So, November is going full steam ahead and I am full stop on my NaNo project. Hardly surprising. I always plan to fail (even if I don’t fail to plan). Thing is, I finished my last project at the beginning of the month, and after a couple of weeks letting it simmer I’m always anxious to dive back into the polishing business.
Oh, and it was going so smoothly. Seems I’d already re-read the first half a couple of times as I’d gone back to add/change scenes later on. The editing was breezy. I’d also had a much easier time writing that first half. At the halfway point, though, I hit the wall and my editing slowed to three pages in two hours. I don’t think I’m exaggerating. It wasn’t that it was so poorly written, it just was so not perfectly executed. Something was off.
It made sense. That spot was the same wall I’d started slamming my head into during the writing process (the first in a number of walls). It’s the wall that slowed me to a crawl and had me doubting whether or not I was wasting my time on this project; a sad scene and subsequent sex scene that had me thinking maybe I’m all set writing smut for now. Maybe I need a new genre, because I just don’t want to make this happen.
Yup, this book has been a toothpuller, but I’ve had a tough time trying to put a finger on what wasn’t working. For one, the subject matter is somewhat darkish–and I love dark, don’t get me wrong–but it’s been hard to balance the dark with romance and have it be believable. Or maybe my version of believable involves not so much sex because my one MCs has more issues than Time Magazine, and believable isn’t romantic. But wait, there is romance. And there’s even sex. It just isn’t dripping off the pages. Sometimes I get the feeling a lot of readers want wall to wall sex. You know, except for the readers who hate it.
The scene I got to today was a sad one, but my MCs are more on the fringes of the sadness–close so it affects them, but it isn’t their tragedy to own, more to watch and empathize with. Right on the heels of that is a sex scene (more or less–those are rather sparse and slow building in this book, too, which is another reason I keep wondering if I’m only screwing myself here. God knows my MCs aren’t doing much of it).
But I’m currently reading Josh Lanyon’s book on writing MM romance, and there was a little blip about how sex when people are physically injured is dumb (paraphrasing here, and no, that is not the case in my book, and yes, it is dumb) and another blip about how surviving a near death experience can be bonifying (again, paraphrasing, and also making up words). This is closer to what’s going on in my book. No, my guys don’t almost die in that particular scene, but there is a pall of death, I guess, that clouds most of the book (I know I’m really selling it here. Admit it–you’re dying to read this book! Dying. Tee hee.). Survival is a key theme, and for that reason I think I was able to twist my original scene around so it works. I think. I hope.
Of course, that’s only one wall. Plenty more where that came from. I’ll be lucky if I finish my first pass this week and then get back to dropping more words in my pathetically bereft NaNo bucket as planned.
Anyway, stay tuned for next time when I second-guess my work some more and admit to completely flunking NaNo most shitastically (told you I was planning to fail).
Oh, and enjoy this song. It’s perfect for my current editing WIP playlist. Per-fucking-fect.