Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

WIP Wednesday-Scorched Revise

So, it's more of a revision-in-progress kind of thing. I'm thinking of using Scorched for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (hereafter called ABNA) in February. That means I need to do some solid revisions. I've got a few really odd questions.

Okay, so it's a first person narrative aimed at an older YA crowd. Poor Sidra, the MC, has a father that is a jerk and has run off with a girl just six years older than his teenage daughter. Sidra is seventeen and pissed off because of it, and she calls this other woman her dad's "superwhore." I've got mixed responses on this. I've had several people say that the word "slut" is a lot less offensive. Hang on. I'll post a quick quote. Oh... also, Sidra goes by "Scorch" and is being bullied by the superwhore's brother. So, opinions on the whole whore vs. slut thing would be appreciated if you feel like giving your opinion on something that's possibly offensive and also very weird. If you're offended by either or both, I apologize, but there is a certain level of anger that would go along with being dumped during your father's mid-life crisis. I know someone who went through this. So, here is an excerpt. Opinions welcome.

“Scorch’s dad is married to Lyle’s sister,” Penny said.

Thanks Penny. Let’s just get it all out into the open.

“He hates her because of that—because they’re related?” Asher asked.

“My father had an affair with Lyle’s sister, who is about twenty years younger than him. He divorced us, married her, and now they live in Mississippi. I think he told my mom that Bliss is knocked up, but she is trying to keep it from me. Yay. The sibling I always wanted will come from the superwhore.” Perhaps I’d been too vehement because my statement caused complete silence. I flung myself on my back to stare at the blue, blue sky. It was easier than seeing pity or whatever on Asher’s face. Okay, so maybe I’d one-upped Penny on spilling my life story. I had no idea where that had all come from.

“Bliss is pregnant?” Penny repeated.

“Yep. I think so. My mom was just about to go through in-vitro when she found out about the affair. It’s not a good subject to bring up and confirm. I’m still trying to never talk with my father, so I don’t know for sure, but that’s what it sounds like.”

“Your father is such a….” Penny couldn’t find the right word. I couldn’t find the right word. I sympathized with her plight.

“Yep,” I agreed. “I’m supposed to spend Christmas with him as part of the divorce settlement. It’s fine, though, because I won’t have to travel as Bliss wants to spend time here in Vegas with her family, so I can spend time with Lyle during winter break. I’m hoping to have my father committed to an asylum before it comes to that.”

“Wow,” Penny said.

“Totally,” I agreed.

“That’s really messed up,” Asher said, in complete agreement.


  1. I still maintain that the word "whore" is found in the bible repeatedly and slut is not. Although in the Bible it referred to prostitutes (In Revelations it refers to the Whore of Babylon as a metaphor, but it specifically refers to her fornications and filthy lucre, so the prostitute definition still is maintained)

    Slut on the other hand implies someone who provides her services freely and without a lot of discretion or being particularly selective.

    So short of referring to her as a "loose woman", "Harlot" or "Homewrecker" any term is going to be potentially offensive. I would not go as far as to call the words profane though. It is more that they are not polite. However, not being polite is the whole point in your WIP, and Slut Bimbo or Whore are the most likely to be in a teenagers lexicon. Though vehemently maybe not so much.

  2. Wendy rolls her eyes even though she acknowledges husband *might* have a point about vehement.

    Yes, this topic did come up at home. Isn't that what every couple talks about? The husband and I agree on this point--which is important because this could be one of those deal-breaker things when it comes to a marriage.

    I think that whore sounds "right" and offends me less.

  3. I think superwhore packs more of a punch than superslut.

    I'm not offended by either, but to know me is to love me!

    (Also, my word verification was cornymen. I laughed out loud!)

  4. I think superwhore is fine. I'm not offended by either. And really, you need to go with what comes naturally to your character. Don't hold back.

  5. Superwhore. Whether I find it offensive or not (which I don't), totally sounds like something a teen would say. I think it's perfect.

  6. I like superwhore. Superslut has the alliteration thing going against it. Superwhore rocks. Agree with Tina, definitely something a teen would say. Let Sidra be Sidra, says I :)

  7. I think you should keep it the way it is. It's believable.
    Winged Writer

  8. I'd go with superwhore. Superslut just doesn't have the same ring to it.

  9. Yup...definitely superwhore. *nods in agreement*