Putting the E Back Into S*x

Okay, so, I’ve got over my rejection. Actually I’m well over it. Much more so than the previous one. Odd considering how much time and effort I put into this story. And maybe that’s part of it. I’ve learned SO much just in the writing of it that I didn’t feel any of that effort was wasted. Certainly if I hadn’t put my all into getting that submission right, I would not have been able to write IT Girl.

Bottom line though is that I didn’t get it right. And I know why. To be honest, I suspected that I might not have pulled it off about a month after I’d sent it. Such a horrible feeling. But I really hoped I’d be given the opportunity to correct it…Sadly not. Oh well. I still think the story holds up and I do plan to rewrite it at some stage. You will not have seen the last of it!

Anyway, at least I now know the problem with one night stand stories. How to get that balance between sex and emotion. The partial was rejected because there was no emotional connection between the two characters, which made their romance unbelievable. This approach is okay for something like Blaze, but not so for MH (or any of the M&B lines probably). There HAS to be an emotional connection between the characters first. My thought was ‘but if these two felt an emotional connection, they’d run a mile. And they weren’t looking for one anyway’.
That is true. But here’s the thing – only the reader needs to get a hint of it. The characters themselves don’t need to know. Subconsciously they might feel ‘something’ is different about this person they’ve met, something that is totally unlike anything they’ve ever experienced but do you think they will admit it to themselves? No way. They’ll explain away the feeling by saying to themselves ‘it’s just physical’ or ‘it’s just that he’s unbelievably arrogant’ or that ‘I don’t like people who don’t do what I want’ or some other excuse to explain this weird intensity.
But the reader – who likes to know things the characters don’t – will be going ‘aha!’
And there you have that vital emotion. And that’s what was missing from my partial.

Interestingly, none of the other mss I’ve got suffer from that so at least I don’t have to go back and rewrite all of them!

Actually, now I think about it, that’s why this R doesn’t suck too badly. Because I know what the problem was and I can see it what I wrote. Which means I can fix it for next time.

And speaking of next time, yes, I have my next sub ready to go. Will get the eds thoughts on the premise first and if she’s interested, it’s gone!

Onwards and upwards, my friends. Gotta keep climbing that mountain. πŸ™‚

37 thoughts on “Putting the E Back Into S*x”

  1. Great post, Jackie!!

    You’re right on! It’s a matter of there being something…different. Some sort of connection for the reader to latch onto. The characters can deny, deny deny!! As long as we know the truth. πŸ™‚

  2. Maisey – thanks lovie. Denial is the best weapon in your arsenal as a writer I reckon. I kept thinking that if the reader knows then the characters HAVE to know too because it they didn’t, that meant they were silly. But I had forgotten that people are VERY good at denying things to themselves. Yay for lightbulbs!

  3. She’s caught my tweetfeed on my site! But Lacey, you should tweet Everything you say makes me smile! I can only imagine how much I would enjoy reading your writing!

  4. Maisey – aha! Cheeky Lacey! Yeah, she should be tweeting – hear that girl? And also entering the NV comp too I think. πŸ˜‰

    Margie – thank you so much! Pressure is on for chapter 2, I can tell you. I may not get picked to be a finalist but I’ll be writing that story and subbing it anyway!

  5. I love your go get ’em attitude, Jackie! Yay, for insight – if it wasn’t for that we’d never grow and learn as writers. Best of luck with your next sub πŸ™‚

  6. Angie – yeah, insight is good. I wish I’d had it BEFORE I subbed this though! Ah well, sometimes you have to make mistakes in order to learn. All part of life’s rich tapestry (har har). πŸ™‚

  7. Great post! I love your attitude Jackie. Go get ’em!

    Funny…you’ve got me worried about my NV entry now because…drum roll…it’s a one night stand story! Yikes. Hope I pulled it off. But since it’s for the warm and cozy category, I didn’t focus on the one night stand sex at all. But I will focus on the sexual tension when they get to know each other instead. Not sure how the editors will feel about it, but not much I can do about that now.


  8. Maisey and Jackie will make Lacey blush.

    I’m still pretending to enter NV, I might make it yet, but Maisey says you don’t have to enter competitions to get published. Yep, that’s what Maisey says.

    There are some scarily good entries out there though, like this one called Talking Dirty with the CEO… ;).

    How’d that second chapter go again?

