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Wish Granted! Tips, Tools, and Templates to Write a Winning Grant
by Holly Rustick

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Kindle Edition published 2017-08-22
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INCLUDES BONUS FREE E-DOWNLOADS: TEMPLATES FOR GRANT WRITING!

Grant writing shouldn’t feel like a trip to the dentist. Take the pain out of the process with this innovative and fun, yes fun, guide. Learn all the inside tips and tools of the grant-writing trade in this easy-to-read and upbeat book.
This book is definitely for you if:
•You break out in a cold sweat when your boss mentions the word ‘grant’.
•You’ve been tempted to throw your computer against the wall while writing a grant.
•You happily tell stakeholders there’s plenty of grants out there … but haven’t the faintest idea how to write and get one!
•You think you can send out a bog-standard letter to a bunch of organizations and get funded.
•Your eyes glaze over when you’re presented with grant writing jargon and acronyms.
•Your organization’s grant success A-game has r...

Author Topic: Promiscuous Heroines  (Read 5997 times)  

Offline hjordisa

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #50 on: September 11, 2017, 10:57:20 AM »
The reddened part of your post is not correct. Not for women, and not for men either.


Not only are people on an instinctive level reluctant to sleep around for fear of catching something, they also disdain those who do, because in a tribal/survival situation of a group, they would endanger the entire group and its genetic survival.
There is a difference between promiscuity being uncommon and promiscuity not being inherent. There is also a difference between disdain for promiscuous people being inherent and shame in one's own promiscuity being inherent.

My only assertion was that shame in one's own promiscuity (or other aspects of one's sexuality) is not inherent. It is learned. If nobody ever told a naturally promiscuous woman that she was wrong for being that way she would not feel wrong for being that way. And yes, there are evolutionary explanations as to why societies built shame around sex. But that was beside the point I was making.

Offline xprettyguardianx

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #51 on: September 11, 2017, 11:11:57 AM »
Honestly, when it's done well, it delights me. There are so many beta male self inserts in literature where the dudes get whatever guys they want, that it's nice to see it happen for women. Particularly when she's strong, independent, and isn't a mess about it all.

Offline K.Peters

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #52 on: September 11, 2017, 11:20:40 AM »
I personally have no issue with a more promiscuous FMC. I get more annoyed with a promiscuous MMC, especially in story. Back story doesn't bug me.

I hadn't really thought about it but in all my books the FMC's power or thing is being promiscuous and owning that power while complaining about the double standard; defending herself. Men use love to get sex. Women use sex to get love, etc.

The MMC are jerks (alpha, although I hate that term) but aren't about manipulating or using any other female other than the FMC. She is their focus. I didn't plan it that way. It's just sort of how the characters turned out since a sexually powerful woman isn't going to tolerate a promiscuous guy. She'll just move on. He can be damaged and elusive but he better not be a male-hoe.

I haven't gotten any complaints. A few 1 star badges of honor but I'm pretty sure at least 1 of those is from another author who 5 starred a poorly written book with a similar plotline.

In all honesty, female sexuality is more powerful in real life than most women realize.

Offline Crystal_

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #53 on: September 11, 2017, 11:30:28 AM »
I write romance and I don't have patience for this crap. My girls sleep around... a lot. Not within the context of the romance, but as a part of who the characters are. I will NEVER write virgin characters because it's a trope that irritates the  p*ss  out of me.

But many readers in the genre have different expectations. They're just not going to get those stories and characters from me.

I love virgins--they're so fun--but I sometimes write more experienced heroines. I don't draw attention to it, bc I know how romance readers feel about these things, and I like to sell books. I don't think there's much reason to draw attention to characters' sexual histories anyway, unless it's a "it's never been like this before" or part of the appeal of the book is the heroine taming the manwh*re hero.

Offline D A Bale

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #54 on: September 11, 2017, 11:41:50 AM »
This is all really a matter of what fits for your character(s).  If chaste and virginal is what works, write that.  If experienced and searching, write that.  Neither one is wrong when it comes to the written word as long as it fits that character.  Whether it is or is not representative of society or societal "norms" of the time is irrelevant, in my opinion.  Be true to the voice of the character and disregard the naysayers. 

