Just for the record, this is a rambling blog that probably goes in nowhere circles …
So, I can’t say what this request was in reference to … but suffice it to say I was “queried” about writing for this X-rate project based on my steamy and sexy writing skills as evidenced in California Girl Chronicles. I’m sort of marveling over this request a bit. I mean, yes, California Girl is sexy. Yes, the sex is steamy. Not quite sure whether it would be defined as X-Rated. I’m also a comedic writer so I guess this is a plus, too, for this project. I never imagined myself writing anything exactly X-rated so how about NC-17 or a firm, for-real R rating? Or maybe I’m just corrupted and all blah about sex itself and I don’t get squeamish about it. But hey! I do have my standards for sure. While my book is sexy it’s still tasteful. So, when I think of an X-rated anything, I think the “X factor” is a little like a perfectly good Merlot gone bitter. We have another steamy book in the 3L Publishing catalog, and in my opinion, it’s far more “X-rated” then California Girl Chronicles for sure. I joke with my publicist that as long as we don’t get into anything that has anything remotely to do with KY or anything that falls into the “juices” family, we’re not getting an X rating. I’ve decided I’ll adopt the more European attitude about it and be all blah and cavalier. I love it during an older interview with our Swedish rapscallion Alexander Skarsgård when he’s asked about a joke about a camera in the “cock sock” and the interviewer can’t bring herself to say “cock” and ole Mr. Skarsgård sits there unflinching and unmoved even by her admitted embarrassment. See! Now that’s a European attitude! And I guess if I actually possessed said European attitude, I might not care in the least if someone thinks I’m just perfect for an X-rated writing project LOL.
Want to find out just how “X-rated” California Girl Chronicles is? Then purchase a copy on Amazon or for 30% off on 3L’s website at www.3LPublishing.com. At least with the harmless bikini cover no one will know what exactly you’re reading. OR better yet, purchase it on eBook in Kindle, Nook or iBook and no one will see what you’re reading at all!!!
My post on the 3L Publishing blog site about paparazzi resulted in the answer to the question: Why are there no new pictures of Alexander Skarsgard. Answer came from what looked like a photographer from Wet Paint: he’s on Christmas break in Stockholm. All you fans out there clamoring for fresh pictures, there is your answer. See comments at: http://3lpublishing-firstwordblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-favorite-picture-of-alexander.html Thought I would share … Happy New Year!
The next day, I spent the day happily pounding out new scenes on my laptop. These descriptions were filled with joy and happiness all thanks to my new lover.
INT. MANSION – EVENING
My new lover kissed me like no other man had ever kissed my lips.
I read that back, thought it sounded like drivel, and started to laugh. Even if it was absolutely true, I wasn’t going to write it that way. I was having a “Fabio moment,” though. I wanted to describe him in a vain, Fabio-type way just to amuse myself. So, I began typing: “He was a tall, well-built blond Adonis. No wait! Adonis had nothing on this man’s spectacular good looks. In fact, Adonis was jealous. Yes, Adonis was jealous because Brea lusted after this man, he wanted Brea. Her lust for Kale was beyond physical imagination: it was big Brea lust.”
I began to hysterically laugh aloud. I had managed to completely entertain myself. First and foremost, Kale was eye candy without a doubt; but Lance was also eye candy. Eye candy doesn’t stir up deep emotions. Physical attraction alone has a short shelf life. Kale emphasized the need to keep physical lust in check. Kale wasn’t the least bit vain in real life. I knew, he realized he wasn’t ugly or displeasing to the female eye, but he never focused on such superficial stuff. He even said an obsessive fixation on good looks was litter left behind by big egos that forgot looks were fleeting. He warned me to never get caught up in superficial garbage in a city built by artificiality. He said, it would be the death of my soul.
He also sagely advised me not to read my own reviews. He explained that either one of two things would happen: I would so indulge in the ego pleasure of a good review that I would lose my creative soul in an endless search to top the last good review; or I would fall off an emotional cliff into artistic suicide if the reviews were not in my favor. Either consequence didn’t sound appealing. His best advice to me: stay grounded in reality and let my imagination freely play in the ethereal world. What amazing advice. I decided to take it.
California Girl Chronicles is available on Amazon and 3L’s website at www.3LPublishing.com.
Fangirl pointed this out about not totally buying the idea of formulaic approaches to your writing of sexual tension in romance. I want to share that to a certain extent I do agree with this; however, you have some things in your writing you cannot get around. And you should know that while what I provided were pointers, you can work around them and play. Isn’t that really the “art” part? Here is what I do know, though, and this doesn’t completely apply to books. So, let me share some key points (all based on experience) about scripts AND books:
If you write a script in particular you do for the most part need to stick to expectations and try not to buck the rules too much. I had a very well-respected writer/producer reinforce this notion at my writers group, Writers Who Mean Business. He said by certain pages, readers at production offices/studios expect to see big “beats” in the script. He said these beat points need to show up on page 25, page 60-70 and the end. Now my memory may fail on the page 60-to-70 part. Also, studios expect your script to be no longer than 110-120 pages. Warner Bros. (I’ve been told) expects its scripts to be 90 pages. Can you break these rules? Yes, but it’s not advisable if you’re a new writer trying to break in. You’re putting obstacles in front of you right from the start, and I wouldn’t honestly want to make a challenging process any harder than it has to be.
The first 10 pages in books and script really, really count no matter how you look at it. I am a speaker and publisher, and I have seen all kinds of submissions. When it comes to formula, I know this one is practically impossible to get around. You better hit a home run in the first 10 pages or you’re out. I am super busy. I have no less than 6-8 projects running in parallel at all times. When I receive a submission, you get five solid minutes to impress me. If those first 10 pages or even 5 pages don’t make it, it’s passed on. And truthfully, I can tell in the first page. So, while you might want to go rogue with your work, this one just doesn’t work well for first impressions. But hey! Don’t let me ever tell you what to do if it’s in your heart that it’s a masterpiece. Go big and always dream BIG — and please don’t let anyone tell you not to.
You can’t break the rules if you don’t know the rules. Other authors and editors and readers will tell you it’s okay to play, but please know the rules are even broken. If you don’t want to subscribe to the ideas I put forth about writing something like sexual tension and you want to turn it on its ear, great! But you need to know exactly what did you just break away from? So, let’s say you’re not going to create any of the traditional notions of sexual tension, what would be your newly inspired idea about it? And let me point out, in the 12 steps to intimacy no one mentions touching fingers as a great teaser … yet in The Lover “that” was the great moment, tempting, teasing moment. Did the writer play with an idea and make us all hot while she did it?
Sometimes personal chemistry just trumps all. I would say so. I also (and I am admitting I am a HUGE Sookie/Eric fan from both the books and series) that I think, and this is only my opinion, that Sookie’s chemistry is way hotter with Eric. I haven’t analyzed the Bill relationship, so maybe I’m not being fair to the Bill/Eric fans; but the two actors make the relationship! The looks alone slay me. I love them even more in the books. Why? Because I like that Eric isn’t trying to control Sookie all of the time (that’s number one for me anyway). And in the series, for all of the reasons — the looks, the flirtations, the way Eric touches her when they do finally kiss and the way he seems to breathe her in … well, that might just be great acting and fabulous chemistry between two people on film. Sometimes people instinctively behave with each other in a way that is just, well, sexy.
All right! I hope you enjoyed this, and I have a book I need to edit now for 3L. If you enjoyed this little diatribe, please do reblog, discuss, and even email me. I’m open! I love hearing constructive feedback.