Avoiding A Threesome

Eeep.  No telling what kind of searches that title is going to bring me.

It was a stupendously productive weekend.  I finally got the belt sander after the bathroom vanity.  It is a  homemade, cobbled together POS native to the original 1964 house.  Like all the other cabinetry and shelving in the house, it was very rough, put together with someone with basic carpentry skills and no sense of square.  And like all the other cabinetry, a belt sander (oh, how I love you), helped to smooth out all the rough edges.  I sanded off 6 layers of paint.  Prior colors (beneath the current white) included pink, light blue, dark blue, gray, and a truly horriffic shade of baby shit yellow.  After that, I went to town with the spackle, sanded that, caulked the new baseboards at the floor, and painted it all.  The painting was the worst part.  I’m not very good at painting trim.  I’m afraid I made a mess.  So then I had to touch up the walls.  And now I need to touch up more edges on the trim.  It’s a vicious cycle.  But either way, the vanity and the trim looks much better than it did.  We have one wall left to do shoe mold on (simply because we ran out when we did this last batch), and the beadboard to put up in the sophet, then we’re DONE with the bathroom renovation.

Other than that, there were 3 loads of laundry, loads of cooking (though I haven’t gotten those posts written up yet), grocery shopping, and writing.

What was that?  Writing?

Yes, writing.  After taking a 2 day break, I came back to the [insert many expletives here] love scene that I struggled with all last week.  On Saturday I tried to totally change the tone and after five hours, only managed a couple of paragraphs.  Then at ten that night, I wound up scrapping them and going back to the original tone of the scene, finally remembering a good example from my keeper shelf that was exactly what I wanted.  Yesterday I sussed out a few more, and as I sat down looking at what I’d done earlier in the week, I realized that I was unwittingly writing a threesome.  Not because I was pulling in some other character, but because I was putting too much of myself in there.  The result was a scene with totally conflicting actions and feelings by the heroine, which didn’t work at all.  My reactions to certain things are not Marley’s reactions.  Once I took myself out of their love scene–well, I won’t say that things went smoothly, but I did finish and the tone is consistent through the whole scene.

I suppose it was a rather obvious epiphany.  But I honestly didn’t realize that’s what I was doing.  I’m so accustomed to putting some of myself in every scene–but in a scene where I was really trying to push the boundaries of what I’m able to write, to break out of my usual mold, well, I didn’t really have a place.  By putting myself in there, I was letting all those fears that make it hard enough to write love scenes run rampant.  What if someone thinks I’m weird?  What if they think I’m dirty?  What if my mother reads this? With all those possible voyeurs, no wonder I couldn’t get the scene right!  You can’t bring all those fears into your character’s bedroom (or living room or shower or dark alley…whatever).  That’s too much of the external world intruding on your story world.  And it upsets the balance.

I will no doubt want to fiddle.  Going back, I already see a couple of spots I want to tweak.  But it will be later, on the first pass revisions after the first draft is done.  I’ve spent a week on a single scene, and now I want to regain some of that forward momentum.  And best of all, it’s time for the big reveal when my heroine finds out that there be wolves. :rubs hands together in delight:

2 thoughts on “Avoiding A Threesome

  1. Shawna

    I think you hit the nail on the head. There is a certain amount of separation you have to maintain when writing about a sexual encounter.

    You need to feel more like a voyeur than a participant. (yeah, I know how that sounds) : )

    But you’re writing how the characters react and feel, not how you would or do. It’s tough. I have new appreciation for those writers who make it look easy.

    • Kait Nolan

      I really don’t believe anybody who says this stuff is EASY to write… 😀

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