Online kathrynoh

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2017, 11:45:02 AM »
I have the same thing in my books, but it doesn't come up until the second one. This character's mother managed to avoid that fate because he was born early by C-section.

I have the character think that the reason his mother survived is that he's not vampire enough. And that's a big part of the plot/character arc.

I think UF is a lot easier for me than romance because I'm not from the US and sometimes find it hard to get into the mindset of US readers (well, maybe just US romance readers).

Offline Flay Otters

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #56 on: September 11, 2017, 12:40:31 PM »
Interesting nature/nurture debate going on here behind the scenes.
I think Nic Foyles has the answer. There's a lot more hard-wired (selected for) than many who prefer to "do their own thing without judgment" would like to believe.

But back to the topic.
I have a female lead in a late 19th century setting, where sexuality, for women, is essentially binary -- you're either chaste or a whore (with just a small amount of wiggle room). Although men who regularly frequent whores are also considered dissolute.
I would like to have her... become intimate with the guy she hangs out with and who wants her, but I think it's going to take a couple of novels to get there. For societal reasons if nothing else (she isn't a whore).

But at some point I would love to write a really slutty female lead.

Offline D. Zollicoffer

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #57 on: September 11, 2017, 12:50:15 PM »
It's fine, but it can feel a little lazy sometimes. Like, if you look at the generic "Strong Female Protagonist" she's basically one of the guys, rarely shows emotions, sleeps around, is tough, etc. I can't count the number of TV shows that start with the female MC in bed with some random guy. You can almost see the writer winking at you: "Look, sex means nothing to her! She's not like other girls!"

Again, it's fine, but there's other ways to establish your character as a strong female protagonist (I honestly hate this phrase because its often done poorly).

I basically agree with this: https://www.feministfiction.com/blog/2012/05/24/the-problem-with-strong-female-characters-tm

Offline Nic

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #58 on: September 11, 2017, 01:42:03 PM »
SM didn't invent that idea. A good portion of vampire conventions originated with Dracula. If you want to keep discussing off-topic, you should probably start a new thread.

I read "Dracula", it's an old favourite. There are no pregnancies in that book.

Online Paranormal Kitty

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #59 on: September 11, 2017, 01:49:37 PM »
I read "Dracula", it's an old favourite. There are no pregnancies in that book.

You are misreading what I said. You were complaining about people borrowing from another author's world-building. I pointed out that much of the vampire conventions used today came from another author - Bram Stoker - in Dracula.

Fetus/birthing infant killing the mother is a standard though not universal dhampir trope.

Yes, thank you. SM certainly did not invent this idea. Lost Souls had the same thing way before Twilight, for example.

Offline Nic

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #60 on: September 11, 2017, 01:58:34 PM »
You are misreading what I said. You were complaining about people borrowing from another author's world-building. I pointed out that much of the vampire conventions used today came from another author - Bram Stoker - in Dracula.

I wasn't complaining. I am astonished, as I already said, that so many authors seem to reuse what already is not exactly good worldbuilding by Stephenie Meyer, rather than construct their own, or turn to actual folklore. I've read a few recently written vampire novels, and they bear little connection to Dracula or the vampire lore of central Europe.

Offline Nic

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Online Paranormal Kitty

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #62 on: September 11, 2017, 02:03:14 PM »
I wasn't complaining. I am astonished, as I already said, that so many authors seem to reuse what already is not exactly good worldbuilding by Stephenie Meyer, rather than construct their own, or turn to actual folklore. I've read a few recently written vampire novels, and they bear little connection to Dracula or the vampire lore of central Europe.

As Becca and I both told you, that idea did not originate with SM. So you're being "astonished" at something that isn't even true.

Online Paranormal Kitty

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #63 on: September 11, 2017, 02:06:25 PM »
I think UF is a lot easier for me than romance because I'm not from the US and sometimes find it hard to get into the mindset of US readers (well, maybe just US romance readers).

I have that issue with romance readers too. It's a tricky genre.

Online Rosie A.

