Hello, everyone I’m starting these posts because I have a bit of information in my head that I feel could help others. The thing is people don’t research the hell out of everything before they decide if it’s something they want to do. I, on the other hand, have and still do for the most part. So I decided its time for me to share that with anyone interested so that maybe you can feel like you’re not standing on water after you’ve submitted your first book.
**Disclaimer: this post will make you uncomfortable, I run a fine line between fictional and real life in an example of...fiction and real life. Sex is the topic because sex is life.
I know this is a weird place to start as I can’t, in any way, give you advice on how to write. I don’t know that shit any more than the next person does. Yeah, some parts of it can be taught. Some need to be taught (I am one of those needing to be taught, honestly, I suck at the whole English Language bullshit and it’s my first language. You can probably tell just by my post how much I suck at it. So watch for that *wink*) but a lot of it’s about imagination, and an ability to convey your voice threw words, which is a talent not everyone has, unfortunately.
This post is also going to be the first one that is genre specifically because I believe it only really applies to this genre, and I’m not talking M/M I’m talking ALL romance.
One of the things I most often hear from authors I follow is that you shouldn’t read in the genre you’re writing in. And for the most part this makes sense, because in fiction you need a sense of being different. You’re most likely going to be noticed more if you’ve got something new and fresh.
In romance, yeah, we like new things, new plot and ideas, and that one thing. However, it is also very delicate in the way it handles ‘dirty’ things.
I’m talking sex here, and I know it’s a little middled and confusing because it’s not just about sex I’m talking about but also why you need to read romance to write romance. Only romance and sex are so entwined one can’t be helped linking to the other. Which is why I’m about to do that, to show you how hard it is to separate them. They blend, they build and they are romance.
Romance is sex and sex can be one of the most disgusting things on the planet and I say this with a shit-eating grin, the thing is you don’t notice it why you’re fucking. When sexing you’re in the moment, you’re getting your rocks off. Your partner suggests something and you’re lost. You generally just roll over and take it, ‘cause by that stage you want the same thing.
But when you are reading it? We don’t want that. Well, yes we do, but clean it up? Like having, “The sounds of pussy farts rose up around us” isn’t romantic, but it’s true. Only in romance we don’t want truth, we want romance. It’s not a 101 people!
In M/M romance, it’s one of the biggest things they fight about, male M/M romance writers complain that there isn’t any realism in female M/M author’s stories, like we don’t know what it’s like to take it up the arse? The only thing we don’t know is that spasm of pleasure you get by…oh wait, yeah we actually have that too. The only real difference is that with women we tend to lubricate ourselves which means most of the time (if our partner can get us hot enough, and or if we lubricate enough—some women need lube for vaginal sex. It ain’t a bad thing) which means a man can put his dick into your vagina and then into our arse (and that’s it. no switch back, ever!). Also, another difference would be the way our bodies take the invasion, as a female’s body is designed to change so much that we can birth a baby, which means the walls between our bowel and our vagina is quite thin and very flexible as the whole wall presses out to the other side as the baby passes.
And so I may have more feelings about this subject then I originally thought, and I do my research on everything.
Sorry. Got distracted.
The thing is you need to read up on romance, generally the type you yourself are writing and learn their basic lingo. This will tell you how you should approach certain aspects of your chosen genre.
There’s also the fact that in romance, predictability to an extent isn’t the worse thing in the world, hell some people will love you just for that. It helps I guess that it’s romance and, if it is labelled that, then the predictability is already there. You don’t give your readers a HFN (Happy For Now) or HEA (Happy Ever After) you will get ripped apart. It’s the reason they read romance for the knowledge that no matter how much crap the MC’s (Main Character’s) go through that they will find that ending for themselves.
A lot of the time a reader will tell you they want something new until it’s given to them, and then what they really wanted was more of the same, and how dare you try and put this [insert what you’ve done] in front of them and made them buy it.
And yes, at the end of the day, certain types of reader will blame you for making them buy your book. (It’s a small number but still) It’s your fault they didn’t read the blurb, it’s your fault they didn’t read the warnings. It's your fault this and that. It’s something you need to get used to asap or you won’t be able to handle what’s coming next.
So what’s the moral of my long winded twisted post? Listen to authors who tell you never to read in the genre you’re writing unless it’s romance. Though even when it romance, I believe you need to read as much and as widely as you can. However, you need to learn how to construct and talk romance, talk sex.
Here’s the thing, you can get as close to writing real sex as you can. Hell, you can record yourself having sex and write a scene word for word, sound for sound, and if you are brilliant people might overlook you talking about fanny farts, or you flicking that bit of shit off your cock before pounding back in. You can do all that and be brilliant and people may love you for that, but my guess is that they will probably only see those parts and comment on them because they are what made them uncomfortable.
Because, and here’s the real secret most romance authors won’t tell you, because, well, they might not see it, they might not feel it, but sex makes people uncomfortable. The western world is one of the worse for it. Sex is an uncomfortable topic; it’s why romances are called ‘mummy porn’ and generally hidden or they tell you what they’re reading with a blush. Because they know that you know they are reading about sex, and outside the house too! Such naughty boys and girls. So in order to get your book out there and accepted and loved. It needs to be hot while keeping it neat and tidy. To write it in a way that allows them to forget its sex while knowing it is… yeah I lost myself too.
So already by writing romance you are fighting something naughty, that we as a culture have been told should never go outside a bedroom, even though they talk about it like you’re having it next to them. It’s weird, we are adolesce in high school learning sex Ed. It’s all a joke, it’s all we can talk about, think about, but we don’t want you to know that. Yet we do, we crave the need for sex constantly. Which means now you need to allow me to not really connect it with real life, with what I know about sex what I have of sex. You need to not put in those things that make me uncomfortable while having sex. I don’t want to be reminded of my partner chuckles at me while my fanny farted, and yes, he wasn’t really laughing at you in a humiliating way, but you don’t hear the tone only the embarrassment.
You get the picture yet. If not I don’t think there’s any hope, just write it the way you want, but remember my words, you have to be aware of what you are putting out and be able to accept it when it starts to prove you right.
EDIT to help show you want i mean, from a book I'm editing at the moment
A hot and wet thumb pushed against his anal muscles lightly before pulling away. (He heard another glob of spit coming out of his mouth). *
this is what I mean what i wrote is real. it's what would have happened. Hell you watch them do this in porn, and yet, the comment, the fact is it's not sexy it's not fantasy, and so it needs to be cleaned up, made something different from what's true.
That’s it for me today, next time I’ll be talking about…something else.