Friday, August 7, 2009

No, Really?

How plausible is it that this woman has more than two arms, really? Unless you're reading a futuristic or paranormal romance, you're going to register this chick as having two arms and a lot of friends behind her.

Yeah, obvious. But after an in depth conversation with my friend yesterday, I realized how incredibly problematic--read implausible--my next novel is turning out to be.

I've been pushing the envelope lately with books about characters in polyamorous relationships. The Circs I wrote about had to be that way, genetically constructed to respond to their own kind. But in my latest urban fantasy, for lack of a better description, my heroine gets "tagged" by four "alien" hotties. Yeah, 4. Except she's human, mostly. So how is this going to work?

The idea sounded kinky and interesting at first. But I don't want my heroine walking bowlegged by chapter three. Nor do I want the real relationships between her and her new "family" to be mired only in the physical. She has to fall in love with her hero, and maybe her hero's best friend, because of certain circumstances due to the hero's heritage. But the other guys? The extended family? I think I'm going to change some things.

Which brought me and my friend to laughing tears at the thought of some of the books we've read and tried writing. A big reality check with erotic romance publishers has to do with safe sex issue. And you know, I get it. Condoms aren't necessarily sexy, but I have a hard time reading a contemporary romance anymore when the heroine has no thoughts of STD's or conception when having sex. I don't read or write about adolescents, so excusing the heroine's stupidity due to youth isn't cutting it. Nowadays, the hazards of unprotected sex are pretty hard to miss.

Then there's the book where the hero and heroine go at it all night long. Hello? Unless he's from the planet Insatiable, a human male protagonist is going to need real recuperative time to get himself back in the mood. Marathon sessions between the sheets don't work for me either. Come on, let the lady have a breather. And does the couple (or group) really need sixteen orgasms before they feel replete????

Or how about the woman who takes on a family of brothers, yeah, all six of them, due to some blackmail/kidnapping plot? She's forced to accept them all while plotting ways to escape between bouts of sex. But by the fourth chapter she's totally in love. Huh? With that much sex going on six ways to Sunday, how is it she has the time or energy for emotions? Does great sex really equal true love?

So yeah, I'm fixing my book before it becomes a circus, or crazy orgy, as the case may be. I love erotic romance because of its play with both the emotional and physical aspects of love. But sometimes I have to remind myself to keep it real. Kind of. My heroes will still be alpha, my heroines spunky. But not every woman is a size 2 and not every guy looks like George Clooney. Unless he's a Clooney clone, then that would work.

:) Marie

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