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #64 on: September 11, 2017, 02:18:59 PM »
I prefer the title of experienced heroine. :D But given that I write historical romance, most of my heroines are virgins until they marry. Mostly because in the 1800s and the first half of the 20th century, you were facing some serious social consequences if you were a woman who got around. I personally find it more believable to have virginal heroines in historical romance...depends on the context and backstory, too. One of my heroines is experienced going into the relationship with the hero but I don't make much mention of her past encounters more than once or twice. Mainly because it didn't matter to the story.

What's interesting is that a survey done in 1957, if I remember the year correctly, showed that the majority of adults (in the 80th percentile) were not virgins when they married. The funny part is, their spouses had been the previous partners. :D

Offline ellenoc

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #65 on: September 11, 2017, 02:20:51 PM »
For me there's a big difference depending on whether a book is contemporary or historical. Life was very different before the development of antibiotics and effective birth control. So for me a heroine in a historical who ignores the risks of pregnancy and its consequences, or worse one who considers it and decides she's willing to risk it for love, ignoring what she's setting her own child up for, is TSTL on her own behalf and evil on the child's. You can of course write a young, virginal type so uneducated on the subject she doesn't know those risks, but at least for me, young and ignorant doesn't have much appeal. The heroine who gets pg and then refuses to marry a willing hero because he hasn't said he loves her is a book-at-the-wall event for me.* In historical times that's TSTL to the nth.

* Admittedly I can't do that any more because I read on Kindle, but I can delete the offender with finger stabs at the screen and slam the K shut.

Online Paranormal Kitty

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #66 on: September 11, 2017, 02:25:19 PM »
Yeah, I can see how it would definitely be different if it was set a long time ago. The reality was so different back then. I don't think I would ever attempt to write anything historical though. I'd be too afraid I'd forget and give them a cell phone.

Online Rosie A.

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #67 on: September 11, 2017, 02:26:44 PM »
For me there's a big difference depending on whether a book is contemporary or historical. Life was very different before the development of antibiotics and effective birth control. So for me a heroine in a historical who ignores the risks of pregnancy and its consequences, or worse one who considers it and decides she's willing to risk it for love, ignoring what she's setting her own child up for, is TSTL on her own behalf and evil on the child's. You can of course write a young, virginal type so uneducated on the subject she doesn't know those risks, but at least for me, young and ignorant doesn't have much appeal. The heroine who gets pg and then refuses to marry a willing hero because he hasn't said he loves her is a book-at-the-wall event for me.* In historical times that's TSTL to the nth.

* Admittedly I can't do that any more because I read on Kindle, but I can delete the offender with finger stabs at the screen and slam the K shut.
Agreed. But it isn't only because of pregnancies...to me it's also about the fact that society expected women to be pure (talking about in the historical context). People were more religious and women were expected to be virgins when they married. Even all the way into the 20th century. I have a widowed heroine who had sex with the hero but there was more advances in birth control by then...though not much (talking 1940's here). But pregnancy was a big reality. The last thing you wanted was to be labeled a trashy woman with a [illegitimate person] child (like Emmy from Gone With The Wind, heh).

Online Paranormal Kitty

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #68 on: September 11, 2017, 02:39:59 PM »
Agreed. But it isn't only because of pregnancies...to me it's also about the fact that society expected women to be pure (talking about in the historical context). People were more religious and women were expected to be virgins when they married. Even all the way into the 20th century. I have a widowed heroine who had sex with the hero but there was more advances in birth control by then...though not much (talking 1940's here). But pregnancy was a big reality. The last thing you wanted was to be labeled a trashy woman with a [illegitimate person] child (like Emmy from Gone With The Wind, heh).

Makes me think of Tess of the D'Urbervilles too. I remember having a hard time wrapping my head around that book when I first read it, but that was reality at the time.

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #69 on: September 11, 2017, 02:55:19 PM »
I prefer the title of experienced heroine. :D But given that I write historical romance, most of my heroines are virgins until they marry. Mostly because in the 1800s and the first half of the 20th century, you were facing some serious social consequences if you were a woman who got around. I personally find it more believable to have virginal heroines in historical romance...depends on the context and backstory, too. One of my heroines is experienced going into the relationship with the hero but I don't make much mention of her past encounters more than once or twice. Mainly because it didn't matter to the story.

