Saturday, October 2, 2010
Trying Something New
I write stories in all different lengths, short stories, novellas and full-length novels. Each length has its own challenges, and I enjoy writing each length. Sometimes it's my choice, but usually the story itself dictates the length and the way it needs to be told.
And sometimes it can take a while to figure it out.
One reason I love writing short is that I can try different things. A new sub-genre. A new voice. A new POV. Sometimes I do it to get the creative juices going when I seem to be at a standstill. Sometimes I do it for the challenge. Sometimes it's because the story just needs to be told a different way.
My November release from Samhain, SEE ME, is one of those stories that started out with a flash of an idea and a lonely, frustrated woman who's merely trying to cope. It also is more of a straight erotic story, although is does have an uplifting ending and the heroine does change during the story because of the man she lets into her life.
I'm very pleased with the way the story turned out, but it went through several incarnations over the course of a year or so. There were times I wanted to give up on it, and I worked on other stories in between. But I kept coming back to it. I started writing it in first person, past tense and it was a very short story. Then I lengthened it and changed to third person. Finally I expanded it even more and went with the final version, in first person, present tense.
Here's a short exerpt:
I can’t remember when I first started stripping to the music, but I remember clearly the night I first pulled open the curtains before I began to take off my clothes. It was only a couple weeks ago, on my birthday, and I had been yearning, somehow, to connect with other people.
I’d still been timid fourteen days ago. That night, I’d drawn open the heavy curtain, but left the thin sheers closed. My heart had pounded against my ribs as I stripped down to my fancy black satin underwear to the rhythm of a salsa beat. I’d nervously stayed in the shadows that night, but I could have just as well been under a spotlight. It hadn’t mattered. There’d been no sliver of light to betray the movement of a curtain. Nobody saw me.
Day by day, I grew bolder.
Tonight, I step up to the curtains and yank them open without a second thought. Darkness has fallen. The lights are still on behind me. If anyone looks out, will they see more than my silhouette behind the sheers? Can they see the red silk that hugs my body? The heels that make me stand tall and thrust my breasts out?
I can’t see out into the darkness and at this moment, I really don’t care.
The throaty cry of the saxophone sends shivers up my spine and I slowly unknot the sash at my waist. I slide the narrow strip of silk through my fingers as the dress gradually parts. Although I know no one sees me, I imagine someone’s dark eyes staring at me out of the shadows. He’s looking at my cleavage laid bare by the parting red silk. The dress slides open and my nipples prickle as the fabric glides across their sensitive tips.
SEE ME will be released November 23rd from Samhain.
So do you try writing different genres/voices/points of view? And have you ever changed up a story that you're writing until it finally works?