Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Latest Manuscript Takes a Surprising Turn

Bugs Bunny on MarsBugs Bunny fans will recognize the phrase, “I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque.”

I’m sitting here saying the same thing as my current manuscript is no longer recognizable: It’s taken a left turn into erotica.

You regulars will know that I write dark fantasy and science fiction. (Those of you who came here after googling “erotica” know that now, too.)

So, it’s as surprising to me (as you) that I’ve written three complete — and soon to be four — scenes in my current manuscript that are so steamy, I had to step outside in the cool air for a minute before I sat down again to finish them. (And nobody’s even had sex yet!)

I was reluctant to release them to my critique partners for their review. (But they enjoyed them — even the men — so that’ll show me to want to hide my work.)

What’s strange to me is that I think the male lead in the erotica section is going to become a major character. At first, he was a walk-on. In the second scene he tempts the book’s main character, not only with the promise of really good sex, but with heart’s desire: healing a demonic wound which will not heal.

I can’t decide if she’ll go all the way with him in this next scene. If she does, she damns her immortal soul. But she’ll be whole again, gain a huge amount of knowledge about something, and have incredible sex all night long.

She just might be tempted. After all, her immortal soul is only lost to her if she dies. There are ways to cleanse it before that happens, right?

Yeah, I’m still working out the sticky bits of the plot. This is what happens when the characters start talking to you and they refuse to play the roles you’ve cast them in.

I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

But I’m curious: as a reader, would you be willing to pick up a book not quite like the last you read by an author, or would you bypass it in favor of something else?

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Dragon or Wyvern?

WyvernCan I assume everyone knows what a dragon is?

A wyvern is a similar creature to — some say a sub-species of — the dragon. It stands on two legs instead of four, and its tail is often seen as arching over its head, scorpion-like, so that it can use the spade-shaped tip to poison it’s enemies.

They’re often depicted in English heraldry on flags and shields and coats-of-arms (such as this flag of the Ancient Kingdom of Wessex, located today in England).

Some people feel they’re interchangeable creatures – but wyverns lack the intelligence of dragons – so you won’t find them starring in any thoughtful stories. In fact, it’s pretty rare to see them “starring” at all.

I’ve written both dragon stories and wyvern stories. I tend to use dragons for “intelligent” tales and wyverns when I need a fierce creature who acts on base instinct…but it seems a shame to me that such a fine (if evil and nasty) creature gets pushed out of the limelight by its more intelligent cousin.

I’m sticking with the intelligence theory: that it’s this lack of smarts that makes the wyvern so unattractive in stories, though it could easily be that it’s not popular because a wyvern has less versatile “artillery” than that of various dragons (and is therefore less useful, in a story).

Or, maybe the wyvern is not used as much because fewer people are aware of the myth.

What’s your take? And which do you like better: dragons or wyverns?