Friday, March 10, 2006

Did Owein have an orgasm?

Hey all, I'm just thrilled to be invited to contribute this snobby, literary-minded, upper class blog! But I mean, really - penises being bitten by fish, phallic rhubarbs, oral sex - how's a nice girl like me supposed to keep up with all that?

So I had to think long and hard (about 30 seconds) about the subject of my first post.

This is what I decided: In keeping with the august literary tone of this blog, I figure there are a lot of people out there who would just love to listen in on the high-brow literary discussions that go on between an author and her editor.

So here you have it, a real, honest to goodness recap of last week's phone conversation between me and my editor at Dorchester.

Setting: my day job

Time: just after lunch

Picture this: The phone rings. It's my editor calling from Dorchester. I immediately ditch the day job to talk to her. She wants to discuss edits for The Grail King, my August Love Spell book.

Luckily, I have the final manuscript saved on my work computer.

"Okay," she says, "page 177. What I need to know is, did Owein have an orgasm?"

"Um," I say, looking around wildly. There are a couple people - of the male persuasion - on the other side of the room.

"Because," she says, "it's clear that Clara had an orgasm, but I'm not sure if Owein had his."

"I bet you don't even blush when you say things like that," I say, blushing.

"No, pretty much at this point I've gotten over all that."

Since editors are busy people with no time for trivial things like false modesty, she forges right ahead.

"Since Owein is really vulnerable to Clara's psychic power just at the point when he reaches his orgasm, I think it's important to make sure the reader knows that it happened for him right here, before you go into the flashback."

"Um," I say again. "Okay." I eye the guys on the other side of the room. "Let me think about that and get back to you."

"All right, good. Now, on page 295..."

So I go home and print out the orgasm passage. I don't know about other writers, but I really like to see the words on an actual sheet of paper rather than on the computer screen.

It's a nice scene, I think. Owein has been trying to shield himself from Clara's psychic ability to see inside his mind. He's got some nasty stuff in his past that he just doesn't want to face. At the same time, Owein hasn't had sex in two years, so he's REALLY hot for some action.

Unfortunately, when Owein has an orgasm, he can't keep Clara out of his mind.

I realize my editor is right (of course) - I have to make it clear that Clara has made Owein lose control of both his body and his mind. After all, that's a romance heroine's job, right?

Here's the original passage:

Her passion broke. His fingers moved on her, sharpening her pleasure. A sob tore from her throat. Her body convulsed as she gasped his name.

The sound echoed in his soul.

Here's what I add:

It caught him and pulled him with her. Sensations expanded, until he could no longer keep them within. His pleasure broke, shattering what was left of his emotions. The door to his heart splintered.

Next line:

And suddenly, he felt her there, inside.

I was pretty happy with that. I sent it on to her the other day. Hope she likes it!

Blog with you later,



Brenda said...

Alas, but I must agree with the editor--(hopefully he or she will read this and remember my support and also my name and my book's title: JAGO'S PATH--that the first passage was unclear. Instead of saying "passion broke" for both of them, you could have him grit from between clenched teeth, "out,damned orgasm!" hehehe

Rowena Cherry said...

I really enjoyed your post, and your title. What a cool, creative, witty idea to transcribe an interesting phone conversation!

I think we have the same editor. That was so her!

Apart from saying Welcome, my only marginally useful thought is to agree with Brenda that I also noticed the double use of "broke" and focused on wondering whether the author did that deliberately, rather than enjoying the orgasm (or not, since I gather Owein wasn't too pleased about having his.)

Joy Nash said...

Was the double "broke" intentional? I have no idea!! After all, I'm just the author :-)

Note to self: double check this passage when the galleys arrive...


Brenda said...

Hah! Those darned galleys!
You'd think they'd figure out what you MEANT to say on their own by now. Jeez Louise.