How villainous should a villain be and how do you balance him out?
Note: Leave a comment. One lucky person will a print copy of my best seller Joy Ride.
First of all, thanks to Delilah for hosting me today. She’s been one of my aspirational authors from the day I joined my RWA chapter and met her. The lady knows how to turn a fine word!
When writing a villain in an erotic romance the question always sits there as to how totally bad the villain should be. And is he or she a major player in the story or just a means to an end.
The dictionary defines a villain as an evil character in a story. The villain usually is usually referred to as the antagonist the character who tends to have a negative effect on other characters. A villain is “a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot.”
When I was creating the villain for Out of Control he was definitely not a deliciously wicked person. In fact, he’s the kind of person you want to shoot on site. He’s a major, major player in the story, because the history of his interaction with the heroine is the pivot on which the entire story turns.
“He sat in his den, pouring another shot of his favorite, aged whiskey, hoping it would calm his nerves. His hand trembled slightly as he lifted the glass to his lips again.
The whiskey burned as it slid down his throat, but it was a good sensation of heat. Comforting. Settling his jittery nerves. Last night’s little…adventure…had soothed him for a while but seeing her again this morning had jacked him up again. Brought all those tiny lovelies back again.
She had returned, his elusive little flower. This morning, he’d seen her entering Cole Landry’s office. So sweet, just like he remembered.
He’d Googled Dana Moretti last night on the computer, and the face looking back at him made his blood run hot all over again. He’d never forgotten his little Carrie. She’d been special. The only one who hadn’t cried out. The only one who’d struggled against him, turning him on with her odd sense of bravery. Now she was back. Finally. After all these years. She wasn’t getting away from him again. Not this time.”
And the heroine. The fear he instilled has been with her for most of her life. How would she feel being back in the place where her life took a turn for the worse with the villain still at large? What effect would it have on her digging into the files of the other crimes, ones where the victims hadn’t been lucky enough to escape as she had?
“She studied the screen on her laptop. The notes she’d transferred from her study of the case files stared back at her. There was nothing dressed up about the facts. They were brutal. Gruesome, even, and very explicit. The deputies who’d found the bodies had left nothing to the imagination. The pictures they conjured were like something out of a torture chamber.
A shiver skittered over her spine as she felt the ghost touch of those calloused fingers probing her body, heard Kylie’s high-pitched little screams. Remembered the terrible pain. Felt the tape ripped from her mouth and strange hands trying to be gentle with her.
When she’d seen Kylie’s body, she’d thrown her head back and screamed so long and hard her throat ended up raw for days. She’d fought to get to her sister, but other hands restrained her, voices tried to soothe her, and finally the sting of a needle had plunged her into blackness.
Now, with each case she examined, she relived it over and over again. Her stomach convulsed, and once more, she felt like throwing up.”
And then of course I needed a hero who was heroic enough to balance the villain, because I’d taken a chance and made the villain a totally despicable person.
“She was still rocking when she heard sirens in the background and the squealing of tires as a car–maybe more than one–pulled up behind her. Then her door was yanked open and Cole was crouching beside her, unbuckling her seat belt, putting one arm around her and smoothing back her hair.
I can tell you that question occupies far too much of a romance writer’s mental space. 🙂
We all know the usual responses:
1.It has to be true and specific to the characters.
2. It should be a part of their emotional as well as physical attraction.
3. There should be a reason for the sex itself to be on the page.
But the deep dark secret is that we all want something we haven’t seen before. A tall order for a writer but since I want that as a reader too, I spend a lot of time thinking about that extra special thing I can add without losing the essentials of the emotional connection.
Some writers go with unusual sexual positions, added partners, added toys and not quite mainstream ways of having sex.
I’ve done some of these scenes.
Two of my books, Freya’s Gift (Samhain) and Dinah of Seneca (The Wild Rose Press), feature a fertility ritual with at least three participants. And maybe a little pagan-style historical drugs to get things rolling. I say this jokingly but I wanted those sex scenes to be earthy and intense. If they were hot to the readers too, great. My first priority was to convey the experience of what it was like for the participants because the rituals meant a great deal to them and were part of their emotional healing after great tragedy. The ancient world was not often a nice place.
