Monday, 25 January 2010
(Also, I won the Honest Scrap Award, my 7 things are listed on my right sidebar. I will give the award to 7 others that haven't received one yet.)
Yesterday, I wrote a chapter about a woman who suffered for years with spousal rape and fed up, took a vacation to Mexico and killed her husband.
An odd thing occurred: six people reviewed the work, all three of the men hated it, all three of the women loved it. Even though the woman committed the horrible act of murder, they could relate to the character.
Now, I don't in any way condone killing. I don't agree with what my character has done, I think she, in her mind, felt she was justified, but, I thought it interesting that I had such different comments from women and men. So it made me think, writers know they can't please all readers. No matter how many times you edit your work to what you view is perfection, someone will not like it.
However, you should know who you're writing to, and write to them. When you figure out your demographic find out what they like. How? Ask readers of that genre to give feedback. Maybe your mom or dad isn't your demographic. I know my mom wouldn't like the chapter I wrote, in fact, if she read it, she might suggest I enter a mental institution. So... make sure you get feedback from those who would spend the money buying the book.
Just my thoughts.
Oh, and if you want to read the chapter, it's below. (Remember, it hasn't been edited. Warning: May contain disturbing content.)
I sat across the table from my husband as he suffocated. I’d never watched anyone die before; I’ve never seen him so completely helpless and scared. It felt oddly enthralling.
It’s difficult to recall in what order events happened because they mix up in your mind. He pushed his plate to the floor as he tried to stand, and a chunk of seasoned potato rolled under the bed. At the time, I debated whether to pick the piece up so it wouldn’t rot there but, in the end, I was glad I held back. How would I explain my actions to the police? Policia. In Mexico, they’re called Policia.
Your husband was dying and you searched under the bed for food?
At some time before he dropped to the floor, music registered in my mind – the twang from the Mariachi guitars. A band in black and white embroidered outfits walked along the beach, playing songs for the couples willing to throw a few Pesos their way, I could hear them singing words I could not understand.
I knelt beside him on the floor and he grabbed my hand. His lips moved but no words escaped. It didn’t matter; I knew what he asked for. I looked towards the bed, he pointed at the neatly piled suitcases. The key to his salvation sat below two shirts – in a tidy shaving kit.
The curtains that covered the patio drifted into the room. The heat and the smell of salty ocean air blew across my face. The shadow of palm trees outlined on the sheer drapes. A paradisaic place if not for the stench of approaching death.
The helpless man begged me for his life. I looked down into his soft brown eyes, his pleading eyes. The happy moments flooded back to my mind... if only briefly. So long ago. Over time, hatred crowded out the kind. Where did my husband go, the one I married?
I stood from my chair and walked to the suitcases. I reached in the kit and pulled out the syringe of epinephrine. It wasn’t weakness; it was planning. I had to feign effort, I had to try to save his abusive ass. I counted to five and turned around. He lay on the floor now, his fingernails scratching at the tile floor.
With the needle in hand, I knelt beside him. His movements had lessened. I plunged the needle into his thigh, counted to three, and shot its contents into him.
After staring at his hollow eyes for a while, I walked to the phone, dialled the front desk and said one word, ‘Ambulencia.’Then I went and opened my hotel room door. The breeze entered full force and I kicked down the door stop.
As I knelt by him again, I thought I should feel something. Perhaps, guilt or sadness or horror or fear. I felt nothing. Not even relief or elation. Nothing. I picked up his hand and uncurled the fingers on his a tanned hands. I outlined the lines of his palm and whispered, 'I loved you once.'
I was surprised how quick the police and ambulance arrived. Perhaps, I wasn’t. I left the syringe in his leg, I left my vomit on the bathroom floor, I left my mind and heart in that hotel room.
Allergic to shrimp. Accidente, they declared, and turned my husband to ash.