Thank you, Delilah for having me guest post for you! I love Delilah’s blog as it always has such a range of interesting people talking about reading and writing.
Today I’m blogging about how to choose a plot and theme for your erotic romance. Do you get overwhelmed at times trying to make a choice about what to write about?
Firstly, obviously, you want a plot where sex plays an active role.. But you also know that you want your book to be about much more than sex.
You want a full romance arc and a meaty plot. You want story! You want a book with conflict and drama permeated all the way through with heat. You want to write a great book that gets readers talking! But how do you choose what to write about?
First grab yourself a note pad and start to brainstorm things you really love, consider what stirs your emotions, your passions and things you feel strongly about.
Consider what you love to read in other genres, outside erotic romance, erotica, and romance so that you can put your own unique spin on the tried and true. Do you love thrillers? Can you write a super sexy romantic suspense? Can you use your fascination with technology to write a futuristic or science fiction erotic romance?
I’ve always been a big fan of fairy tales and the fae, of Christmas, and of underdog stories so I combined all of these things in my novel Wicked Wonderland from Samhain Publishing.
What about other random interests you have? In my current WIP I focused on my interest in and love for lions and so decided to write a novel that includes a lion shifter. And in my 15K short story Waking the Witch was inspired by reading Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and seeing the movie.
The next step after brainstorming is to write a check list. Decide on the story’s primary “what if” question and solidify your protagonists’ central conflict. Condensing each idea into a premise sentence can give you an idea of the viability of each potential project.
Research the market, but don’t be enslaved by it, there is always room to put your own spin on trends.
Think about what stirs you emotions. While readers don’t want to be preached to, they will be drawn in by writing that has emotional resonance and sometimes in order to find that emotional resonance you must draw deeply from within yourself.
Personally, I never start any story without identifying sources of conflict and thinking up a final resolution to the conflict.
Here is an excerpt from an early scene in Wicked Wonderland (highly commended in the Passionate Plume for Best Paranormal Romance.) where the heroine Lilly is in conflict with others. .
Sonya stopped by the trash cans, holding Lilly tightly around the waist from behind. Kandy grabbed hold of the chiffon on the front of her angel costume. Lilly shook and twisted violently to try to break their grasp, and part of her angel costume tore. “Let go of me, you assholes!”
She jabbed backward with her elbow, connecting with Sonya’s stomach, and heard the taller stripper gasp with momentary pain, but unfortunately, Sonya didn’t loosen her hold. “Oooooh! Rudolph’ll pay double for that!” Kandy exclaimed.
Lilly didn’t know why she did it. Maybe it was a way of dissociating from a horrible situation, maybe it was because her heart always ached to make music when she was in pain, but she began to hum, the sound starting low in her throat. She closed her eyes and played a flute in her head, filling her mind with a rich and clear melody, which, for a moment, took her right out of her nasty situation. Then a vicious pinch froze the sound in her lungs. Lilly twisted around enough to look up at Sonya. Something frightening had happened to Sonya’s face. It became very still, and the stripper’s eyes narrowed into slits that showed too much amber and almost no pupil, like the eyes of a snake or some other reptile. A sharp chill ran up Lilly’s spine.
“Don’t fucking hum.” Sonya spat out the words.
“Who cares if she hums? She’s just a weirdo,” Bambi interrupted. “I don’t care what she does as long as she doesn’t take our money again.” The words of the other stripper somehow returned everything to relative normality.
I must have been imaging the whole thing. Must have been the cold messing with my brain.
“You steal our tips, Rudolph, and I’ll give you a red nose, all right.” Sonya’s voice seemed inhuman in its rage. Fear swelled around Lilly like a choking fog. The tall stripper swung Lilly around like a toy, then pulled her fist back. Before Lilly could react, the fist connected with her nose. Shooting pain accompanied a sickening crack. Blood ran down her throat, tasting like metal, and all she could see was an ocean of red.
“Enjoy, Dumpster Girl!” Sonya tipped her upside down and slammed her headfirst into an empty trash can.
“Remember, Rudolph, you’ll never fit in anywhere. You’ll always be an outcast left out of all the reindeer games.” The other strippers convulsed with laughter.
Comment to be in to win a copy of 15K short story Waking the Witch by Lisa Whitefern published by Freya’s Bower.
Since she came of age Lisa Whitefern has embarrassed people by talking about sex. Now she writes the hottest of erotic romance and erotica.
Lisa has a life-long passion for fairy tales and fantasy. Ever since her teacher read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to her class when she was six, Lisa’s been looking for ways to visit Narnia.
Lisa thinks it immensely unfair she can’t wiggle her nose to clean her house like Samantha in the TV show Bewitched.
She has a master’s degree with honors in English Literature, reads tarot cards and tutors children of all ages in English after school.
Although born in New York City to American parents Lisa has lived most of her life in New Zealand. She now lives in the foothills of the beautiful Waitakere Ranges of Auckland with her husband and her two gorgeous sons.
Lisa will be speaking on erotic romance at the Romance Writers’ of New Zealand Conference.