The official blog of Jane Domagala

The Next Big Thing

A good writer friend of mine, Chris McMahon, has tagged me for the Next Big Thing blog chain. It has been my experience that the writing community is very supportive and friendly. The Next Big Thing blog is a fantastic way of spreading the word of other fabulous writes, as well as getting some insight into their latest project, by answering 10 questions. At the end, you'll see the links to other brilliant writers also participating. Please check them out.

Here are my answers to the Next Big Thing question:

1) What is the working title of your next book?

The title of my current book is The Scroll – Book one of The Gifts of Haythia.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea came from a dream. In the dream I was on the front lawn of a suburban house (green grass), when suddenly there was an explosion. I realised that an assassin had tried to kill someone inside the house. Furthermore, the assassin had a list of names of people who were to be killed – an assassin's list. When I woke up I thought about how I could put that idea into a fantasy setting.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Epic, adult fantasy.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

That's a hard question to answer. I don't tend to spend much time thinking about that. I did think at one time that Sam Worthington would be a good fit for my lead male, Katch. But I'd be just as happy with an unknown actor, as long as they were passionate about what they were doing.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Closer to death is he who bears the scroll of Haythia.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I'm not considering self publishing at this time.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

It took me about 7-8 months to do the first draft, which weighed in at around 140,000 words. Edits have since cut back many of those words.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I can't think of a specific book, but it's definitely a traditional fantasy in that there is magic, epic journeys and mighty battles.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

There was nothing specific that inspired me to write this book, other than my dream and my love of writing. I rarely go a day without doing some kind of writing activity, be it actual writing, editing, plotting or research. I just love it.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

I have a capacity to go a little dark and gruesome. The Scroll is no exception. If you're into beastly human like creatures (otherwise known as demons) trying to destroy humanity than this book is for you.

For more great authors,  please check out Nicky Strickland, Kathleen NoudDamon Cavalchini and Sharon Phillips.

ADULT CONTENT – Writing a Sex Scene Part 3

So we've decided whose having sex, we've set the mood and chosen a location. All that's left is the nitty gritty, blow by blow details of what goes on under the sheets. I should give a language warning: everything from this point on will be written in English. In other words, let no word be taboo. As writers, we have a responsibility to be honest, cheeky, bold, daring, challenging, and so much more. So when it comes to writing about sex, don't be afraid to go places we know exist.

Description: How Far Do You Go?
How in depth should your sexual description be? Do you give a blow by blow encounter? Do you use words such as breasts, penis, vagina, cocks, hard on, nipples, tongues? Are orgasms allowed? Should they be metaphoric?

To answer these questions, you have to first ask yourself: what audience am I writing for? Traditional fantasy tends to be less graphic, with short sex scenes. That's not to say you can't be creative, just keep it simple and clean. In adult fantasy, don't be afraid to use words such as penis and orgasm and breasts, but maybe use them sparingly. If you're looking to push some boundaries and lean towards the erotic, you descriptions can be more graphic.

The approach I take depends on the characters' investment with one another. The more connected they are (or become throughout the story) the more sensual the sex scene. For encounters that are less emotion, you may want to be rough, or jarring. Think about your characters. Think about how comfortable they are with sex and use their emotions to dictate how graphic your descriptions are. If they're uncomfortable using sexual language, then don't use it. And vice-versa. There are no set rules, so have fun with it.

Masturbation and other sexual taboos.
The last point I want to make relates to all the other sexual taboos we tend to avoid, for whatever reason. There are some that are touchy subjects; paedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia to name a few. If you feel there's a need for a taboo in your story, then I say use it. DO NOT use a taboo for the purpose of sensationalising your book. Like anything in writing, if you can't justify having it in the story, take it out.

In conclusion, by acknowledging unfettered sexual needs and desires within your character you make them far more realistic. People think about sex, there's no pretending otherwise. Where you take those sexual desires is up to you.
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