Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Missing Sock and Other Problems

Years ago, before kids, my husband and I used to host parties. We were the first among our friends to buy a house. In fact, many of our friends still lived with their parents.

Our little house was the party pad. Every weekend people would show up with various snacks and beverages and our house was a happy place. I remember snippets of one particular party. I kept playing our VHS tape of Sergent Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band (staring the B-Gee's, Peter Frampton, etc..) and thought everyone was enjoying it as much as I was. I noticed at one point that I was only wearing one sock. I couldn't remember taking it off. I spent the rest of the night asking people about my sock.

People still talk about having to watch that movie over and over again and about my missing sock.

Sigh. That was a long time ago. Our parties nowadays involve a huge, inflatable waterslide that I'm too big to go on. :( But the kids have fun.

Anyhoo, I'm writing a scene where my lead is drunk but doesn't realize it. Her thought process and behavior is random but she's unaware of any problem. She's feeling fine (until she isn't).

Now, I am writing adult romance, not young adult. I am totally R rated. But I am still concerned that I may alienate a group of my demographic by including the use of alcohol. I am not glorifying it, I am simply showing (historically) that it was used in festive (and non-festive) events. Should this actually be a concern? Or am I being paranoid because of one publisher's F.A.Q. page about alcohol consumption in romance?



Summer Ross said...

well I think you should write what you believes contributes to the better part of your story. If its important to have the alcohol, then keep it, if it isn't then knock it out and try another tactic.

j.leigh.bailey said...

As someone who reads several hundred romances a year, I don't think adding alcohol to the story will alienate your readers. Not, anyway, if it moves the plot and has a purpose beyond getting her drunk. Certain categories of romances may frown on it (I'm thinking more conservative Christian/inspirational sub-genres perhaps) but on the whole I can't see it being a problem. Just my opinion.

Raquel Byrnes said...

You can have detailed scenes about sex, but not a drop of wine? I think that if you write it and the agent or editor wants it out you can always delete it later. Doubtful that scene alone would have any bearing on whether or not they like your writing.

Erin Kane Spock said...

Summer and J -- yes, the alcohol use features in the plot. Just like the sex, it has to further the story. I think it does.

Raquel -- It's not all publishers/agents, just a few faq's I've read through recently. Sort of crazy.

Since I wrote this, I've read through a few romance novels. In this most recent one, the heroine is constantly sipping sherry and offering it to her guests. I guess it was just something I hadn't looked for or considered until recently.

Anyway, I think getting tipsy and making a fool of yourself is a relatable moment. Or is that just me?

dolorah said...

If I took all the alcohol, drugs, sex, and partying out of my novel I wouldn't have a novel at all. Personal opinion: someone out there wants to read - and even publish - what you're writing.

I submitted a short story to a publisher that unconditionally rejects work with ANY swear words in it. It was a challenge, but I got their interest. Write what you think you can do for this agent/publisher, and take the rest of your work elsewhere. If nothing else, it will be a good learning experience in writing outside your comfort zone.


Anonymous said...

If it's adult then I see no problem with alcohol if as your commentors say, it's necessary for the story. Alcohol is part of life, so why not part of novels too

I find it interesting that you've moved from YA to adult. The same just happened to me when starting my second novel. At first I thought, ew should I even try to write this idea where the relationships have to be sexual, then I figured I had to take the risk and at least write the first draft. No way is it graphic, but it's a challenge to know how much is 'acceptable.'

I think it's not the sex and alcohol as such but what you say about it that will either offend or not.

Erin Kane Spock said...

I haven't written YA before, but I teach middle school so I've been thinking about it.
Actually, I don't know if I'm cool enough to write YA. :)
BTW, love your blog.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Hey Erin,
Just wanted to say I hope you're doing well on your mss.

Edge of Your Seat Romance

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