Friday, October 19, 2007

Weird stuff people come up with to occupy your mind, and a piece of Dead Gorgeous...

There was this discussion going on over at RD the other day, someone asked, “can I write without being emotionally connected to my story?” Which, btw, I went back to today and boy--it'd gotten long. I love discussions like this, because it's a fascinating insight into how people tick.

Some people tick conventionally. Some don't. Some just go off on a tangent--and yeah--that reminds me of "airplane". I airplane all the time. I think of something, get all happy and do the stick your arms out and airplane in little loops. Right. I'm a geek. But I saw this guy doing it at work the other day, then I noticed someone else doing it. And I said, "hey! When I do that (a forty-er, something year old woman) people stare, but when YOU do that, people just accept it. What's up with that?"

And he said, "I dunno--I've always done it." Nice to know I've fallen into like-minds, lol.

But anyway--the question was odd, since I never feel disconnected--frustrated, yeah--disconnected no. In corporate terms, the buzzword is “engaged”. Am I engaged in my writing? Yeah--BUT. And the but is that I’m no longer writing in the pursuit of publishing, but writing to publish. There’s a hell of a difference. I write because I have to, because I can’t stop, because I think about writing when I don’t write and my people are actually my people in the full feudal sense of the word. I care for them--and in return I get a tithe.

I think what she was really trying to say was why do I “feel” disconnected at certain points in the process? And that’s a different question. Because writing isn’t all guts and glory and pink puffy clouds where the words come.

Sometimes individual scenes are like magic, but even magic needs connectors that aren’t in themselves interesting to write. That’s where you get layering. That part where you have to beat out the scene cause it’s so hard to get down on paper, and layer in details and emotions, cause all you have is a skeleton.

Writing is right brain activity, but this--this bit of premeditated autopsy--is left brain, ‘cause it’s “so if this happens, this has to happen.” And yeah--that’s not fun.

And then JAC says, I love my characters. And the person asks, “how do you fall in love with them?” And that...was very hard. So I went away to think about it.

I think that first you have to accept yourself--even the parts that aren’t very nice and you prefer didn’t exist, because everyone you create comes from inside. I recognize pieces of myself in my characters, and I accept them, like bits of kelp on an enormous stalk. They all belong to me, like I belong to them. We’re all waving in that current together.

In Mirror Dance, Mark says, “...way back in nineteenth century Earth, they used to have these ships that sailed across the tops of the oceans, that were powered by steam engines. The heat for the engines came from great coal fires in the bellies of the ships. And they had to have these suckers down there to stoke the coal into the furnaces. Down in the filth and the heat and the stink and the sweat. The coal made them black so they were called the black-gang. And the officers and fine ladies above would have nothing to do with these poor grotty thugs, socially. But without them, nothing moved. Nothing burned. Nothing lived. No steam. The black-gang. Unsung heroes. Ugly lower class fellows.”

I love myself, all my bits and pieces. The parts I hate, the parts I wish weren’t there, all my memories and happy bits and sad bits, from my head to my toes and the soul in between. I have my own black-gang. Without them. Nothing burns.

...and nothing lives.

and--for those who have requested (ok, for Jen, who might want to check it out?) a piece of DGG which is going totally in a strange direction. Brief warning. It's rough draft. Still a few bugs.


She waited until they were in his room before saying, “I have news--”

Which didn’t freaking matter, because he couldn’t hear. He was past hearing. He was way out the zone and down the other side.

“Get out,” he growled, tearing at his tie.

She stopped dead. “What?”

“Get out of my room,” he told her, “and come back in the morning.”

“I thought--“

“No,” he said. “You didn’t. No more thinking, okay? I need my space. Get the hell out of my room.”

She didn’t move fast enough and his rage boiled over, hot and messy and out of control.

“Get out of my room now, or I’ll fucking throw you out.”

“Get your head out of your ass, Dalfrey. I need to talk to you.”

“Text me.” He twisted a hand in her shirt and picked her up, feet dangling.

“Put me down!” she shrieked, trying to bite him.

He threw the door open and tried to throw her out, but she held on to him and came right back in.

‘What is your problem?”

“You,” he growled, low and desperate. “You are my problem.”

He caught her under her arms and threw her on the bed, following her down with his larger body. Her eyes were wide and scared, but it was all just a lie. She’d sleep with anyone, so why not him?

He caught her chin and held her so he could look into her eyes. “How much?” he asked her. “How much to fuck me until I can’t see straight?”

The blood drained from her face and left her numb. Just the feel of his body was enough of a sensory overload. As gorgeous as Rafe was, he did nothing to her equilibrium, and she hated herself that she could be so shallow to want Connor Dalfrey. Wanting him was the equivalent of wanting a wind-up Ken doll.

His brilliant green eyes were cold and hard, like cabochon emeralds and his mouth was a thin slash. He held her beneath him like he wanted to sledgehammer her into the mattress, nothing soft or sweet about him.

“Tell me,” he said, eyeing her like a slab of meat. “How much for tonight, Jacey?”

God. He wanted to buy her.

She convulsed in anger, shoving at him, but he was too big and he held her easily, one hand locked around both of hers.

“I’m not for sale!”

“Liar,” he breathed.

He shoved a thigh between both of hers and pressed himself up against her. There was nothing between them but a thin layer of silk and gabardine.

Jacey sucked in a shallow breath, eyes wide. “Get off me.”

“How ‘bout I just get off?” he questioned, the accent in his voice slipping down her spine like honey.

She shivered, knowing where this was leading, and for some reason not giving enough of a damn to hit him where it’d hurt. A tiny little tendril of desire unfurled in her belly.

He was all heat and muscle, and in the close, cramped little room she started to tremble. She was actually shaking when he reached down between them and pushed her skirt out of the way.

And pushed her out of the way.

He rolled over on his back, still fully dressed, while she was lying on his bed with her skirt shoved up a round her waist and her panties yanked to one side.


Gwen said...

ummmm...that was a really good excerpt. Just so you know. Seriously, I really liked it. You like to wring your poor characters dry, don't you? Makes for awesome reading,

jodi said...

lol, Gwen. I'm neither one thing or the other, so it makes for a hard sell. Not sexy enough for a hot read, not dark enough (like a very famous editor told me) for a romantic "suspense". I'm so character driven at this point, I think my plots are just the sticky glue to hold my people together.

My editor (I love that woman, btw--) is always questioning the "why?", but every now and then she comes out with a "God, I loved that part."

I dunno.

I just know I started writing DG as a straight rs, and it got sidetracked into this huge riff on appearances and childhood trauma, insecurity and redemption.

I think...because Jacey slammed the lid on her past and locked it away so she can function, and Connor can't let go.

Got to work on it somemore. I've been listening to Matchbox Twenty's Downfall. It seems to work with this.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Oh. My. God.!!! THAT ROCKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love that. And he's a jerk. A great jerk. I cannot wait to read this.

jodi said...

*I can't stop laughing*

he's a jerk.

Yeah, I think he is too. He's a lot more damaged than Keegan. You should have seen me trying to work out his Delta pysch testing with his lingering problems. I'm thinking the problems are what caused him to leave. Not his brother creating DalCon.

Dunno about that too.

Boy, this book is harder than I'd first thunk (thought?).


Alice Audrey said...

"I just know I started writing DG as a straight rs, and it got sidetracked into this huge riff on appearances and childhood trauma, insecurity and redemption."

That sounds a lot like a book I wrote called Zackly Right. Only I was going for comedy.