Author Topic: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)  (Read 39335 times)

Offline Jade

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1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« on: November 16, 2012, 05:38:36 AM »
Hi Guys and Girls.
I am doing the first draft of the final assignment for a creative writing course, but I'm stuck. It's SO wrong - and I know everything that is wrong with it (or I think I do), but I cannot seem to get it right. (I.e. it tells, it does not show, it lacks flow, it lacks pictures, senses.)

It's a scene - and I started it off with all the basic structures - synopsis, backstories (getting in the heads of the characters - getting to know them), setting, physical reactions to events, and the scene is even broken up into parts - so that I know where to use more action and less description (to get the pace right)... but the moment I sat down to get to the scene, I hit a brick wall. (Is it because of all the structure that I cannot get rid of this block?) I tried at first starting off with dialogue only, and then fleshing it out with action, and then some description - but this didn't work - various drafts ended up in the bin already. It feels like notes, not good reading...

Please help...

Scene
 Kathy blinks as the red digital letters of the clock-radio changes. It’s 2 a.m.  She never could understand how her husband, Lambert, could be so lost in sleep at this time. It is her favorite time of the day– when it’s quiet with no possible interruptions, no phone calls and no divided attention – but without being completely alone. Lambert’s steady breathing gives her a soothing reassurance.

Yesterday her nagging publisher has reminded her of her approaching deadline yet again. And not in the politest way either. It won’t be the first time she misses it. But it’s not easy pouring out seductive erotic scenes with glimmering goddesses and pure-bred studs with unlimited libido, scenes that will make the reader pant and yearn for more – not when your own garden has dried and withered in the scorching desert sun. Out of desperation, she’s been logging on to a seedy website for the last couple of weeks. Her fingers hover a few moments above the keyboard before she types the letters into the search-bar. Hookup4sex.com. Oh well, she sighs inwardly, trying to dismiss the familiar feeling of guilt that has stalked and nagged her recently. I need all the inspiration I can get.

Kathy feels a sudden glow from her neckline up when a message from Kenneth fills her screen. If she was honest with herself, she’d admit that Kenneth has become more than a subject, more than a mere experiment. But how could she? Just because he appears not only on her late-night virtual excursions, but more recently in her early morning-dreams, doesn’t mean her reason for talking to him is any different than it was when she met him, does it?  “Okay, let’s not get carried away,” she whispers as she clicks to open the message. “I just want to get inside your head, not inside your pants.”

I don’t make love or fulfill whimsical needs – I fuck and do carnal deeds.


So he thinks she’s whimsical? She’ll just have to prove him wrong, she grins. The sound of Lambert’s snoring is drowned when she rapidly types a reply.

Whimsical men have loved me passionately, and continued loving me even after years have passed. Carnal men can give me everything but love. She clicks the send-button.

Within seconds a reply flashes on her screen. A loud giggle escapes Kathy’s smiling lips. Oh my, this is pushing on boundaries… but she doesn’t mind. Boundaries has always had a suffocating effect on her.

 Lambert shifts in his sleep and throws his arm across her lap.

“Not now Lambert,” she whispers as she shrugs his arm to the side.

As if he never was asleep, Lambert sits up and turns the laptop-screen facing him.

Startled, Kathy frowns. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Lambert stares at the screen as if it is an unknown invention, years before it’s time. His lips turn pale as he grips the screen tighter.
“No Kathy, what are you doing?” He pokes his index-finger at the LCD-screen. “Cyber-sex? Porn? What kind of a website is? And what…or who is… this?” He spits out the last word.

“Jesus Lambert! I am just doing research. Just like I always do. You know that.” Kathy bangs her clenched fists on the mattress. She shrieks, “And you know that I hate to be interrupted!”

“You’re blushing and giggling like a schoolgirl.  Who is this… this man?”

Kathy yanks the laptop away from him. Without considering her choice of words, she snarls. “This man is someone that you’re not. He’s warm, opinionated and strong. If you weren’t so goddamned cold and distant, you’d realize that I need more…” She stops when she sees Lambert’s face turn pale.
“You? You need more? This isn’t about your book, is it?”

