What I Write



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8/25/2017

Close the door. It's private. #mfrwauthor

There are different ways to approach the prompt of "open doors, closed doors." It could be the concept where one door opens, another closes.

Photo by Julie McMurry


Her true gender revealed, Glyn, bodyguard to the newest dragon lord, could no longer fulfill her duty to the dragshi. However, the closing of that door removed the barricade to love. Hatchling's Curse

An alternate scenario was related in Windmaster Legacy. When Ellspeth, captain of Sea Falcon, is stripped of her rank, it seemed like the end of the world. She lost her ship, her crew, and she thought...her future. But then a called out asking to speak to the council and in the open door stood the archmage Lord Dal. I'll leave you to read the story to learn about what path that door led to.

Photo by CullyBarbosa
However, open or closed doors can relate to the steam level of a story.  First off, I admit I don't usually write sweet romance. And I prefer sensual versus explicit. I try not to write anything I would be embarrassed to have my mother or mother-in-law read. 

That is not to say that my characters don't go beyond a simple hug or even a passionate kiss. In one book, the consummation of the main characters’ relationship started off in real terms then allegory did the rest. Remember the 1950s movies? A passionate kiss, heading toward the bedroom, the closing door, fireworks going off, then the heroine emerging from the bedroom in the hero’s pajama top.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit the other posts in the challenge to see whether the doors are open or closed.

~till next time.




If the links above don't work, try these.

Sherry Lewis

22 comments:

  1. I wish we could come up with another term besides "sweet" or "clean" for romances that don't include graphic sex scenes. Neither of those terms seems to fit most of the books I enjoy reading and writing. Some of them can be quite gritty in other ways, and very realistic about life issues, so "sweet" doesn't apply, and "clean"... I just don't like it. Ah, well, that's a problem for another day, I guess.

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    1. I agree that a consensus is needed and that includes the distributors and the reading public. But what is one flame to one reader is XXX to another. Have had multiple incidents lately where people equated romance to pornography. At least one store is in the midst of a purge.

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    2. I'm not fond of the word "clean" either for describing a type of book. I'm confused about "sweet." I see some romance stories that say sweet and sexy. I remember the movies where the door closes and the next morning she comes out wearing his shirt, but I always wanted to see what went on behind that door. So, in writing, I leave the door open, but don't get too explicit. (in my opinion) :-)

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    3. @Mary, I'm the same way! Wait....what happened after the kiss and the next morning????????

      I decided my 'too-explicit-for-YA-and-too-tame-for-erotic' was 'Young Adult Smut'. It's still tamer than the steamy romance, but once in a while I'll sneak in a word that normally wouldn't appear in it, ha ha....a blend of Molly/Kenzie as the characters grow older??? Who knows? Molly begins the series, Kenzie finishes it. Hmmmmm....I might be onto something here.....

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  2. I agree with Sherry. So-called sweet Regency romances used to be called traditional, meaning old-fashioned values, like no sex before marriage, but I'm not sure young readers understand that term. I prefer it myself, since it fits with historical romance. "Clean romance" raises my hackles, as I discussed in my blog post.

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    1. Traditional is the kind of romance I started off reading (when I was many, many years younger.) And I agree, "clean" implies the reverse for anything that isn't it.

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  3. We definitely need a better system. Clean means nothing to millenials, steamy nowadays was x rated not so long ago. ONe of my favorite authors writes "Clean historical", while another favorite writes what is riding the line between erotica and romance.

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    1. It fascinates me how things change. One wave is anything goes, then the next is a purge of any reference to sex or showing skin on a cover. What happened to the old phrase, "different strokes for different folks." What we need is a way to tell readers so they don't get shocked.

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  4. The thought of stores purging romance as porn gives me the chills. Censorship is ugly however it manifest itself.

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    1. Censorship has always been an anathema to me. There are things inappropriate for children but that's not censorship its called good parenting. As a historian I always presented it as the way it was, warts and all. What frightens me is the attack beyond demanding history be rewritten or statues be torn down. A major US city just announced that after showing "Gone With The Wind" for DECADES, it is removing the movie from its film series.

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  5. My prediction: Any system for naming heat levels will wear out its welcome in time. People want to think they're reading something new, and one way for marketers to trick people (which is, I think, what marketers do best) is to come up with a new word for the same thing.

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    1. I think you're right that there will never be a consensus and perception is a major reason. It is also one of the major issues we as authors have to deal with as far as at readers. Label something fantasy and romance readers don't like the sword play, label it romance, and fantasy readers object to the kiss. Sometimes it feels like we can't win.

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  6. I can relate to your comment about being comfortable with your MIL reading it- because my 15 year old twins are voracious readers and have read most of my books.

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    1. I'm waiting for grand-nieces to get to that stage. They're not quite ready for PG-13. The relationship issues wouldn't bother the oldest of them, but the subtexts and sword play is still a little old for their age/maturity level.

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    2. I let my then-14 y/o read my 1st erotic romance, and her response was 'Good story, Mom....but I've read way worse at school.'

      My response? "Thank god I'm on the tame side!"

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  7. Interesting point about the old tv shows and how you "knew" what they were doing, even if it wasn't shown. I remember the first Dick Van Dyke show (with Mary Tyler Moore) and they had twin beds. How we've evolved!

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    1. Had forgotten that. Thanks for the remembrance. I also remember when celebrities took their status as a role model seriously. Now they publish sex tapes. You're right haw things have changed.

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  8. I don't know why things can't just be what they are. In my mind a romance always meant you got to see a little of the physical relationship. It didn't have to be in super detail, but it wasn't complete closed door either. The fact that people hear romance and think 'word porn' is just wrong. Romance is just that. People in a relationship and that relationship (in most cases) have some sexual component. Writing that doesn't make it porn. The author is simply giving the reader all aspects of the courtship.

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    1. I don't write books to meet a certain standard and we shouldn't have to. In my mind as an author I need to consider reader expectations. If a potential reader doesnt' want the full relationship I have to figure out a way to let them know before they buy. If they buy it's too late. Because who knows, the next book might be right up their alley. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. It is so hard to decide how to label what you write. I was considering mine sweet but found most think that is equal to clean. I had no curse words and it bordered on silly so I decided ot adult the level some and forget the label.

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    1. It's even harder to classify when a work straddles genres such as romance and fantasy. We as authors might know what is generally considered for a genre or sub-genre, but a reader might not.

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    2. We had this discussion over the Outlander series when we had the bookstore. One owner wanted to put it in the fantasy/sci-fi section; the other insisted it was romance. I don't remember where it finally ended up.

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