05 November 2005

Embellishing the story

Recently I received an email from a former classmate of mine, asking me (and other former classmates) if it would be a great idea to incorporate an early sex scene into her novel, which deals with a fictional early 1980s pop diva. After all, her protagonist has issues with men, so a negative sex scene would set things up nicely. And she also adds, sex sells.

Her email address is bouncing, but I tried replying to her, telling her to go for it. Anything that can explain, or make plausible, another portion of the story, IMO, is a good addition. After all, that's what I did to Perfect Girl as well; by bringing in Sarah's grandfather Warren into the story, and making him a US Air Force veteran of the Korean War, I managed to explain Sarah's own fascination with airplanes and her relationship with Kirsten, as well as giving more weight to the existing full chapter where Sarah is sent to Seoul. (Now, as I write the dinner scene, I decided that Warren will die in 2006 from a plane crash near Santa Cruz, even though it'll probably be irrelevant to the story.)

In any case, I feel good to be staying in touch with the writing community, at least online, if not in real life. It's nice to share ideas with fellow writers. After all, while ending Perfect Girl in London was my fleeting idea, fleshing out the specifics - sending Kirsten to BBC and Sarah to Virgin Atlantic - was from Gayle Brandeis, my instructor/mentor. In addition, the writer's community has proven to be, at a personal level, another wonderful group of people who have accepted me for who I am, in addition to embracing Sarah. And that's priceless.

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