Month: May 2016 (page 2 of 3)

Why it’s okay to be confusing

I woke up with Meatloaf’s I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) in my head this morning, which means today is going to be awesome, so of course I went to Youtube and listened to it immediately and was struck, as everyone bloody is, by the eternal question: what the hell is that for fuck’s sake. Like I know I’ve been told! But it was fifteen years ago and the song is great anyway. So Google was my friend; here’s Meatloaf explaining it in an interview:

“When we were recording it, Jim brings up the thing — he says, ‘People aren’t gonna know what that is.’ I said, ‘Of course they are. How can they not know?’ He goes, ‘They’re not gonna.‘”

So what is “that”? “It’s the line before every chorus,” explained Loaf. “There’s nine of them, I think. The problem lies because Jimmy likes to write, so you forget what the line was before you get to ‘I won’t do that.’” (Some of the things the song says he won’t do: forget the way you feel right now; forgive himself if you don’t go all the way tonight; do it better than he does it with you, so long; and stop dreaming of you every night of his life.)

It’s not our fault, guys, the lyrics are confusing. But that’s part of why the song is so good. You can enjoy it without exactly getting it, and that even kinda makes it better in a way.

A little confusion and ambiguity is good sometimes. I promise I never try to write stuff that is pointlessly vague or confusing – it always clicks somewhere along the line – but my books are designed to be re-read. So that’s MY justification for why my writing can sometimes be weird and confusing: it’s toooootally on purpose.

Makin’ stuff is hard

Last week’s wordcount suffered because I was prepping Heart of Flame for edits, but the manuscript went off to the editor (still feels weird to be able to say that) on Friday and this week has been much better for making pages. But it’s always hard.

Even when it’s easy and the words flow and you have bumper days, it’s hard emotionally. For me anyway. Pulling that much story out is hard; pulling and pulling and not getting anything is also hard.

Last week it was hard because I reached the halfway point of the book, and in my plot outline, it basically says “MYSTICAL STUFF HAPPENS HERE.” Not much of an outline, huh? But I know my characters and my process well enough now; I knew something would be happening by this point, and I knew it would be a result of everything that had gone before (which I had plotted, and y’know, this is the fifth book, so it’s kinda like there are four previous extremely-detailed plot outlines to feed into the current one.)

But nope, I didn’t know what it actually was. I just trusted that my world and my characters would produce something, because how can they not? And they did, because they’re my creepy-alternate-universe-not-actually-imaginary friends and they’re dependable like that. This is where I’m not writing the story, they are, I’m just trying not to get in the way.

Anyway, wordcount crawled until they got it sorted and then it sped back up again, and we’re over halfway, so life doesn’t suck. Not for me, anyway, but it does a little for them, and that is hard.

Moral of the story folks: don’t do art of the writing-kind unless you enjoy torturing yourself. Cuz it’s hard. It’s awesome, but you do have to like pain.

Wednesday’s snippet is long and hot and –

Here we go, snippet time. As always, this is pretty much a little teaser for the book, so there isn’t meant to be context or set-up. You’ll just have to guess where they are and why. Because I am an asshole!

The glass Emma had in her left hand shattered.

Pequeña?” Seshua said, stepping into the kitchen.

“It’s fine.” She blinked, refusing to look at her hand. If she didn’t look at it, it wouldn’t hurt. “I’m fine.”

He made an interested noise and padded over to her. “Humans have such a way with words,” he murmured, his voice still rough, and grabbed the hand towel off the rail, holding it under her bleeding hand. “Fine being one of the most versatile and eloquent words in the English language, when humans use it. Truly, it can mean anything, though it rarely does mean fine.” He hissed. “You have glass in your hand.”

She sure did. And she shouldn’t have looked at it. “Shit.”

Seshua cleared his throat. “Will you let me… ?”

Clenching her teeth, she looked up at him, really looked, and her mouth went dry.

He was still Seshua – still seven feet of smoky blue muscle and masculinity, his hair a glossy black mane that tangled down his back, wavy like hers was. His shoulders were still broad enough to make getting through doorways difficult. His eyes were still hypnotic, midnight blue, the look in them so intently alive that it almost banished the memory of him lying lifeless and unmoving in that upstairs room.

But he’d lost at least twenty pounds, maybe more, and he looked haunted.

More, she felt haunted when she looked at him. She’d almost lost him. For over a week, he’d been a ghost. He’d lain as though dead. As though dying of the wasting illness that claimed his kind – that had claimed both his parents. Jesus Christ, it could take him too, couldn’t it?

“Slow your pulse, pequeña, you’re making it bleed faster. Here.” He cupped her bleeding hand with the towel and took a step closer. “Ah, see, it is not so bad.”

“No?” Her voice didn’t shake – yippee for her.

He bent his head, taking a chunk of glass between forefinger and thumb. “No. So,” he purred, his voice dropping sinfully low. “Did you miss me?”

The timing was perfect: on her sharp inhale, he yanked the broken glass out of her palm and shot her a wink, and she barely felt the pain at all.

“Sure,” she said hotly. “Missed you like a hole in the head. Missed boxing your ears and yelling at you for not letting me save you, you stupid sonofabitch. Next time -”

He leaned down and kissed her. He was so damn fast and agile as a cat, and she’d been mid-sentence, so her mouth was open when his lips captured hers. He tasted wild and utterly male, like spiced smoke and jungle and power made flesh, and his mouth felt just as good and right on hers as she remembered from the first time he’d kissed her.

Y’know, when he’d hypnotized her and tried to trick her into being bound to him and under his control forever.

She broke away and slapped him with her good right hand. He made a deep, aroused sound in his throat. “Your mark didn’t flare,” he said, voice full of laughter and satisfaction.

“Because you don’t scare me. Give me that.” She snatched her left hand away from his, taking the towel with her, and wrapped her palm.

He crossed his arms and managed to loom without moving a muscle. “So how do I make you feel.”

She bared her teeth at him. “Homicidal.”

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