But pagan rituals only work in pagan times.
Modern romances have modern ways of looking at sex. When I decided to write a superhero romance series, I admit that part of the attraction for me was coming up with unique ways to use those abilities during sex. Because, really, what’s the point of having a superpower if you can’t put it to good use? 🙂
In Phoenix Rising, the first book in the superhero series, the hero is a fire starter and a telekinetic. Now, telekinesis is very helpful during sex. It’s somewhat like having another hand. 🙂 But since Alec Farley also had an explosive power and could control fire, I wanted the other big sex scene to also be literally explosive. One near-nuclear explosion and a little bit of flying and I had it. I think it worked pretty well for the characters and for the readers.
Luminous, the second book in the series, is a more down to earth story, The first tale is more like an X-Men story. Luminous is a Batman-inspired urban story with a heroine named Noir who hides her invisibility under layers of intimidating black leather. Emotionally, shedding those layers is big obstacle for her. Because at least when she’s wearing them, she can be seen. When naked, there’s nothing to see.
Her hero, Aloysius James, is a police detective with a sarcastic streak and a hidden idealism. He has no powers other than he’s unusually perceptive and he sees right through Noir’s tough shell. Still, he’s not sure how to approach a woman he can’t see, even if he does think she fills out the black leather in all the right ways.
Aha, I thought. Now there’s a challenge. Write a sex scene where one partner literally cannot *see* the other. No facial expression, no clues from physical movement. Touch alone.
We often overlook the importance of touch. For example, when I was walking in the woods with my son the other day, I closed my eyes. Instantly, the ground beneath my feet felt different. Before, it had seemed solid and flat. But now that I was paying attention to what my feet were experiencing, it felt like anything but a flat surface. All the slight rises and dips were there. I felt the twigs I stepped on through my sneakers.
It seemed to me that a sex scene by touch alone could offer an entirely different perspective. They’re both naked, only one is physically exposed while the other is emotionally naked. It’s tender and sweet and, I hope, hot. It suits both of them and the story. So I have high hopes that it will suit readers as well.
As for the next sex scene, in the third book, Phoenix Legacy (coming in November), I went in a completely opposite direction. Tender isn’t a word I’d use. At all. But when you’ve got a hero hopelessly addicted to pain because of the adrenaline that flows when he psychically heals his injuries, sex becomes an entirely different kind of challenge.
You can find Luminous either at the Samhain store or the major ebook retails like Amazon. Information and excerpts about the other books can be found on my website, www.corrina-lawson.com
Corrina is former newspaper reporter with a degree in journalism from Boston University. She turned to writing fiction after her twins were born (they were kids three and four) to save her sanity.
Corrina is currently a senior editor of GeekMom and a core contributor to its brother site, Geek Dad, both on Wired.com. She also writes for Sequential Tart, a webzine about comics and pop culture written solely by women. Often you can find her hanging out on comic book writer Gail Simone’s forum on Jinxworld.
She has been a finalist in the national Golden Heart contest sponsored by the Romance Writers of America and is the winner of several regional RWA contests. Phoenix Rising, her first full-length novel with Samhain, was a Samhain bestseller.
I’ll be back later with the names of the winners of my Friday Fireworks contest! In the meantime…
It’s double the trouble when two ornery cowboys come courtin’, Texas-style…
Sam Logan’s hell-raising twin sons have a bad rep in Two Mule, Texas. All of it earned. When it becomes clear those two troublemakers won’t settle down without another nudge—make that a boot to their butts—Sam reissues his challenge. Find a wife.
There’s only one woman who’s ever held Mace and Jason Logan’s attention for more than one night. Molly Pritchet, their former teacher. She’s been too worried about a pesky morals clause to let them close, but they’re older now and ready to prove to her that some rules are meant to be broken.
Molly thought her path was clear: always a teacher, never a mother or a wife. Until she finds those two Logan “boys” in her backyard, all grown up and digging around in her business. More accurately, starting her koi pond for her without asking. Well, it’s about time someone taught the Logan twins some manners.
