I wonder if I could call upon the kindness and wisdom of the Townhouse again, and ask for some feedback on the attached extract from a scene I'm currently working on?
It's around 2000 words long and taken from the latter half of a later chapter of 'The Perfection Engine', a work-in-progress fantasy novel (I posted a first draft of the first chapter for critique a while ago and got lots of hugely valuable feedback - thank you!).
For information, it is a sex scene. Though hopefully a little more than just a sex scene.
The scene serves at least three purposes in the book.
First, it's a hopefully tender, loving and revealing stage in the developing relationship between my two main characters (who start as wary strangers and have become friends, comrades in arms and finally lovers).
Secondly, it shows a rare 'dark night of the soul' moment for Membra, my main protagonist, where we see her reveal her usually hidden self-doubting side rather than the over-achieving, capable and resolute survivor that she usually shows to the outside world.
Thirdly, and most importantly perhaps, it's the moment when the overall theme and context of the book is stated most openly; Custos's story is directly taken from the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi and the art of kintsugi (I hope I'm not guilty of cultural appropriation in using these so directly) and the whole book, really, is an exploration into the wider application of these concepts.
I'd really value peoples' thoughts on the scene in general, of course. As well as any 'technical' issues with the writing... does it work? Does it seem truthful? Does it reveal something about the characters and their relationship? Is it too much? Too little?
Additionally, given that Membra is my viewpoint character throughout the book and I want to avoid any unconscious lapse into the 'male gaze' trope, I'd also really value any insight from a female perspective. Does it feel as if it's experienced by Membra rather than 'told' from the writer's own (male) perspective? Does Membra have enough agency? Does it ring true?
I'd really like to avoid being a contender for the unofficial 'Bad Sex Awards' of 2020 (since, looking at the list of past winners of the real awards, I don't think I'm a good enough writer to be in with a chance of being entered into those!). 😂
Be honest. Brutal if you need to be. Thanks so much for any thoughts or advice!