Is it?
Kathy gasps for air. It feels like she has been punched in the pit of her stomach.
Is it? Is that why Kenneth is having such an effect on me? He knows what he wants and he knows how to get it, too. And just look at Lambert! He looks like he’s about to start whimpering any moment. Oh, and why does she want to punch him on his back until he straightens his shoulders?
But she does not say a word.

With a ghastly expression on his face, Lambert bends over and buries his face in her lap. “Oh, Kathy, Please just stop doing this. Please. Let’s not fight. I’m sorry.”

Whimpering wimp. What was the word Kenneth used earlier? Whimsical.
Weak?
How am I supposed to react to this? I don’t want to hurt you. Or do I? Did I do turn you into this?

 
Kathy feels her temples throbbing and shuts her eyes as she tries to stop the sudden rush of thoughts, things she daren’t say, things she should not even think. Her own guilt.
“And if you gaze for too long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.”
No, not the voices!
Are my values corrupted? Does everything have to come at a price?
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." ~Mohandas Gandhi

Offline Jade

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 05:39:25 AM »
Synopsis
Kathy is an erotic fiction author – and with every book she writes she delves deeper into the unconventional than the previous. She is lying in bed using her laptop, next to her sleeping husband, Lambert. She is having an in-depth sexual discussion with Kenneth. He seems ‘strong’ and she is enthralled by him. Lambert wakes up and sees what the online conversation is about. He confronts her and accuses her of being unfaithful. Kathy, surprised by this, explains that she is doing research for her new novel. Lambert acts jealous and insecure (not a typical reaction for him) and becomes overly affectionate, and she sees him in a new light - ‘weak’. She feels guilty about her reaction. She remembers something she studied in philosophy and wonders if she has gone too far.
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." ~Mohandas Gandhi

Offline Jade

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 05:40:49 AM »
Back Stories
Kathy
Kathy is a 45 year old accomplished writer. Since she was 13 she wrote stories, but somehow seemed ashamed about it. She has always been strong-willed and outspoken, and gotten into a great deal of trouble for it growing up. She had her novels published under a pseudonym.
Growing up, Kathy always saw her mother as being naïve, gullible and weak, always doing whatever the current man in her life expected from her, even if it was against her grain. Kathy resented her for it and vowed to never to be like her.

There were three male influences in Kathy’s youth:
First, there was her biological father – who took off and disappeared when she was still a baby, and his absence - rather than his presence – made an impact in her life.  She does not know a lot about him, and the only tangible evidence of his existence is his handwritten bundle of poems her mom gave her on her 13th birthday (this is also the age she started writing).
There was Stepdad #1, who married her mom when she was a toddler. He was rude and abusive. Kathy hated him, and hated her mother for being with him, faffing over his every whimsical desire. Just like her biological father, he just packed up and left, when Kathy was about 10 years old. Although Kathy was relieved at his sudden departure, she imagined that it was her mother’s overly tentative nature towards the men in her life that drove them away – and resented her mother for ‘driving her father away’.
And there was Stepdad   #2, Jay, who married her mom when Kathy was 13. They are still married. He is a pastor with strict Calvinistic views. Although Kathy is fond of him, she knows that he will never approve of her writing.
Kathy studied philosophy, much to Jay’s dismay – as he believes most philosophers (and poets for that matter!), were ‘on the wrong track’. (Not surprisingly, her favorite philosopher was Nietzsche – with his critical musings on religion and morality.)
The combination of her fondness of Nietzsche combined with her love for the father-figure Jay, leads Kathy to analyze every feeling and decision, which leads to inner conflict, as she continuously hops between guilt and self-expression.

