Friday, 12 October 2012

My new book, sex scenes, and Christmas shopping... It's time for another Friday catch-up!

So, as we reach the end of another week, how's this new book of mine coming along then?  Well, as it stands, I've written 56,056 words and the books is currently 142 pages long.  Are we at the halfway point yet?  We're getting there.  The story keeps developing as I write it, so there've been times when it's gone off in a completely different direction than I'd originally thought it was going to, but that's the way I like it.  Certain characters have developed into a bigger part of the book than I'd originally intended, and others have been cut altogether, but again, that's the way I like it.  When the characters take over and drive the story forward, that's when I know everything is going okay.

It has, however, been a slow week as far as actual writing is concerned.  Or should I say, another slow week.  Not a wasted week though.  Just because I haven't managed to write a shed-load of words, it doesn't mean to say that I haven't been working on the book in other ways.  I've been researching characters, managed to bag myself a bit of time over at Sunderland's ground, the Stadium of Light, next week for some research inside a real football club, and the cover is taking shape.  I'm planning a cover reveal before Christmas, so, for those of you who are interested, watch this space.

I'm still hoping to have the first draft done by Christmas, with an early (ish) 2013 release for the finished book scheduled.  But we'll see how things go.  I'm not rushing anything, and I don't want this book seeing the light of day until I'm happy with it.  I was going to say completely happy with it, but I'm never completely happy with anything.  I could edit and re-edit until the cows come home and I still wouldn't be completely happy.  But you know what I mean.

Am I enjoying writing this new book?  Yeah.  I am.  I haven't enjoyed writing a book so much since I wrote No Matter What, because that's the genre in which I feel most comfortable.  And it's taken me long enough to find that out, so, despite the fact I have dabbled with comedy in my rom coms Too Much Trouble in Paradise and Bon Voyage, it may be a while before I venture into that territory again.  They were fun to write, but I'm just way more comfortable with the more edgy side of romance.  I've got no idea why, I just am.  And, as far as I'm concerned, one of the main rules of writing is write what makes you feel comfortable, not what you think people want to read.  Because you can't possibly work that out.  All I know is, I can't do "sweet" romance.  I can't do it.  It just isn't in me.  Now, maybe that's because I'm quite a cynical person, I don't know, but most of my female characters do seem to have a bit of attitude, which doesn't always make them popular with readers, but that's the way I write them.  That's my style.  I also like to pepper these more edgy romances with the odd sex scene or three!  Just for the hell of it?  No, not really.  I have struggled with the question of how much is too much though, with regard to sex in books.  I know some people prefer not to know exactly what goes on once characters get to the bedroom (or wherever they happen to be doing the deed).  Some people prefer to have some things left to the imagination, and sometimes I'll do that.  But sometimes I won't.  It does make for quite a confusing time during the editing process though - what to leave in, what to take out, what's necessary and what isn't.  For instance, I cut out quite a few sex scenes in No Matter What because people who'd done an initial read-through for me had said they thought there were too many, only for others to read the finished book and say they would have liked more!  The same thing happened with my rock-star romance See You At The Show - a few people said it would have benefited from more sex.  After all, Mark Cassidy was a drop-dead-gorgeous rock star in that book, and he certainly made the most of it.  Seems he could have made a lot more of it though! ;)

Too much sex in this rock-star romance?  Or not enough...?
But I can't help thinking, how much is too much.  I mean, I'm not talking 'Fifty Shades of Grey' here, and I have no intention of straying into the Erotica genre, but I would like to strike some kind of happy medium.  So, for this new book of mine, I'm just writing what I feel at the time and hopefully, when I go through the editing process, it'll become clear just what needs to stay and what needs to be trimmed down, or cut altogether.  As I said before, the story is driving itself forward, and I'm just tagging along for the ride - so to speak!  I'm sure it'll all work itself out in the end, and I really need to lose this habit of second-guessing things and editing-as-I-go because that's what slowing me down, I'm sure of it.

I'm off to buy a few of these this weekend.
Anyway, it's almost the weekend, and I'm quite glad about that, although I have no idea where this week has gone.  It doesn't seem like five minutes since I was waking up on Monday morning thinking about the week ahead, and now it's over!  I'm planning a little bit of Christmas shopping on Sunday, actually.  I'm desperate to get a head start this year and not leave everything until the last minute, as usual.  Because I'm good at that.  Mind you, it's pretty difficult to forget about Christmas where I live, seeing as the shops have had their gift ideas, boxes of crackers and decorations out on display since the end of September!  We haven't even had Halloween yet and already The Factory Shop in town is trying to flog advent calenders and selection boxes.  Still, at least it keeps reminding us that things have to be done, and if I can get a few presents bought before the real Christmas rush starts, I'll be very pleased with myself!

Right, I'd better sign off and get back to this new book of mine then.  I've given myself a little (and very achievable) target of hitting the halfway point by the end of next week, so I'd better get a shift on...

Have a lovely weekend, whatever you've got planned! :)

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