Now that I’m finished with the novel, I’m still unsure where I stand on S&C. I think I might have written myself into a burnout and may not be able to view S&C with an objective eye. I had fun writing most of it, but fun doesn’t always equal good.
That was what I wrote after completing the first draft of Stone & Chains. Now that time has given me some perspective, I think S&C is quite a good novel. It’s fun and scrappy and sexy, everything urban fantasy should be. It has plenty of dark moments to satisfy my gothic heart, but Abby is a flickering light in that darkness, and I enjoy her sense of humor. She really does have an excellent attitude considering her line of work, and I haven’t had that much humor since Forces of Nature.
Also, I haven’t had such an easy edit since Forces of Nature either. Of course, that just makes me nervous, because Forces of Nature wasn’t accepted. However, the tone wasn’t the reason for the rejection, so I think I just need to reassure myself that S&C doesn’t have the problems that Forces of Nature had. Seriously, though, I breezed through the edits and cut much less than I expected to, a little less than 3,000 words, bringing it under the six-figure word count, but not by much.
Totally Bound editors have cured me of independent body parts and tense issues for the most part, so I get that right the first time now and don’t have to edit them out (although I’m sure there are a few still in there that I missed, because I’m only human). I do have a tendency to get wordy, but this story had less introspection and more action and dialogue, which I think was a consequence of the genre and the kind of woman Abby is as opposed to me growing as a person in my craft. :) In fact, the introspective parts where I had to cut the most were from my gargoyle Zekiel’s perspective, and he’s a brooder, so introspection comes naturally to him.
One thing I noticed as I was reading it, though, was how comparatively tame S&C was. I mean, all my stories have substantial plot (that’s what makes it erotica instead of porn, at least by my definition), but there were whole chapters in here that had nothing to do with sex. It was amazing, really! And while there were some aspects of BDSM, the usual Dom/sub dynamic never really came out of it, which was interesting – and it speaks to my characters being on a more equal footing in comparison to most of my other stories, since I’m usually fond of power imbalances (gasp, say it ain’t so). Then again, after writing Arcanium (now called Fortune), everything else seems tame.
All in all, I’m tentatively hopeful about Stone & Chains. I really do like it, and I think it would be a change from my usual fare. Although that’s what Forces of Nature was supposed to be too…
I’ve written my synopsis and my blurb and submitted it, so we’re in the crossing the fingers stage now. I’m contemplating whether to edit Bloodbound, because I’m on an editing streak and an “I want to be done with all the commitments” streak. But my patient, responsible side is telling me to wait a little while longer, since Bloodbound is more of a risk as a story (damn femmeslash gets me every time, good thing I like it), plus I need more time and distance to edit it properly. Maybe in May or June before continuing with the Arcanium series.