Here we are, a day late!
This one is going to be a tad short—partially because I just finished NaNoWriMo and am therefore exhausted; and partially because I feel like a lot of the themes in Chapter 11: Human speak for themselves.
So, here we go, into the craft side of things:
There are two things I’m putting to work in the 11th chapter of Author X Audience. First: consent is sexy. I like getting to say yes to things, not having to say no every five seconds or after something has hurt me enough that I’m sure I don’t like it. Second: sex scenes in media need to be about more than just sex.
That second one is a lesson I learned very early on in my writing career when I was a college student writing bad fanfiction. Sex can be really boring on the page if it’s just a reenactment of things you personally think are sexy. You have to take your characters, their feelings, and their struggles into account when writing moments like this, or they don’t feel genuine and they drag.
For Alexis and Terry, I’m putting Alexis’s struggles with her father, with men, and with being respected (both as a woman and as a queer woman) between them.
Alexis doesn’t feel like anyone is listening to her and like the world is just continuing to take things away from her. Her anxiety is trying to keep her from losing more things, and so in this moment, we see her trying to both self-sabotage and destroy an obstacle. She needs to write. Terry is distracting her. Therefore, he’s a problem. He’s also a man, and now he’s getting close to the ugly parts of her. Even though he’s accepted everything about her so far, these are the parts of Alexis that people she loved and trusted have rejected and made her feel monstrous for before.
These are some pretty big hurdles to have come between my main romantic pair. It keeps the scene fresh (because there’s a ton of tension) and it keeps the actions Alexis and Terry take—such as Alexis directing the course of their encounter and Terry using his belt to catch her but still comply with her request not to touch her—both personal and relevant.
Aside from that, this chapter is very emotional and raw for Alexis.
There are a lot of big feelings here. It has always given me catharsis to be able to start with anger and despair and come out the other side with hope.
I hope this chapter reached down deep inside you and made you feel as seen and heard as writing it made me feel. I’ve read this chapter a lot over the course of editing it, and I still never get through it without having some feelings.
Thank you for coming this far on Alexis’s journey with me. Look forward to the next chapter on the 15th!