Sunday, March 8, 2009

Speculative Friction

Sigh. I didn't even make it through a paragraph first. Thinking about trends in writing, reading, genres--we've talked about the Great Genre Scramble going on--but this topic, and the title of the blog, makes me...well, sigh.

Romance is mingling with the other genres, and kudos! I'm glad it's branching out, discovering new themes, breaking the old formula and boldly going where no syndicated science fiction series has gone before. I'm glad. The old formulas were getting tired, and if I saw another Fabio-look-alike-wearing-a-kilt cover on a book, I think I might have considered ritual suicide. The Celtic obsession, frankly, makes me want to barf. (It's not dancing, their arms don't even MOVE)

So why the sigh? What's got her knickers in a twist, now?

No, it's not the vampires. (even though they are hardly better than the Fabio thing) In a word, it's the sex. Not the romance story sex of old--the bodice heaving, hair flying, balance of innocent blushes and erotic innuendo... Today's romance reader is looking for sex. period. They want it hot and the want it a lot. Gone are the days of building the tension, closing the curtains, and writing about the morning after. Today's reader wants their love scene on the razor's edge of porn--if not swimming right in it.

Now folks, I'm not even a smidge prudish. I was an adult party home consultant for Chrissakes. I've read Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty trilogy, and I never blushed once. (as far as you know)
But here's my problem...I don't want to write that crap, er ... stuff.

You know I have an interest in e-publishing. Well, 90% of the big, successful e-book houses are geared soley toward, what? Romance, in very firmly outlined shades of "heat" (read: porn level)
from "sweet" to "Sensual" to "SMOKING" to "Wear protective clothing!" How many of the 'sweet' category do YOU think are selling???? ready for it?


My good friend once wrote a sex scene between fairies. She made me read it. Not the elvin, humanesque fairies, either. I'm talking, pixies. Winged, tiny, mushroom sitting fairies.
I still can't get the image out of my mind; I don't like to think about it. LA LA LA LA
As I told her, MY fairies don't DO that!!!

Is there a place in the market for characters that haven't gotten their thing on by page 99??? page 199??? BOOK TWO???
I'm so toast.

What's left for a writer who doesn't really want to go there? Who borders on "smokin" at best? Or is it Hot as Hell or Not at All? Anyone else find themself skimming the sex scenes by chapter four to get to the plot? Probably not.


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