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Messages - LMareeApps

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Intimacy too soon...
« on: Yesterday at 03:21:56 PM »
Geesh. I suppose it depends on your audience but damned if you make it too explicit and damned if you don't. Sometimes, it feels like I'm writing soft porn, but then again sex is a beautiful thing that deserves to be rewarded in fiction. It's like we can show the readers how much these characters care about each other with our language, so why restrain? I do enjoy reading a poetic sounding lovemaking session in fiction. It makes my cheeks hot! *whew*

If it feels like you're writing soft porn, it might be that you're focussing too much on telling the physical and not enough on showing the emotions and senses.  A good exercise to play with to help get past that is to write a 'sex' scene where the sex is actually eating a chocolate (candy) bar. You need to provide some physical description so readers know what's happening, but to make it a sensual act you need to really delve into the senses.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Intimacy too soon...
« on: Yesterday at 06:36:52 AM »
:o  That's more than my eroticas.

Which is why it drives me nuts when people try to suggest the quantity of sex is what determines the genre.  ;)

Basically, the whole premise of my story is that they go off for a weekend hoping to have plenty of stress-busting sex, he decides he wouldn't mind keeping up the casual arrangement when the weekend's over, with a view to maybe get more serious down the track. She's actually lied to him about her identity, and can't fess up because her career would be on the line.  So yeah, most the sex happens in the early part of the book, then they have to deal with the emotions and the conflict standing between them before they can have their HEA. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Intimacy too soon...
« on: Yesterday at 12:27:41 AM »
I'm no expert on this, but in my book, they do it every 20K words.

LOL! I can just imagine the scene... couple are in a big fight then suddenly, "Oh crap, honey! We're at 19,900 words since our last session. Quick drop trou' we've got work to do!"  :P

But yeah... I have 7 sexual acts (sometimes there are interuptions before the hero gets his turn, sometimes the hero's not involved at all  :o) in 60000 words, so if you want to do some maths... 

Really, what I love most about Romance as a genre is that there's a writer out there catering for all these preferences. Literally, the only requirements are that it's about a relationship, and that after overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the characters find a way to make their relationship a success.  No matter what heat levels, what themes, what types of characters you like, you're likely to be able to find someone writing it.  So as writers, really we just have to decide what our writing style and voice suits, then package it in a way that tells readers what we're offering.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Intimacy too soon...
« on: October 17, 2017, 04:35:15 AM »
Ah yes, the had a one night stand with a stranger who winds up being my billionaire boss is a fun story because of the tension added because they had the sex already. I like those too for different reasons, but my favorites are the slow burns.

I guess what I'm trying to say is sex first can still be a slow burn romance, because to me, the slow burn is towards intimacy, not sex.
I've probably just read too many Mills & Boons  ;D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Intimacy too soon...
« on: October 17, 2017, 04:24:21 AM »
It doesn't have to be the end goal, just a set piece in the book. Your job as a storyteller is to string out tension in every step of the book. For example, your first line might be:

I saw a body by the side of the road last night.

I can delay the answer to that for three sentences or three hundred pages, but I've already delayed the answer by not telling you right there. "I saw a dead body by the side of the road last night, but don't worry, it turns out that he died of natural causes even though we didn't find that out for a long time."

So yes, you delay a sex scene for romantic/sexual tension. Maybe you only delay it for a page, or maybe the whole book, but there's a good reason you don't usually start with them in bed.

That's exactly my point.  In many Romances, the sex isn't the point of tension.  Emotional conflict is.  So no tension is added by delaying sex (conversely, in some stories no tension is relieved by adding in sex). The physical element can also increase the tension caused by the emotional conflict.  Plenty of fun Romance reads have started with a couple having sex, then having to face the consequences acting on physical attraction has on their emotional relationship.

Which just brings us right back to my original point, that it really comes down to the characters and the story you are telling as to where (or even if) including a sex scene adds value to the story.  I don't think there can ever be a 'better than' winner in the question of where to include sex in a Romance.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Intimacy too soon...
« on: October 17, 2017, 03:58:23 AM »
It's like anything else in storytelling. It's the not knowing that drives reader interest. You delay sex for the same reason you delay the big battle, argument with the boss, the reveal of killer, etc.

Assuming that sex is the end-goal of a relationship, or that not having sex is the conflict that has to be overcome to reach the HEA...  Which just isn't the case in a genre as varied as Romance.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Intimacy too soon...
« on: October 16, 2017, 09:04:13 PM »
Meh.  Purposely dragging out the physical side of the relationship just for the sake of it bores me - both as a reader and as a writer.  I prefer to go with whatever suits the characters and the situation I'm writing about.    The beauty of the Romance genre is that there are readers for everything.  You just have to determine who your market is, what works best for your writing style and voice, and what brings you pleasure to write.  Then package and market it to the appropriate audience.

