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Erotic Romance
Keisha Martin
Posted: Friday, July 1, 2011 3:44 AM
Joined: 6/1/2011
Posts: 1

I am currently wrapping up my Paranormal Romance novel and then onto my Erotic Romance novel I am a tad nervous because its out of my comfort zone but I have come to terms that the best writing may come from this genre which is awesome I just have to get used to the different terms. I tend to write my ahem scenes focusing on the falling in love rather than falling in lust and I like the theme of the characters waiting most ER I have read the action starts early me I like the ER in which the author makes me wait. LOL.

Posted: Friday, July 1, 2011 11:37 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216

I too had a lot of questions as to how explicit I could make my sex scenes. So I confabbed with a romance writer (sensual) about it. She told me that it's better to go overboard than to hold back -- editors will remove anything that they deem too risque, given the nature of the romance. However, it's really hard to make a sex scene "hotter."

Gee, you know ... I really hope she's right!
Posted: Saturday, July 2, 2011 12:58 AM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157

Erotic romance is a tad different from the sensual variety. Erotica requires full and explicit sex scenes, though various writers handle those with their own style. For erotica, you want to be familiar with the publisher's guidelines. But generally speaking, they don't want the sex scene to fade to black. There's no need for names to hide genitalia or sexual acts. But there generally isn't a requirement on when the sex takes--as far as chapters go. But for a novel, you probably want 5 or 6 variations on sex scenes.

Also, remember Erotic Romance is different from Literary Erotica. This means that in Erotic Romance there is still a focus on the characters falling in love and their relationship has to drive the story. So, in the sex scenes, you want to get the emotions involved.

Also, it's a good idea to check out the publisher to see some of the variations on themes that erotic romance can explore. The erotic romance crowd tends to be more varied in reading tastes than regular romance. Menage is hot right now - but that usually means 2 guys, 1 lucky girl. BDSM is also popular. Gay, Big and Beautiful, IR/Multicultural.

There are also lists of DONTS - no one under 18 involved in sex acts, no incest, no rape, etc. (No to some terms I don't want to use here.)

Also, editing may vary by publisher, but I edit erotic romance for Phaze. It's hard to go overboard without hitting a DONT, which would probably mean a rejection. But in general - I don't take anything out of an author's manuscript. I make notes on what needs fixing, and the author does the work. (except of course commas and spelling, which just get fixed as we edit) One thing I do sometimes ask is that the sex scene be reworked to bring in more of the character's emotions so it doesn't sound like an instruction manual.

Posted: Saturday, July 2, 2011 1:17 AM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157

Here, Phaze is having a .99 cent sale for a bunch of Kindle titles. If you really want to write erotica, pick up a variety and see what they're up to. (Or if you already read erotic romance -- Look! A Sale!)

Posted: Saturday, July 2, 2011 2:07 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216


It's such a tough line to tread between writing the actual scenes in sensual romance and what most people would deem "erotic." I bought a bunch of sensual romance novels, just to see how the various authors handled these scenes. Some were driven by euphemisms, while others were a little bit more explicit. Rachel Gibson's novels, for example, are not what I'd term "erotic." But she doesn't hesitate to name names and go for the graphic.

I mean, I don't mind writing one or the other. I know that i can always tone it down or heat it up, but it's always helpful to get a lock on what publishers like beforehand. To me, this is a big grey zone. I just don't want to submit something that makes a publisher think, "Holy yikes, she *really* needs to turn it down to a simmer ..."
Posted: Saturday, July 2, 2011 2:18 AM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157

I met Jade Lee at a Romantic Times conference and she handed me one of her shorter novels. I was reading it during a break and it was hot. Then I realized it was Harlequin.

Sometimes it isn't the actual sex that makes the difference to a publisher but the other elements of the story that go around the sex. A publisher like Harlequin is going to be looking for deep romance, romantic commitment, an HEA and usually a more traditional pairing. I don't think Harlequin tackles the BDSM market, though Carina Press does do LGBT stories.

Some erotic romance publisher are more open to themes that let the author play outside the norms. I've got one coming out where one MC picks up a rent boy in chapter 1 before going off to fall in love with another male. Not something I'd probably do in a more traditional romance. But it was fun to write (also, the rent boy isn't exactly what he seems).
Tori Schindler
Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 9:36 PM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 41

I wrote paranormal romance before getting into erotica. I didn't do it intentionally, the story just went there. Write it how it seems to flow. Whatever seems natural for you. I also find that sometimes I'm just not in the mood to write the sex scene, so I mark it, and come back to it when I'm a little more open to it. Or hormonal, take your pick. If you're writing to a specific publisher, they have guidelines to be aware of. There are so many out there now though that I'm not sure I'd worry about it. One epub is specifically calling for erotica with spanking. Can't remember which one, sorry, it wasn't my thing. If you try to force yourself into a mold though, it'll be harder to write.
Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 11:31 PM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157

Yes, there are a lot of publishers. But there are also a handful who still seem to get the most sales and the most royalties. It's probably best to do some research if you find a publisher who seems to be outside the guidelines or expectations for the majority of the publishers.

Spanking isn't unusual for most of the erotica publisher. Total-e-bound does well with BDSM. Kim Dare writes for them and I envy that she can get so much action into short stories while I'm struggling with novels. But you do have to know the culture if you want to do BDSM or bondage stories.
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2011 3:59 AM
Joined: 2/27/2011
Posts: 12

My biggest piece of advice is to read the market. Each publisher has different house styles, and erotica (*not* erotic romance) has undergone what I term genreficaion in the last ten or so years. This is probably best exemplified by Harlequin's Spice imprint, Kensington's Aphrodisia imprint and the now defunct Black Lace Books. These are stories that may not necessarily be termed literary, but are descendants of the literary erotica tradition. Spice's Megan Hart and Victoria Janssen are two good examples of this new, genrefied version of erotica. Romance may be present in the story, but for erotica the focus is usually on one character's development with the use of sexual situations to highly the growth. Also, Spice and Aprhodisia do mix together erotica and erotic romance in the titles they release under the imprint so there's an even further blurring of the lines.

Harlequin's Blaze line is the closest their category lines get to erotic romance, but I would not necessarily call them erotic romance because there are certain terms and situations they tend not to use (though that line is getting pushed further and further every year). There is a continuum of sensual, spicy and erotic romance, but for all of them, the sex needs to be used to highlight the development of the romantic relationship of the main characters.

I'm a bit sensitive about what gets called erotica versus erotic romance versus spicy romance, but that's partially because in my day job I'm a librarian who specializes in reader's advisory and I'm going to be speaking on the topic at a national library conference next year
Kayla Nicks
Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2013 9:33 PM
What's erotic romance?
Kayla Nicks
Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2013 9:35 PM
I like anything that has to do with like action or romance. That's why i write books with some humor, action and a LOT of romance. Haha LOL.
Alexander Hollins
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 6:36 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416

Erotic romance would be a Romance story with more erotic, ie, explicit, sex scenes. 
Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 11:49 AM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438

Here's a really cool post from Erotic Romance writer Roni Loren--it's pretty inspiring AND juicy. She says, "I write romances first and foremost. The erotic parts of the story grow out of who my characters are, what turns them on (in my Loving on the Edge series, that happens to be kink), and the journey they are on."

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