Lambert is Kathy’s high-school sweetheart and they got married when she finished varsity. Even though she loves him, and the calmness he brings her, she sometimes wonders if it hadn’t been for her strict and stifling teenage years, if she would have still married him back then. Then she wonders if she was raised by her own dad, (or the mental picture on a pedestal of him that she created in her own mind) what her life choices would have been.
While Kathy thinks of Lambert as her stabilizer, she often thinks of his tranquil nature as: If he was an ounce more placid, he’d be comatose. Even after 24 years of marriage she cannot help but be irritated by it at times. Heck – she was the one that had to ask him to marry her!

.

Lambert

Lambert is a timid salt-of-the-earth accountant. He had a stable, white-picket-fence upbringing, the middle-child, with both parents still alive and happily married. His parents are religious and still in Jay’s (Kathy’s stepdad) congregation. He has three brothers and a sister – all of whom are equally timid and contented with their lives.

Kathy was Lambert’s first girlfriend and the only woman he’s ever had an interest in. Her unconventional way, since high school, strangely attracted him to her, and he long ago accepted that it’s something that he has to bear with, even though he does not always agree.
In school, Lambert was nerdy and quiet – and happy being just that. He never imagined that the prettiest girl in school and church (that was how he saw Kathy), would be interested in him.

He has difficulty relating his emotions or even understanding his own emotions at times, hence he suppressed any ill-feelings regarding Kathy’s POV and allowed her to do as she pleased.
Lambert is not much of a reader, and has therefore never showed much interest in Kathy’s work. He knows however that it will be as unconventional as she is.  
Lambert is always in complete control of his emotions and has not lost his temper since he was a toddler. In a disagreement with Kathy, Lambert will avoid confrontation and pretend as if there are no issues.
Lambert is a-religious and a-political – and prefers to steer clear of any controversial subjects. He prefers to go fishing rather than get involved in discussions - or indulging in thoughts - of unsettling nature.

Lambert is balding and has developed a bulging pot-belly since he turned 40, but is not alarmed by it. He accepts ageing as natural and cannot understand his colleagues spending hours in the gym and huge amounts of money on hair re-growth stimulation products and techniques. He’d rather spend the time watching sport on TV, or playing poker with his buddies.  
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 05:52:33 AM by Jade »
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." ~Mohandas Gandhi

Offline Jade

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2012, 05:41:47 AM »
Setting
The red digital letters on the clock-radio on Kathy’s bedside table changes without her noticing. It is 2am. Light streams from the electrical lamp behind it. A dark red beaded chiffon scarf is draped over the shade of the lamp, to soften the intrusive effect of the fluorescent light. Lambert is lying curled up in a fetal-like position with his back turned towards her, clutching a pillow between his arms. The overweight cat, Ginger, lies coiled up above the blanket in the curl of Lambert’s legs.


Lambert’s soft rhythmical snoring is drowned by the rapid tapping noises as Kathy is typing away on her keyboard. It is not unusual for her to be busy on her laptop in bed at this time. It is her favorite time of the day– when it’s quiet with no possible interruptions, no phone calls and no divided attention – but without being completely alone. Lambert’s steady breathing gives her a soothing reassurance.


Big, puffy pillows are stacked behind Kathy’s back, but she’s not leaning against them. She sits cross-legged with her spine straight on the bed, like when she’s meditating. Kathy is wearing an old fishing T-shirt of Lambert, with a hooker-slogan on the chest (fishermen’s humour, or so she thought when she bought it – but Lambert immediately disliked it, proclaiming that not all men that likes to fish are crude). Her hair is tied in a ponytail.


Kathy opened the sliding door that leads from the bedroom to the balcony earlier when it started to rain. She has always adored the crisp smell of the first October rain on the thirsty soil. She left the pale linen curtains drawn closed, to allow it to gently dance in the fresh breath of wind. Now and again, a stronger gush of wind thrusts the curtains into mid-air, only to ebb again. But Kathy does not notice. The rain has since stopped, yet Kathy is not aware of her surroundings any more. She’s grinning widely at the gaping laptop’s screen while her fingers frantically darts across the keyboard positioned in front of her on the bed. Her mouth forms the words as she is typing them, but her voice does not bring them to life.


