing as it is but I just have to intro you to another blog and writer to watch out for.
A WHILE back the lovely Lacey Devlin nominated me for a Happy Cupcake Award – now this truly made me smile, for since being pregnant with High Maintenance I’ve been a cake fiend!!
Now… that got your attention, didn’t it
Okay perhaps infatuation is a better word.
I was gonna write a post about the hero I’ve been brainstorming for my next mss and how utterly divine he is but that I’m having issues with setting his conflict directly against my heroine who is also very strong to me. But I was only playing with this mss while tring to NTA the sub that was currently sitting on someone’s ‘desk’ in Richmond.
Anyway I’ve heard back on my sub, which was just over the first half of the novel. I heard back in a WEEK, which is why I’m in LOVE with the editor I’m working with. She’s so kind and yet professional and helpful in her letters and she really MUST get some type of award for her speediness! Really, she must.
But you’re probably all dying to know what she said, right?
At first my heart beat wildly and I almost died without reading the rest. She opened with something along the lines of my mss having strong elements but NOT QUITE achieving that elusive emotional complexity and sexual tension that I’d achieved in the partial. ARGH. Fighting the urge to slam the laptop shut and bang my head against the wall, I jumped to the end of the letter to find my fate.
Bottom line was despite a number of revisions on what I sent, she STILL wants to see my full.
Am excited by the fact I still have a full request and hugely daunted by what I must do in order to sub it.
The revisions all make HUGE sense. Everytime I read a revision letter I find myself thinking – of course! Why didn’t I see that?
But once again – as seems to be the case with a lot of revision letters doing the rounds lately – I was relying more on convenient plot devices than following the true nature of my hero and heroine.
So now… it’s kinda back to the drawing board. Allowing my heroine to feel angry about seemingly being used for sex and my hero to really feel the guilt and betrayal of his late wife while feeling immense attraction to the heroine!
Wish me luck! And I promise I’ll try to write less self-centred posts in future!