I write romance. Many, if not most, books have some kind of romance in their plotline, whether it be a small or large part. Overall, romance is probably one of the most overused types of plots in fiction.
The thing is, of course, that when you write romance, or at least romance between adults, then invariably sex comes into play in one form or another. And that’s where (excuse the pun) things can get sticky.
Nearly every author of romance asks themselves at one time or another, how far do I go? Do you leave it at “they closed the door behind them” or go into full, Fifty Shades of Grey detail? And this is something that a lot of people have worried about for a long time.
Me, I’ve had this conversation with myself a number of times. I have a novel up on another site, under another name, which has very strict rules about how explicit one can be, and the story I wrote had to be tempered to fit those guidelines. Some scenes never made it on there at all, as it was just too hard to tone them down enough. And to be honest, I surprised myself with how far I was willing to go with my writing. I dare say the cover of anonymity had an effect, as I didn’t have to worry about what people I knew would think when they read it, but still it was a bit of an eye-opener. The more I wrote (and the better I knew my characters), the more explicit the scenes.
With my current project, I had a few scenes that I really ummed and ahhed over. Should I include them or not? Were they too steamy? Did they fit the rest of the novel? And that was when I realised that I really had to sit down and make some decisions. What exactly was I writing? I’ve been telling people it’s chick-lit, romantic comedy, but some of the words coming from my fingers were more in the hard-core romance realm. Therefore, a line had to be drawn so I stayed consistent and kept to genre.
Eventually, I found a point I was comfortable with, which I felt kept to my stated genre yet didn’t compromise my writing at all. And what was that line? Anything I was comfortable with my dad reading, knowing I was the author, was acceptable. Anything more than that wasn’t. A simple rule, yet one that I am sure I will have no trouble keeping to.
With that in mind, my question to you all today is this: Have you ever had this conversation with yourself? If you have, how did you decide where to draw the line? And have you ever regretted that decision? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
- Why You Should Have Been A Romance Writer (prweb.com)
- Romantic, but not quite there… (ask.metafilter.com)
- Best selling romance novels this week: ‘Indies’ take over e-books (examiner.com)
- The “Canon” of the Romance Genre? (kayedacus.com)