Random Monday Survey (aka I’m Freaking Out and Need Your Support)

I’m a plotter, for the most part, and have passed the half-way point in my WIP. I previously had one version of my black moment planned, then realized it needed upgraded as it was more a milky shade of gray. I want BLACK.


So I came up with a new plan. And it’s black. Like buried in the coal mine, lanterns are gone, canary is dead black. But now I’m wondering if it’s too black. Because I plot to my target destination, I need to lock this in now or the revision stage on this MS is going to be scary tough.


So here’s a hypothetical question.


If the heroine is engaged to the hero’s brother, but the hero and heroine end up in bed together, would you throw the book against the wall?


For obvious reason, I can’t give much in the way of details. My first reaction to this, having real life experience with infidelity, is to scream OH HELL YES! Not good considering I’m the person who came up with the idea and has to execute it.


I’m a firm believer in the idea anything can be done in a story, provided the writer does it well enough. Great philosophy when applied to others. Harder to stand behind knowing I’m the writer in question.


So I’m asking this of your reader mind, and not your writer mind. What would the circumstances have to be for you to go along with this in a book? Said encounter would not happen until nearly the end. No sex up to that point. Not a flippant affair or ongoing “I wish I could quit you” kind of thing.


If I’m writing a wall-banger, I’d like to know now so I can attempt to re-route this trip.

21 thoughts on “Random Monday Survey (aka I’m Freaking Out and Need Your Support)”

  1. Sabrina says:

    Not a wall-banger for me. I did read a book like this recently and didn’t think the author pulled off the actual sex scene itself because I felt like the h/h had stuck to their morals for so long and no good reason was given for *it* to happen *right then*.
    The book was The Inherited Bride by Maisey Yates – a Harlequin Presents. The story was good, but the way/why they ended up in bed while she was still engaged to the brother really bothered me.
    So, I think it’s about the *why* right then. Why do they have to do it before she ends the engagement. I need to see the emotional reason that *it must happen right now*.

  2. Terri Osburn says:

    That makes sense, Sabrina. The relationship with fiance will deteriorate before this point and any official break up would happen over the phone. But not long before the sex scene. Then I run into the “rushing into it” thing.
    I knew this would be a fine line to walk. Hmmmmm…..

  3. Hmmm…. Well, it depends.
    I know, I’m helpful, right?
    Here’s why it depends. We need to know that the heroine and the brother aren’t compatible by the time she steps into bed with the hero. The heroine has to be pretty sure at this point too. I’d even say, if you were going to make things sympathetic for everyone and avoid the wall banging, the brother needs to know too.
    I think it’s pretty obvious that if the heroine’s sleeping with the hero and not her fiance, she’s probably figured out that she and the fiance aren’t a good fit any longer. But if the brother doesn’t know or has no hint at all, then I think it’s going to make the heroine look like a big bitch.
    Can there be another love interest for the fiance? Maybe an old flame or something? That way, the fiance’s secondary plot/relationship can detract from the fact that they’ve both gone awol from each other?

  4. Terri Osburn says:

    I think I’ve got you covered, Marn. She knows by this point she’s not in love with fiance. Hero will know she’s not in love with his brother AND that she has either told him it’s over or is going to. (That part is up in the air.)
    Also, fiance’s book is next and it’s clear who his heroine will be. She’s been trying to steal this book since she walked onto the page.
    However, fiance is “off screen” for most of this book. Conversations all happen over the phone.

  5. Terri Osburn says:

    And I just realized I said I wasn’t going to give details. LOL! Okay, no more details. But still open to feedback/ideas!

  6. It really depends on how you set it up. Will I be sympathetic to it..will I want them to be together?? Is the fiance a complete douchebag?? have you read “Something borrowed” from Emily Giffin?? In the first chapter (i believe, may be chap 2) the MC sleeps with her BFF’s fiance. But I sooooooooooooo wanted her to do it. BFF is a total beotch…..you want her to get what she deserves, especially since she stole him from the MC to begin with.

  7. Suzie Quint says:

    As you say, it’s all in the execution. Jennifer Crusie wrote a book that has the heroine having sex outside her marriage, but the husband has a history of infidelity which she has reason to believe is on-going. It worked for her. Sounds like this one will make you stretch as a writer. That’s a good thing.

