I’m finally back from my trip! And I have computer access—hooray!
Wow, so many reviews! I was genuinely (and pleasantly) surprised that so many of you voiced that “Can’t Touch This” was your favorite chapter! I knew I was doing something completely different with Rome, and I was unsure how you would take it. I was unsure how even I felt about the chapter.
After I wrote chapter 5, however, I found it difficult to move on from there. It should not be so complicated, I thought, to pick up from where I had left off. But it was. So, besides being hindered by travel, when I did have time I was hindered by writer’s block as well.
Then yaeloval wrote their review, which echoed many of the insecurities I had while writing chapter 5. Writing the chapter had actually made me uncomfortable, but I figured that was because I was writing a type of content that I had never endeavored to write before. However, yaeloval‘s review gave words to those shaky feelings I had: That it was too OOC for Rome this early-on; that Labriella would not just roll over and accept Rome’s midnight creeping when she was already pissed at him; that the scene was startlingly close to rape and/or porn.
While I believe I am far enough into the story to showcase explicit content, I think this chapter ended up farther into the “rape” category than I intended. The line between non-consensual and rape is always thin in dark fantasy literature. I think in this case, I did not cushion enough; Rome’s desperation cast a plea to Labriella (and to the reader) for sympathy, but she is not in deep enough with Rome of her own volition to blur the line between consensual and non-consensual. Which is why yaeloval‘s suggestion of more conversation between Labriella and Rome makes sense.
So I have chosen to modify the second half of chapter 5. Content the like of which was in the original chapter 5 will indeed come, in time, but yaeloval is right; the conversational factor is long overdue. This is, after all, a romance, not a porno; there is a relationship there.
Actually, I have already modified chapter 5, and started in anew on chapter 6. Rewriting the latter half of chapter 5 took at least four, several-paged tries; the only way to see if my revision ideas worked, was to just keep writing the new version and see if I got stuck. Finally, I have a winner. I will let you know when I post the new chapter 5.
I’m placing the romantic initiative in Labriella’s small, work-worn hands. Let’s see what happens.