Friday, April 10, 2015

Talk, Talk, Talk

Yesterday wasn't quite as "marathony" as I'd hoped, writing-wise, mostly because I had to work out a few scenes in the transition between where I was and where I knew I needed to be. I'm feeling like this book is light on action and heavy on talk, but right now I'm getting the plot down. I can do something about it in revisions. A lot of conversations tend to go away in the second draft because they're often me thinking on paper (well, screen), and once I've worked things out, the characters don't need to say these things. I can also turn some conversations into action -- instead of talking about things, they do things. And I can put conversations in the context of action or add conflict to the scenes with conversations (since there are times when people might just sit and talk, and that doesn't have to be boring).

But the book is coming to life for me, and that's fun. I keep making odd discoveries and having things go off in different tangents, so it's kind of like reading a book for the first time, only with more work.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to read from my To Be Read shelf to keep weeding it down. Last week I read a somewhat interesting historical novel that I probably wouldn't have chosen if it hadn't been a conference giveaway, and that got me in the mood for medieval-set stuff, so I grabbed a historical romance off the shelf. For a while I thought this one would be different because it was an unusual setting, the characters weren't the usual "types," and there was a strong plot aside from the romance aspect. We even got six chapters in before anything even remotely romancey happened. But then we got the scene in which the so-called hero grabbed the heroine, whom he barely knew, shoved her against a wall, stuck his tongue down her throat, shoved his hands up her skirt and grabbed her behind, all while she was protesting, and he only backed off when she slapped him silly. Of course, even though she did slap him, she couldn't stop thinking about his searing kiss and how it awoke parts of her she'd never been aware of before, blah, blah, blah. As a reader, I have a hard time pulling for a guy who'd act like that to get together with the heroine, and I know that if a man did that to me, he'd probably be walking funny for a few days and might have had sexual assault charges filed against him (though that wasn't really an option in the book's setting). I know good and well that it wouldn't make me dwell on how amazing it made me feel and make me long to feel it again, even if he infuriated me.

This is why I struggle with genre romance novels. I don't find that kind of junk romantic, and it's all over the place. A man who behaves like that isn't a hero, and I would never want a heroine to end up with him. So I think this book is going to have to go in the "donate to library book sale" bag because the book is ruined for me. It's hard to read a romance novel while actively wanting one member of the couple to die in a fire, since I know they'll end up together.

What I'm actually kind of in the mood for, and I'm afraid this is rather rare, is a historical magical realism type book -- a somewhat realistic medieval setting (not in a fantasy realm) with a hint of magic, like where the kinds of things people did believe in, like curses, charms, etc., really did work. I've read one or two, but it's hard to find them. I guess you could call it fantasy lite, the real world as a slightly more magical place. Romance is good, but not rape that gets called romantic.

1 comment:

Chicory said...

Your description of fantasy realism made me think of a book called "Wolf Hunt" by Gillian Bradshaw. It's a novel based on a French fairy-tale by twelfth century poet, Marie de France.