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Welcome, everyone! Here's where I blather about writing, life with my wife BA, and my two basset hounds! I love to hear from readers, so comment here or email me!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

All the words, aka overheard at our house at 1am

So, the wife has been reading an FBI serial killer suspense first novel by a man who shall remain nameless. Not a romance author. She got the book via Bookbub (OMG Bookbub is a amazing). Anyhoo. She finished it last night, and was incoherent with fury.

Apparently there's a graphic sex scene with a virtual stranger 2/3 of the way though, completely out of character. Then at the end, the villain spends ten pages monologuing and the main character lets him, even though she's a savvy, genius IQ agent.

Wife was bitching about this, saying you could hear the self-indulgence, and I said, "Basically, this is the author wanking off to his own words."

The wife says, "Yes! Here are all my beautiful words. All the words. Look at all the words I know and the way I can put them together. Did you know I know all the words?" The rant came with much arm flailing reminiscent of vogue-ing.

Yeah. That's what happens sometimes. As writers, we get enamored of our own words. We get a real happy putting them together, and that sometimes comes at the expense of the story. We sometimes go the other way, too, stripping stories down until they're too spare, with not enough of the pretty turns of phrase.

This is where revision comes in. Betas. Editors.

This is also where standing up to an editor comes in. What if that completely gratuitous sex scene was suggested by an editor to broaden the readership of this thriller? Sometimes it's up to the author to say, "No, that's out of character. The love of her life, who she watched be horribly tortured and killed after she was viciously raped, only died six months ago."

We all hope we don't indulge ourselves too much and lead ourselves astray.

That doesn't keep us from wanting to use all the words!



1 comment:

Katherine Halle said...

Spot on post! Points made for both sides <3333