To be fair, I did spend the last two hours of work leading into the group frantically writing an opening to the story in an attempt to drop the story down to a bit more of a PG-13 rating. I was able to get to about three or four pages into the story before it starts getting "naughty," so I was able to read that much at least.
Nearly had a heart attack in doing so, though. I just sat in the meeting mentally riffling through all of my writing to think of SOMETHING else that I could read. No dice. At least, not unless I decided to bring up something that I wrote YEARS ago just for S&Gs. Then it hit about 7:30. We had a half-hour to still fill. Everyone else already read. We were just kind of staring at each other trying to figure out what else to talk about. That's when I sort of bashfully went "Well, TECHNICALLY, I wrote about 10,000+ words since last session. I just don't know if anyone would want to hear what I wrote.... it's.... kind of.... MATURE." I then proceeded to explain the rabbit hole I dove head first into.
They all chuckled that we were all adults, and that it would be fine. Granted, there was a gentleman - fairly new, this was his third or fourth meeting - that seemed to be around my age; probably older, though. Then there were two women that may have only been about ten years older. The rest of the group, though, were definitely closer to my mom's age, and older. Being the clear youngest in the group, it still felt awkward to read THIS kind of story for them to critique. What happens if the sex scenes need tweaking? What if they don't? I don't know which would be more awkward, them being like "Well, I think that it would seem more realistic if he...." or if I got a resounding "WOW! Well done." Because that would mean that I now know where there minds were....
It's bad enough that I know family members that enjoyed "Fifty Shades of Grey," I don't know if I could handle actually knowing people who enjoyed my smuttiness.
Anyway, I was later informed that just about as soon as I spoke up with "Well, TECHNICALLY, I wrote..." that my face just FLOODED with a blush. I was like a human strawberry for the last half-hour of the meeting. And that blush stayed for at least an hour! I'm not cut out for this!!!!
I read the intro to the story, and stopped before anything "naughty" actually happened. Both parties were still clothed - although Jolene was quickly remedying that - and it was just a bunch of flirting leading up to that point. Nothing terribly too bad. I probably would have read it proudly if I didn't know what was going to start happening in the next sentence.
When I stopped the room kind of filled with a whining "awwwww," so... I guess that means I caught their attention? I don't know if that's because I was doing good, or if they wanted to hear the sex portions I wrote. The only other comment was from one of the newer regular members commenting about my sort of voice change. Normally, I'm about 80% dialogue and only 20% action/scene setting. To try to let the reader know the situation leading into the sex scene, I did a quick recap of the roleplay that inspired me. It was a LOT of background info. She noted that: "You normally do mostly dialogue, and this time we barely had any."
Well, she would have had a lot of dialogue if I had continued, but I wanted to just quickly set up the scene, and including all the dialogue leading up to it didn't seem practical. Still, the way that she said it, I wasn't sure if it was a good thing, a critique, or just an observation.
Then I got an email from one of the group members asking if I cared enough to improve the story to want a beta-reader for it. We could do a story exchange: my smut for his super dark murder scene that he fears will make him look like a twisted psycho. I've written fairly dark and grisly murder scenes - I asked a bunch of people my senior year of high school if they knew what happens to human eyeballs when you burn to death - so I could easily read his bit. STILL not sure about sending him mine, though. Again, I don't know if it would be more awkward if he gave me advice on how to improve the sex scenes, or if he told me it was amazing.
Still, on the off chance that I decide to send it his way, I wanted to polish it first. Slowly but surely, I went back over the story about a dozen times the past week trying to get it to a point where I'm confident that I can't improve it on my own. I still have a couple of lines that don't seem quite right, but it's the best I have for right now. Rensin's a bit harder to get the voice right than I gave him credit for. I just can't give him that spark of bashful innocence like his player managed. So, super added props to his player for being such a great writer. I even asked Mouse to pass along my praise.