  8. Here’s a question back at you.
    Does she have to have sex with him right off the bat? Can they share a bed without having sex?
    This will not only up the sexual tension, but she can ‘cheat’ without really cheating. One of them could be nursing the other, or it’s the only place to sleep, or they collapse from exhaustion by accident.
    It’s a given that her fiance is not the man for her, so as long as you make that clear, it’s not at issue.
    What is at issue is whether the reader will buy her reasons for being with the other guy.
    1. We have to know that it’s love between them.
    2. They have to fight their urges until they can’t fight them anymore.

  9. Terri Osburn says:

    Stephanie – I have not read that book. Is that the same as the movie? I’m out of the loop and have no idea if that movie was based off a book. This is not a situation where anyone is a douchebag or beotch, but it’s clear they aren’t right for each other.

  10. Terri Osburn says:

    Suzie – Which Crusie is that? I have most of them but haven’t read them yet. Would love to hone in on that one. And this is definitely stretching, which I agree, is a very good thing.
    Must push myself if I’m going to find my way to the bookshelf someday. (Be it wood or virtual. *g*) And thanks for answering!

  11. Terri Osburn says:

    Maria – You just gave me an idea. (You’re so good at that.) But this wouldn’t be right off the bat. In fact, this would be close to the 70K word mark, so WAY into the book.
    If I follow the idea you just gave me, which could be really good, then there might be even less sex in the book.
    Oh well, if that’s what the story calls for, then I have to go with it. And I’m working hard at building the tension. I think it’s working so far.

  12. Hey, nothing wrong with leaving the sex for the resolution scene… though I like the idea that everyone knows the old is done with, the real question is… What is the new?
    She gonna make it a permanent ‘thing’ with ex-fiance’s bro or what.
    I know you know this, but will you leave the reader wondering?

  13. Terri Osburn says:

    Dude. This is a romance. As if you even need to ask. LOL!

  14. Well, okay, true…but when it will happen or how smoothly it will go… I mean how is the rest of the family going to react to the new/old fiance?

  15. Terri Osburn says:

    Are you trying to give me palpitations? I’ll figure that out when I get there! (But the family will be fine with it. She’ll feel like part of the family already so it’s a smoove transition. Hopefully.)

  16. Melinda says:

    Wouldn’t toss the book against the wall. I think it could be done depending on the circumstances with the heroine/fiance and the hero/brother. You say it’s clear the heroine doesn’t love the fiance when she sleeps with the hero, but was it a true engagement or did they get engaged for convenience or other reasons? How close is the hero to his brother? Are they best friends? How does the hero justify betraying his brother?

  17. Terri Osburn says:

    Thanks for responding, Melinda. Brothers used to be close but haven’t been for years. The engagement was a real one. Fiance is what heroine “thought” she wanted. Until she falls for hero and realizes she was wrong.
    Heroine is a people pleaser and spent so many years doing what others want/expect, she forgot how to think for herself.
    As of right now, the “betrayal” might not be as extreme as I first planned. Which I know sounds utterly confusing, but the answers on this blog helped me see what I was missing.

  18. Quantum says:

    Interesting idea!
    Infidelity in fiction is OK as long as there are compensating factors.
    I would want to know more details of the circumstances and the forces that led to this development before throwing it away.
    I’m also a great believer in symmetry so would probably give the heroine a sister. An identical twin would be good… lots of humorous possibilities there ! The twin might then fall for the hero’s brother and they all end up in church together. LOL
    I’d better stop immediately or I’ll be writing the HEA as well!
    My advice is sleep on it and go with your instincts in the morning. *smile*

  19. Terri Osburn says:

    Thank you for your input, Q. Sorry, no twins here, but Lucas’ heroine plays a big part in this story. The love between H/H develops through the whole book and the scene I propose here would be nearly the end. So I think all developments would be, well, well developed. LOL!

  20. Oooh…. interesting. I can’t add much to what’s been said. It’s good I guess that the h/h doesn’t end up in bed right off the bed, though I guess it’d be a HUGE unexpected suspense if it did and it would draw the audience in. Kinda like Jodie Picoult’s ‘The Pact’, when she started with the climax of ‘then there was a shot’, and then went on with the back story culminating to said gunshot.
    Any excerpt you can give us??? 😉

  21. Terri Osburn says:

    Thanks for giving any input at all. Since this post I’ve gotten almost to the end and figured out there simply will be no sex in this book until the resolution. And the fiance does find them together, but not in bed.
    Once I have this done and the opening cleaned up for the GH contest, I’ll be sure to put up an excerpt to see what people think. Would love to have the feedback. (I think. LOL!)

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