Practicalities of story writing – to condom or not to condom
To condom or not to condom
Depends on the characters – if they know each other, for instance, and are in a long term relationship. Readers will comment fiercely if the characters just met and didn’t use a condom! But that means the writer has to remember to include it (and the removal of) where necessary and it often breaks the passion of the moment.
To lube or not to lube
This is a hard one – similar to going to find a condom, it can break the mood if a character has to go and find lube and limits outdoor sex. Saliva is not enough for anal sex. I generally only get away with it for paranormal or sci-fi stories as if somehow, shifters and aliens have bigger butts or smaller cocks! (I have a sex in the sea with two gay characters in ‘Alien Manhunt 3’ – no lube used at all!)
To say I love you or not
Difficult if they have only just met as it doesn’t seem feasible – I know we are writing fiction but you still have to make it life-like. Particularly hard in the case of short stories – in most of my short stories they already know each other.
To have a ‘happily ever after’ or a ‘happily for now’
I talked about this in a recent post and it doesn’t feel right if they have only just met. See further up under ‘To say I love you or not’. Happily for now is just about accepted by erotic romance publishers. If they are just having sex for sex sake that generally falls into the realm of erotica.
To lose clothes or not to lose clothes if shifting
I laugh at this one. If a shifter is in the middle of a fight and needs to shift do they say, “Wait a moment while I take my clothes off”? So if they shift with them on are their clothes ripped, aka, the Incredible Hulk? I’ve gone down the Star Trek route, eg, when they shift they are beamed into molecules. However, when my shifters reappear their clothes fall to the floor! (Although in ‘The Last Werewolf’ it took some practice or they get clothes still stuck to a portion of their body).
To have main characters beginning with same initial or not
I once got terribly confused when reading a menage and both the heroes’ names began with T. I was never sure which one was talking. Similarly, in another story I was reading the hero and his sister had very similar names and it brought me out of the story as I had to think hard which one was which. Therefore I always have the main characters’ names starting with different letters.
To have a mixture of shorter and longer chapters or fairly even
I tend to be OCD about this. As a reader if I read a book that suddenly had a short chapter after reading several longer ones then I think, “Where’s the rest of this chapter?”. Similarly, if I get to a very long chapter after reading several shorter ones then I feel like I am trudging through treacle. Therefore I always try to make them reasonably the same length and that also helps with the pace of the book.
To have sex on the first page or not
Hmm. I have had them have sex at the start, or watching a scene, or reading a sex scene as in my very first book, ‘Just Good Friends’ the hero reads an excerpt of a book his best friend has been reading and is shocked to discover the sorts of books she reads. But generally it is better to build up the sexual tension.
To have passive voice or not
Arrrgh! This one drives me mad. It’s supposed to be bad to have passive voice as it slows down the pace of the story but I like to have my characters reflecting on what has gone on in the past or during their encounters – it’s a way of showing the reader what that character is thinking or feeling. *sigh* I have to limit my reflections!
To have more one sub or more
If you are writing a BDSM book a writer will generally find that the reader wants the Dom to be faithful to the sub – unless it is a menage but even then the Dom needs to be faithful to those in the menage. They don’t always like it if he has casual sex with others.
To have adultery or not