In my continued determination to keep blogging on the days I have blog entries planned, I am here. Random picture of moi as your image, taken in afternoon light at my favorite seat in my favorite office away from office, Hudson River Coffee House I love that place. Love it. Cool in the summer, warm in the winter, exposed brick walls, friendly staff, excellent tea, excellent food, the owner sometimes brings his dog (can it be considered a pub dog if it’s not a pub but a coffee house?) My tablet still doesn’t want to connect with the internet there, but my phone and my laptop do, so I think I can deal. Not heading there today, because it’s approximately a thousand degrees outside and my pale, sun sensitive self has already been roasted, including my brain, which is why you are getting this ramble.
You are getting it in text instead of video because humidity has not been nice to hair or makeup today, and because I want to make sure I get at least one non-Skye text post per week. Goals, people. They work I like organization and planning. Getting a big furry mess of chaos into shape and ranked in order of importance always makes me happy. Having a plan means less uncertainty, and gives me a road map.
So why, then, is this a post about jumping in and doing stuff? Doesn’t that go against the whole plan thing? As it turns out, nope. As I’ve said before, my favorite pieces of writing advice from K.A. Mitchell never fail.
- open the file
- change your seat
Those have not failed me yet. When I don’t know where to start, that places all options as equal (at least in a certain regard) so the first thing to do is make a decision. I am doing something. I am doing this. What the “this” is can vary from day to day. Today, it’s jump in and write a blog entry. Write a blog entry on writing. What counts as writing? Well, writing, duh. That thing I do with my brain and English and some sort of method for preserving what my brain does with the English. Right now, at my desk, I’m looking at the colored index cards I used to give my On Beyond Fanfic presentation, because I’m going to need them for Play In Your Own Sandbox, Keep All the Toys. Which may need some sort of abbreviation. PIYOSKATT? Sandbox? I’ll get there.
I also have the neon green legal pad with similarly eye-searing but different-hued sticky notes on which I am figuring out the layers of a love scene from the hero’s POV. Love scenes are hard, y’all. Up until recently, I didn’t write them. Call it a case of the “shoulds,” but then I had two characters (Angus and Summer, from ye olde time travel) who blew right past me and wouldn’t let me turn the camera away, because that was some character development going on during that intimate moment and that changed things. When I do get back to Angus and Summer’s story, I’ll be starting pretty much from scratch (have to sweep out all the pesky shoulds) but I know that scene will stay, and probably stay pretty much intact, because it feels like them.
Every couple, and every story is going to be different, because they have their own histories, backstories, insecurities, wounds, hopes, how they’re reading and misreading the other. There’s what’s going right and what’s going wrong, what else is going on around them both internally and externally, and that’s not even taking into account who has what where and when. I use a lot of sticky notes, and I prefer to concentrate more on emotions than body parts, though those certainly do come into play. Like I said, there’s a lot here to choreograph, both physically and not, and maybe the sheer amount of things going on could be one of the reasons I held back on this front at first.
Not to say that all romance novels have to have explicit sex. That’s certainly not the case. Inspirational, sweet, YA, (most) traditional Regencies, etc, prove it’s not a prerequestite. I don’t like the term “clean,” because I don’t think a book that does keep the camera rolling during intimate moments is automatically “dirty.” I think there’s a lot more to it than that. Authorial intent goes a long way. For me, it’s a matter of staying true to the characters and their stories.
In the end that’s all we can do. Tell our stories, and tell them the way they come to us. For me, that’s usually in longhand, with bullet points, lots of crossing out and layer upon layer. Sometimes, the first thing that comes to me for a scene is something in the middle, so I go with that. What happened before and what happens after, I can figure out. Hero has a limp now when he didn’t before? Okay, how did he get that? Heroine can read and write in a language I never planned for her? Fine, where did she learn? Instead of fretting about fitting things into somebody else’s system, I find what works best for me, at least right now, is to pick a point to jump in and then splash around. The order will present itself, as long as I show up and get my hands dirty. That, I can do.
…and we have blog entry. Looky there. See you Wednesday, Liebchens.