She offered to get the two of us in touch - me and Rensin's player - but I just feel that would be super weird considering the circumstances. I'd rather just know the character and not the player at this point....
Despite my better judgement, I DID share the Jolene/Rensin story - titled "Rensin's Conquest" - as well as the Devon/Trish work-in-progress story "Some Like It Flame Broiled." I don't know why, but I just NEEDED to share it with someone, and Shadow happened to be online while I was still trying to calm my blush from writing group. I freaked out to him; basically a "WHAT DID I JUST DO!?"
He chuckled, and told me that he was fairly certain it was good since I'm such a good writer. This of course lead me to tease that he's like my mom: barely actually reads my stuff, but still has unwavering faith that I'm an amazing author. More talking back and forth along those lines, and eventually I just sort of caved and sent him "Some Like It Flame Broiled" with the understanding that I hadn't finished the story yet, let alone went back to polish it.
I dunno. I guess the fact that he's a close friend makes it somehow less awkward for him to read the dirty bits? No real critique one way or the other from him, aside from "<3 Trish" and "You should finish it." Positive reviews, I guess.
Well, last night I finally finished my polishing of "Rensin's Conquest" and sent that over to him too. He's part of the online D&D group with Rensin and Jolene, and so he'd probably be one of the best suited to have an outside perspective on whether or not I have everyone in-character. We'll see if he reads it and/or what his thoughts on the matter will be. I'm predicting it will be raging hatred for Jolene for playing with innocent Rensin's heart, but at least evoking emotion means I did something right, correct?
I also tried to switch gears by talking to Shadow about the MASSIVE love triangles - knots; web? - that I'm trying to set up in "Glitches" between multiple different characters; mainly Chayse, Lia, Willow, Devon, Nyssa, Ripley, and Lincoln. It sort of wobbles between Chayse being the center of a triangle, to Willow being the center, to Devon being the center, to Lia being the center.... I feel like there needs to be more romances in my story that isn't interwoven with those seven characters, but right now the only other option I have is Colette and Joseph.
Anyway, while talking to Shadow about all of this - just to have SOMETHING to talk about that isn't sex-related - I started to get a real passion for "Glitches" again. I think I'm going to finish off "Some Like It Flame Broiled" just so that I don't have ANOTHER work-in-progress hanging around, and then try attacking "Glitches" some more. I need to get an outline figured out. A road map so I know where I'm going with everything.
I think the easiest way is to come up with the individual story arcs for each character and then find a way to weave them together. That was SUPPOSED to be what I wanted to tackle this month while also doing my MasterClass on screenwriting, but somehow I ended up down the dirty-birdy rabbit hole instead. People keep reassuring me that it's perfectly fine; "romance novels" are a big seller. Still.... what a debut into the writing world.
Speaking of my MasterClass, my mother's birthday present to me this year was to sign me up for the Aaron Sorkin class on screenwriting. Isn't she just awesome!?
While Sorkin is entertaining, he also is super awkward to listen to. He's kind of like this:
|He even more-or-less said this in a|
disclaimer in the intro lesson.
To finish up, a quick touch-base on my reading progress:
OH. EM. GEE! "Ready Player One" is quickly jumping up the ranks to one of my favorite books! I'm so in love. All the geekiness. All the 80s pop culture. The actual suspense keeping me on edge. The main character's voice, how he tells the story, is witty and I can't stop promoting this book to everyone I see. Almost literally. I had a customer in the store the other day that basically had the 80s Saturday Morning Cartoon line-up tattooed around his left leg, and so naturally I talked him up about "Ready Player One."
I have no clue if I can finagle things around on the reading challenge check-list so this book still fits, but at this point I don't care. I may not fit all 12 challenge points in before 2017, but I'll definitely have at least 12 books read!
Alright, now off to try to finish "Some Like It Flame Broiled" so I can FINALLY get out of this gutter and start working on something I can read without looking like I replaced my head with a giant tomato.