Thursday, January 29, 2015

Super Sexiness

I include explicit scenes in my romance. Even so, they're pretty vanilla. I would rate my work as R for adult situations, but would I go so far as X? Well, there's full frontal, so maybe. I am not erotic enough to be romantica and I don't think I could be because I'm repressed.

Fifty Shades of Grey opened the door for erotic literature to be mainstream. Oh, it existed long, long before, but would never be on the shelves at Target (where I just saw Anne Rice's The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty on a shelf above the young reader novelized version of Frozen). Now people are more open minded to what they consider literature versus pornography. Somewhere in the middles lies romantica, erotic romance. Yes, there is a lot of sex BUT there is also a compelling story and an emotionally satisfying happily ever after. I recently read Captivated by You by Sylvia Day. This is book four about Eva and Gideon and the series will conclude when it concludes. I will continue to read their stories because I am intrigued by them, not just their sex lives (seriously, they should both have calluses on their genitals by now and/or need medical attention). I also read Out of Bounds by Dawn Ryder -- super sexually charged but, again, a good story that had me invested in the main characters. Romantica, not just about the sex (but, yes, a lot about the sex).

Given the surge of interest in romantica and the open acceptance of the book buying public, part of me wants to try my hand at it. The other part is crying softly in a dark corner. I don't think I have it in me. Really, the sex scenes are hard for me to write. I want to make it fabulous, of course, but I also need to make it reasonable and realistic. A follows B follows C because if C happened before A it would just be gross. I would include so many showers and oral hygiene that it would come across as a hygiene fetish niche piece instead of romantica. Plus, if I'm getting tired writing it, I can't imagine what my hero/heroine are experiencing in their marathon session. If it's hard for me a to read a scene without feeling sore in empathy with the characters, how can I write it?

I can't. It's not in me. I can never jump on the super sexy train and I have to be okay with it.

What do you have trouble writing?

(I actually wrote this post after looking at my viewing numbers on previous posts. Posts with sexual content were the winners, so I went there. Notice, I did not censor the woman's nipples in the image above. That's right, I went there. Taking super sexy risks ftw!)

PS. Never do an image search for 'bandaged penis.' Just don't. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Soft Horror

I accidentally discovered a new niche for my writing. I thought I was writing paranormal romance, but that brings vampires and werewolves to mind. As I analyzed the components of Possessing Karma, I found paranormal and suspense/thriller attributes overshadowed the romance. Yes, there is still an emotionally satisfying happily ever after, but the mystery and threat implicit in the ghost story is dominant. A judge in an unpublished author contest classified it as soft horror and things clicked.

My husband teases me that I write romance at all. No, not because he undervalues the genre, but because I am not romantic. I don't believe in soul mates. I do believe that you choose your love and then love your choice. I have a very pragmatic approach to relationships and, unfortunately, that has shown in my work. He says that readers want magical love, of people being sure of their feelings, etc... and I don't write that. Love overcomes because my main characters choose to work for it. I try to avoid reader-eye-rolling moments, but in doing so I might be removing some of the fantasy that appeals to readers of the genre. That's not to say I don't tell good stories, but maybe I'm not writing romance.

That said, I just wrote a chainsaw accident scene into my work in progress, Touching the Past. If it's horror I'm going for, the danger has to be more prominent instead of simply implied. Yes, my main characters will still find love with each other if they can learn to let go of the past and trust, but the paranormal elements (psychic trees) is no longer benign. The external stakes are more dominant than the internal stakes.

My contemporary work is straight up romance. Now that I've identified my problem I'm not worried about being able to make the emotional/internal components be worth everything. But as for my paranormal, soft horror it is. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Time

We are steadily chugging through January and it will be February before we know it. After February, it will be Hallowe'en again (the months in between don't count because they go by too quickly to notice) and then the next time you blink will be in 2016. It's incredible how fast time flies when there are deadlines. Even my kids are starting to notice that time has picked up its pace.

As a kid an hour seemed to take forrrrrrevvvvvveerrrrrrr. For my daughters, before they got the concept of the passage of time in terms of hours and minutes, I would label how long things took in terms of Dora the Explorer episodes.

"Mommy, when will the cake be ready to ice?"

"In half a Dora." It helped, during those times, if they were actually watching Dora. Swiper, no swiping. Good times.

Now we joke about it. The trip we took to Phoenix recently was supposed to take eight Doras but ended up taking almost fourteen. They watched Charlie's Angels (the first movie), Annie, and Tinkerbell's pirate movie (which is my least favorite), while my husband and I listened to audio books and learned more about each other (David Sedaris made me laugh and made my husband want to cut himself.)  Even though the drive took forever, we were back home and back at work before we knew it. Now the week is almost over. Sure, it's Wednesday, but it may as well be Friday. Or next Monday. It will be before I know it and there will be tons of things that didn't get done.

Given the crazy current of life, taking time to write (or do something you really love vs. something that just needs doing) is important. It forces me to sit, focus on one thing, and actually accomplish something. I did not write much in the period between August and December (school craziness), but took control of my personal time/space continuum and wrote over the winter break. I am continuing to wedge in time to write and that helps qualify the time spent as worthwhile instead of a blur of activity, laundry that's not folded, and a dance class that we're late to.

I just took half a Dora over my lunch break to write this blog post and there's no reason I couldn't have been doing that regularly over the past months.  It feels good and I'm glad to be back online. Now I'm going to take another half a Dora and read some other blogger's posts.

How do you keep time from sweeping you away?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...