call me when you’re ready, she said

A Roman Studio, Lawrence Alma-Tadema

41102. Shortened a scene. Rained this morning, but now the sky is sunny blue with flat white clouds. Worked on A Lamentation of Swans until my stomach reminded me a bit ago that it needed feeding, and another cup of coffee would not do. So I sauteed garlic, threw in some shrimp, boiled some angel hair, poured half a glass of zinfandel, and voila, lunch, late.

Have to put away the manuscript and get to work on the tax stuff, prepare it for the accountant. I’ve got a box lid of papers and receipts to organize and then can fill out the form my tax accountant sends each year to help me organize, and then I can pack it all up, drop it off at the accountant’s office, and wait for my checks. I usually get it together by the first week of February, but this year had too much going on to get to it. And I’m not all that eager now, but better today–when I’ve got the time. I don’t do the last minute tax thing.

What else–oh, finished my reading critique of the first five chapters of Janet’s latest paranormal book–a witch romance. She’s finished the first draft already and has promised to send more chapters. Must keep time open for those.

I’m in the midst of a nice scene between Gaius and Annasara, and that’s the problem–it’s a nice scene. And then there’s that Vinza issue that’s come up. I was wondering whose novel it really is, and I’m beginning to think it’s Ferrant’s. Really.


2 thoughts on “call me when you’re ready, she said

  1. I feel uncomfortable, too, when I realize I’m writing a scene that runs a little too nicely for the point of view character. Something bad is supposed to happen, right? Then I think it’s also possible that something good can happen, and the “bad” can be implied, something you know is lurking in the background. Like when the reader knows there’s a monster in the next room, but the two characters sharing a cup of coffee at the dining room table don’t know it. They sit there and have a wonderful chat, but great danger is lurking. When’s the monster going to burst through the door? You can work in the slightest little thing (“What’s that? I thought I heard something. Probably the neighbors.”) and it’s enough to remind the reader that the menace is still there…waiting. I think it’s possible to allow the characters a time out, a happy moment, a respite, as long as the reader knows this is occurring along the way, on a journey from one danger to the next, and that it isn’t really a relief from the larger tension. Knowing that larger tension is lurking in the background allows the respite scene to add to the tension, prolonging the wait until the monster finally does appear. Also, it’s possible to have a nice scene that suddenly turns threatening in the very last sentence, or the last few sentences: “Everything was grand, until she realized it wasn’t a knock at the door, but a thud in the pantry.” Also, it’s possible to come back later and work in some twist, some turn for the worse.

    Just some thoughts, a reaction to your posting.

  2. Good advice, Adrian, and food for thought. I’d like to inject more tension but I think it’ll be a matter of where I finally place the scene, and what comes before it. Thanks, d:)

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