Show Me the Romance

No cherubs. No doilies. No crap.

Archive for the month “February, 2010”

The Olympics and Siegeball

I have a media-related review due next week, so to prep for it, I’m watching the Olympics. In a nutshell, I swing back and forth on watching them…like when they’re on, I’m INVOLVED. But when the TV’s off, I’m kind of meh about turning them on. I’m going to explore some of the reasons for that in the article, but the reason I’m blogging about this is because the Olympics are one of the chief inspirations for the role siegeball plays in the world of Veiled Iron. Although the Olympics are supposed to promote peace and togetherness, they often boil down to a non-violent way to go at it with other countries, to prove one country’s superiority to the other.

So I tried taking that concept back a few centuries, using my favorite sport (football, a NON-Olympic sport) and creating an empire that allows its underling states to decide disputes by playing spoils games. This increases siegeball’s importance (it’s no longer “just a game”) and heightens the stakes for the participants. I love drama and real danger in the books I read, and I didn’t want my “football book” to be any different.

That isn’t to say football isn’t dangerous…the violent collisions can lead to catastrophic injury and death. But in the Tarishan Empire a man who sets foot on the siegeball field risks more than life, limb and a chance at a Super Bowl ring. He risks the existence of his people.

The Checklist: Updated

I just realized I didn’t update my checklist after I finished the items on it. The following items have been checked off:

  • rewritten the intro
  • regularized the names
  • regularized the terms
  • written a preliminary query

On another post, I added that I wanted to incorporate dancing into the latter part of the book, so that will lead off the new version of the checklist:

  • incorporate dancing nearer to end
  • read book out loud from cover to cover (must wait till Brian is out of the house, so he doesn’t find me weirder than he already does
  • do a dedicated pass for romance elements

Let’s get those out of the way first, and then I’ll work on the next items on Alexandra’s list.

Snowed in & dreaming

I’m in a bit of a netherworld right now…waiting for some feedback on Veiled Iron before I induce the Heavy Edit, complete with all the different passes I blogged about a month ago. My query is also kind of in a limbo stage (I’m scheduled to get some critiques on that toward the end of the month). So what’s a writer to do when there are 2+ feet of snow on the ground outside, continuing blizzard conditions, and my mind wants to create? Why, come up with the idea for the next novel, of course.

Looks like this one will be my version of Little Women–my deviation from all the fantasy and high adventure to write what I know. And what I know is a small high school in the valley of Virginia where cheerleaders are ignored and the annual musical rules the school.

This won’t be Disney’s High School Musical. This will be about what happens after auditions divide the stars from the chorus line: the escalating expectations from one year to the next, the tears, broken toes and power tools, paint that smells like rotting eggs, and the endless hours of “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 1, 2…” There are power trips, intrigues, romances sparked and allies lost, costumes finished at 3 am, falling sets, and directors laughing so hard they lose bladder control–WHEN they aren’t threatening to cancel the show altogether. Welcome to Broadway, Virginia.

And of course, it’ll be a romance. Sound like fun? I hope it will be 🙂

Take home point vs. Preaching part 2

And almost a month later, I continue the quandry.  I think the reason I delayed blogging for so long is that I don’t feel qualified to be talking on the subject of gender issues, besides what I’ve felt and what I’ve experienced in my own life. I try not to write about myself, per se, but when I was little (like, elementary school age), I loved playing co-ed sports, especially beating the boys at their own game. And then as I got a little older, I hated being a girl because girls were supposed to like makeup and shopping and giggling about boys, and all of those things either intimidated me (like makeup) or nauseated me. And YET I loved dolls, and the color pink, and fairytales. Notice a trend? I liked being a kid-girl, but tween-girldom sucked. I didn’t know it then, but it’s totally fine to be who you are and do what you like, “boy stuff” or “girl stuff” be damned.

So I guess something I’ve done very carefully is make Layla neither just girly or a total tomboy. She has a much tougher road than I did–I got post-feminisim, while she lives in a world with harsh delineations between the sexes–and because she has to fight for the tomboy part of herself, that has the more dominant hold on her interests.

Anyway, back to Katie’s comment. I was trying to find a way to work Layla’s dancing ability into the last act of the plot, a scene where she has to petition the Sultan. Given the society, the Sultan could want to know if his permitting Layla to play siegeball has made her an “unnatural female”  and ask her to prove otherwise–so Layla could dance. Katie said thought it sounded cool until she realized “you don’t want your take home point to be that it’s ok to do boy stuff as long as you do girl stuff too.” Which is true, and I never would have thought of it. So that idea is scrapped, but I got some interesting food for thought.

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