4/13 Writing status

My editor sent me back his edits for the second half of “Cruise Doubledate With My Sister”. He asked that I resend the whole thing after I incorporated his changes. I did. I don’t have an idea when he’ll get through the whole story.

I did a preview of the story on Literotica and it is a full nine pages. The headings at the start of each day came out correctly.

4/10 What’s next

* I’m working on Author’s Notes for “Cruise Doubledate With My Sister”. I’ll publish them on the blog when the story gets published
* Once I get Part II back from my editor, I’ll incorporate his changes then submit the story. Hopefully Monday. Then the story will hopefully get published Wednesday
* I’m writing two stories for the Summer Lovin’ contest. The first one will be “My Brother Is My Inspiration”. I’ve got over 18K words written and I’m probably half done. Sigh – another novella that will be tough to edit. The second one will be “My European Summer Vacation”. It’ll be a little different in that it is a half-brother/half-sister story though only the guy knows they are related. Those stories will probably take me through August

4/9 Writing Status

The second part “Cruise Doubledate With My Sister” has gone to my editor. Yeah!

I’ve been making changes to make Rebecca more likeable in the early part of the story. One of things that has come out of that is that she is now clearly an extravert while Thomas is an introvert. Normally not a problem but it causes a conflict at the cruise ship pool when she’s thrilled to be meeting all these new people and he’s bored crazy. In the story now, he benefits from her extravert ways by making lots of friends in Boston that he wouldn’t have made otherwise.

I’ve been trying to answer any Why’s as I think of them. Why did Caitlin pay for Jacob to go on the cruise if she’s so unhappy with him? Why does Thomas leave Rebecca after the first night of gambling? Why does Rebecca agree to go on the cruise? I think doing so provides two benefits: it cleans up plot holes that detract from the story and it fleshes out a character by showing what he/she was thinking when they made a decision that looks at first blush as less than rational.

Three other changes:
* When Thomas is alone in the cabin the first night, he decides that Jacob was Rebecca’s first lover. In an earlier draft, I had Thomas after Rebecca does the strip for him ask her if she had gone all the way with Jacob. My editor thought that was an ugly scene and suggested I drop it. I wanted to put back that Jacob had taken her virginity as that was one of the reasons she goes back to him and she’s not the type of person to make “first love” crystal clear
* As Thomas was going to sleep after Caitlin told him that they were going to go back to being a normal brother and sister, I had in cry in misery. Nobody likes a wimp. I made him sad but not miserable. Life would suck without Rebecca, but he was ready to make the best of it
* I had Rebecca twice thank Caitlin for being so hard on her. It was redundant. I replaced the first time with Caitlin asking Rebecca, “You think I’m a bitch, don’t you?”

4/7 Feedback from my editor

My editor has edited the first part of the story. I asked him to guess what will happen next. His comments:

OK, I’m done. That was so freakin’ hot! I can’t wait for the rest.

I guess Caitlin will recreate his sexual relationship with Rebecca but will spice it up considerably. Another encounter with Rebecca and Jacob is inevitable, though its difficult to guess how that will go. Perhaps Rebecca will sense how happy Thomas is without her and will try to steal him back again? She may come to realize that Jacob is an uncaring asshole, especially once they start fucking, and that she’ll have to move to Kansas to be with him. I’m sure Caitlin will be more than happy to move to Boston and better opportunities.

I sent him a rough version of the second part. He replied:

I read your blog today. I really liked the deleted scene of the strip tease. As I said, my take on Rebecca is that she’s little more than a frigid bitch. At the beginning she seems wonderful, but as soon as they get to their cabin she starts treating Thomas like shit and never lets up. They have absolutely no chemistry. The strip tease scene shows a lighter side to her and their relationship and introduces her as a girl worthy of a lead role in a porn story. Without it, she’s just a frigid bitch and you can’t really understand why Thomas is mooning over her. And you certainly can’t understand why he would ever, ever consider stopping fucking Caitlin to get back together with her.

The reason I’m going on about this is I did an alternative edit where I reintroduced that deleted scene. I have it both ways, so you can choose which way you want it, but I vote enthusiastically for the strip tease over the ugliness of avoiding discussing her sex life with Jacob.

Maybe I’ll change my mind after I finish part 2, but I’ll send what I have so far for your consideration.

Then later, I got the following comment from him:

I’m almost finished part 2. Of course, the ‘head hopping’ to Rebecca’s POV – her mea culpa – explains everything very well. Understanding her internal struggle, especially how tenuous God’ little miracle is, gives the reader a complete and sympathetic view of her. That is, as opposed to the harsh view of her going into it.

It’s a fantastic story, one of those ‘OMG this is the best story I’ve read on this site please keep writing how about a part 2 where Catlin (sic) turns up pregnant” stories. I still think leaving the reader thinking ill of Rebecca until halfway through a long story isn’t as good as making them hope they’ll see her again.

Again, I love love love this story. I’m really glad you let me be part of it, and I truly hope I’m more helpful to you than just picking out typos and inserting commas.

I replied back:

I was thinking last night that it would be easy to create a more sympathetic portrait of Rebecca – put back the strip tease scene and change the pool scene to put her in a better light. After that, it’s more that Jacob keeps cutting Thomas out than Rebecca fights with Thomas. Also, I was thinking of adding a paragraph where Thomas thinks about going back to the casino to suggest doing something else after he loses the $20, then decides what he really wants is for Rebecca to come to the cabin.

My main concern in the first part was to make the break up realistic. They go from being a happy couple to splitting in a very short time. Sounds like I went overboard on that part. Did the drifting apart and breaking up seem realistic?

I appreciate the advice and the cheering me on. It’s so hard to know how good a story is and what people like/dislike about it. It’s great having a fresh set of eyes look at it and tell me what I need to strengthen. I spent a lot of time on this story and I want it to be the very best it can be.

When you finish the second part, it will be obvious what people will want as a Chapter 2.