Monday, January 30, 2012

The Best O Face

The phrase: less is more has never been more appropriate than when applied to category romances.  The books that do not stick to this principal either never get published, or if they do they have a genre all of their own - erotica.

Not what I want to write, but each to their own and all that.

Assuring that you don't end up writing Extreme Over The Top Nookie Fests every time your Hero and Heroine feel like a bit of rumpy pumpy is extremely important. 

While I know several couples who have successful 'relationships' based entirely on messing up the sheets, that's not what readers want to read.  They want a journey where two people grow and change and realise that their lives together are so much better than their lives apart but that connection has to be more than just physical - it must be emotional and spiritual and mental as well.

But when they do get around to knocking boots, it needs to be steamy not sleazy.  And as far as I can tell there are a few things that your Hero and Heroine just shouldn't do:
  • The Yes Scream - having lived in a few apartments (why are the walls always so thin?) a woman screaming: "Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  YES. YES. YEEEE-EEE-SSSSSS!" does nothing for me.  A man doing the Yes Scream is even tackier.
  • The Oh Scream - the rhythm is the same as the Yes Scream; it builds in both crescendo and tempo but it sounds like the woman is surprised every time her partner thrusts.  Makes me want to slap someone.
  • The Name Scream - murmuring your partners name a few times while you're getting busy can be really erotic (execpt when it's the wrong name which, trust me, has the totally opposite effect) but when 'Yes' or 'Oh' are replaced with "Nick" or "Stu" or "Phil" it's just cringeworthy.  As a side note, a male who screams out his own name should be pitied (after you've laughed so hard you've fallen off the bed).
  • Exploring the karma sutra - although a couple of authors have bravely explored different pozzies, you won't find many Heroes and Heroines enjoying upside down, gravity defying, ankles behind your ears kinda mattress dancing.
  • Bringing a battery operated friend to bed - a real Alpha male is the Heroine's own Energiser Bunny - he just keeps going and going and going get the idea.
  • Bringing a non-battery operated friend to bed (also known as Taking Britney's Advice) - 2 shall be the optimum number.  End of story.  (If you're wondering about the Britney reference - listen to her song "3" and you'll understand.)
  • Kinky - I'm not really sure but I think it's fairly safe to assume that if the Heroine suddenly whips out a dominatrix outfit, a leather whip and the Hero suddenly starts barking like a dog, the reader is going to become very confused.
I'm sure there are lots of other things but I was laughing too hard imagining the things I listed above appearing in a category romance that I couldn't go on.

But to summarise I would like to give a less is more example.  Not from a book (which I know is cheating) but the example is such a good one that I couldn't pass it over.  Check out the link to this clip from The Good Wife.  It's subtle.  It's steamy.  It's passionate.  It's real.  It's Less.  It's More.

It's the best O face I've ever seen.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Where Have You Been?

Ever have one of those friends who just goes MIA without a trace?  And then suddenly one day they're back and expecting it all to be exactly the same as before?

Yes I am talking about me.

Sorry but the last few months of last year knocked me around a bit so I kind of shut down a wee bit and the blog, the writing, the being all seemed a bit too much so I just stopped.  But the funny thing about being a writer, is that you can't just stop.  Even in the middle of my 'yuck episode' I had dreams that I woke up from thinking 'hey that would make a great story'. 

During my 'hiatus' I did a lot of analogising - that's not a real word btw - but it means when you think about lots of things in terms of analogies.  Like: writing is like making risotto.  There's some basic ingredients to risotto but after you've covered those, it's pretty much whatever you want it to be.  You can't just walk away and expect it to take care of itself like a slow cooked casserole.  It needs tending and montoring and constant tweaking and checking of the recipe and tasting and then just before you serve it, you need to add a dob of butter and a great big wodge of parmesan so even when you think it's finished it's not.  And then you have the agonising wait as your guests lift their spoons to their mouths and take that first taste and you wait and wait and wait, trying not to be impatient, for their verdict.  Of course some people like their risotto quite wet while other prefer a more solid dish so you know from the beginning that you're not going to please everyone but maybe there's a chance that you've been able to strike that perfect middle ground or that your version of risotto is so earth shatteringly delicious that you've changed everyone's minds and now the only kind of risotto they like, is yours.

My writing is like risotto.  The yet to be cooked kind.  I got caught up in Christmas preparations and family issues and recovery from New Voices and allowed myself to be wooed away from writing.  They were relevant reasons but if I had been determined to write then they would have been distractions as opposed to handy excuses. 

So I've got a lovely recipe simmering in my head and the two main ingredients are sure to make it a hot and spicy dish.  Hopefully a feast for the eyes.  I'm plotting and planning and itching to start. 

And this time, I'm going to finish.