Writers' Cafe / Re: keyword dragon = (
« on: October 15, 2017, 11:36:49 PM »

More than 95% of the titles are headless "torso/ab" covers and similar.

But then aren't you grateful all those awful authors at least had the manners to put covers that easily identify the type of story inside, so you didn't have to click into those search results that you can so easily see don't match what you're seeking?

Definitely, if you don't refine your search parameters you're going to get results returned that aren't to your specifications.  Simply clicking that extra step into the SFF category before running your 'dragon' search will remove a considerable portion of the torso/ab covers - which you'll probably find are perfectly appropriate covers for the dragon shifter romance novels they represent.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Why is Amazon Picking on Me?
« on: October 14, 2017, 05:09:21 AM »
Link to known banned keywords?

There's a list of words not to use in this Reddit thingy (I don't know reddit terminology, sorry!).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Why is Amazon Picking on Me?
« on: October 13, 2017, 08:45:04 PM »
I urge you to try this and see what happens.

She can't.  The book was banned, not just filtered.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb opinion please (romance) - updated
« on: October 13, 2017, 05:48:02 PM »
What do you think about this one?

I like it.  I'd lose the 'But' at the start of the sentence, but that's more of a voice/stylistic decision.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb opinion please (romance)
« on: October 12, 2017, 06:24:10 AM »
Thanks, everyone! How about this one? I liked LMareeApps' suggestion, so I changed the beginning a bit. I'm thinking about changing "become my true partner" to "become more than just my prisoner," but I don't know if that sounds too much as if she were keeping him in a dungeon.

What about something like:  My enemies are coming for me. If I want to survive I have to let down my guard and put my life in the hands of my reluctant husband.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb opinion please (romance)
« on: October 11, 2017, 09:17:18 PM »
My primary reading genre is romance, I'll pretty much read anything. For me your blurb reads as suspense with elements of romance, rather than romantic suspense or straight romance. I don't feel there is any real romantic hook here or romantic conflict. What is the romantic conflict in the story? I'd hazard a guess that the romantic conflict is something along the lines of if she wants to live, she needs to tell her husband the truth, if she tells her husband the truth will she still have a husband at the end of it.  If I'm looking to read romance and I don't see a romance hook in your blurb, I'm going to pass.

To me it reads like a straight-up mafia/mob-style romance with a pretty clear theme of revenge vs trust.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb opinion please (romance)
« on: October 11, 2017, 04:40:05 AM »
I tweaked it a little. I thought I could explain their deal, but it's too complicated. I don't know if this is any better.

I think those first 2 lines still need some tweaking. Maybe...

Sparing his life was a bad idea. Making him my husband as part of my revenge plan was an even bigger mistake.  Now he's getting under my skin...

Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking For Blurb Feedback (New Adult Romance)
« on: October 11, 2017, 02:59:49 AM »
Any suggestions, questions or feedback are most welcome.

Six years.
That's how long it took me to get over her. To move on.
Now she's back. And with one look, she threatens to snap the self-control I've spent years perfecting.
But I'm stronger now. I've had to be.
I spent six years learning how to protect myself. How to keep everyone at arm's length, where I can see the hits coming a mile away.
But the walls I've built don't seem to apply to her.
She wants me back. She says I don't know what really happened all those years ago.
But I don't want to hear it. It won't change anything.
I've finally built the life I thought I always wanted.
So why does it suddenly feel so empty?

I don't hate what you've got, but it's a bit 'meh'.  I think there are some things missing that could strengthen it.  Firstly - who the main character is. In Romance, the characters are everything. Yet this blurb is about who? I'm not even sure if it's a guy, or if this is a F/F Romance.

Secondly, you've labelled it NA.  So were are the NA elements?  If their break up was 6 years ago, and it's NA, I'm guessing they were teenage/high school sweethearts.  By putting that in, you help establish the timeline and the backstory for the reader.

Thirdly, what big evil does s/he believe she did?  It's backstory, so it's not really a spoiler at all.  Again, this information can help the reader start feeling for the main character, before they even open the book.

Fourthly(?), what are the stakes?  This probably ties back into the third point.  The chick did something wrong, s/he is still feeling the hurt, but kinda feels like s/he might like the ex back.  So what?  Where's the conflict?

Finally, is this story single POV or duel?  If it's duel, you could probably include the other character as well to help establish that connection with readers.

