Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Monster at the End of This Book

by Giselle Renarde

The Monster at the End of this Book: Many, many adults name this book as their favorite Little Golden Book. Generations of kids have interacted with lovable, furry old Grover as he begs the reader not to turn the page for fear of a monster at the end of the book. "Oh, I am so embarrassed," he says on the last page... for, of course, the monster is Grover himself!

Today I cracked the final chapter (the epilogue, actually) of my first erotic "monster" novella.  I'm a sucker for a good ghost story.  I've got the first draft of a ghostly erotic romance wasting away on my hard drive right now.  But this new project?  This monster project?  Well, it came to me while watching some kind of "When Ghosts Attack" show.  I got thinking, "What if an incubus-poltergeist could jump inside living bodies to use and abuse his victim?"

Pleasant thought, eh?

Anyway, I pushed this idea aside because a) I was in the middle of another project and b) it's kinda rapey, and that's not really what I do.

The day after watching "When Ghosts Attack" (or whatever cheesy show it was), a friend announced she was putting together a collection of MONSTER EROTICA.  The timing blew me away.  I had this idea that seemed a little iffy, a little frightening, and I wasn't going to do anything about it until this opportunity came about, like a clap on the back telling me, "It's time. Go do it."

So I finished the novella I had on the go, and then started Monstrous Obsession (aka "The Rapey Monster Book"). I'd written about a chapter and a half before getting cold feet.  I'm not exactly known for writing rapey monster books.  Should I really be delving into this area?  I know it's a lot of people's fantasy, but it's not mine.  Do I have any right writing it?

Just like Grover in the above-mentioned Little Golden Book (that series sounds really dirty all of a sudden), the more I wrote, the more skittish I became.  In particular, I had an idea of how the final chapter would play out, and it was definitely not my usual "consensual sex between humans" scenario.

Well, today I finished that chapter.  Took three or four days to get there, which is a ridiculously long time for a prolific professional writer.  What's more, as I got closer to the end, I found myself staying in bed longer and longer come morning.  I'm chronically depressed, so having trouble getting out of bed is nothing new, but in this case there was a direct connection between my book and my inability to start the day.

I was scared of my own monster.

Every time I left the house, I found myself looking over my shoulder... well, more than usual.  The rapey monsters were OUT THERE, weren't they?  Out to get me.

The harder I tried to finish the damn book, the longer it took to write. I've barely cracked 1,000 words per day. That's no good.  I want it to be done. Now.

Thank goodness I'm close.  No more rapey monsters in the epilogue.  Only a biker wedding.  Nothing to be afraid of.

Because, you know, the monster at the end of this book?  It's me.  It was me all along.


  1. Cute post, Giselle, as I'm sure the story isn't. Your rate of writing is sure faster than mine; that's the difference between a pro and a dilettante.

  2. Maybe we're set on imagining monsters so that we can claim a "normal" status for ourselves. The whole superhero thing puzzles me more, but I guess if we're going to gave bad entities more powerful than ourselves, we need to have good ones, too.

  3. My biggest problem in writing the kind of epic stuff a lot of readers like is that I don't have a black & white/good vs. evil worldview. I'm not sure I believe in evil. It certainly doesn't sit well with me when people (generally people with mental illnesses) are classified as evil. That's like taking every human quality that person has and dumping it in the trash.

  4. And I just realized I should have blogged about the movie MONSTER. Somebody else do that, okay? That's such a great film.

  5. Just as every great invention ever made had to be thought of first, every possible bad thing/kink has been thought of by someone. Most of us never act on these dark fantasies. Writers get to "go there" and still defend themselves as, "It's just fiction! I'm not like that!" But in reality, we all have that potential. Scary to contemplate, even scarier to confront.

    Hope you feel better now that it's done.

  6. I love this post, Giselle, and am dying to take a look at Monstrous Obsession when it comes out.

    For what it's worth, I can be pretty prolific when I get going, but I find that I still have to let go of the idea that I can write X words per day, day in and day out. Some projects get personal and force me to slow down. Some excite me and make me burn up the page. I know what you're saying about the slow pace—I've felt the pain and shame of that when something is taking way longer than I "know" it should, and longer than I can afford for it to take. Sometimes I'm sorry I started that particular story and wonder why I didn't pick something lighter, easier. I try to tell myself that it's slow because it's important, though, because it's doing something to me.

    I hope you're feeling better, and I also hope it feels like you've produced something interesting that's worth it to you. :)

  7. Sometimes we scare ourselves, don't we? I applaud your courage in sticking to this book and getting it finished. Some part of you needed to write it.


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