Paranormal,/Fantasy/Horror Romance

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Or, what the hell am I doing? My son thinks I should dispense with the romance and pour on the horror, bloodshed, and gory details. (erm, no).

Or, reason number 30,000,567 why I hate this stupid wip: It's blending too many subgenres (subgenres of which I know feck all. *sob*).

Excerpt (copywritten, etc):

She swallowed and turned back to the beguiler; he shuddered as she lay hands on him again. Starting at his shoulder, Yancy slowly and very gently drew her palm down the poisoned limb, over muscles that felt as hot steel and crusted wounds that oozed putrid pus.

As each second passed by his agitation grew. And from her burgeoning heart, full of unspoken wants, came a torrent of disjointed vows.

Minutes grew old while she scanned for the dreadful signs. The room became unbearable hot. The air too thick to breathe. Soon pin-points of light danced in her vision and she was dragged into a vortex of darkness. This wasn’t right! She struggled to call out, but no words came from her paralyzed throat.

She was freed in a flash of pain as Callum jack-knifed up. He swung at her and the blow sent her flying across the room where she slammed into Sarlen and they both fell to the floor.

“Open up at once!” Outside in the passage Ekedro pummeled the door.

They paid him no heed. Yancy lay stunned, every part of her hurting. But she dare not take her eyes off Callum.

His head whipped back and he arched to an impossible angle, muscles writhing beneath his skin like a viper’s nest. His was expression pure agony. Jaw clenched tight and animal grunts sounding in place of breathing. It went on endlessly, the inhuman sounds building in crescendo, veins flexing like harp strings plucked by some hellish hand. With a sickening crack his mouth wrenched opened. Lips stretched wide, split and bleeding, eyes rolled back in his head. Then an explosion of black waste shot from his mouth, splattering the walls, soaking sheets and floor. And from his eyes bloody streaking tears flowed.

Ropey horror knotted in her chest; fear burrowed deep into her belly.

“Gods help us,” Sarlen whispered.

As it began, it ended. Callum collapsed back onto the soiled linens.

“No!” Yancy lurched to her hands and knees, and scrambled towards the bed, then staggered on her feet the rest of the way. “No, no, you can’t die! You can’t, you can’t,” she begged, dropping to her knees again. Her hands trembled as she wiped away the bloody effluvium from the beguiler’s stiff face. She glared at Sarlen through her tears, her insides in shreds. “Do something, damn you!”
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Jorrie Spencer said...

This is good stuff, Jaye.


raine said...

Hmmm...I'm not sure I understand what the problem is, Jaye. This is great!
All you need for a romance is another sentence or two...

...Her hands trembled as she wiped away the bloody effluvium from the beguiler’s stiff face. She glared at Sarlen through her tears, her insides in shreds. “Do something, damn you!”
Thinking fast, Yancy immediately straddled the beguiler, prompting him into a frothing fit as she took him inside. Within moments he was healed and horny, bucking beneath her, all thoughts of poison forgotten...

raine said...

But seriously, Jaye... ;-)

Maybe integrating the flava of multiple genres is just your style?

Jaye said...

Thanks Jorrie. :)

Jaye said...

LMAO, Raine!

That's part of the problem, in my heart & mind this is primarily a romance, but when I look at what I've written so far, the romance is secondary. :-/

I think the romance will kick into high gear in the next chapter or so, but I also have a love triangle to deal with, and I've never written one. No, I'm not headed for menage territory. ;) but I don't want to do a cop out where one H is 'clearly' the one for the heroine. Viable triangles work better in a series (Morelli vs Ranger, LKH's Anita series -- although, that's more an octogon, than a triagle (heh)--or Brenda Joyce's Deadly series), not sure how that works in a single book.

Then there's fantasy stuff. I'm skating along with it, but I'm sure a fantasy buff would skin me alive. And the more 'graphic/horrific' stuff, like an earlier fight scene that feature dismemberment, and this scene might not sit well with the general romance audience. :-/

Oh, and did I mention that it should get fairly erotic in the middle? This thing is neither fish nor fowl. :/ I've skulked around various online blogs/messageboards etc, long enough to realize this type of thing will be that much more harder to sell/market. :-/

And this long-assed comment should have been my blog post. lol. I was just in the middle of fiddling with that scene and it struck me how 'unromantic' it was. lol.


Tara Marie said...

Well from a readers POV, I say "pour on the horror, bloodshed, and gory details," and add enough romance to keep a romance reader happy.

