When is a typical relationship scene in a Fantasy or Sci-Fi novel considered romance?
Where is that line?
At what point is the romance line crossed to make a story erotica?
What level of romance/erotica do I want to introduce into my stories?
How does any relationship/romantic/erotic scene add to the overall storyline?
There was never a question of adding relationship/romance/erotica into my stories. Since the stories evolved from dreams that I’ve always had from when I was a young boy, adding romance has always been a part of the plan from day one. While this sounds pretty easy to do, when you start to seriously consider the questions I posted above, this suddenly become something quite difficult to decide where these lines should be drawn. I can’t rely on the horny young boy I was growing up to determine that line, instead I need to re-evaluate how I want to address this subject.
To help with the process I’ve been looking over an email that Elliot Kay gave me on writing romance/erotica tips several months ago. One of his main points was that whenever you stop “fading to black” within your story, anything you write beyond that will always be too much or not enough, depending on who’s reading the story. Another very important point he also made, was how does the sexual scene progress the story and help the plot?
I have been thinking a lot about both of these statements and working on how I want to address my story. The four primary authors I’ve been using to determine how I want to address this have been: Elliot Kay (of course), John Conroe, Jim Butcher and Patricia Briggs. They really do cover quite the spectrum on this subject from the simple “fade to black” technique to the full on erotic wonder that still falls within normal Fantasy/Sci-Fi that is Elliot Kay.
In Destiny, Book two of the Last Paladin Series, I’m introducing the complexity of romantic/sexual relationships with the Main Character, Startüm Ironwolf, and other characters throughout the story. The first thing I had to do when I started to really begin to put this into the story was determine how it helped the plotline. Once I determined how this would help the overall story, I had to work certain building actions within the story itself.
To give out a slight spoiler, this won’t happen until the later part of Book Two, but once I introduce this into the story line, it will be a major part of Books Three and Four.
I’ve spent the last month angling the story to where I want it so that I can have my first romantic/sexual scene, while tweaking other parts of the story to line up some complex relationship issues. Finally I am at the point where I need to put the scene down on paper. This week this aspect of the story will be mainly what I’m writing, with Startüm perspective, which is hard and easy all at the same time. The main problem with Startüm is that presently he is a virgin and a Paladin. So yea, I he’s gonna get his proverbial cherry popped. The scene and the reason why this was going to happen within the story took a lot of work to get everything in place where I wanted it to be. The reasons behind the “why” is very important to me. I guess in this way Elliot Kay has been another good influence to me, but I’m still trying to figure out “how” detailed it will be.
I’ll be writing more on this process as I write it, but thought it was a good topic to address on the blog.
On a personal note work is still crazy as hell. Doing a double HQ move means that, while I’m at work I am so completely overwhelmed there is nothing else I can think about until I’m heading out at the end of the day. I’ve been focusing on leaving “work” at work. I go to the gym for my lunch and then I head home at the end of the day to begin my writing and don’t look back. Mostly I’ve been doing a good job with doing that, but like everything else there is always room for improvement.
Weekends I focus on spending time with the family, cooking, catching up on my shows like: Grimm, Covert Affairs, Forever, The Flash and Arrow. There are a few more that get added to the mix on and off, but for now that’s what I’m watching. Lastly, I like to spend some time with my boys Rowen and Kanchin.