Last #wipwednesday I gave you all the lowdown on the projects that I’m working on right now. One of them, A Place Sweet and Dark has leapt into the foreground more than the others and I want to talk about it today. I guess it can be classified as a erotic suspense or an erotic thriller and I want to blog about it today because it uses a plot device that I’ve used before with some success in The Undoing of Langston Black.
In UofLB the story was told in past and present tense which alternated from chapter to chapter. I also began and ended the story with the same sentence, like this:
Opening lines–“When Langston thinks of it now, it is hard for him to separate the truth from the lies. All he sees is her. He feels her go limp and soft under his hand. He sees her pretty eyes close slowly. He feels her give in.”
Closing lines–“All the events of the day condense into this one moment of bliss. Sonrisa in his arms. Sonrisa’s lips against his. He feels her go soft and limp under his hand. He sees her pretty eyes close slowly. He feels her give in.”
(Sorry for the spoiler if you haven’t read it yet but really, why haven’t you read it yet? It’s a small spoiler. I don’t think it takes away from your reading pleasure. You can read the first couple of chapters here)
I knew that I wanted to use this plot device when I began writing the story. This was also during the time when I was approaching most of my stories like they were creative writing assignments. It sounds silly but, I it got me out of my comfort zone and made me think outside of the box. When I added in the additional device of what was happening to him in the present alternating with how he arrived at this point it all seemed to shape up very quickly and I was quite proud of the outcome. It has also been well received as UofLB sells the best of all my titles. When I started writing A Place Sweet and Dark it kinda fell out of my head in the same way. As I read over what I’ve written, it makes me wonder if this is one of those things that irritate readers–a plot device to create false suspense or something like that. It wasn’t well received by editors when I sent it out but, that make have been a case of genre distinction. What are your opinions?
Oh and…here’s a quick taste of a place sweet and dark:
The florescent bulb in the over head light needed to be changed. It buzzed and flickered casting Elodie’s bruised face into eerie green shadows that made dark hollows of her eyes and her cheeks sunken and ghoulish. Wide overbright eyes stared back at her in the two way mirror opposite the metal table where she was cuffed. She barely recognized herself and it wasn’t the busted lip, the swollen eye or even the blood drying in dark, crimson splatters on her neck and shirt that distorted her view. Something was different. Something elemental. She’d felt the shift the moment she pulled the trigger.
The only door in the room opened abruptly with a loud screech that startled her. A female detective strode in carrying two Styrofoam cups of what smelled like coffee. Elodie assessed the other woman as she set down the cups and a file that she knew was her police record. She decided the detective was pretty if not a little butch. Her hair was too short and her clothes seemed purposefully shapeless and bland but, the detective had a pretty face and what looked like a good figure.
The detective looked at her and smiled. “Hi, Elodie. I’m Detective Godmen,” the detective said as she sat down.
Yeah, she was more than pretty. Elodie wondered why she tried to hide it.
“How’re you holding up?”
“All right, I guess. I’ll feel better when you give me that cup of coffee and one of those cigarettes in your breast pocket.”
Detective Godmen slid the cup across the table to Elodie and reached into her breast pocket. “These are my last two,” she said as she shook one out of the crumpled red and white soft pack and handed Elodie one. “I promised myself I would quit when I finished it.”
Elodie took the proffered cigarette and leaned forward so the detective could light it. “Well, I guess I’m doing you a favor then,” she said after taking a nice long drag.
“Or you could be robbing me of my last sweet fix.”
She shrugged. “You could always quit tomorrow.”
“Yes,” Detective Godmen said with a small smile. “There’s always tomorrow.”
With that, the pretty detective shifted gears. She sat back in her seat and opened the file that she brought in with her. “Elodie Devreaux. Age 19. You were a ward of the state from the age of seven until you aged out of foster care last year. Couple of shoplifting charges and one assault on your record and now this…” The detective folded her hands on top of the file and leaned forward on her elbows. “You’re a beautiful girl. You seem smart. Can you tell me how you got mixed up in all of this?”
“I’ll tell you anything you want to know, Det. Godmen. I swear it. Ask me anything and I’ll try my best to give you an answer but, before we get started, can I just tell me one thing?”
“Go ahead and ask but I won’t make any promises.”
Elodie looked away from the detective’s steady gaze. She swallowed around the lump growing in her throat. The last thing she wanted to do was cry even though she knew it might help her case. “Det. Godmen?”
“Is he really dead?”
(If you read UofLB you may have noticed that this is the same Detective that questioned him. I’ve had an idea in mind for a romantic/erotic suspense series featuring her but, she refuses to let me get to know her! Hopefully, one day she will let me develop her as a character. 🙂