On FRIDAY, I went for an in-office Gynecological procedure.
I was trembling on the inside and too afraid to even be the typical chatterbox that I embarrassingly become in public.
Scalpels, needles, medical jargon, and even the word 'procedure' are not to my liking.
The Bartholins cyst runs like a clear syrup, which is good according to the Doc, and she is amazed not only by how much fluid is drained but how long I've lived with the malady -- but to spend even a second of her time explaining my financial woes and the fact that I'd been without medical insurance for more than a decade seems pointless, so I remain silent.
I CAN (almost) SIT AND WALK LIKE A NORMAL PERSON AGAIN!
SATURDAY was WIP day, and I'm still pleased with the way this story is working itself out.
The ideas keep coming, I'm still on-track with the outline/plot thing (believe it or not), and I still think I've got a slight grip on the show versus tell issue, too.
Word Count: 16,286
Surname: still undecided
Chapters: Six complete
SUNDAY, I came across a year-old blog post via (I so hate this blog title!) Smart Bitches/Trashy Novels titled 10 Things I Hate About Sex (Scenes).
Denigrating a genre you supposedly love makes zero sense to me. And, referring to them as being 'trashy' only helps to further the stereotype and bad press, but there are thousands who follow this blog, so who am I to complain?
And, although this post appeared a year ago, some of you may be familiar with the topic since it received 197 comments before the close of business.
What I did was spend the next hour or so reading every one of those remarks, and if you haven't seen this one yet, I recommend that you give it a go.
If you want to know the fussy mind of a Romance Novel reader, this post generated quite an eye-opening bit of that information.
What I learned:
1. Publishers are a terrifying lot who need to be avoided at all cost if you, the author of said Romance novels, hope to keep even an ounce of not only your dignity/pride but also your voice/reasoning.
Some publishers demand frequent sex scenes and that the author also follow a (hate this term!) formula. I can't get past that word nor abide by the mentality.
Formulaic sex scenes. It just screams appalling lack of imagination, doesn't it?
Is this why my favorite, Lisa Kleypas, uses the exact same motions in every sex scene in every novel she's ever written?
And, if you're going to go the formula route, be assured that your readers know it and are skimming (or worse, reciting verbatim what they already know based on the last, oh, 683 romance novels that they've read).
2. Some of your readers actually wish for clinical dissertation and med student mentality to describe your bedroom romps!
Still shaking my head in shock and dismay at that bit of information, but there you have it.
(and, please don't shoot the messenger here, I just relay things, not psycho-analyze them)
A vagina is not a clitoris, and if the guy (H, apparently) is twice the length of the gal (h, apparently) then such things as (hate this term, too) spooning, meeting eye to eye, and even nip 'lathing' are out.
It is physically impossible for an H to shove his dick, cock, penis, or VELVET HORN far enough up the h's VAGINA for it to touch her womb.
3. Butt Punching seems preferable to the over-use and abuse of formulaic sex scenes.
I'm not even going to verify this one with a response of my own, except to say that if you want to add this to a sex scene, you need to make sure H uses a lubricant or the 'reality' aspect flies out the window.
4. Words are Power, so use them not only wisely but accurately and with feeling.
Flowery metaphor to describe her lady bits and mechanical as well as forest critter metaphors to describe his package are no-no's and a Thesaurus is highly recommended prior to venturing forth into the difficult-to-write world of bedroom escapades in print.
Velvet Horn, Sword of Steel, and Unfurled Manhood need avoidance, and frankly, I can feel the readers on this one.
Dick, to me, is the equivalent of a male asshole or jerk, and vagina is just a huge NO. As are clitoris and pink taco. Lips belong to mouth as clitoris belongs to 'somewhere in the vagina region'.
Va-j-j is just stupid, and bedonk-a-donk is insanely stupid.
LATH was probably the most detested word among a majority of the respondents, and yet a few Brits chimed in to extol its virtues and sing-song meaning.
Us Americans, however, hear lath and think of carpentry tools (because we're pronouncing it wrong) -- and when I read from a few that someone actually used the word lathe to mean lath -- as in 'she loved the way he would lathe at her nipples' -- I wasn't surprised yet still mildly stunned.
You really need to take into consideration the simple fact that not all of your readers hail from your fair city in your little corner of the world and therefore they'll just get it when you use slang and dialect in your writing.
It just seems common sense, that.
5. Oral Sex minus a Condom or (never heard of this) Dental Dam is just wrong.
Again, the stupidity of this remark makes me glad I don't write graphic sex scenes.
Responsibility be damned in this case, and unless the condom is cherry or peppermint flavored and the Dental Dam whitens H's teeth at the same time he goes down on h, using EITHER in a sex scene would remove ME (the reader) from the equation so fast as to be unbelieved.
6. DO please make sure your h goes pee immediately following intercourse or the Dental Dam treatment!
Seriously, think how romantic that sounds!
Along those same lines, a few comments suggested including OTHER bodily functions, like farting, burping, drooling, and even vomiting in the course of or either before or after having sex in a scene.
Imagine the possibilities, eh?
Because, after all, these instances DO occur . . . wait for it . . . in real life.
Did I already tell you guys about the time I was outside Pray-Harrold between classes in college when this 'guy' exited the building snorting before he hocked a luey, sneezed twice and used his hand to swipe the snot away, snorted again and burped real loud, scratched his ass right before he picked his nose, swiped it down the front of his shirt, sneezed a second, louder time and spit that wad out as well, burped again, picked his other nostril and stuck that inside his mouth . . .
. . . as his girlfriend ran toward him, wrapped her arms around him, and then he turned to slide his tongue down her throat?
Yeah . . . something along THAT line of reality, I think, is what the reader is asking for in our novels.
7. Never, under any circumstances, permit your H to poke h astride a horse.
Apparently, the horse won't tolerate any hanky-panky on board his back and will likely toss its occupants to the ground if given the slightest chance.
And, before anyone goes thinking I'm making fun of the readers, there were some decent, sane remarks made as well.
I think most readers understand that this is fantasy and not reality, and that we shouldn't be basing our reality on the fantasy that we read.
What I took away from that interesting post is this:
- Don't lose your character's personalities once H and h hit the sheets
- Go for ambiance and mood lighting as opposed to slam, bam, thank you, ma'am
- Remember that not every character will behave the same way in every situation
- Be sure and tell your editor to F off if they suggest formula sex scenes
- Buy and Use a thesaurus and a dictionary prior to starting any and all writing endeavors
- If you've never found yourself in a particular sexual position, chances are you won't describe it to the reader's satisfaction -- watch some porn and look up diagram charts online for that
- Try inserting a disclaimer at the beginning of your novels for those readers who might take your work too literally
- STOP trying to do and write what everyone else has already done and written -- take a giant leap of faith in yourself AND the reader, and just write what you feel
Your comments, thoughts, suggestions, issues, and insight are always welcome. Please feel free to reply to any of my posts.