Monday, November 08, 2004

Another "buy" recommendation:

Midnight Rain by Holly Lisle (ISBN 0451411757). This is an intense romantic suspense novel with supernatural overtones that left me wrung out like last night's dishrag. I had intended to read it over 2 or 3 days, but once I started, I couldn't stop. I read straight through 2 football games, which says a lot. Buy it! Read it! You'll love it.


You mean this stuff is supposed to be fun?

Finally got up my nerve and did some more work on Washed in the Blood this morning. 450 words. It's not a whole lot, but this is a very difficult part of the novel for me. In the scene I worked on today, the protagonist's daughter has sex with the villain while her mother, bound and gagged so she can't move or make a noise loud enough to be heard, has to listen. Wild, animal sex with moaning and screaming and furniture banging.

It would have been a lot of fun if Maggie hadn't been force to listen. She's already been through Hell over the last 24 hours (book time, of course) and has another day to go (though she doesn't know it yet). She's already been raped and mentally abused and she's lying in the basement under the bedroom (the door to the basement is open, so she hears everything) with her husband lying dead by her side. He will rise again on the third day as a vampire, and boy will he be HUNGRY!

This is hard. I really, really like Maggie, and I really hate doing these terrible things to her, but the story demands it. Her abuse and ultimate death provide the motivation for John (her husband and the protagonist) to embark on his mission of vengeance and will fill him with a consuming and unbreakable (for now) resolve. Since he will be framed for her murder, it will isolate him from potential allies. Finally, it will crank up the intensity of his crisis of faith by an order of magnitude.

All that being said, and realizing the necessity, I am still hurting over these events. Sure, most of the time writing is fun, but the really good parts, the parts that make a story memorable, sometimes hurt like Hell. I just try to keep in mind that once I finish this chapter, I can move ahead to some really cool chase scenes and plot complications. Maybe this is what they mean by "paying your dues" ro "suffering for your art".

I'll get back to it in the morning. I wimped out on the sex scene, and I have to go back and put the good stuff in.


An idea for an article for Vision: "The Immortal Undead: Vampire Cliches That Suck the Life From Your Stories". That will be fun.


At 7:29 AM, Blogger Holly said...

Thanks for the rec for Midnight Rain. I'm so glad you liked it.

As for writing the dark stuff -- it can really rip you up. I barely got through the core scene in Vengeance of Dragons, and couldn't write for days afterward. Couldn't even turn the computer on. If it hurts ... you're probably on the right track. From what you've outlined, I'd say you're at least headed in one hell of a solid direction.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Carter said...

Thanks for the support, Holly. This is a tough one to write. You might say it's my personal Sympathy for the Devil. It's the story I have needed to write all my life, but haven't had the courage to face.

The real twist in this tale is that the protagonist, the one being made into a vampire without his knowledge or consent, is a traveling evangelist in the Southern Appalachians, what some residents call a "circuit rider". While he is not a raving fundamentalist or a real fanatic, he is firm in his beliefs and is very soon going to have to face some serious questions about faith, forgiveness, and redemption. I hope to learn a lot from him.


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