What's interesting is that a survey done in 1957, if I remember the year correctly, showed that the majority of adults (in the 80th percentile) were not virgins when they married. The funny part is, their spouses had been the previous partners. :D
Plenty of people as far back as the 18th century (England) had sex with their partners before marriage. Studies of church records show a LOT of marriages followed by "premature" births. Whether the couple got pregnant & had to marry or whether they just had sex once they planned to marry is harder to say. Certainly in the 20th century it wasn't uncommon for an engaged couple in the US to have sex. I know my own parents did (married in 1940s), and they weren't any kind of societal rulebreakers.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 02:56:52 PM by Usedtoposthere »

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #70 on: September 11, 2017, 03:33:24 PM »
Romance is extremely unforgiving.

Whatever you hear, write what you feel. Don't let people tell you that you absolutely cannot write something. Write your heart.

Just make sure you don't put it into the wrong category.  ;)
 

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #71 on: September 11, 2017, 03:48:24 PM »
I don't think romance is any more unforgiving than any other genre. Just make sure the audience you write for is OK with what you're doing. There are some rules (happy ending, GENERALLY no cheating although that rule gets broken), but beyond that? Like I said. Plenty of romances start out as one-night stands. I've written heroines who've had plenty of sexual partners, and I've certainly written men and women who meet, have sex with other people, and then get together (all within the story). For MY audience, it's better if the woman isn't currently having a lot of casual sex. (And it's better if the guy's either having sex with a girlfriend, or if he's clearly being decent about it if he's having casual sex.) However, there are books out there that do things differently, aimed at an edgier audience.

If you think romance is unforgiving, try writing UF withOUT a "kick-butt, snarky, spunky, tough" heroine. I don't think a woman whose strength is in more traditionally female areas--endurance, compassion, patience, empathy--is likely to go over big. I write both kinds of heroines. Lots of ways to be strong. But not, from what I see, for heroines in UF.

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #72 on: September 11, 2017, 03:48:40 PM »
(snip) I've read a few recently written vampire novels, and they bear little connection to Dracula or the vampire lore of central Europe.

When I did the research for my paranormal book, I went back to Vampyre and Carmilla as well as Bram Stoker.  I also looked at some of the folklore of western and central Europe.  I don't know how much of that shows in the book, but I tried to get back to the basics and bring more of an old-world context to the story.  It's set in modern day Seattle, but the characters are influenced by their past.

ETA: Many of the paranormal romance and urban fantasy stories have more modern-day vampires.  They haven't been around for 200+ years and their story and background might be very different. :)
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 03:58:55 PM by Lorri Moulton »

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Offline K.B.

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #73 on: September 11, 2017, 07:39:01 PM »
The average numbers of sexual partners in a lifetime still are way below common estimations. Depending on country and age the median is below 8 for men and 5 for women.

That absolutely cannot be true. I want to believe you (or not so much you, but the research you're citing), but... OMG. If I were to make an educated guess by myself, based on the people I know, I'd say it has to be at least fifteen. Hell, I've blown through that average number cited in one week during college break. This just... I'm literally in shock and I'm not being a smartarse either.

I'm interested in reading this research.

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Offline K.B.

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Re: Promiscuous Heroines
« Reply #74 on: September 11, 2017, 07:45:09 PM »
I love virgins--they're so fun--but I sometimes write more experienced heroines. I don't draw attention to it, bc I know how romance readers feel about these things, and I like to sell books. I don't think there's much reason to draw attention to characters' sexual histories anyway, unless it's a "it's never been like this before" or part of the appeal of the book is the heroine taming the manwh*re hero.

I have said that I'm trying to write closer to market and this has honestly been one of the harder habits to break away from. I think there's value in what you're saying (I.E. not drawing particular attention towards something) and it's something I'm going to consider.

Over the past few weeks, I've really been plotting and planning a massive connected world of books (Seven series that intertwine with each other, each series having 5-7 books) and I'm slowly drifting away from the characters I used to write. I'm really, at this point, considering splintering this project off into a new pen name.

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