Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I've Just Snarked Myself

Okay, so I'm revising my ms. Adding scenes, cleaning up others, and it's going fairly well. Or it was, until I decided, just for fun, to do a snarky review of my own book.

And found the biggest contender for Oh Yeah, That's Believeable I've ever seen.

I really like the heroine's actions and feelings when she finds a body. I like the horror you have to imagine when I don't describe the body, but other people's reactions to it. I like pretty much everything leading up to it and what follows only needs minor tweaking. But how she stumbles across said corpse?

What. Was. I. Smoking.

See, I love suspense in romance. Have for years. Loved it long before it was the "in" genre and will long after the experts in New York declare it dead. But that said, if I'm reading a thriller or a mystery, I want the focus on whodunit. Or at least howgetum. But with a book that has already pigeonholed itself as a romance, I want the focus on the romance.

In a romance, I don't need my protag to trip over a body in the first two sentences. Most RS books I have read take place in roughly two weeks to a month. Plenty of time for a mystery. But part of the romance appeal for me is the HEA. It doesn't have to be a marriage, but I feel cheated if the couple isn't well on their way. Even for a fan of Love At First Sight, a month, especially a month fraught with danger, is not a lot of time to believeably build a relationship. I'm more interested in seeing the foundations laid for the relationship before the Perils of Pauline start. I know that times danger can bring people together, but can they hold together in peacetime? Insta-endless love seems contrived. And I will admit to grrrrring my way through scenes where couples who are on the run from bad guys (and I mean on the run- no safe house, no we-should-be-okay-here hotel room) find time in the chase to stop and have tea and crumpets.

So, my problem? My ms has kind of a duel storyline; the budding relationship and internal conflict with the couple on one side, the suspense plot/external conflict developing on the other. My heroine finding this body is what blends those two storylines together; the whole bloomin' tome hinges on it. And I, in my extraordinary talent, have come up with the most hokey, contrived, Am I Supposed To Swallow That? scenario ever written.

If I can't come up with a salvage operation, and soon, I'll have to scrap the back half of the book and start over. I really, really don't want to do that.

Sigh.

Hold me.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Michelle said...

Hugs, Robyn! Maybe start a list of 20 ways you could have her find the body and there might be a way to salvage it. Good luck!

3:41 AM  
Blogger Bernita said...

People do find bodies you know...walking the dog, in parking lots,sometimes on their doorsteps, all the time.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

Good suggestions. I, of course, had to limit myself to a Marine base; it's a Black Ops kind of thing.

I may have to get with my critters and see if it's as bad as I think it is.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

It very probably isn't as bad as you think it is. Real life is full of outrageous coincidences and every novel should be allowed at least one :-) I'd get a second opinion or two before you embark on major surgery.
I like the dual storyline premise, and the idea that a relationship that develops during time of danger might need some adapting for time of peace.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Missie said...

People,
Do not let Robyn fool you. I have read her ms, I loved her ms, there are no such horrid flaws in her ms. She writes a fast-paced, witty, totally believable story and is just snarking herself BECAUSE SHE'S FINALLY FINISHING THE MS AND COULD BE SENDING IT TO A PUBLISHER WITHIN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS AND IS GETTING NERVOUS AND IS MAKING EXCUSES!!!!! Not that I have strong feelings about this one way or another, mind you.

NO, seriously. You guys are going to love her book. And Rob, I promise to tell you if there is anything snarkworthy in your next few chapters. Send them to me now. Must have black-ops-hunkymarineguy fix.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

No scrapping is needed, trust me. There's always a solution. You may need someone to crit for you, you may need to noodle on it for a while, you may need to think out of the box, but it's there. Trust me, no scrapping is needed, especially entire HALVES OF BOOKS :) Those are hard to come by, man. Fix, don't scrap.

If this is the first ms you've completed, then you have the heebie-jeebies. You're suddenly positive the whole thing sucks, when in fact it does not. Ask any writer, we've all been in heebie-jeebie land. Join us there for a drink.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

I'll not only join you, I'll buy. :)

Missie managed to convince me that it isn't as horrible as I thought, and she's right. I'm scared. Have to get over it, though. I did manage to do one thing right- surround myself with people who won't let me hibernate and will totally toast my behiney if I don't send this in.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Kaitlin said...

Isn't it great to have awesome friends/critiquers who won't let you hibernate? My friend won't let me not finish my book. I'm procrastinating up the ying-yang though because I'm scared too.

Good luck! I can't wait to read it. I love suspense novels as well. :)

4:54 PM  
Blogger OzzatLarge said...

Challenged? What a concept. Challenge is good. It is nice to have friends that challenge and encourage us to the next level. I am confident that your project will be a great one. You have a great insight and are very eloquent with the English language. You really have knack for it. I am congratulating you on your success in advance. Congrats and well done.

Ozz at Large

11:20 AM  
Blogger Bernita said...

Actually, it sounds like a wonderful story.

1:26 PM  

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