Sunday, March 26, 2017

How Much Sex is Too Much Sex?

Random thoughts here today, people! Be warned. I'm avoiding my book. It's in the wicked, gnarly stage where there's a twist that I'm having trouble figuring out.

So, let's get started, shall we?

How Much Sex is Too Much Sex?


I've actually been thinking about this since last week in regards to writing. I enjoy some heated moments in what I read and what I write. Usually it's the manhandled, younger/smaller dominate kind, but I've been known to enjoy the sweet and gentle on occasion. There are one or two writers I've loved reading in the past who rarely write on page sex. Megan Derr is one although I did actually read one of hers that had graphic details this week, but that woman can give a pretty lovely tale without mentioning a rod or a pole anywhere. Can't remember the other author right now.

But, is sex in a book necessary? You know, I guess it's completely up to the reader. There have been moments when I've been so interested in the storyline that I've totally skipped the sex. I know it's coming. I feel the signs. I scan over the grunts and moans and get back to the story. When I look through my saved bookmarks of my favorite books, rarely is it the sexy times. There may be the moment that leads into it, could be the moment after, but there are only a very few where it's the sex I go back to read. For me, it's the way the characters interact, it's the relationship, the spot where I realize this guy I've been waiting on to finally act, to just take over, is truly about to, and I have to read it again and again.

Now, those moments? Beautiful.



On Facebook, there's been the conversation of what defines a clean book. Some say a clean book is a book without sex? Really. There are some pretty horrific books out there without sex that I wouldn't let my kids near. Others are taking the challenge to write stories without on page sex. That's a tough one because you have to know how to give the heat, the passion, and the intimacy. Not saying it isn't possible. It's beautiful when a person knows how. Take me nearly there, like we're edging the pleasure, and I'm sold.

Then there's the other extreme. Too much sex. When is that exactly? Is it when the majority of the book is about the grunts and moans, and very little story actually happens? I think that depends on the reader as well. What's the reader looking for in their book? I bet that many readers can pretty much tell you the authors they read specifically for their own moments. I know my list for the dark and sexy kind, the oh-so-sweet kind, the fairy tale kind, the mysterious kind, and the I need a quick fix kind. As a reader myself (because that's why I became a writer anyway), I don't just read one type of book although I only read m/m. (That's it. I'm 43. I read and enjoyed everything under the sun until I found my genre about four years ago, one I used to write about in my teens. Bam. It's over. That's all my book fund pays for, the hard and male kind.)




 So, why do we write about sex if there is this question of clean, off page, too much sex? Don't know the answer to that myself. Could it be we're human, and we like to read where someone gets it right? We have enough stress in our lives. Why not enjoy a little fantasy? I will say my hubby's happier because of the books I read. Just sayin.

Why do I write it? I enjoy it. No, my guys aren't humping their way through the entire book, but I save the moments where they get up, close and personal and go in for the long haul complete with thrusts, pumps, touches and tender words. They have off page as well, but I like them to get physical.
Do I want the book overwhelmed by it? No. Those who enjoy reading my work know I'm a character writer. I love getting to know my people. All of them. I love story. I love plot. I love meat, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the sexy roller coaster ride along the way. So, I provide them. This also doesn't mean that there aren't a few fabulous books that have been awesome without it.



When do I write it? It depends on the book and sometimes on the length. If it's a short story, it may have one or none. There may be allusions to it but nothing descriptive. If it's a novella or a novel, then I've given myself time to play.

How do I write it? I go with my characters. I like a little surprise sometimes. I like the younger, smaller guy to take over. Other times, I love the alpha male. Then, there's the moments when I enjoy a good switch.

Keep in mind that I've only written four books with another three in editing. I'm new. And, since I'm new, I have to do my research. Would you like to write about sex, but you're not sure how? Do you know what your heat levels are?



Check out the articles below for some excellent ideas:

Sex in Fiction—Do They or Don’t They?

by Fiction Editor Beth Hill 
http://theeditorsblog.net/2011/03/03/sex-in-fiction-do-they-or-dont-they/
 It's the Editor's Blog, and it's pretty amazing on the details, the do's and don'ts. Give it a read.


Ten Top Tips For Writing Sex Scenes by Emma Darwin


Loved this one, too. Packed full of good advice but sectioned in a way you can scan for what you need.

With this done, maybe I should get back to my book.

The one that's scrambling my brain is Flirty and Red. Flirty's a Puerto Rican nurse who loves to chat. Red's a cowboy from Louisville who just can't get away. In the end, he doesn't want to. Neither does his beast. Yeah, it's that twist right there that's killing me.

Until next time, family.

Love,
Deja




Thursday, March 16, 2017

You've Submitted. Now what?

So, You've Submitted! Now what?


Submitted a book recently. Whew, that book. In the beginning I loved it, loved the characters. After editing, searching for repeat words and tweaking, I could happily push them both off of a cliff. But, that's writing.

Like giving birth, I'll forget about the pain and move on to the next one, but what do I do in between?