Then her facial expression changes suddenly as she raises her eyebrows in a mock-surprise and giggles loudly.   
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." ~Mohandas Gandhi

Offline Jade

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 05:43:25 AM »
Physical reactions to events
Part 1
Kathy is relaxed, resting back on her pillow-stack, and the mood is tranquil as she’s typing on her keyboard. As the discussion between her and her on-line friend, the domineering Kenneth, heats up, she sits up straight, removes the laptop from her lap, positions it on the bed in front of her, crosses her legs and directs all her focus and energy at the conversation. Her facial expression turns from unreadable to an excited grimace and slight surprise. She blushes. She’s excited to explore more – this conversation is definitely pushing on boundaries…

When she giggles out loud, Lambert turns around, facing her, and slumps his arm across her crossed leg. The cat sleepily climbs over Lambert’s legs and positions itself again in its favorite position.

Slightly irritated, Kathy shrugs his arm off her leg and pulls the laptop closer so that it touches her knees, still smiling. When she starts typing frantically and giggles again, Lambert opens his eyes. As his eyes focus on her screen, he sees the website-url, hookup4sex.com and he frowns. He blinks his eyes and reads it again. Then he props himself on his elbow, and turns the laptop screen in his direction.


Part 2
This takes Kathy by surprise and appalled she asks him what he’s doing.

Without thinking about it, (Lambert does not usually get involved in confrontations without considering all the options) Lambert returns the question to Kathy, still frowning.
Kathy explains loudly that she is doing research for her new novel. She bangs her clenched fists on the mattress and this prompts the cat to jump from the bed and disappear behind the curtains and out the sliding door.

Lambert is taken aback by this sudden outburst and he grabs Kathy’s arms. He puts his head on her lap and pleads with her to not ruin their marriage by ‘hooking up for casual sexual affairs, virtual or real’.


Part 3

Kathy is shocked by his reaction and does not know how to react, her hands lying limp next to her legs. She’s even more surprised by her own feelings about his reaction; her feelings of disgust at this sign of weakness, so strikingly different from her potent conversation with the valiant Kenneth.  Acknowledging the feeling of dismay, she starts to feel guilty.

Kathy is staring at her reflection in the mirror. As usual when Kathy is confronted with contradicting feelings, the ever-present male voice from her unconscious recites a quote from Nietzsche. “And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”
She wonders if her unconventional quest has not corrupted her capacity to care.
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." ~Mohandas Gandhi

Offline Jade

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 05:46:12 AM »
Dialogue Action and Description
The scene falls into 3 parts:
1. This part is relaxed – longer sentences, lots of description, little action and no dialogue.
2. This is where the tension builds, with Kathy’s irritation and hostility grows and peaks with her banging her clenched fists. No/very little description to be used in this part – mainly dialogue and action – snap, shorter sentences.
3. In this part the tension ebbs again, as Kathy’s introspection begins. Longer sentences than part 2, but yet not too much description, as the calmness hasn’t returned, but the anger has merely turned into another form of discomfort – guilt. Dialogue should remain – albeit internal dialogue. Action can also be used to highlight Kathy’s internal turmoil, but should not subtract from the seemingly calmer external atmosphere.
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." ~Mohandas Gandhi

Offline Victor

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 06:24:47 AM »
I don't usually poke around this board but here I am. Anyway, this is how I'd begin the scene:

---

Kathy blinks. The red letters on the clock radio changes to 2 a.m.  She could never understand how Lambert could be so lost in sleep at this time, when it’s quiet with no interruptions to sponge up their privacy. But Lambert’s steady breathing reassures her. She pulls the laptop over.

Yesterday her publisher had reminded her of the deadline again. And not in the politest way. She knows she’ll miss it, like always. It’s just not easy pouring out seductive scenes with glimmering goddesses and pure-bred studs with unlimited libido – not when your own garden has withered in the scorching desert sun.

