Facing the Fear
When I first began writing my erotic scenes, I swore never to tell my mother. But when I received my first contract, I just HAD to let her know! But then I 'fessed up about what it was.
Mom simply picked up her newspaper and nodded. "Sex sells."
I had to pick my jaw up from the floor!
Later, she informed me, "I may not be proud of what you write, but I'll always be proud of your writing ability." Now that's a mama's love:)
Some women begin to not care about their mother's approval during adolescence; some never seem to make that break. Mine began when I was 30, and mom announced she didn't like my hair. For the first time, I said, "It's my hair, and I like it.", rather than starting to doubt my choices.
In other words, I finally realized....
YOU ARE A GROWN UP!
And guess what? Your mother has had sex...and your dad too.
Probably together. (I know, shocking, right?)
Two nights before my grandfather passed away, their townhouse was being painted, so they checked into a hotel for the night, to escape the paint fumes. Grandma had laughed when Grandpa whispered in her ear that night, "I feel as if we're doing something naughty!"
I was 19 at the time, and giggled at the thought of my grandparents having sex. And two days later, Grandma and Grandpa celebrated Grandma's birthday with an evening out on the town with friends. Afterward, Grandpa kissed Grandma and went upstairs to bed. Grandma found him an hour later; he'd had a fatal heart attack.
Fast-forward twenty years: I've had four erotic books published now, and I've come to realize if potential readers are truly scandalized by
sexy writing, then when you tell them not to read the book, they
won't. If you warn them and they read it anyway, their reaction is
not your problem.
And another thing...
Are you going to let other people affect how you write the story you
want to tell?
Yes, I have ultimate control over the words I choose to write. And I'm perfectly capable of putting a character on the back burner if s/he yells about my 'censorship' of his/her words. But ultimately, I'm the one who has to be happy with the final outcome. If I censor character Steve, for example, will he have the same impact on readers if I reign him in too much? Will they see him for the lovable character, or will they think he's a wimp? You walk that fine line between letting a character run rampant but at the same time, do it in an acceptable manner.
This is MY book, and I can't and won't please everyone. One of my favorite parts of Little Women is the chapter where Jo tries to please everyone when she publishes her first book, then dislikes the final outcome. If I can't stand to read my own words, how can I expect others to?
-Find your happy place--where you're mostly comfortable writing the
scenes but it pushes your boundaries a bit.
-Study other books with love scenes. Rewrite them to absorb how the
-Set the Mood for Writing
Read a book or watch a sexy movie beforehand if you're having
trouble getting into the right state of mind
Quiet, alone time
But regardless of how you decide to fight the fear, the main rule is
Don't Cheat the Reader!
-If you've built up this sexy story, given hints and hot makeout
scenes, then you get to the big event and you fade to black, readers
will not be happy. (You can lose readers this way because you've
broken trust by setting up a promise and then not delivering.)
-Readers can tell when you chickened out vs. when the toned down love
scene was appropriate for the book.
-The tone of your love scenes should match the tone of your book. (You
don't need to have characters swinging from the chandeliers if
you're telling a sweet knitting romance or something. Figure out
what kinds of love scenes best fit your story and characters.)
My homework was to write the most scandalous love scene I'd ever thought of writing. But you know what? I already did. Twice. The first one is in Wild At Heart, and I edited it out for my mother's version of that book (yes, I took my MS, edited out the naughty words/phrases/questionable scenes and printed it out. Mom won't read an e-book). The other is in Teacher's Pet.
A third one is the book I began working on in 2002, and have begun working on it again. I rather like the scene when they're taking a carriage ride! Come on; who hasn't thought of seeing how far you can take making out when you're in one of those? LOL:)
Update on My Mouth:
Don't think I posted it here, but I had a tooth extracted Tuesday June 26th and am still in severe mouth pain. I spend the majority of my day laying in bed, reading or sleeping. I can only be vertical for a maximum of 3 hours at a stretch. I had to call the dentist on Monday, since my prescription-strength Ibuprofin was gone. And now I'm down to 1.5 lortabs, which will be gone by tomorrow. They told me if I'm not any better by Monday, then to come in for a check-up.
On the one hand, it's been nice; I'm getting a lot of reading done, and it's like a holiday. But on the other hand, the family is getting tired of picking up the slack. I've had to resort to tears in order to remind the family I am in pain, and that's why the laundry's piled up....I've not done the dishes....I've not even THOUGHT about what's for dinner, because I'm currently living on soft food. This has been an awesome weight loss diet....
But I'm also tired of the pain. I'd planned to resume writing today, and I just don't feel up to it. And I HAVE to be better by July 14th, my SIL's wedding. And there's the tiny matter of making a trip to see my mother; she's not seen little Alex yet. I also want to sing karaoke again. But I want to sing well, not sounding like I have a tobacco wad in my mouth.
I'll announce the blog hop winner tomorrow, so check back!