I love the concept of real horror with real romance, it's the ultimate good vs. evil.

Amie Stuart said...

So what's the problem? :-)
Raine I should say for shame but I'm laughing too hard!
can you just write it and not worry about what genre it is?

Jorrie Spencer said...

I know ebooks are not where everyone wants to go, but there is less concern—at least at some publishers—about genres.

Also, by the time you actually finish the book, it may feel differently than it does right now, and you may find the idea of marketing less problematic.

Jaye said...

Thanks guys, I'm whining. :-/ (this is why I post so much goofy stuff on the blog and not much about my own writing struggles. I hate hearing myself whine.) I'm feeling a twee bit frustrated with this one, and wondering if the struggle is worth it. :-/

Larissa said...

First of all, this is awesome. I would SO read it. Right up my alley!

Second, write what you want and how you want it. After it's done, you can figure out what you need to do to tweak it toward the market you're wanting to send it to.

You never might be writing EXACTLY what a particular editor or house is looking for!

Jaye said...

Thanks, Larissa! :-)

I sort of have no choice but to write it. I've abandoned the last couple of manuscripts because of 'marketing' concerns, either I thought they were too different from what I had written before--and how was I going to build a readership that way--or I thought I was against the acceptable romance novel boundaries/guidlines. Remember Odil? :


Yet every time I've dumped something and gone on to start a new project, the new project seems to be even more challenging. :-P I think it's time I took the clue. This is just the way my mind works.

Good thing I have no plans to quit the day job. :-P

Jill said...

Who cares about how many genres you have in here, the writing is great. Keep going.

Jaye said...

Julie- Yes, ma'am! And thank you. :-)

Head is now firmly buried in the sand re market trends and "accepted knowledge" re genre hooks. ::lalalalalalala::

Amie Stuart said...

DId you ever think that part of the problem is you master a particular writing challenge (IE world building) and are ready to move on? am I totally off base? Okay I really do have to get up now LOL

Jordan Summers said...

Sweetie, my latest book opens with someone getting eaten alive...and not in a fun sex kind of way. *ggg* There is a market for this kind of novel. Stick with your strengths. :)

Jaye said...

Amie, the problem was/is I've been too concerned about the market. When I had the requested full of Felicity & Daniel's story sitting at HQN, I started and stopped an MS, because, while F&D was character driven, the new ms had more plot (I was making a slight attempt at a suspense subplot) and the characters much darker (shady lawyer hero, closet alcoholic heroine) nevermind that it was also an interracial romance.

'K, put that one aside.

Made another attempt at ligher and funny. Started out okay (Odil and Zoe) but somewhere along the line Odil became an excon, paranormal elements are introduced. again with the suspense subplot, and for some unearthly reason I decide to write a prologue showing him getting rape in the prison shower.

Uhm. Sure. Next!

This ms. Well, this ms started out pretty-- a fairytale based erotic-romance--but in fairly quick order I became far more interested in the world-building, than the sex. I should have left well enough alone. Enter this version. And all the problems I forsee in getting it to market.


So I go on to funny/contemporary vamp, story. Pretty good, some gore, some mystery. except the story isn't quite gelling. I can't get a fix on the heroine's backstory. Big problem cause she's the catalyst and drive for the book. But.... I do spend quite a bit of time sketching out several possible books for the hero's brother/friends, and their backstory/world-building. I love the hero, but my heart's not quite in the right place with that ms, yet. I'm still in love with this horror/romance/whatever.

And that's what I mean about dropping books, only to find myself in a worse pickle. I went from romance/w suspense, to romance w/ 'gritty' suspense & light paranormal elements, to romance w/ suspense/horror & historical/fantasy vibe. lol.(Oh, somewhere in there is a futuristic/dark paranormal romantic-suspense, I forgot to mention...)

That's why I hafta to *finish* this one. (and the sequel, with 2 heroes in this book, I've got to give the loser his own book.)

Jaye said...

"Sweetie, my latest book opens with someone getting eaten alive...and not in a fun sex kind of way."


You know, Jordan, I've seen other little murmurs around the blogosphere re horror romances. You, me, Meljean, I even remember seeing an agent blog about being specifically interested in seeing genre-blends. We *might* be on the cutting edge of something....

Or maybe we're just crazy! *g*

Seriously, though, Melanie Jackson has done a few books in this area, and disregarding all the sex in LKH's books, they're in this ball-park too. And PBW's books would fit (although they're a bit lighter on the romance part, but their more graphic aspect is right on target).

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