February 27th, 2005

I’ve really been giving the below RWR article some thought. Actually, I’ve been giving my entire career some thought. (Hate when I get so pensive.) I don’t want to lose out on 10% of all book sales. I’m in this business because I want to be a writer. I want to have a career. If that means toning things down a bit, then so be it.

I haven’t come by this decision lightly. I was thinking about ALL of my favorite authors. Yes, they all write fairly spicy, but their styles vary greatly. For example, Angela Knight writes some of the hottest stuff I’ve ever read. I absolutely love her work. At the same time, I love Stephanie Laurens’ historical stories. They are just as hot IMO, but aren’t near as graphic in nature.

Personally, I prefer a spicier read. What I’ve realized as I have been considering all my options is that spicy varies as widely as the romance genre itself. I don’t have to limit myself by the use of language or box myself in. If toning down the former will gain wider appeal, then I’m stupid not to do so.

On a completely separate note, I received my first review for “Bad Boys Over Easy”. If you’d like to check it out, click here.

16 comments to “Language”

  1. Great review, Jordan! Congratualtions!!!

  2. Great reviewes, Jordan! ^5! 🙂

    As for your concerns re how detailed you need to be hot. It depends, on the writer and the story. I haven’t read Stephanie Laurens yet (but she is in my TBR pile) but I know Jennifer Cruisie writes some scorchers, as well as Mary Balough(sp?), yet there is *very* little detail in their scenes. They describe, motion, emotion, and sensation very effectively. Very effectively. gg

    I just read ‘Hello Gorgeous’ by Mary Janice Davidson. There weren’t as many love/sex scenes as I’d expect in a BRAVA, and they were very brief. Yet, again, very effective. A few details and sensations went a very long way.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the longish detailed/graphic lovescene, but heat can be accomplished in other more concise ways. And sometimes the author’s voice or story requires more lyricism, while at other times more bold language is required because of the characters, imprint, etc.

    Don’t know what to say about the 10%. Haven’t gotten my RWR yet. On one hand you don’t want to lose those sales, but on the other hand there is the *growing* demand from reader for more plain language and graphic details used in lovescenes. Gotta find a place you feel comfortable.

    Once again, I’ve blathered on and on your blog, and have been of absolutely no help. gg

    Happy Monday! 😛

  3. Thanks Sasha! I’m very proud of that review. 😀

  4. Jaq,
    Actually, I think you conveyed what I meant better than I did. LOL! I’m sure my EC books will continue to skirt the edge in both language and description. (wg) I just don’t want to hinder my chances for wider distribution with my work out of NY. I know much of that has to do with title and cover art, which I have very little control over. Content, I do. I figure there is still a way to keep it hot without offending as many people. (Which for me means cutting some of the language I use.)

  5. I understand your concern – I’m sure it’s one that plagues nearly every author who writes steamy scenes. And no one want to lose out on sales or readers. Sometimes I think it can be adjusted, and other times, it just wouldn’t fit the story/character/pub house to use less frank language. A book by book struggle, imo. While you want to grab that reader you might miss otherwise, you don’t want to lose your loyal readers who “know” what to expect – or even worse, you don’t want to lose the unique power and edge of your voice that drives your stories in the first place.

  6. Eve, I don’t think I’d lose my edge if I toned down the language in my love scenes. I agree that the decision would have to be made on a book by book basis.
    To be honest, I’m actually shocked that this decision has created so much discussion.
    I’m not a particularly hot writer. Yes, I do write fairly graphic sex scenes, but compared to many out there my books are tame. Maybe I’m just not able to view my work probably. Hmm…

  7. one of the most evocative love scenes I ever read was (1) short and (2) mentioned no body parts, but you felt it in your gut. I think it has to go with whatever is appropriate for your characters too. I typically don’t censor myself (that’s Jaq’s job LOL) but from writing erotica and not writing erotica I’ve learned it’s harder to layer in than it is to tone down.

    I know since my current wip is leaning toward very mainstream, I don’t see a lot of sex or probably very detailed sex scenes (hush jaq LOL I haven’t edited yet).

  8. I didn’t think you’d lose your edge toning things down. But some might who try to “fix” their writing in an effort please too many people. And hot can be done sooooo many ways. Sometimes a look can be incredibly scorching while “the deed” is less than warm. Ooops. Rambling. Sorry. Stopping.

  9. Cece,
    Some of my favorite love scenes don’t actually go into a lot of detail, but they are beyond sensuous.

    I think we’re actually talking about the same thing. LOL! I wouldn’t try to ‘fix’ my writing. (Well other than the things that need fixing. 😉 But I definitely hear where you’re coming from. I can’t imagine changing my writing around to try to appeal to a larger crowd.

  10. Great discussion. And one that I’ve been thinking about lately too. How spicy/hot is my writing and who will my audience be.

    And congrats on that review Jordan!!

  11. Hey, great review, congrats!

  12. I think ratings depend on the reader. I’ve read quite a few trads from the 80’s that I’d consider to be hotter than some of the historicals published today. But I think that this is really about graphic sex and/or language as opposed to non-graphic sex and/or language. Which is funny to me because my favorite HR author, Liz Carlyle writes some scorchers AND has infrequent cursing, but she’s carried everywhere. That 10% is a good amount of consumers, but if your characters tell you that they _will_ go at it in an elevator, cursing and screaming whether you want them to or not, just go with the flow. BTW, great review and big congratulations!

  13. Congrats on the great reviews!! Cindy D. and I were at Waldenbooks the other day and we saw Wicked Women on Top. How cool!

  14. Thanks Teresa, Jill, Evangeline, and Chey! I’m psyched about the review! I’m glad you spotted WWOT the other day. Dh saw one in Redmond yesterday. I’m so happy it’s finally in all the stores. 😀

  15. I don’t find sex scenes important for the story. If they work within the content of the plot, then I’m fine with them. But I’ve read great stories with tonz of sexual tension, yet the H/h barely get to kiss at the end of the story. *vbg* On the other hand, I’ve read stories that are basically all sex, and at the end of the book I go “where’s the story?” How the H/h solve the conflict that matters to me.

  16. Silma, I’ve read a few books like that myself. Luckily, not many.