Update: Use the hastag #altversionfest to discuss the blogfest on twitter.
I recently submitted a scene to my critique group with some sexual tension between two characters. They all thought it was too abrupt and suggested I sprinkle in some tension in previous scenes to make the development more gradual.
Well, you know how these things go. I went back home and started fooling around with an earlier scene. One thing led to another ... and before I knew it, a very different version of that scene was born.
For comparison, here's the original scene, from my YA fantasy Midnight Thief. It's an excerpt from the scene I posted for the Fight Scene Blogfest.
“Most times you won't have the luxury of resting after a fight.” At first she thought it was Riley speaking, but then she realized the voice came from off the mat. She sat up to see James watching from the side. This was the first time she had seen him here during her practice. Hastily, she climbed to her feet as Riley also stood.
James stripped off his outer tunic, tossed it on a nearby box. and walked onto the mat. He reached a pale but well muscled arm towards Riley, who tossed him the dagger he had been using. James caught the dagger and in the same motion beckoned Kyra toward him. She stood, frozen in place. He motioned again, more curtly. This time she obeyed, muscles tense as she approached him.“Let's see what you've learned.”
And here's Midnight Thief: Scandalous Romance Version
“Most times you won't have the luxury of resting after a fight.” Kyra looked up to see James on the side, his cold blue eyes boring into her with an intensity that she felt down to her very bones.She watched in fascination as James stripped off his tunic, revealing a well muscled chest made all the more interesting by two scars that ran across his chiseled abs.
His eyes swept over her, taking in first her face, and then lowering to appraise the rest of her body with a calculating eye. She flushed. He was just evaluating her as a fighter, she knew. But still, her breathing became quick and shallow.
James stepped aggressively onto the mat. "Let's see what you've learned so far," he murmured, his voice husky with anticipation.
And once I started, I couldn't stop! I call this next one Midnight Thief: The Thriller
“Most times you won't have the luxury of resting after a fight.” At first she thought it was Riley speaking, but then she looked up and saw how wrong she was.
It was James. This was the first time she had seen him here during her practice. Hastily, she climbed to her feet...
I learned several things during this exercise. First, that I probably don't have a future in romance. And second, this is really fun! And thus, I'd like to invite you all to participate in the Alternate Version Blogfest.
Here are the details:
1. The Blogfest will take place on April 1st, 2010. Yes, the date is intentional.
2. Sign up on the Mr. Linky Widgit below.
3. For your entry, post a short passage from your WIP, and then an alternate version of it in a different style. It can be funny, but doesn't necessarily have to be.
4. Post your entry on your own blog on April 1st, and go surf around to see what everyone else has come up with.
5. And of course, I'd appreciate it if you could retweet/blog/share about this blogfest. It's always more fun with more people :-)