I’ve managed to cut through another four chapters this week. I know that’s not much, but I’ve been genuinely busy rather than procrastinating. I’m not finding it too difficult, but about a chapter in I stop just loosely editing and start tweaking tiny things, pulling threads that I don’t need to yet, and praying silently the whole thing doesn’t just unravel.
I am having slight trouble with the pacing, particularly in regards to the small little romance bit that goes on between bloody murders. Back in my teen days, I read an awful lot of trash literature where, from the moment you read the blurb, you knew X and Y were going to be madly in love by the end of 250 pages. They’d start off with some fleeting looks, casual flirting, a lingering hug and then one of them would get a little drunk or a little sad or a little brave and come out with a grand confession of undying affection. It always struck me as just plain weird. After all, in real life nobody keeps the perfect speech up their sleeve. Instead, we launch ourselves at each other, send a quick text or just kind of fall together. We are gangly, awkward ape things that just can’t quite figure out how to do anything better than slam and “I love you” together.
So what kind of pacing should romance have? Obviously in real life, it just happens. One moment you’re two separate individuals, the next you’re together. Personally, dating seems to become a thing of the past. When you ask someone out these days it’s either for a quickie or a committment and books seem much the same. Of course my shelf of trash is still full of long drawn out romances, but as soon as that couple dates they are “going to be together forever.” It’s absurd!
I’ve always been a realist when it comes to relationships, both fictional and otherwise. People get bored, they move on, things go wrong. I’ve formed the opinion that the most romantic kind of love, from the outside, appears to be unbearably awkward, but from the inside, it just feels safe. It doesn’t matter how it came to start, whether it was pufferfish kisses or texts filled with the words “nim nim nim,” it matters that no matter how much of a monkey you make out of yourself, the other person will just shrug, hug and then make “Oo-ah-ahs” right back at you.
So this is what I’ve been trying to do for Carson, who is even less of a romantic than me (most of the time I’m surprised he’s not yelling about contracting “cooties.”) As I read through, I keep trying to tweak the relationship between him and his love interest so that when the get together it will make more sense. I keep forgetting that golden rule; love does not make sense. Especially to a man who gets more excited over the morning news and cereal than going out for diner with a beautiful woman. I think it’s time I left the long-winded drum-rolls to those that know what it’s like to be so taken with a man’s beauty that they’re “unable to breathe.” I’m quite happy with my natural in and out of oxygen. Who’s with me?