Things I didn't learn at Author Responses 101 (& a small excerpt)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A couple of weeks I ago I found myself explaining some aspects of Felicity Stripped Bare in response to a review received. Soon afterwards, my brain slipped out of 'park' and I deleted that explanation.

You can't go around 'explaining' the work to a reader after the fact. Any explanations should have been self-evident during and intrinsic to the experience of reading. You only get one chance to make a first impression, etc.

Clarification is one thing--it's conducive to discussion re salient points of characterization and plotting--explanation another.

Last week I got a very nice note from a reader who mentioned that several scenes in the book made her cry.

So what did I reply (in part)?:

"I'm so, so glad you enjoyed Felicity Stripped Bare. (Sorry about making you cry.... ::snort:: I freakin love that you cried!! bwahahahhaaaa.)"


I'll get the hang of this public persona thing.

And now for a small excerpt:

“I never had a birthday party. Oh, my mom made my favorite meal and dessert, but it wasn’t the same without friends over, and there never seemed to be any money for real presents. Just the cheap stuff from the corner store, that lasted about week before they broke.” Felicity swallowed, but the words would not be held back.

“The first birthday that ever meant something to me, was my sixteenth. I took myself to the movies. I don’t even remember the movie now, but I remember that I did something special for me.” She looked at Daniel. “I knew then that I would never have to depend on anyone else for my happiness. I could do it for myself.” Except now he was undoing all her hard work, she was becoming too addicted to feelings he stirred in her. He made her want to believe, again, in fairytales.

“But…it’s not the same.”

“No. It’s not.”

“This is all new to me too.”

She heard the familiar hint of frustration in his voice, and had a good idea of what he meant by newness.

In the semi-darkness Felicity picked out the lines of tiredness that fanned from the corners of his eyes. She felt a stab of guilt, remembering his joke about catching up on sleep. She knew he worked long hours. Half the time she couldn’t get a hold of him on his cell because he was in some meeting or other. But he was here now because of her. A riot of emotions blossomed inside her, crowding out the guilt.

His gaze was laser sharp and full of heat, and when he spoke next he almost sounded angry. “You’ve turned my world upside down, you know that?”

“Good. I think your world needs some rocking.” Her voice was just as hoarse as his.

Then she took his hand, the one resting on her arm and deliberately moved it to cover her breast. “Tonight,” she added, pressing his palm to her.

For the longest time they sat frozen, gazes tangled. Finally, his fingers pressed against her flesh—molding, squeezing, rubbing and rolling, until she melted into him. Felicity moaned, and he drank it down in a bruising kiss that promised much more than the spar and thrust of his tongue. Why, oh why, had she waited so long to take the initiative? They fumbled with buttons and zippers in the dark, and gasped for breath, and things became wet…soft… hard…harder.

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Dee Tenorio said...

The other reason I avoid the explanations, apart from your very good ones, is that I can't usually explain concisely. I end up blathering about backstory and the like. And you know how I blather.

I, too, am waiting to figure out how to be a cool author persona. So far, I'm hoping web design will gloss over the faux pas, lol.


vanessa jaye said...

Ramblng on is definitely another reason to not explain, Dee! As for the professional stuff, I'm learning as I go. hopefully I won't make too many serious faux pas in the duration. :-P

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