Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Intarweb Tuesday: So Dirty

I caught the 30 second version of this commercial last week, and it gave me a moment of pause as my brain twitched, and I said, "Did that just happen?!"

Yes, yes it did. And this is the full length version of the commercial. Please to enjoy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Can't take the heat?

When a romance writer starts talking about heat level, she's probably not commenting on the weather. She's talkin' about gettin' down and dirty in her novel--or not. Romance novels are not created equal in the frolic department. Some are sweet, where if sex happens it goes on behind closed doors and the reader is left to imagine what went on. Then there are more moderate levels, leading up to erotic romance, where the "C, F, and P words" appear, possibly with some toys and adventurous settings. (One of the hottest books I've ever read was a space opera, and I'll refrain from commenting on the wackiness that can ensue when alien races are involved.)

Lately I've been pondering sex. Well, sex in my writing, that is. If you've read Blood, Smoke and Mirrors, you know it's there, but there's not a whole lot of it. There just wasn't enough time for it in the story, because Cat's always running off to cause shenanigans somewhere and I didn't want to have to justify something like "okay, we're going to take a break from fighting vampires now to get it on in your car." Not so much. Though I'll admit I really wanted to write a sex scene between Cat and Zach, but I knew that would take the story places I wasn't prepared for it to go. That, and my critique group threatened to hurt me if I wrote it... But speaking of the critique group, this was my original inspiration for this post:

Writers, do you have more trouble writing love scenes than you do the rest of the story?

Because it seems like many of us do. I discussed this a bit over Twitter recently as well, and it seemed like there was a split between those who are squeamish (like me) and those who have no fear. For my writing, it almost falls into the same category as a fight scene--love to include it, hate to write it. I've been working on a fantasy romance novel that has more love scenes in it than Cat's book did, and it makes me nervous. I'm not entirely sure why that is. There was a great interview of Angela Knight in the August Romance Writers Report, where she talked a bit about how to be comfortable and confident writing erotic romance. (Angela Knight is awesome, by the way. I really recommend her book Passionate Ink, and I've taken several of her workshops, which I also recommend.) Angela explained,

"I want to depict what love is really like for these two people. Sex is a part of love--it's the physical manifestation of the spiritual passion between the couple. By holding back and glossing over the physical part of the relationship, you're cheating the reader and the characters of that vital dimension. And I think some romance writers do so because they want to preserve the illusion of being a 'nice girl' who doesn't really like sex."

That really resonated with me. As an author I struggle with a need to be true to my characters versus my lasped-Catholic conditioning that tells me I'm going straight to Hell for this (do no pass "Go", do not collect $200). Becoming a published author only added to that, because that same voice of guilt likes to remind me that there are people reading the sex that I wrote. GASP! OMG NOOOOOOO! And worse, there are people I am related to by blood or marriage reading it. Excuse me while I go die of embarrassment...

Moving on! Aside from the "will I or won't I?" of including sex scenes in your writing, there's also the "is this any good?" of it all as well. Because romance readers read tons of romance on a regular basis, and these are savvy readers. They're not going to settle for boring sex--not that you need to reinvent the sex scene or create wacky settings to make it interesting, it means it needs to be well written. As AK said above it's the spiritual passion between your couple. Good sex scenes are concerned with writerly details like character development and plot, and this to me is the definitive explanation of why romance novels aren't "porn for women." Porn doesn't care about character development or plot. "Hi, I'm Staci," is not character development. "Pizza's here!" is not plot. Anyway...

Do you suffer from "eep, am I really writing this?"-itis? Or are you one of the brave "I can't wait to write this!" types? Do you worry that you're writing the same-old, same-old? Or do you avoid it entirely by "and then he closed the door, end of chapter"?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Intarweb Tuesday: Gam3rs 4tw!

So I know this guy, who may or may not be related to my husband, who has this play called GAM3RS. It's very cool. He totally mentions my book on his website. Anyway, Brian is one of my beta-readers, and I sat down with him this past weekend and discussed the first draft of my new book. In thanks, I thought I'd share the trailer for GAM3RS this Interweb Tuesday. Please to enjoy. :)