This month’s IWSG asks about passages you’ve decided to include, or not, in your books. One passage sprang to mind immediately. More of that later.
This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post, in which we share our successes and failures as writers, our insecurities, in fact. Anyone can join in, just sign up at the IWSG Sign-up page, write a blog post on the first Wednesday of the month, and go back to that sign up page to link with everyone else–or a goodly sample. Our host is Alex J Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for the month are:
To Include or not?
Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?
There have been several instances over the last ten years where I’ve felt strongly about something and wanted to write about it, to let my feelings out, to shout about perceived injustices from the rooftops. Most of the time I managed to calm down and write it in a different way. Nobody likes a writer who rants about something, especially something relatively trivial (or would be to most people). Sometimes I’ve managed to build it into a story–using an injustice, for example, as something the protagonist has to sort out.
I’m in the middle of one of those now. I’m plotting, just like that joke on social media that runs something like “I’m an author; if you upset me, I’ll put you in my book and kill you.” I’m also checking my facts, and researching further. It could turn into a short story, or even end up in a novel–or be the central core of one, except that it would be rather off-genre for me.
… so not include
I might just write it to let it out of my system. I’ve discovered; it just helps to let it out. And when you look at it on paper (screen) later, you realise, yes, it’s just life, and not worth bothering about.
On the other hand…
There’s the passage that sprang to mind, the one I mentioned in the first line.
I tend to allow my characters to determine what happens next. And in Curved Space to Corsair (Viridian System 2), they went through a wormhole by mistake, got lost in space on the other side, without even any star charts to guide them back. At some stage of this traumatic event, the girls decided that sex was off the agenda. Lars and Pete have a discussion about it, saying how much comfort it would give them, but how can they persuade them – and decide they can’t. Until the girls decide, well… um, it turned into an orgy on the page! I was quite surprised. I didn’t know I could write that! It was a bit raunchy for my books. Almost in need of an ‘adult’ tag. I decided to let my editor come across it and see what she said.
“That was a surprise!” Should I leave it in? Lots of debate, but I did, and bumped up some of the other interactions so it didn’t seem quite so ‘alone’ in the book.
And at those fairs I’ve been doing*, I warn people of the raunchy bits. Several women said they love raunchy bits–and bought it!
Have you seen any of the interviews and revelations I’ve been making on my blog tour – and outside it? It continues until 15th March.
- 10 Things about Zanzibar’s Rings with Shannon, the WarriorMuse (and co-host this month!) – includes her WEP entry
- An interview plus excerpt at The Writer’s Life
- A review at Book Corner News & Reviews
- Guest Post: Why I write Science Fiction with Patricia Josephine
- Interview with Willowdot 🙂
*Those Book Fairs
I’m doing my next book fair on 26th March at Lymington, in Hampshire (UK).
But the base price of paperbacks has gone up so much (50-100%) over the winter, I doubt whether I’ll do more after the summer (after the programme committed so far), as the cost of restocking is prohibitive. I discover I’m a hobbyist, after all 🙁