It just occurred to me the other day that I should put some info about what I’m writing up on the blog, just so’s the stuff I go on about – strong, virginal throats, for instance – makes some sense.
I’ve also posted the blurb and first chapter for the draft I’m working on now, and the blurb and first chapter for the first draft [I’ve now removed these pages; 2/04/11]. It’s quite amazing actually, to look at them both, so some thoughts about the differences:
The major turning point in my huge rewrite/redraft (see, until this point I actually thought I was already up to draft 3!) was Susannah Taylor’s feedback. Her main critique was that whilst the story was fun, it fell too far on the side of farce – i.e. the reader’s just along for the situational humour, not to see the characters progress in an emotional way.
This is immediately obvious in the title of my first draft: The Three Loves of Miss Beatrice Sutherland. Doesn’t that just sound like a Regency romp? (Which is a great thing – the title prob. quite inspired by Quinn’s The Secret Diary of Miss Miranda Cheever. But she had emotional intensity set up from the beginning. I didn’t.) Oh, and in the fact that my hero’s hiding in a linen box, letting his lover protect him.
Which brings me to ST’s other major point: he’s a hard sell as a hero.
My new and improved Roscoe, who suffers panic attacks and is seen in chapter one totally owning the toughest, deadliest Scot that side of the 20th century, comes whole and perfect from my old Roscoe.
Everything he is, I teased out of his predecessor – from things I’d written into him that I wasn’t even conscious of at the time.
One interesting difficulty that arose out of making him more alpha, was that he was suddenly much less attractive and much more awkward in a dress. Roscoe1 was up for anything, and as long as he was being entertained and extreme, he was happy. He was so supremely confident that it wouldn’t even occur to him that he should be uncomfortable. Roscoe2, in being a Machiavel, and aware of every little nuance of every little action he takes, makes the dress a much more conspicuous piece of scenery.
Hopefully it’ll be a little bit fun for you to see a snippet of what I agonise over so much.