Just because you can…

Friday, August 12, 2005

Doesn’t mean you should.

I write really sexy romances. Really. Although, the ratio of romance vs ‘other story element’ seems to be in flux. But it’s a safe bet to say there will always be a (very hot/explicit) romantic subplot in anything I write.

Here’s the problem. Very sexy/erotic manuscripts are prime commodities in romance-publishing-land at the moment, and have been so for a couple of years now. I keep wanting to take advantage of this fact, since I write very sexy, very naturally. But every time I try, I get stumped, er, bored.

Cause it’s not the sex, it’s everything else—it’s the plot, the angst, the emotion, the fear, the conflicts, the external forces, the humor, etc—that goes into the story and the characters that interest me. It’s playing with words and phrasing, and story structure. It pushing myself. And not repeating myself (hopefully). The sexual tension just happens. And the sex is never just about body parts, or how they move and are described. It’s about sensations, emotions, truth, lies, and all the baggage (mental/emotional) that the H/h bring into the act. But that all gets flipped on it’s head when I start ‘targeting’ my writing to ‘fit’ somewhere.

I’ve been angsting about this for awhile now as the novella progressed. It’s been feeling like something was missing. Like more plot was needed. But more plot meant more book; meant no more novella, but something longer. And then I hear about a new imprint that is hungry for erotic romances of various lengths, and I feel like the novella has a shot, except…. do I really want to go there? I mean, do I want to write *another* erotic romance (of whatever length?) after this one (if I were so fortunate, that someone wanted to buy the work). Do I want to establish myself in that subgenre and have to satisfy editor/agent/reader expectations in that format for whatever length of time? The answer is no.

I want to write the way I want to write— Very sexy, very naturally, but with everything else (listed above) being the important factors; and not having to feel like I hafta keep the focus on the sex. To that end, the novella looks like it’s going to expand, with a secondary storyline/romance, and I’ll get to explore what makes certain characters ‘tick’, plus throw in an interesting twist here and there. It just feels a little more true to myself.

Btw, I’m *not* saying writers of erotic romances do not take those other elements I listed seriously, or don’t strive to achieve more/better in their labors; only that I’m a head case, and for better or for worse that’s how I’m wired when approaching *my own* writing. It’s an either/or thing. I choose ‘or’.

And on that note, I better get back to the work-in-progress (and start praying that there's a home for my 'my way' stories when the time comes).
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Kat said...

If you feel like the novella needs to expand, then let it expand.

Don't hold yourself or your characters back because you don't know how its going to work/turn out.

Let them surprise you.

Surprise yourself. You might really like it :)

raine said...

Follow your bliss.

~Joseph Campbell

Sasha said...

Stop thinking so hard and Just write.


I'm trying to take my own advice. :)

Lyn Cash said...

1st novella of mine that sold was actually a 300-pg "sweet" romance at one time until i thought screw it and rewrote some scenes i'd wanted to expand and tightened (as in cinched the damn thing with a vengeance) the rest of it. i knew i had a topic that wouldn't fit with the line i was aiming for, and that was when i learned...don't write for a line, for an editor, for anyone but yourself. if it's meant to sell, the market will be there.

then a creative writing exercise turned into a 103k-word mainstream novel, so *shrug* it's all mind over matter - if i don't mind, the length doesn't matter...it's the outcome that tells the best tale.

anyway, best of luck. keep that independent spirit and just be original. you'll get there.

Jaye said...

Thanks guys for dropping by with some encouragement. :-P

Kat, it isn't so much wanting to expand the story, or holding myself back. It's just changing my focus and letting the full story emerge. I think this has been my last 'deliberate' attempt at erotic romance. I *know* whatever I write will be 'hot' anyway, so I'll keep my focus on the things about writing/storytelling that really interest me. :-)

Raine, thanks for that. Wise words.

Sash, good advice. (for both of us, but especially for the one of us with several contracts--yay!!-- to fulfill... )

Lyn, lmao at going from sweet romance to LSB writer. lol. Good for you, and congratulations on your sale (I read X's blog post.) Thanks for sharing your own writing experience.

There were two things against me with this novella:

A) I don't write short. Every time I've attempted to write something short, I'll realize at some point that I'm on page 200, with at least another 100 pages to go, plus have a dozen points-- re character and plot-- I want to go back and expand on.

B) Focusing on sex bores me.

Amie Stuart said...

OK First off how come you knew about Lyn and I didnt? *scowl*

Second, the Lost would make a phenomela novella, but if you feel it needs to be a book then so be it. It'll be a phenomenal book too cuz you're a phenomenal writer =)

Dee said...

So...does this mean that now that you are free and will be writing more? (blink blink??) LOL!

A relaxed Jaye is a happy Jaye. And a happy Jaye writing sexy & naturally is a happy Dee who get to peek in from time to time, lol!

Good luck, doll!

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