  9. Marcy – I read your lovely chapter and – my opinion only okay? – I don’t think you need to worry. With my two the focus was entirely on sex and did not relate at all to their conflict. With yours, your heroine’s conflict comes into play immediately – she doesn’t want anyone to take care of her. And also, she’s not at the wedding for the sole purpose of having a one night stand. So don’t worry, you’re sweet! πŸ™‚

    Lacey – you saucy thing, you! I want to read some of your writing, don’t think you can’t get out of it hmmm? But I’ll take that flattery thank you very much – gotta get it while the going’s good. πŸ˜‰

    Maisey – and I’m glad you are now inegligible for contests. Gives the rest of us a chance. πŸ™‚

    Lacey – I think you’re hiding your light under a bushel. Come on now, don’t be shy.

  10. Interesting as always. I’m writing a ONS story at the moment so your words are good timing for me.

    Go you on the sub, and the brilliant NV entry!!

  11. Bec – thanks so much, m’dear. I don’t reckon you’ll have any problem with the emotion. If you’ve got that conflict happening right away, you’ll be fine. πŸ™‚

    Janette – I know NOW. Sigh. I wish I’d have known then. Anyway, thanks lovie re IT Girl. I’ve got plan for her regardless of how well I do in the comp. Hehe. :-0

  12. I think the going’s just going to get better for you, you wait till the first round of judging is through!

    I promise I’m really trying to get my entry finished on time but just for you okay? πŸ˜‰ Besides it’s a very nice bushel.

  13. Lacey – there are no guarantees. Some very talented people have put in some great chapters. Mine has lots of votes, true, but it’s been up there a long time! (I’m trying to make myself feel better if I don’t get picked okay? Totally transparent, I know. :-))
    Yay! I appreciate your sacrifice, you know it!

  14. WTG on that attitude, Jackie! I sincerely hope you crack it. But one thing – please don’t forget that much of what is needed for particular lines or publishers is entirely to do with what’s fashionable. I’ve spent some days now reading through my mother’s old diaries and correspondence, and it seems that romance – and fiction in general – is all about fashion. So don’t ever feel, having got an R over something like this, which is really to do with what market researchers have decided is what people want to read, that your writing is somehow at fault. Characters like that do exist out there; it’s just not fashionable to write about them for the M and MH lines.

    From what you’ve said here, it sounds like you did nothing wrong on the writing side. You just need to make sure your stories are pitched more accurately at the line in future.

    Or maybe you should be writing for Blaze!

  15. Looking Good Jackie,
    you’re right, there’s lots of good writing out there, but there’s something about ‘standing out’…

    Surely it has to put a smile on your face… Love the dialogue.


  16. Jackie: You are absolutely right. To hell with your characters – they don’t need to know. I think it’s those characters who are so “aloof”, “loners”, “I don’t need love” people, that actually need it the most. But, they don’t have to know that or admit it. Tell us some other way, make us see that they are craving it deep down inside and that’s why they are perfect for on another! πŸ™‚

  17. Jane – thanks for that. Yeah, fashion gets into everything doesn’t it? Blaze is certainly an option. Need to finish various WIPs first I think.

    Veronica – yes, I am smiling very much! That pesky R is getting blunter by the day. πŸ™‚

    Wendy – you’re spot on! I always make my characters too aware. Need to dumb them down a bit!

    Suzanne – cheers! Want to sub soon that’s for sure!

  18. Lacey – LOL! What you’re hearing is the sound of the VoD trying to crush my poor OTTO. That poor OTTO is too scared to be positive now. The latest rejection hasn’t helped it. Especially as it was sure when that partial went away that it would result in an instant sale. πŸ™‚ But will try to dislodge the VoD. Promise.

  19. We need to drop an anvil on the VoD. Where do you get an anvil these days?

    Maybe ebay?

    I’ll have to look now I can’t help myself.

    Anyway… the point was that there’s only ten days of waiting until the judging phase is over and until then only disgustingly happy thoughts are allowed. Think of yourself as Maria from the Sound of Music, I’m talking running around the hills, skipping with children and singing songs happy.

  20. I love lightbulb moments, Jackie and I’m so glad you’re over the sucky R! Yayy on climbing that mountain and we’ll be cheering from base camp when you reach the summit!

    PS – word verification >> unter
    Is this blogspeak for enter? LOL

  21. Lacey – keep us posted on the anvil. Wouldn’t mind getting a pricing on that one. Eeek, don’t know if I can get THAT happy! Shall give it a good go. Got the children part sorted at least. πŸ™‚

    Maya – or German for under. Weird. πŸ™‚ Anyway, thanks for the cheering! You’ll be up at the summit too I would imagine – certainly by the time I get there. πŸ™‚

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