Thursday, February 23, 2012

Re-Thinking My Heat Level

Recent discussions and comments have prompted me to think maybe my thinking is a little off.  When I first began writing my Arbor U series, I thought what I was writing was pushing the proverbial envelope during my sex scenes, since I actually described The Act, with part A sliding into part B, and the shower scene in book #3.  Twenty-five years later, I find what I've written is more the mainstream, since I don't use any terms other maybe 'cock'.  The penis is described as a 'shaft', 'male member', or even 'dick'.  But nowadays, you hear 'cock' being used in R movies and even TV after 10pm.

And since my early beta readers were kids around age twelve, plus my own thirty-something self, and the occasional senior citizen, so naturally I thought this was my target audience.  My own mother voiced her opinion that my books be required reading for all HS seniors....'If only you would take out all those bad words!'

And indeed, in the past nine years I've been doing the craft fair circuit, I've only had the occasional teenage bookworm stop by my booth.  The majority are women my age, or even twenty-somethings, wanting anything from Fantasy to Christian Inspy.

So maybe it's time to kick the heat level up a notch?  After all, my 1st agent called Forbidden Love 'erotic romance'.  And its heat level doesn't even compare with Teacher's Pet.  On the heat scale, Keri and Kyle check in at about a slow-burning candle, while Tammy and Kevin are maybe a campfire hot?  Harlie, feel free to voice your opinion here, lol!

I noticed when I was rereading book #4, Balancing Act, that the final sex scene takes its time; describing everything they are feeling and experiencing (nope, not gonna tell you who!), and that with a small amount of rewriting, I can make that scene come alive a bit more.

So anyone who read the love scenes I posted between Elicia and Eric; Amy and Matt; and most recently, Keri and Kyle, let me know if you think I need to kick the sex into high gear?  I can always make a tame version for the more reserved readers; I've already done that for Kenzie's books.

Karaoke Update:
For the first time since I began going to karaoke, none of the songs I sang last night will be repeated.  Why? Too low.  I only sang four songs:  Bye Bye Bye (although at times I was okay, overall, yuck!); Bye Bye Love (again, I was okay on the chorus, but not the verses, so 'Bye Bye'!); Beds Are Burning (awful!); and Being With You (sounded okay while singing to YouTube, but on my own....nah.).

And because B and I caught a train on the way home (a train!), the spouse griped because I was home at 2:30am.  I nearly got up and slept in the other room.  I'm rapidly losing my patience with his snide comments.

But On A Good Note....
Balancing Act is formatted!  All I have to do today is double check a few areas and send it back:)  Then my editor can start hacking my scenes to pieces.  I hope she'll be kind to Gretchen....the poor girl just fell down the slippery slope of trying to please everyone.  But more about it as we get  closer to publication!

Come back tomorrow for more of the 2002 saga of the Youth League Baseball:)


Harlie Reader said...

Here's my take...

Tammy and Kevin were like bunnies but it was appropriate for the story.

Also, isn't college when you start to experiment with your sexuality? I wouldn't change a thing, but that's just me.

Marika (Harlie)

Molly Daniels said...

Just a little discouraged, because my excerpts didn't seem to be getting any interest. But maybe anyone who read them just didn't care to comment?

Janice Seagraves said...

My only take since I haven't read your books is that sex is becoming more main stream in books as well as movies.

Good luck figuring it all out.


B.C. Brown said...

1) Your writing, in relation to sex scenes, has developed over the books. You have gotten more descriptive and the supposed "heat" level has intensified; however, you are still sticking with mainstream love scenes. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

You're writing non-kink, hetero love scenes with ppl in monogamous relationships (or at least working their way toward monogamy!). These scenes can be perfectly spicy in their own right. I think the confusion is between the term "spicy" and "racy" or "kinky". What one person finds erotic may not be what the next finds erotic. I mean my idea of a spicy sex scene is vastly different from yours (we've discussed this! ha), but it's not better.

My advise, as always, is to write what you're comfortable with and ENJOY yourself. That's the only way to make yourself happy as a writer.

2) Your SU is rapidly becoming a serious pain in my ka-tuckus. The wanker.

BC Brown

Anonymous said...

I have not had the pleasure of reading your work. Just reading what I have makes me curious and truly will look at some to read. Thank u :) Leslie Stockton

Molly Daniels said...

@Janice: That's always the issue, isn't it? Trying to figure out what people want:)

@BC: You've got a point; if I want to continue the hand-selling, I'm more comfortable with the 'tame', mainstream sex and conservative covers.

And yes, he's becoming a MAJOR pain and the daughter and I had a long conversation about his impact on her, as well as the youngling. I may have to drag him to that electric shock therapy (just kidding!)

In actuality, I'm seriously thinking of dragging him to counseling....even if I have to attend myself, and suffer hearing the same damn story over and over and over...repeated MULTIPLE times until he 'gets' it. I tried everything I could think of, but once again....he doesn't listen to me. But if he hears the same advice from Fr Dave....or a 'trained professional' (one who actually WORKS at a facility, rather than simply having the credentials but not used them in over 20 years...oh wait, that's me....;)

@Leslie: Thank you! I hope this is just a case of Author Insecurity, and maybe once more books are published, I'll get on more people's 'radar'.

Anonymous said...

Paradoxical though it may sound, love and sex sometimes work best in stories where they're not the sole focus. Contrary to what the movie shows (or doesn't,) Buttercup and Westley in The Princess Bride do a lot more than just reconcile after falling off the hill together.

Even as crude and vulgar as Bay's Transformers films get, the romance element works - because there is a whole lot more at stake than just someone's feelings or orgasms in a presumptuous and contrived relationship.

I'd try exploring outside of just one narrowly-defined romance or college drama genre.

Science fiction, for example, provides limitless opportunities to sneak things in that would seem really out of place or contrived otherwise.

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