A little mud, a lot of yearnings she thought she’d suppressed, and Molly realizes she’s the one being schooled in the art of indulging in forbidden desires.
Warnings: Two hot-as-sin twins romance their former high school teacher. Things are bound to get down and dirty quick as two bad boys tag team to sweep one curvy, sexy woman off her feet.
I wrote a sexy, hawt joyride for you. If you read it, there are a couple of things y’all can do for me—if you have the time and inclination.
1) “Like” and “tag” the book.
2) Post a review. Let another reader know whether you consider the book to be worth their time and money. (Remember, it’s cheap! :mrgreen:).
3) Okay, one more than a couple! Tell someone about it.
I appreciate all your support. It’s what makes it possible for me to stay writing!
Remember, this is the last day for you to enter the Friday Fireworks contest and to qualify to win one of three free downloads I’m offering! Details are in Friday’s post! ~DD
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Two Wild for Teacher will be available for purchase tomorrow! But you can pre-order it now so that the moment it comes available, it will be yours! In the meantime, here’s a little snippet…
Mace’s hand shook just a little as it closed around her chilled fingers. He couldn’t believe he was here. That she’d touched him willingly. His body still burned everywhere she’d laid her hand. His cock felt ready to burst after the way she’d calmly, methodically, stroked away the dirt.
It had felt almost like a baptism. All sins washed away. He felt lighter of heart and intent. Happy in way that he hadn’t been in a long time.
Molly Pritchet had always been a goddess on a pedestal. A sweet-faced woman with sharp eyes and a sharp tongue. He’d felt the sting often enough, he’d known she didn’t think of him as more than an ornery boy, and yet moments ago, she’d handled him like she might a man she admired.
Something inside him melted. He wanted to be worthy. Standing naked as a jaybird beside her, he wanted her to never question her decision, to never regret she was about to lie down with him.
Unable to resist, he tugged her close and folded her against his chest. Their first intimate touch was a hug. Skin to skin. Heartbeats mating, matching rhythms, slowing to a steady, heavy thrum. “Ma’am, I’d really like to lay you down in that pretty bed of yours,” he said softly.
With droplets of water shining like diamonds on her skin, she leaned back her head to smile up at him. “I have no objections, sir.”
Her eyes blinked dreamily at him, and his chest expanded. He tugged her hand again and pulled her toward the glass doors. Once inside, with the AC prickling their damp skin, he headed straight for the staircase, halting at the bottom step because she’d lagged, her head turning to Jason.
“You’re going to watch my ass all the way up those steps, aren’t you?”
Jason grinned. “Sure am.”
Molly’s brows furrowed.
Mace grunted, bent quickly, and swept her into his arms. Problem solved.
Her fingers dug into his shoulders. “You aren’t going to carry me up. Your back!”
“Don’t you worry about either of our backs. We’re strong, Molly. We can handle you.”
Her eyes widened.
“I’m not sayin’ we have to be strong, just that you don’t have to worry. You feel just right,” he said, giving her a bounce to prove to her she was safe in his arms.
She relaxed, sighing. “I’ve never been carried by a man.”
“There’s gonna be lots of firsts, sugar. Just you wait.”
I didn’t come to GLBT erotica first, but I’ve embraced it! For those authors looking to give it a try, read on…
From Adrienne Benedicks of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association:
Erotica has always been on the cutting edge when it comes to carving out niches for the “sexual outlaws” which is what GLBT folk were thought of, and are still considered to be, by much of mainstream society. GLBT erotica is a genre to be reckoned with.
ERWA will help interested authors with two GLBT “Live Chats with the Pros.” Delilah Devlin and M Christian will be on hand to answer questions, offer advice, and exchange ideas with authors of GLBT erotica. Whether you’re penning your first gay fiction, or are a spicy-seasoned pro, don’t miss these opportunities.
1) Delilah Devlin will host a live chat Thursday, June 7th, at 8:00pm EST, (5:00pm PST; 1:00am GMT).
