Saturday, January 16, 2010

Point of view

I've been very interested to read comments on the Jasmine-Jade site and others about 'Doing the Right Thing'. There seems to be a divide between readers who liked it a lot and others who disliked the fact that much of the book focused on Will - who doesn't end up with the girl.

When I first wrote this story, Will ended up with Addie. After cries of horror from friends and my reconsideration of the story, I changed it because - frankly - he didn't deserve her. She is inexperienced and whether he means to or not, he takes advantage of that. He lets her down at times when she needs his support and it's his brother Ed who is always there for her.

Contrary to some readers' perceptions - Addie does NOT shag Will all the way through the book. They don't have sex at all until Chapter 12. After that they make love on only two more occasions. More than once on those occasions but still. I DO spend the book concentrating on Will and Addie's relationship because that is the primary one. I hope I show that it isn't always right or easy to 'do the right thing' - for many of the characters. It's not just Will who tries to do the right thing and messes up, Addie makes mistakes too.

I could have added more words to flesh out the ending - some find it abrupt - but this book is already VERY long. I thought about enhancing the sex scene between Addie and Ed but in the end I left it sweet rather than a shagathon. She isn't a slut and it was difficult enough to show her having sex with brothers without pushing too far.

I could have trimmed elsewhere to give me more time for Ed and Addie but I didn't want to lose any of the scenes I'd written. Maybe I should have done. It's true that there is a bit of an imbalance in the story. I could have added more about Ed but I also didn't want to give the ending away - who will she end up with - is a question I wanted readers to ask. Along with - Does Will deserve her? Would you forgive him???

I think a perhaps another relevant fact is that this story was written as NON-erotic and I enhanced the sex scenes later. Maybe that shows.

Another relevant fact is that this book, above all I've written shows the divide between UK romances and those set in the US and written by Americans. I think the US books follow the 'rules' more carefully. For instance - infidelity as a theme is something often explored in UK romances, women who sleep with a lot of men CAN be heroines of UK romances, secondary characters play larger roles, there is often more plot - I don't mean ANY criticism of US romances - I love them - I'm just saying that there are differences and Doing the Right Thing is very British.

In any case, this is not a typical romance, especially not a typical erotic romance. I took a risk using two brothers as the heroes - both in love with the same woman. Inevitable that one will end up disappointed. I wanted to show how easy it is to be in love and yet still get things wrong no matter how hard you try to do the right thing. I hope I succeeded in that.

I'm sorry that I disappointed some of those who read my stories. I'm glad I delighted others.
Will's story follows in a couple of weeks - Finding the Right One. More conventional!! I won't be going down the triangle route again I don't think. Not unless they both end up with the girl.

Doing the Right Thing was quite a challenge. I suppose I backed away from the largest challenge in the end - that would have been to have rehabilitated Will, so that he DID reserve Addie. But you know, sometimes men just don't get the girl they want.


Laurie Green said...

I'm one of the many who LOVED this story--maybe because it was so unconventional--and so NOT a formula romance/erotica. For me, not knowing who Addie would end up with was part of the romantic suspense. I feel she did make the right choice, and after a certain point I didn't feel her romance with one of the Mansell brothers was redeemable. In trying to do the right thing for one too many people, he unintentionally wronged Addie to the point if she had ended up with him, I may have lost some respect for her. She made the same choice I'd want my best friend to make. Don't get me wrong, I loved both the heroes but felt one crossed the line in this story...and that's why I'm so glad this story has a sequel!

Please keep writing your amazing, unconventional romances. Your characters and their journeys-of-te-heart never fail to make for mesmerizing reads.

Flick said...

Thank you, Laurie. I know I can't please everyone - people have such different tastes. I hope those who weren't so keen on Doing the Right Thing - give Finding the Right one - a chance!

ShanB said...

Laurie, I totally agree with you. As I wrote to Barbara and agreed with her ending, Will did not deserve Addie and I think he in this story lacked spine.

ShanB said...

Laurie, I totally agree with you. As I wrote to Barbara and agreed with her ending, Will did not deserve Addie and I think he in this story liked spine. Great writing Barbara.

Flick said...

Thanks, Shanta!!

tiffany said...

I agree 100% with Laurie. I think suspense in never truly knowing who Addie ends up with until the end made this book SO different and original and GOOD that it stands apart from the "norm". Because I waffled back and forth right along with Addie in her relationships with the brothers. I cheered for one, then I cheered for the other, then I boo'ed one and wanted to wring his neck and kick him into maturity (as well as in the a$$).

That being said, I know myself and I'm glad that I did NOT read the blurb for "Finding the Right One" either before or during reading "Doing the Right Thing" because I would've been angry with one of the brothers earlier on in the story and perhaps would have put it aside for a time to avoid the emotional rollercoaster (like all of Barbara's work!). And then I would've cheated myself. Makes no sense I know, but that's me.

Wish the blurb for "Finding the Right One" was generic enough so that it doesn't out the ending of "Doing the Right Thing" for other readers. Otherwise they might cheat themselves out of a truly great story. (Like I would've had I not been as familiar with Barbara's work as I am, i.e. rabid fan.)

Okay, I know this is a LONG post but can I just say how much I love your heroines, Barbara! I'm getting teary just typing and thinking about them. 'Cause what female has not thought or felt like these girls at some point in their lives?!?! I can SO relate to them in various ways. It's shocking how much empathy I have for them and that just sucks me into your stories so deeply. I think that's why I'm now your most stalker-like fan. Just my way of encouraging you to write more and write faster!

Flick said...

Thanks, Tiffany! I feel mean now that I created a villainess who shares your name!!
Doing The Right Thing is different! I don't think I'd realized how different until I read some of the less favorable comments. I do see where these readers are coming from. This isn't a book that conforms and if they like a traditional H meets H, they fall apart and fall back together, this isn't the book for them. But Will - much as I love him - was not the guy for Addie in the end.
The blurb for Finding the Right One - yep, I struggled here. I would have liked to keep it secret but if I hadn't used Will's name, readers might have thought they had to read the first book to understand the second. They don't. Finding the Right One - works fine on its own. But the experience is enhanced by reading Doing the Right Thing.