Smut Revisited

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Over on Alison’s blog, Alyssa asked a pertinent question for which I have no answer 8-):

I’m curious about how much of the erotic part in erotic romance comes from the author (and the characters) and how much from the publisher. Are authors feeling pressure from publishers (or anyone) to be more erotic?

……..because I’m not print published, but I have been working on a single-author anthology to try and shop to NY and it’s the first time I’ve written straight erotica that’s this long. Maybe it’s not publisher pressure. LSB says nothing about the heat levels in my book. I’m not sure about any other epublishers though. Maybe epublishing gives writers the freedom to explore topics like BDMS which in turn, makes them less taboo in NY publishing?

And back here Jordan made this comment on sameness:

I figured out I get this way when I work on two books back to back.

Do you really not notice? Are you really that close to it? Seems to me that if you’re conscious of something, you’re less likely to do it. And obviously you’re conscious of it. I can’t think that I’m the only one who is so accutely aware. I even find myself stopping to see if I’m using the same phrases–so it’s not just the same sex but the way you write it. Lets go back to those three novellas. I”ve been very conscious of the sex and that it needs to vary by character, and sex should vary by character (and be true to the characters). Meljean had some interesting comments and sex in regards to her novella for Hot Spell.

As consicous as I am of the sex, I’m even more conscious of the characters. My biggest worry is that each story will feel like the same character regurgitated. Just as regurgitated sex scenes are a no-no, so are characters. Well, the characters are definitely different! Lexi’s my easy-going fun one with a bit of an exhibitionist streak. The sex is hot and fun. Lanie is my cold-hearted Human Dildo Girl–the sex is hot and well, nasty 😯 Carlotta is my BDSM girl and the sex is hot and very sensual (definitely the funnest story and my fave).

Of all three Carlotta and Devon definitely have the most chemistry. Why would it be the best IMO, have the most chemistry, be the hottest? Because, I think, the cornerstone of a Dom/sub relationship is trust. And in order to have trust, you have to communicate–which means this story has a lot of back and forth dialogue in it. I guess I’ve tried hardest with their story more than any other to get the relationship right, to present the whole Dom/sub relationship as honestly as I possibly can.

Maybe it’s not about……I can’t remember. The kid came out and started talking to me. Guess I better get back to my Nano wip now :kiss:

A quick funny: I started my Nano wip and realized that I couldn’t remember how to write in third person. :memememe:

So I’m curious has anyone ever had a publisher tell them to make something hotter?

10 thoughts on “Smut Revisited

  1. I definitely think publishers are looking for more hot stuff. All the new guidelines seem to be full of the buzz words that skirt the edge of “erotica.”

    Tanya

  2. I do the same thing — check to see if I’ve used the same phrases. Or, even worse, used the same phrases I’ve seen other people use (unconsciously, of course). And of course, some things it’s hard to find a way around using a certain manner of description (particularly if you’re avoiding overly-flowery/euphemistic descriptions).

    I’m also afraid of eventually regurgitating characters…not immediately, because I’ve got several different characters lined up in the short term, but down the line (if I last that long *g*). I’m drawn to writing about a certain type of personality; that might change, but right now? I’m not so sure. And it doesn’t help that last night, I skimmed through a Nora Roberts SIM from 1992 that was part of a trilogy, and could have easily mistaken it for one of her single title trilogies.

    Er, but I guess it’s not that bad then, if she recycles three main character types. It’s when the rest of us do it… :loser:

  3. Meljean it’s frustrating at times cuz you know, there’s only so many ways to say they f*cked like Bunnies :memememe:

  4. The more erotic romance stories I write, the more difficult I find it to make the sex scenes distinctly different for each set of characters. I just keep reminding myself of what the characters are like outside of the bedroom and then I make certain to bring that feel and personality to their sex act. It helps a lot when I let the characters take over (they’re always doing that to me! LOL), because then, the way they go about having sex seems much more natural to the character. Even the wording I use to describe the sex flows better with less repetition.

    About being told to make the sex hotter: Sort of. Early on, while writing my first erotic romance manuscript, I was unsure about how to write really steamy hot sex scenes–how to write about stuff that I hadn’t personally experienced. I was told that the sex was, indeed, hot, but that it sounded too clinical. That I needed to make it feel more personal for the reader. After reading my scenes again I saw that this was true. I reworked it, dropping any inhibitions, and just let the prose flow, unabashed, unashamed, and unrestrained. It worked and I’ve never heard anything about “beefing up” my sex scenes again. 😀

  5. In my first e-pubbed story, I was ‘encouraged’ by my editor to ‘elaborate’ on two of the sex scenes. Give more details about who was doing what.
    Actually, she was right on the money. The details gave it more flavor.

    And I agree–it IS tricky to try making each scene different than another. Character, setting, motivation, etc. all have to come into play. But I confess I wonder if I’ll run dry on it one day… :smurfy:

  6. So far I got 1500 words… :memememe:

    Less if I let myself cut half of what I’ve written already. 😐

    I start my job tomorrow night. Good news for the back account. :woot:

    Not so great for writing pace. 😳