Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Towards the finish

For those of you reading my grand epic over here, and that would be all three of you, you may have noticed that there are now less than two days left and I have less than 2,500 words until I make the 50,000 word count. It got dicey a bit there on the weekend and for the first time i actually fell behind where I need to be. But I should be able to finish it, if for no other reason than OM will fly up here and smack me repeatedly in the head with her hand that has all the rings should I fail this close to the finish line. (Om has the gift of hitting me in the head in just the right way to assure I get a migraine. It's a real gift that I hope she shares with her husband).

What should also be obvious is that the story isn't going to wrap up in the next 2,500 words. It's going to take probably another 20,000 or more. So I have another deadline, and that's to get it finished before I head home for Christmas, which is December 20. So we'll see what happens.

However, since I still have all these words left, I've been trying to work out what plot points to include. One of them is whether or not to include a sex scene.

Family and friends are no doubt heading for the hills. Especially when you consider that the book has taken a slightly weird twist in the last 7,000 words or so. There's also this simple fact - that people tend to infer what they read on a book onto the author. Stephen King writes horror and no matter how many funny interviews people read about him, there's always going to be a large group that think he's kind of twisted. Christopher Moore writes some very funny books, ergo he's a funny guy. And so on.

The opposite is also true. If you try to write horror and it isn't scary, then you're not a very scary guy. Try to write comedy and suck, you're not very funny. And there are worse fates than not being very scary or funny.

But try and write a sex scene and it's crap....

So yeah, a touch nervous and reluctant to go in that direction. I've never tried that kind of writing before and I ought to, if for no other reason that this book is an extended writing exercise to figure out what areas of my writing need improvement (character development and scene setting are the two most obvious to me right now).

Still, as I'm rattling around the idea in my head of whether or not I should do it and if so, how is it going to work, that I didn't need to see this headline today.


Tina Chaulk said...

That's some pretty good company though.

If the story moves you that way... follow it. You can change always change it later. You've already shown lots of guts by putting a first draft on the web. No reason to turn back now.

His Nibs said...

I thought of your tale this morning when I read the same story under a headline that names a Welsh (Irvine) as a contender. I shuddered and let it go. Now, darn it, I face the prospect of art imitating, well, art I suppose.

On the plus side, no-one thinks that a work of fiction reflects anything more than the imagination if the author. So feel free to have at it. Or let your characters do so.

But don't force it into the story. Make it important to character development or plot. Otherwise, you're just pandering to a puerile public, in which case you need something spicy every 23 pages or so. It's your choice to make that Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos or Peach Salsa.

regards, cat` (noting, "Friends don't let friends write bad sex scenes.")

Owen's Mom said...

Ya know,I think it would be a bad idea. Writing fiction is very difficult, but writing sex scenes for your werewolf novel, on a deadline, that can only be really really bad.

You don't need to describe the encounrers, you can lead up to them and pick up again afterwards. Implicit sex, as opposed to explicit.

And truly, I really don't want to read a sex scene written by you. Nothing personal, but it gives me the heebie jeebies. And for god's sake, if you do write it, have Cathy read it over before you committ to it.


Dups said...

Well done Craig!!! I am very impressed considering you left me in the dust a long time ago!


Mireille Sampson said...

Unless you can make fun of it (sex, even good sex, is good for that) you'll likely want to give it a miss. "Bulging trousers", indeed. I can probably count all the good sex scenes from movies on one freakin' hand.

colette said...

And OM once more proves why exactly she needs to come to the west coast of NL and hang out/consume lots of alcohol this summer with Mireille and me. "Heebie jeebies, God, NO!" was my first reaction as well. It may not be a totally rational one, I'll admit.

BTW, picked up my first Neil Gaiman novel three days ago ("Anansi Boys") and really enjoyed it.

Ed Hollett said...

i must be missing something. Craig posted that this comments thread contained details of his dating life a decade ago.

Not that I was looking for salacious detail, just that it sounded all too familiar.

Most common phrases heard among the nurses i hung out with at one point:

"It's only Ed." and "All the good men are taken", the latter being when I was single.

Best sex scene in a movie (book stuff is not too good for something essentially visual)?


Personally, I can't really think of a good sex scene in a movie.

Best scenes where the physical and emotional attraction was stunningly obvious:

1. The whole sequence in Bridges of Madison County in the truck where Meryl Streep moves her hand toward the door handle, obviously contemplating bolting to Clint.

2. The short sequence in The Secretary when James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhal have their hands on the desk and barely touch pinkie fingers.

Spare, lean, taut sequences but the power of the emotion communicated is just overwhelming