Monday, August 31, 2009

the illusion of productiveness (writing about naughty parts)

Okay, I can stop yelling at my muse. Over the past weekish, I've spent as much time as my brain would allow me rewriting a story I wrote a while back. I may even have something worth reading when all is said and done. I feel like I might actually get somewhere one of these days. After this, the plan is to submit the story to a publisher, cross my fingers and start rewriting something else.

Which brings me to my current internal debate, how graphic is too graphic? I'm not a huge fan of explicit sex scenes. I'll read them, but after so many pages of grunting and squirting, I get bored easily. I know, I know. I write erotica, but I don't like to read explicit sex. Strange? Maybe. Sometimes it can seem more like a badly written instruction manual than an erotic story. I don't like it to be so graphic I feel like I'm reading porn. But I wonder if readers feel the same way. I think a lot of people hear that someone writes erotica and that is exactly what they picture - graphic sex scenes and not much more. Or when they think about romance novels, they think of love scenes that are subtle, filled with flowery euphemisms and cuddling afterwards. I write something in between.

I'm worried now that when I start to submit my work to mainstream publishers, they'll tell me I need to write to one extreme or the other. Should I do it, even if I'm not comfortable with it? Is that the only way I'll be able to keep readers - either a fade-to-black or an all-out blow-by-blow? I don't think I should have to compromise between what I'm comfortable writing if it works with my characters and what I think publishers will accept. I know there has to be a certain level of compromise when it comes to editing, but will I have to sacrifice what I consider the quality of my writing in order to get it into the hands of a bigger audience?

*sigh* I like self-publishing, but I don't want to feel like that is always going to be my only option.

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