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This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Necessary Debauchery

Romances are getting more risqué with the sexual escapades of their characters. Still, I try to keep in mind that there are some lines that readers don't want to cross. One scene could ruin a book for a reader. Thus, I carefully consider the impact when I write on the edge and I don't write scene like that simply for shock value.

In the original version of The Gift of Surrender I had a hardcore scene with Prince Armas and Queen Taraasta where she was abusing him with an inanimate object while cutting off his breathing (when I say abuse, I mean penetrating him). I thought I needed to show just how much a hold she had on Armas and how far he had fallen away from the right path. Please note, I don't disapprove of that act, per se. It was the degradation and pain inflicted during the act. I changed my mind during the editing process. I realized that I already demonstrated how far Armas had fallen when he broke the close ties he had with his brothers. I felt so bad for him over that break that I had to write a sequel to put them back together.

In the sequel, The Price of Surrender, I had to write scenes that clearly demonstrated the life of debauchery Armas was living while still with Taraasta. But how far do I go? Should I do a full blown Roman style orgy? How many orifices should be involved? I decided on frequency rather than one big event. Thus, in an early chapter, Armas has a series of maids and cooks turning up in his bed culminating with two in his bed at once. It is a risqué scene, but certainly not alarming. The scene is also very hot for that moment, but ultimately it's sad. Nothing Armas does can fill the void that leaving his family created. Having everything he wanted and the freedom to do anything he wanted could not make Armas happy. It's then he decides to grow up. That decision doesn't have nearly the impact unless the lifestyle he was leading is dramatically demonstrated.

My favorite use of necessary debauchery is the subject of today's trivia question. It is a delightfully sinful film that covers almost every kind of sex imaginable. It is set in Havana and involves a condemned woman telling her sordid tale to a young priest the night before she is to be hanged. If you can guess the film, I'll give you a free pdf of The Gift of Surrender.

2 comments:

Caffey said...

Hi DL! Its Cathie!!! How you doing?
First of all, I wouldn't be able to know the movie because I don't watch any becuase old movies and movies in theatres don't have captioning for the deaf. After time I just got discouraged and gave up on watching movies, so i'm a big reader!
Too on these two versions of the books you are revising, I can understand in time, that you'd want to change some scenes that may work at this time when you are writing, for the characters. For me, I too will feel the emotion that was sent forth in the purpose of the scene. I don't think I get a shock value out of a scene I might not have read, but yeah, I will be surprised, but its more of that of the turn of events of the story, the characters. Its nothing to do with what I felt about the author putting in, etc. When I believe in an author and get enjoyments from their books and got to know them through reading them and chatting, that I believe in them and the stories they put out.
Is the earlier versions of these two books out? Or did I miss them?
When will the revised ones of these books be available. I love to read both the orgininal and the revised. Can you let me know, thanks.
Cathie

snowflake said...

Is it Original Sin?