Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Coffee 'N Kink at the BLUE MOON HOUSE @AngelicaDawson on #RomanceBeckons

Angelica Dawson is brewing a full-bodied dark roast and sharing the first sip.

She has been writing for several years and having sex a lot longer than that. Angelica is a wife, mother and environmental consultant. Her love of plants and the outdoors is not diminished by the bloodsucking hoards – mosquitoes and black flies, not vampires.

She contributes flash fiction to several blogging collectives and excerpts from work in progress can also be found on her blog. She is active on Facebook and Twitter (@angelicadawson). Her stories don't scrape the surface of BDSM, but go deep.

Favourite Coffee: I love a cappuccino with whole milk which makes the most delicious foam.

Favourite Kink to Read: I'm really picky about my erotica. I want a story that is driven by characters and their relationship through the sex, not just including sex.

Favourite Kink to Write: Menage. I love the idea of someone getting extra special, double treatment, or even better, a full group going together to bring the best out of each other.

Check out Angelica Dawson's latest release in the Blue Moon House series, Gentleman.
Harrold lives an empty life. He has no joy in his marriage, no love of his work. His only reprieve is found at the hands of the whores, the ones he pays to beat and debase him. Upon being accepted into Blue Moon House, he learns the real cost for his desires, and what underlying need is really aching to be filled.

Delores knelt in front of him, putting her hand to his cheek. “No, Harrold. You fear women.”
He snapped up, away from her. “Afraid! I am a man. My wife is mine to do with as I please.”
She shook her head. “You fear letting them down, I think.” Delores' voice was lost as he stormed around the room.
“Keep your whores, woman. I shall have my wife.”
Veronica lay in bed reading when he blustered in. “Good. You're awake.”
“Yes, I've had some thoughts about—” She was cut off by his ferocious kiss.
“Remove that gown, wife. I have need of you.”
Her flinty eyes narrowed. “Have you been in the drink, Harrold?”
He tore back the covers and pushed her dressing gown up to her thighs. “God, I've forgotten how beautiful your legs are.” He fell on them, kissing first her knees then working his way up.
She began beating on his head with her book, the wooden cover making a thump. “Stop it, Harrold! Stop that this minute!”
He lifted his head and put his nose to hers. “I will have my wife tonight.”
Her eyes began to water. “Fine, barbarian. Brutalize me and have done with it. Wipe your ass with my hair. Tear my breasts, bite them, crush them, you brute.” She covered her face as though unable to watch what he did next.
Her tears unmanned him. He pulled down her skirt and returned the covers, moving to the wardrobe to change.
“Are you done?” she asked quietly. “Aren't you going to tear me open with that club of flesh you call a penis?”
Harrold sighed. “Veronica, as much as I appreciate your flattery, it is not as large as that. I was going to ask you to stroke it a while, but never mind.” He'd offered to do the same and more for her. He would gladly suckle her breasts or pussy to please her, if only for a moment. However, it never was enough. He bit, or his chin prickled, or any other of a multitude of reasons she had. Curling on his side, away from her, he waited for her to trim the lamp so he might sleep.
Thursday he would try again at Blue Moon House.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Author's Craft: Making It Feel Real... Avoid Cliches.

The art of making a romance story feel real is actually very simple. Avoid Cliches. Well,
simple to say but not so easily done. Way too often, love gets the cliched treatment in movies, songs, and books. It drives my editors crazy when I toss in cliches and during the revision process, I find and remove at least a few.

I've collected a few tips that have helped me avoid cliches as I write. Maybe they'll help you too...

Know a Cliche when you See a Cliche.
The first step in avoiding cliches is recognizing them, i.e love at first site, never getting over your first love, the perfect soul mate, love conquers all, etc.

It's not just the situation but also the language. Words surrounding romances can be cliche too. It's easy to conjure these up just by thinking about popular songs. There are certain sentiments that are repeated often, i.e. endless love, make my heart melt, swept off my feet, etc.

Notice how cliches don't really show anything true about the situation.

There is Much to be Said for Variety.
While steering away from using cliches, not every cliche has to be avoided. Some common troupes work well and borrowing from the classic love stories is a given. Giving overused cliches a facelift can make them usable again. Changing them up to create original ideas provides variety and will make a romance story feel more real.

