I Feel a Sin Coming On…

Hello there…

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Terribly sorry about that. You see I was traveling the globe trying to uncover the secrets of the boudoir. Alright, so that’s a crock of bull, but I have returned wiser than I was before.

Before I bestow my vast knowledge upon you please rest easy in the knowledge that I haven’t killed Kirsten, nor has she been taken captive by Loki. Which I’d be extremely jealous of and may have to kill her if she ever escapes him…but I digress. She and I will be alternating Tuesday posts since we are both extremely busy working on our top secret WIPs. This week is my week to bore you. She shall return, this I promise you.

Anyway, since I’ve last posted, I’ve had a boom in productivity. On Valentine’s day I had a short story titled “Dangerous Desires” published in the My Bloody Valentine Anthology available through Breathless Press. It’s a series of short stories dedicated to the darker side of love. I’m sure Amanda and Chris would both approve, considering my hero is a cross between the Phantom and Jack the Ripper.

Jen's stuff

My latest piece is a short story published through Breathless Press as what they call a Flirt. It’s a perfect lunchtime read. It is part of a collection of short stories based on elements taken from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass written to honor Breathless Press’ Fifth Birthday. My contribution is called “A Cat Without a Grin”. This story would not be written had it not been for the disturbing ideas planted by our demented horror muses, Amanda and Chris.

I plan on writing a few posts exploring this interesting and disturbing relationship I have with the horror muses. One would think a romance writer would shy away from the dark and macabre. I find the mind of a horror writer to be the perfect compliment to my own mind. I intend to explore this at a later time.

I also intend to explore the dark and shaded world of BDSM. I will not be discussing “Fifty Shades” here…in fact that has become “The Book That Shall Not Be Named”. My desire is to shed some light on the misinformation about BDSM and kink. Am I in the lifestyle? No. But I know people who are and their insight has set my imagination ablaze. It is my intention to use some of these elements in my own writing. I will share some tidbits with the group if I’m feeling generous. *wink and a kiss*

For some fun news…I have had two short stories accepted for publication in Breathless Press’ Secret Identities Anthology (a super hero/super villain collection). One is a Victorian steampunk-ish tale with references to some prominent historical figures and a super villain whom you’ll not soon forget. The other is a contemporary story featuring a woman who can manipulate adipose and a bar owner who also shares a super secret.  I am hoping these stories will be released early next year.

Then there’s Crispin…my Prince of Whispers. He’s in a league all his own. I’ll save his story for another day, but if you’re curiosity needs sated, please stop by my personal blog. I Feel a Sin Coming On (click here for blog.)

So if there’s anything you’d like me to discuss or a topic you’d like me to blog about specifically, please leave me a comment. I’m not sure what curiosities you have, but I’m more than willing to broach anything in my posts. Thanks for the support, and I look forward to sharing my time with you.

❤ Jen

Sex or No Sex…That is the Question

So you want to write a love scene, huh?

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Let’s see if we can break it down to make it easier for you to tackle that dreaded love scene you’ve been avoiding for months.

First thing’s first, let’s ask ourselves a few questions.

Is the sex needed? Does it push the plot forward or help your character’s grow? I personally only write a sex scene if it pushes the story in the right direction or if it forces the characters to grow, either positively or negatively depending on the story. So, is the sex necessary to SHOW their journey? I emphasize show, because it’s too easy to tell. That’s the point of writing the sex scenes, to show the intimacy and how it affects the characters, not to mention the plot. The sex isn’t porn to get your reader turned on, it’s to show the connection, the bond between the characters.

What are your character’s telling you? Yes, I realize this makes you sound crazy, but I’m dead serious. Your characters will lead you if you let them, and going against them will make the story or the scene sound forced. Trust your characters to know their own story and lead you down the right road. Believe me, some of the best scenes I’ve ever written have come from letting them take control, and not just in the bedroom. *wink*

What is the point of the scene? Really think about this…is it sex for the sake of titillation or is it a dynamic revelation of emotion for the characters? This always comes at the editing phase for me. You really have to think about it. If you’re writing a romance, this is important because the entire focus of the story is on the relationship between the characters. Sex is a major factor in that so you have to take it into consideration. Do I need to show the intimacy to really portray the emotions and conflict of the story? It comes down to personal preference of the author to be honest. You can’t write something you don’t feel coming from your characters. Don’t sell your soul by adding sex just to have it there. If it doesn’t work, don’t do it.

What’s your heat level? There are many different types of love scenes with heat levels ranging from sweet to erotic. When I say sweet, I don’t mean closed door sex (when you lead the reader to the bedroom door and then slam it in their face.) I mean generalizing the experience, a soft touch here, a vague euphemism there. Let the reader know they had sex, but don’t go into detail. Erotic is going into hard core detail, drawing the scenes out, making them encompass most of the story. Erotica itself is about the sex more than the plot. Romance is about the plot more than the sex.

My publisher, Breathless Press, has a Heat Level Chart (this is taken directly from their submissions page HERE):

0 – No love scenes.

1 – Sweet Confections: Unconsummated sensual scenes, or love scenes that contain no description of actions.

2 – Monogamous couples. Infrequent loves scenes with no graphic language.

3 – Explicit love scenes with graphic or strong language.

4 – Frequent and explicit loves scenes/graphic depictions of sexual situations. May include BDSM, D/s, homoerotic sex acts.

5 – Diablo Delights: No holds barred high frequency of sexual interactions with strong erotic content. Extreme BDSM, group sex, ménage, ménage a trios. No HEA (Happily Ever After) required.

My stories normally hover around a 2 or 3, depending on the language I use. This chart may help you figure out how “hot” you want your stories to be. I will be writing a post in the next few weeks about the language we use in romance and some of the “trigger” words that make me cringe as a reader. (Everyone has their own trigger words, but I’ll only address mine.)

Another thing that may help you determine your heat level is your comfort zone. It’s kind of hard to write BDSM or ménage when you’re not comfortable with it. So make sure you write what you’re comfortable with, or your discomfort will show in the prose.

If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment or questions. I’d love to discuss this more, but I don’t want to bore everyone. *giggles*

Until next week…

❤ Kirsten

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Writing Erotic Fiction Tips

Hi everyone!  Sorry I have been MIA.  I found this wonderful little video from two editors for the publisher Mills and Boon.  Their tips are simple and easy to understand.  I can’t wait to put them into action!  Had to share them with you all.  Let me know if they helped you in your quest for erotic writing!  🙂

Hugs and kisses,

Jen @–/—-