Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Questions from a Writer

I follow a few series that go all out with their explicitness, I'm talking kinky. I know I can't be the only writer to have this question. How do you know when it's too much, when you've gone to far, or is there even a point to consider? With the media being what it is, people can pretty much get away with anything. To put it simply, does an agent ever pick up a manuscript and say, "I can't represent this. It makes me blush and giggle like a school girl."? Thanks.

Great question. I know just what you are talking about.

I do think there are writers out there that have missed the point when they hear an editor or agent say they want to see romances that are "hotter." Sure, there are lines out there that focus on the erotica in a story. No problem there. You fully know what to expect when you pick up that book. The issue you are bringing up are the authors that are really crossing the line.

So, do agents and editors pass on projects that have crossed that line? Sure! It isn't so much that the stories "make us blush" but simply the fact that the stories are something we don't acquire. In these situations, I would simply have to say the author has not done his or her research on that agent or editor.

You also brought up a point that the media is allowing people to pretty much get away with anything. While this might seem to be the case, I simply think it is nothing more than "stretching muscles" and seeing how far they can push things. We really saw this with the rise of the erotica genre several years ago. As soon as that hit, many publishers tried to steam up their stories just as much, but, if you will notice, that swing really moved back. Erotica is still there, but the steam level balanced off when the publishers found a comfortable level.

Over-all, I would simply encourage writers to add the amount of "steam" necessary for the story, the characters and the publisher you are planning on targeting. There is an appropriate level if you just pay attention. Simply adding the sex just for the sake of it will do nothing to enhance the story, and, may in fact, become a detriment to the story.

Good question.



  1. Thank you. When I started researching to see what genre I fell into, I actually purchased some erotica to make sure I wasn't going too far. (Yeah, I think I'm okay.) It's nice to get an agent's point of view. Have a good one.

  2. Hmmm... I don't think that's the best advice a writer should be getting. Sure, if the author's career depends on a particular agent I get it, but limiting the prose of a brand new author because of an agent... Write what you want to write, write it well and find the publisher who likes what you write. I personally didn't get the answer to the question. There is a line in erotica not to cross, by all publishers, and this is the real answer most need to have.