Focus on Specifics.
Cliches are generalizations. One way to stay away from cliches is to focus on the specifics instead of generalities. Romance stories are generally character-driven. By creating realistic characters with idiosyncrasies, gestures and personalities uniquely their own, cliches are unnecessary. Specific behaviors and thoughts come out as characters react in an organic manner. The bonus here is that when your characters do this -when their actions appear almost inevitable- they will also become more real to your readers.

Cliches aren't necessary. They can often serve as a crutch and keep you from using your "writing muscles" to create the best romance story possible. Toss them out or give them a facelift, but don't rely on them for keeping it real. They just don't work.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

#WWoW! To Do Or Not To Do (when Writing Romance) #Thursday13

Writing is a personal process. While a good editor will tell us that there are firm rules on grammar,
we still like to believe there are no rules in the actual storytelling. Our stories come from our imagination, and therefor can be whatever we dream. I'm not so sure about that. There are just some time tested elements that work and don't work when writing romance. Some I discovered on my own -trial and error- and some I received as advice from other authors. Regardless, I made a list.

"RULES" when writing a good romance. I admit to being a person who likes rules, but I'm also a writer who takes chances and has broken a few of her own rules on occasion. ;)
  1. Borrow from the best. Other great writers have paved a path with classic couples to call upon. No, I'm not talking Edward and Bella here! Go back further. Think about Elizabeth and Darcy from 'Pride and Prejudice' or Beatrice and Benedic from ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. Consider what makes their story so compelling and how you can model your own characters and situation after them. There are common threads, similar obstacles and solutions, that can be adapted to modern day. 
  2. Make it your own. While you can use the classic couples as models, everything else about your story should be your own, Write the story only you can write. Make it your own and make it personal so it resonates with readers.
  3. Use personal experiences. It can be small things - a quirk, an event, a hobby - that you integrate into your characters. It can be a place you lived or vacationed as your setting. Using your own experiences creates a believable story for readers.
  4. Don’t write the unbelievable. Be careful that your characters aren't too good to be true. Readers want to identify with the characters. If your heroine is too beautiful or your hero too virile, your story loses the element of reality. Real people have flaws, and they want to read about characters that have a few too.
  5. Commit to your story. Once you determine what your story's theme will be, follow through. Take each component to its fullest without apology. Readers know when you water it down.
  6. Don’t fear conflict. Without conflict, there is no story. (Think back on those classics again.) In a romance, there needs to be an obstacle, either internal or external, to the main characters’ relationship.
  7. Be consistent. Whether writing sweet or erotic romance, maintain the style throughout. Keep your tone and the degree of explicitness appropriate. Match your characters' behavior and reactions to the tone you've set.
  8. Don’t be cliche! Cliches don't hold the emotion that should be conveyed in a romance. They can appear trite and disconnected. Rather than falling on a cliche, consider using an association the characters share. Stay away from generalities.
  9. Get emotional. A writer's job is to convey the characters' emotions through the story. Don't tell readers what your characters are doing. Concentrate on showing how they do it and why they do it. That's where the emotion comes out, and that's also how readers connect with your characters.
  10. Don’t use sex as a crutch. The level of sex scenes in a story is based on the type of romance you're writing. Unless you are writing erotica, you should keep a balance between the sex and the love. Here's an instance where there is such a thing as too much sex! Sex in a romance book is meant to enhance the relationship.
  11. Build suspense. Readers will keep turning pages if they are committed to the story and want to know what comes next. Design a path for your characters that includes a few obstacles difficult for them to overcome and leave your readers in suspense as to the outcome. Don't give everything away in the first few chapters.
  12. Don’t neglect research. Your novel may not need research if you stick to purely experience, but if it does, be thorough. Know the details of what you are writing about. Readers who have knowledge on your topic will call you out on not being accurate. (This is one of my biggest fears as a writer!)
  13. Reward your readers. Readers read romance books for the escape. While this doesn’t mean a romance can't have sad elements, a happily ever after ending is the norm. After investing in the story, readers expect an emotional payoff at the end. If you don't deliver and readers complain, don't be surprised.

    Talk To Me. 
    What are some of your rules? Do my rules hold up? Should I throw one out? Should I add more?
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