Now, her fingers hover above the keyboard before she types in : Hookup4sex.com. Oh well, she sighs, trying to dismiss the familiar surge of guilt. I need all the inspiration I can get.

A message from Kenneth fills the screen, setting her aglow from up her neckline. Was Kenneth still a subject? A mere experiment? She doesn't know. But isn’t it true that, lately, he appears as much in her morning-dreams as on her late night excursions?

“Okay, let’s not get carried away,” she whispers as she clicks open the message. “I just want to get inside your head, not your pants.”

---

I just find it easier to show than to tell since there are so many subtle nuances at play here that elude words. I hope this helps. I don't write much prose  but I know what style of writing grabs me by the throat. Just keep the telling and flashbacks to the minimum, watch out for redundancy and circuitous expressions or phrases, and oh yes, begin each paragraph with a blast of action and then it's all fire.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 06:29:01 AM by Victor »
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. -ECCLESIASTES 1:17

hillwalker3000

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2012, 09:07:42 AM »
Hi Jade,

Here's what I picked up as I read through these:

Scene 1 - it's written in present tense which would normally add some immediacy to the scene - but all you give us is Kathy waking up next to her sleeping husband. Nothing to get 'immediate' about.
Instead of having her go onto the web site and having the reader wonder why, you give us back-story that's rather telling as you admit. Why not share her internalised thoughts (the dried garden metaphor for instance) as she trawls the net? The paragraph about missing her deadlines is a needless detour which throws your plot off track in my opinion.

Similarly her reflections on where Kenneth fits into her life - don't ramble on about how honest she has been with herself. SHOW us how she thinks about him at the exact moment she sees his message.

“I just want to get inside your head, not inside your pants.” is a great line but it's buried under flannel.

I also think having Lambert lying so close is a little weird - Does he know what Kathy's up to? Would she like him to? Might she not be feeling guilty and be doing this in the kitchen or somewhere more private?
Having him wake up almost on cue to discover her guilty secret seemed contrived. The potential for any conflict is over even before it's signalled.

The dialogue that follows isn't so bad, but again you pull us back to Kathy's internalised world rather abruptly. Lambert behaves in such an unrealistic way - he's a prop rather than a real character interacting with your MC.

Synopsis - an in-depth sexual discussion? I must have missed that - it seemed more like harmless flirting taken perhaps a step beyond what might be considered appropriate by some. And Lambert doesn't actually do anything much except cave in.

Back Stories - These are more like character sketches. Useful for planning the plot of your novel if that's the way you work. The danger is, if you already know so much about your characters you're less likely to reveal things bit by bit as the plot unfolds. You'll either dump chunks of back-story here and there (deciding what the reader needs to be told) or not bother fleshing out at all because you already know your characters inside out. Personally when I start writing about someone I begin with little if any of this stuff - I get to know my character as the story develops. That way what I let slip seems less artificial, and there's more chance my characters will surprise me. If I surprise myself there's a better chance I'll also surprise the reader.
Presumably this is something you have to do for your CW assignment so it's no use me trying to dissuade you any further. They were well-written and well-observed - dare I say more interesting than the opening scene?

Setting : Similarly, this seemed more natural than the actual story itself. Perhaps that's the problem - having done all this research you don't have the stomach to spread it thinly over the story itself.
The same goes for Physical Reaction and Dialogue Action/Description - analysing and clinically dissecting everything this way seems to have had a negative effect on your story-telling. Which came first? The story itself or this scaffolding?
On the basis of what we have here I'd guess the latter. Excuse the pun, but by the time you got round to writing the story it seemed as if you became jaded with the whole exercise.

Victor gives good advice.

Good luck.

H3K

Offline Jade

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 09:23:06 AM »
Hi Victor - thanks for the advise. You're spot on. It reads easier.