If you're trying to figure that one out, let me give you a few suggestions:


1. Read

It's probably one of the things that got you into the idea of writing to begin with. You read and read, and then one day, you said, "Why not write?" And, you did. The good thing about reading is that it not only gives you a break, but you are actually learning from other writers. I find that as a writer, I look at the way others tell their stories differently. I still read to enjoy, but it's more about how they transition and word their thoughts, how they avoid the repetition of words I seem unable to do without. How do they show rather than tell? The phrasing? Too bad I can't claim my library list on my taxes as research. Man, the money I could save. 

But, read. It's a must if you're going to take the craft seriously. You'll not only learn more about what you do, or see what you've grown past, but you'll enjoy yourself, too. 

2. Live



Get out of the house! Live! Go on a date. Are you single? Take yourself out. Go to a movie! Go shopping or window shop! Exercise. If these things are not already a part of life for you, make them regular. You need to schedule some time for you. 

You love to write? Yes, I do, too, but most of us are suffering from Vitamin D deficiency for a reason. 

See the sun. Get your blood pumping. Interact with others. I guarantee when you come back from actually doing something outside of the desk chair or wherever it is you type, you will have stories to add to your WIP list. 

3. Write


You finished your book! Now you're done. WRONG! Do you have a notebook, a journal? If not, try to get one. Carry this little guy everywhere. There are ideas waiting to be had. It could start with someone's eye color, a word or two you hear in conversation, pictures, shopping in the grocery store, etc. You never know, but you'll be surprised how quickly that thread of an idea becomes an actual story. If you don't get it down, it will join the pile of the forgotten, and you'll be left with nothing. 

You could even map out works you're already considering while waiting in line or sitting beneath the hair dryer. Take advantage or those moments. Get those ideas written, so you'll have them later. The only way to become a better writer is to keep writing. 


4. Build Your Platform




Social media can be more than a place for you to vent your frustrations, laugh at delightful cat videos, or find the latest and greatest recipes. For me, it's more than when the next pop up Lularoe party will happen. (Yes, me too.) 

Anyway, social media can be a tool for getting your name out there. Let's face it, you wouldn't work so hard to get your books published if you honestly didn't want people reading them. So, build those relationships and build your platform. Not sure how? Check out this article below:


There are some great ideas here and more to be found. Just remember to be yourself, get to know people and connect. Establish yourself.

5. Study Your Craft



If you're going to write and write well, there are just a few things to remember. LIE! There's a ton to remember which means you need to get started fast. Where do you start? First, try reading. Read books of authors you enjoy in the style you want to write. Look for tools to help. Need a few?

First, here's the best 100 websites for writers in 2016
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/129267451784839307/

Then, let's take a look at creating characters
http://www.justinmclachlan.com/787/25-things-creating-characters/

And Justin McLachlan? Let me just say AMAZING! Read anything by this man. So helpful. Promise


All of this to say, don't just sit and wait to hear back about your book. You did it. You finished it. I applaud you. I love you for what you've accomplished. Now, move. Get shaking. Do more!



Lots of love,
Deja

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Writing - The Journey Never Ends!

Yes, Broken Pieces made it! I have signed the contract with Extasy Books, and Peter's story will be told.

And after I have finished Flirty and Red,








I will begin Kristoff's story!

I'm beyond thrilled to have a home for these works and can't wait to see what happens next. 

In the meantime, though, I'm working on Getting There with hopes of sending it to Extasy. One of the greatest gifts I've received from Extasy Books so far is their list of House Style rules. If you're a writer, you're always trying to find the words you've repeated, and while there are probably great tools for this, I have yet to find one that I am going to copy and paste all of my work into so this can happen.

In the past, I created a list, but it just wasn't complete. I would read through and stress, scratching my head.

Now, I have this. Thank you, Extasy.

Some of these words are passive, weak and/or excessively overused. Search via the highlight all feature, you might be surprised and watch for all forms:

a bit                        a little             a lot                            about
actually                 almost             alread y                      appear
approximately       as                    basically                    been
began                     begin,             begun                         being
caused                   close to           completely                could
essentially            even                eventually                 exactly
extremely              fairly               finally                         get
got                          had                 half                             has
have                       here                highly                         in
into                        just                  just then                     kind of
knew                      knowing        large                           like
momentarily        mostly            must                           nearly
notice                     now                only                            out
practically             pretty             quite                           rather
really                     seem               seen                            simply
slightly                  small              so                                somehow
something             sometime       somewhat                  sort of
start                        such                suddenly                   that
then                        there               therefore                    thing
to                            to be               truly                           unbeknownst
utterly                   very                was                             watch
were                       within             would                        all names
Beware of phrases that start with words such as:
about to                 began to         begin to                      begun to
could                     start to            would



Actually going through and checking for these words has improved my writing! I have better sentences since I just can't remove a word. The sentences have to be tweaked and changed. And, I find that I like the results, the way my words flow.

Maybe you have something else you're using, but I love this. No more scratching my head looking for the repeat word. Now, I'm scratching my head for ways to make it better. 
Writing. It's the journey that never ends!