Delilah Devlin is a prolific and award-winning author of erotica with a rapidly expanding reputation for writing deliciously edgy stories with complex characters. Ms. Devlin has published over 100 erotic stories in multiple genres and lengths. She is published by Avon, Black Lace, Kensington, Harlequin, Atria/Strebor, Cleis Press, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, and Berkley. If you want to know how to do the deed, Delilah is the lady to talk to. This is your chance to chat live with her.
2) M. Christian will host a live chat Saturday, June16th, at 3:00pm EST (12 noon PST; 8:00pm GMT).
M. Christian, associate publisher for Renaissance E Books (which includes Sizzler Editions), is an acknowledged master of erotica with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, and Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica. If you want to know what GLBT editors want (and don’t want) and how to make your submissions stand out, M. Christian will be happy to answer your questions.
How to find the chat? ERWA chats are held on the ShadowWorld chat server, channel, #erachat. Follow the link. On screen you’ll see ‘Connect o ShadowWorld IRC’. In the Nickname box, key in your name. Leave the channels box at #ERAChat, and click ‘Connect’. A chat text box will appear at the bottom of your screen.
Don’t forget about the Kindle Fire that’s up for grabs! See yesterday’s post!
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Sometimes, a man needs a little nudge to get moving in the right direction. The Logan brothers are lucky that nudge came from their father, Sam Logan. In both A Four-Gone Conclusionand Two Wild for Teacher (coming May 29th!), he’s the instigator. See how it worked in the first book of the “duology”, then get ready for another dose of Sam’s wisdom next Tuesday!
“A FOUR-GONE CONCLUSION is a prime example on how a novella should be written; fast and fun, touching characters that pull you in and a story that is completely fulfilling.” 4.5 Cherries, Long and Short Reviews
One devilish night…or a chance at heaven?
Sam Logan’s foster sons have a bad rep in Two Mule, Texas. Most of it earned. When it becomes clear they don’t plan on giving up scootin’ after ever pretty pair of boots in town anytime soon, he issues the one thing he knows they can’t resist: a challenge. Find a wife.
The oldest, Johnny, is actually grateful. He’s had his eye on Mean Ellie Harker for a long time, and Sam’s challenge is the kick in the pants he needed to ask her out. Except before he can make his move, his brothers kidnap her right out from under his nose. Now, instead of being one question away from victory, he has to compete for the woman of his dreams.
Ellie thought she’d be a dried up old spinster before Johnny finally untangled his tongue long enough to ask for a date. But instead of teaching him better uses for that tongue, his brothers have whisked her away to the ranch. At first she’s furious…then intrigued when she starts to wonder what it might be like…
Warning: Four handsome cowboys. Four choices. Would it be a single sordid night or a chance at heaven as she savors every luscious inch of the Logan brothers?
“It’s time you boys found yerselves a wife.” Sam Logan made his pronouncement then waited, watching the four younger men seated at the table from the corner of his eye. He didn’t have to wait long for his words to sink in. They exploded in the room with the force of a silent grenade.
Johnny’s jaw closed with a snap, and he laid his spoon down on the scarred oak table. His black winged brows drew together, nearly meeting over his dark eyes as he raised his head.
Sam suppressed a smile. That look could make the toughest hombre gulp, but Sam wasn’t the least bit concerned. Johnny tended to look mean when things changed. His oldest boy hated any kind of change.
If any other man had said what he had, Johnny would have cussed under his breath and aimed a piercing, silencing glare. However, he respected Sam, trusted him as much as he could anyone. That trust and respect were the only things that kept his butt on the bench beside his brother Killian.
For his part, Killian’s eyes narrowed. The corners of his lips twitched. Likely he was amused by Johnny’s reaction and didn’t want to let him off the hook too quickly, but was already lining up all the reasons why Sam’s idea was ludicrous. He was quick that way.
Sam calmly ladled the hearty stew he’d made into his mouth and let his gaze roam to the twins. Jason was coughing into his napkin while Mace gave him “helpful” taps between his shoulder blades.
For this weekend only, I’ll choose three lucky winners who will recieve their choice of one currently available Lone Star Lovers book! So comment away, and be sure to enter the Friday Fireworks contest too!