Have you ever written something, thought it was great, but had second thoughts? Ugh. I am soooo there right now.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m working on a Paranormal called Une Variante. I am a Fantasy writer at heart, but I like to stretch myself. My first publication (Last Winter Red) is a Dystopian, and my second and third publications are contemporary “Sweet” Romances.
So why the second thoughts about Une Variante? Well, the problem is that there is a heat rating. It’s not kinky or anything, but there is definitely and “open door” to the bedroom.
Having always “faded to black” in the past, I am understandably nervous about this. I have two people lined up to do a full beta on Une Variante as soon as it is complete. I’ve asked them because one looks for open door romances for her recreational reading, and the second is a writer of open door (and far worse kinkier stuff).
That aside….. Today, I sent the first ten pages to my local critique group. You know what I did?
I CENSORED MYSELF. [Smacks head on desk]
What am I doing? Ugh. I just couldn’t send it out in its “True glory”.
Now, part of the problem is that the word count would have dropped them right in the middle of “the scene”. I didn’t want my critique session to be just “about that”, and I was afraid it would deter from what I really wanted … which was a critique of the beginning.
I considered asking if anyone would find it offensive, and just send “the scene” to people who wanted to read it… but I wussed about that too.
I gotta admit that I also didn’t want to look into the eyes of people after them just having read “that”. Ugh… I am such a wuss.
Part of me is hoping that the Romance Reader and Erotica Writer tell me that the heat scene stinks, because that would give me an excuse to fade it to black.
[smacking myself again]
Have you ever had second thoughts about something you’ve written?
- Tell Me Your Thoughts…Should Writers Stick To Only One Genre? (poetaofficium.com)
- Why You Should Have Been A Romance Writer (prweb.com)
- Changing Face of Publishing, Including Romance (susansheehey.wordpress.com)
- What Will The Neighbors Think? (trsparties.com)
As a matter of fact, I have changed certain scenes when I re-worked a WIP from an adult to teen perspective. ‘Those’ scenes would not have been appropriate. I have since written an adult sci-fi novel that included many ‘open door’ bedroom scenes. It is still uncomfortable for me to talk much about them and I haven’t yet submitted it to anyone to beta read. Maybe, in time. Good luck with yours. 🙂
My betas came back positive–dernit
Guess you’ll just have to ‘blush and bear it!’ lol
Everyone has second thoughts. But you gotta ask yourself this? Does the scene do at least two of these things, a) advance the plot, b) develop the characters, c) provide background information?
It actually does all that, come to think of it.
I know it belongs.
I am comfortable with all but about one sentence. It’s just the “Oh my gosh, did my little sister write that?” That I think I’m worried about.
My best friend was the first one to read my full length, sensual contemporary. Before sending it to her, I took out swear words, and made the sex scenes sweet because I know that is what she would prefer. With my very first book I was very careful about writing sex scenes because I didn’t want my “dad” or “sons” to know I wrote those words. Well, fat chance of them reading it. By time book two came along I was bolder. Book three, even more.
Then I started adding erotic romance to my genre of writing, and I’m probably still blushing knowing my editor has it. But, I won’t give it up. It was a slow go, but I wish I would have written what was in my heart from the beginning.
You should have sent it to me. I would have told you honestly what I thought. I’ve written a LOT of sex scenes (romantic and otherwise).
I second guess constantly, but in the end, I go back to that rule where I never apologize for what I write. It’s okay if they don’t like it as long as you do. Now, if you don’t, then there may be a conflict between your own personal morals and what’s on that paper. Your scenes were awesome. As long as you like it, just take a deep breath and hit ‘send’. 🙂
Thanks, Jo. That means a lot. I think the picking up the spoon scene has to go. Frankly… I was testing the water a little too much there, but the rest I am comfortable with.
Second thoughts? How about on EVERYTHING I’ve written?! You’re treading into territory I’ve avoided—I leave the bedroom to the readers’ imagination. But sometimes a work calls for “going all the way” through that door. (I just haven’t written anything like that.)
This is a hot-button area where a lot of readers will have very set opinions. For getting the “nuts and bolts” right, I’d really pay attention to writers who deal with the subject regularly. But for “reaction” comments, I think you have to consider the reader’s personal views and potential biases are influencing their comments. I think those comments might be harder to wade through.
Second thoughts are par for the course. That’s when you gotta listening to your soul.
Yeah I hear ya. Funny thing is that I gave it to a conservative beta reader and the scene that I have second thoughts about didn’t bother her. … Something entirely different did. You just never know.
First time for everyone? Of course you will go back and give your group the benefit of the Full Monte?
Nope. No way. This will probably be the only time they see a section of it. I hope to be submitting by the time they meet again. 🙂
You go Jennifer. Impossible to tell if the flutters are because you don’t want to write open door scenes, or because these are the flutters everyone gets with something new. Only one way to find out, and you’ve already decided to take the plunge. Good!
Okay, I’m chuckling. Possibly close to laughing hysterically. I am so with you. I cut a big chunk of a scene out of my current work because it’s fantasy (with a touch of romance) and the scene was a little . . . hot . . . a little skin on skin . . . tastefully done and *I* enjoyed it, I’m sure the characters did. I just didn’t know if my readers would and so I balked.
I completely understand why you’ve done this. I would have done the same. It might become all about that scene and then you’ve lost the real critique you’re looking for, but also it’s about being vulnerable….goodness this writing thing is hard.
All the time. When I’m trying something different or doing “hot” scenes, as I don’t want to “fade to black” but neither do I want to go too far either. I suppose it’s hard to know yourself when you’ve achieved a balance.
I also have a couple of ideas for stories on tap that, well, I’m a bit nervous about writing as they might get a bit crazy or have the potential to offend. I’m not going to let that stop me, because I think they’ll be learning experiences and push me as a writer, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have frequent second thoughts about them.