HW3 - exactly! I did the 'research part' before the actual scene - this is the way the course is set out. And now I am having difficulty knowing what has to go where doing the actual scene - it's like a big jigsaw puzzle - but the edges don't fit.
Obviously the reader will only see the scene and not the background - so I am afraid I might miss something crucial (forget to show/tell the reader, assuming they know already - or worse, not leaving anything to the reader's imagination - and then it becomes all telly)

Somewhere I need to find a balance. (Is it normal resenting your own characters? :) )

Jade
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." ~Mohandas Gandhi

hillwalker3000

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 12:11:37 PM »
You can resent some of the things they do - but you created them so there's no one else to blame but yourself.  :D

As for creating the scene - 90% of the research can be dispensed with now. The story is almost intact so it's time to pull down the scaffolding. You're under no obligation when telling their story to include everything you know about the characters in the plot. In some ways this can be liberating - trust Kathy to tell her own story in her own way. Just make sure you're still taking notes.

H3K

Offline Jade

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2012, 07:14:50 AM »
 :) Thought so... (about the resentment)

Anway - I have reworked somewhat... and now only have two obstacles (in caps) plus I need 350 more words.

“I don’t make love or fulfill whimsical needs – I fuck and do carnal deeds.”

Kathy blinked at the message on her screen. The screen glowed eerily in the darkness of her bedroom. Her fingers hovered over the keyboard. Should she reply? Should she not?

Oh well…, she sighed as she tried to dismiss the increasingly familiar surge of guilt. I need all the inspiration I can get.

Yesterday her publisher had reminded her of the deadline again. And not in the politest way. She’ll miss it, like always. She just couldn’t gush out seductive scenes with glimmering goddesses and pure-bred studs with unlimited libido any more – the sluicegate was rusted and the dam was drained. Sex between her and Lambert was as shriveled as the dried leaves of last year’s seedlings in the garden. After the stillborn birth of their only child 9 years ago, she battled to keep her withering desires intact. And Lambert followed suit.

NEED FLOW HERE TO CONNECT ABOVE TO BELOW

Was Kenneth still a subject? A mere experiment? She didn't know. What she did know, was that lately he was appearing as much in her morning-dreams as on her late night excursions…

“Okay, let’s not get carried away,” she whispered as she looked at the message on her screen again, “I just want to get inside your head, not your pants.”

“I don’t make love or fulfill whimsical needs – I fuck and do carnal deeds.”


So he thinks she’s whimsical? She’ll just have to prove him wrong, she grinned and pulled the laptop closer. The red letters on the clock radio changed to 2 a.m.  

The sound of Lambert’s snoring was drowned as she rapidly typed a reply. She could never understand how Lambert could be so lost in sleep at this time, when it was quiet with no interruptions to sponge up one’s privacy. Still, Lambert’s steady breathing reassured her.
Whimsical men have loved me passionately, and continued loving me even after years have passed. Carnal men can give me everything but love. She clicked the send-button.

Within seconds a reply flashed on her screen, setting her aglow from the neckline up:

INSERT KENNETH’s PUNCHLINE HERE

 Lambert shifted in his sleep and threw his arm across her lap. “Not now, Lambert,” she whispered as she shrugged his arm to the side.

Without warning, he suddenly sat up. Shit. She tried to switch the screen over, but Lambert was too fast for her.
He turned the laptop-screen to face him.

Her pulse pounded in her throat. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Lambert stared at the screen as if it is an unknown invention, years before its time. He clenched the screen with white knuckles.
“No Kathy, what are you doing?” He poked his finger at the LCD-screen. “Cyber-sex? Porn? What kind of a website is? Hookup4sex.com. And what…or who is… this?” He spat out the last word.

Kathy banged her clenched fists on the mattress. “Jesus Lambert! I am just doing research. Just like I always do. You know that.” Her mouth went dry. “And you know that I hate to be interrupted!”

“You’re blushing and giggling like a schoolgirl.  Who is this… this man?”

Kathy yanked the laptop away from him. Without considering her choice of words, she snarled. “This man is someone that you’re not. He’s warm, opinionated and strong. If you weren’t so goddamned cold and distant, you’d realize that I need more…”  Kathy stopped as abruptly as she started. The expression on Lambert’s face reminded her of a bewildered animal in a cage. His nostrils were flaring. A vein bulged on his forehead. The image of a warm bottle of champagne popping flashed before her eyes.

