Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thoughts, Ponderings and Other Things

Dun-dun-dun. LOL! Okay, it's always scary when I get into my pondering mood because I never have any idea what I'm going to talk about. Read on at your own risk. :)

Today I was beyond lazy (i.e. I did NOTHING!). Got up, ate, read a review book, reread Angels' Blood, twittered like mad on my BlackBerry and basically did...nothing. And it felt wonderful.

At the end of AB there is a lovely snippet for Mercy's book. What is it about Nalini's writing where she can initiate an immediate, visceral reaction from me every. Single. Time? I don't get it. But I gotta tell you? That scene between Mercy and Riley? *fans self* It's one of the hottest scenes I've read in a long time.

I know I've talked before about the level of sensuality I like. I'm a big believer in smokin' hot sex, but (and it's a big but) it also depends on the story. If an author has spent time building up a smokin' attraction and then gives us a blip instead of a bang, that's a cheat. If the author is writing a sweet romance and the sex is either off the page or isn't very detailed, I'm okay with that.

There's nothing that bugs me more than when an author cheats their reader. Something that is usually the ulitmate pay off is either tawdry or stupid really, really pushes my buttons. I know that in my writing my hero and heroine have hot chemistry from the get-go, but they also don't jump into bed right away (no matter how much the hero wishes otherwise). However, when they do finally make love, it'll be detailed and steamy and sexy and all the good things wrapped up in a pretty little bow because that is what I want and like in my novels.

I read romances specifcially for the chance to watch others fall in love. Since I myself have never been in love (how sad) I like knowing that others do, even if it is in a book. That being said, I really despise gratuitous sex scenes that are just thrown in to titillate; not to actually have any meaning. I think that's one reason why erotic romance has such a hard time making it into the mainstream. Oh, they're doing well, but I think if the writers focuses more on the building romance and less on the sex itself, there'd be more readers.

Which sounds hypocritical. What is erotic romance other than a romance novel with a lot of sex in it? But you know what? I've read some truly amazing erotic romances in my day. Katie Allen, Kate Steele, just to name a few. I haven't read every book they've written, but they've written books that touched me. Breaking the Silence is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I admit, I didn't care for Raw Footage as much as I'd hoped, but it was still a decent book.

It's when you get stuck with the ones where the author focuses just on the sex and the characters are there because the author needs a penis and a vagina to make the book work. A. It's a waste of MY money and B. It's a waste of my time.

I've been reading romance novels for as long as I can remember. Sure I got into "real" romances when I was 10, but what is the Little House series if not a romance (hello, Almonzo!) or the Betsy/Tacy books when Betsy marries Joe? Or Anne of Green Gables and her love for Gilbert Blythe? All of these books may have been written for children, but as the characters grow, they mature and fall in love. It's the nature of things.

As for writing about love, I may not have ever been in it, but I've witnessed it. My parents have a strong, lovely relationship that I've been surrounded by all my life. Since I KNOW it exists, it's hard for me to settle for anything less (which is why I'm still single at 32). I take my knowledge of my parents, my personal observations and years of reading and use them towards my own writing. It's not easy, especially since I haven't experienced it myself, but I'm an observer of people and it's not that difficult to understand why someone would fall in love with another person.

What seriously bugs me is the romance novel where there's never any good reason for the H/H to actually get together and fall in love. The author tells us they're in love, but never shows us. If I can stress anything to an author, it's that. Make sure you SHOW us why your characters fall in love. Don't TELL us. Give us a reason to want them to get together. Nothing worse than building it up only to throw it away.

And that's about all the rambling, ranting, whatever I've got tonight. *sigh*

Sharon is still here! Go ahead and comment if you're interested in getting her book! Cheers!


Tracy said...

When the h/h fall in love and they tell us but don't show us (as you mentioned) it bugs me to no end! hate it.

Good pondering

connie said...

I agree with you completely. It is so disappointing when I buy a book and it's all about the sex and no character or story development. I love a steamy romance book, but there has got to be a chemistry, a connection, and emotion between the couple to make it work.

Raonaid Luckwell said...

This makes me think of the lesson in one writing group that we had to work not telling/showing.

They focused more on having us "show" than "Tell" the reader what happened.

Yes, I rather show the development between characters, it makes the characters more convincing, more life-like and memorable.

orannia said...

Very interesting insight. And I agree: 'Show AND Tell' may be waht they do at primary school, but Show Not Tell works better in books :)