Through clenched teeth he stammered, “You? You need more? This. Wasn’t. About. Your. Book. Was it?”

Was it? It felt like someone punched her in the pit of her stomach.

Well, was it? Was that why Kenneth was having such an effect on her? He knew what he wanted and how to get it. Lambert on the other hand looked like he was about to start whimpering any moment. She wanted to punch him on his back. Hard. Until he straightened his shoulders.
 
But she did not say a word.

Lambert bent over and buried his face in her lap.“Oh, Kathy, Please just stop doing this. Please. Let’s not fight. I’m sorry.”

Whimpering wimp. What was the word Kenneth used earlier? Whimsical.
Weak?


How was she supposed to react to this? Did she make him weak?

Kathy’s temples started to throb. She instinctively shut her eyes as she tried to stop the relentless rush of thoughts; things she daren’t say, things she should not even think. Only, the voices continued to scold her, thrash her like the repetitive beatings of a whip, leaving her bruised and covered in welts.

She opened her eyes. In the moonlight her reflection in the mirror gawked at her, eyes wide, numb, defeated.

“And if you gaze for too long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.”
« Last Edit: November 17, 2012, 07:28:10 AM by Jade »
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." ~Mohandas Gandhi

hillwalker3000

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2012, 07:43:31 AM »
Oh well…, she sighed as she tried to dismiss the increasingly familiar surge of guilt. I need all the inspiration I can get.
I think you need a smoother transition here too - something along the lines of:
At least if her fingers were busy typing she was multi-tasking - exploring feelings she was perhaps afraid to get too close to and researching for her latest project at the same time... which was rapidly running out.
Yesterday her publisher had reminded her of the deadline again. etc.


After the stillborn birth of their only child 9 years ago, she battled to keep her withering desires intact. And Lambert followed suit.
NEED FLOW HERE TO CONNECT ABOVE TO BELOW

How do we know Lambert followed suit? What does he do to show his loss of libido? Does Kathy even know what he feels about their love life? Perhaps have her reflecting on this then comparing Lambert with Kenneth.
Was Kenneth still a subject? A mere experiment? She didn't know. What she did know, was that lately he was appearing as much in her morning-dreams as on her late night excursions…

Within seconds a reply flashed on her screen, setting her aglow from the neckline up:
INSERT KENNETH’s PUNCHLINE HERE

Do you have a punchline in mind or are you fishing?
Are you looking for love or is lust what you need? I can do lust - satisfaction guaranteed' ??

I still think Kenneth caves in much too quickly... but if that's how he's wired up so be it. Hope this helps.

H3K

Offline Jade

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2012, 07:59:44 AM »
Thanks. Wow. You make it sound easy.

Quote
Are you looking for love or is lust what you need? I can do lust - satisfaction guaranteed' ??

Kathy has love. She knows that Lambert loves her, but she's not sure about the lust part (I thought that she knew that his libido has died too, but now your intuition proves me wrong, she has to wonder about it  THANKS -  :) gosh, it seems that you know her better than me) - and this is why she's battling with the sex-scenes she has to submit.

So, I'm looking for a lusty-punchline... one that entices her - and makes her wonder if in fact her own libido (nothing to do with love) is really dead - or have just hibernated. After-all - she's on a seedy website, trying to conjure up some inspiration (for the novel - not for herself), but she ends up with realizations about herself.

I would not expect a love-punchline on a website like that... (but I'm too much of a wimp to do the research on such a site) :) Kathy's last thought - the Nietsche-quote has scared me... (it's as if she's pulling the strings - not me... weird)

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." ~Mohandas Gandhi

hillwalker3000

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Re: 1st Draft - Final assignment (Swearing)
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2012, 09:41:37 AM »
That's how it should be. If your characters are believeable they will decide for themselves exactly what they think and how they behave. It's your job as writer to take notes.

H3K