Hope that helps.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Confidence
« on: October 08, 2017, 09:56:16 PM »
I think confidence comes with knowledge. If you know your craft, know your genre and know your market, negative feedback will still hurt, but you'll be able to use your knowledge to look at it more objectively and determine its validity.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Tax Return Question for Aussie Writers
« on: October 08, 2017, 06:45:24 PM »
I don't have a great deal to add, other than regarding home office claims.  You do need to be aware of capital gains tax implications if you own your home and are claiming portions of the mortgage, electricity etc.  I haven't done my writing tax return yet, but for the hours my husband works from home, I find it far less complicated (and less subject to detailed scrutiny) to simply keep a diary of hours worked, then claim the flat-rate/hr home office expense.  I'm not entirely sure, but I think at some point they increased the rate so that it also covered office furniture - but we haven't bought any in the last few years so you'd need to check on that.

The other thing, for mileage claims, if you haven't kept a log book, write up a diary of any travel & kms you've done.  You can then use that to claim up to a capped no. of kilometres rather than providing log book evidence.  It was either 3000km or 5000km - I can't remember.

Things like conferences, travel to conferences, meals, accommodation etc while at conferences (also signings etc). If you travel to a writing group etc.

Regarding the accounting fees, I really don't know!  I'd get a few quotes and ask if they have experience with writers or artists etc.  You can also usually find the Tax Pack on the ATO site. If you take your time with it, it's not that hard to read, and will give you ideas on what other deductions you might claim.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Another Change to KU?
« on: October 07, 2017, 06:02:25 PM »
Oh yeah, that's true. Even if page reads were showing up they could be from earlier borrows. Hmmmm...

I wish things weren't so messy and I could just blindly trust Amazon. I miss my innocence.

While I don't endorse blindly trusting any business... I'm about 98% certain my reads are from borrows during the free promo period.  Seriously, things before hand were dismal enough that I could literally count every borrow based on rank jumps, then see when the read happened.  While I have had a few 2 or 5 page reads, there have not been enough 'unaccounted for' borrows from prior to the promo to make up the read numbers I'm seeing now. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Another Change to KU?
« on: October 07, 2017, 05:06:08 PM »
I just did a 5 day free promo.  For the week prior, reads had pretty much flatlined.  Both during and since the free promo reads increased considerably. As I only have the one book available, I can say for certain that KU page reads are still counted during the free promo periods  :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Word usage: may
« on: October 06, 2017, 10:38:33 PM »
I'm an Aussie (in case that makes a difference  :P). 

I was taught may = permission, can = ability.  So if I said 'you may not' I'd be meaning 'you're not allowed to'. 

I can't imagine ever saying something like 'I may not go to that party'.  That sounds nonsensical to me. Why would I be denying myself permission to attend?  It would make more sense if I was referring to a request from my kids (or another 3rd party I had authority over), eg. "No, you may not go out tonight." 

If I was undecided about going somewhere I'd use might, eg. 'I might go, I might not.'  Might being used with reference to possibility, not permission or ability.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Romance genre reader expectations
« on: September 28, 2017, 04:54:53 AM »
So, I have another question. Is the male tease ever a thing in romance? Like, he keeps turning her on and leaving her hanging?

I've seen this more in ChickLit.  In Romance, I have seen it done well where that sort of behaviour is part of the backstory - and thus part of the relationship conflict between them.
I've also read it a lot in erotic romance, but I suspect that's not quite the turning her on and leaving her hanging that you mean  ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Americans help foreign writers!
« on: September 27, 2017, 07:58:27 PM »
As far as I know, in the US the two terms are more or less interchangeable.  When / where I grew up, we called them sneakers, but now a lot of people call them tennis shoes.  There is an actual difference, because tennis shoes are more specific in design.  Basically, all tennis shoes are sneakers, but not all sneakers are tennis shoes.

Joggers and sandshoes are commonly used here, along with sneakers.  Not so much tennis shoes though.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Americans help foreign writers!
« on: September 27, 2017, 02:58:28 AM »

What confused us the first time we visited Florida was that customers of theme parks were called 'guests'.

We have lots of theme parks near where I live, and they use 'guests'.  I think it's more a marketing gimmick though.  Customer services is called 'Guest  Relations', but when the employees direct you there they say things like, 'you'll need to go to customer service which is in that building through the door labelled Guest Relations'.  ;D

The thing that got me the most in the US was how many doors we had to push open.  Most doors in public places here are automatic.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Americans help foreign writers!
« on: September 27, 2017, 02:31:14 AM »
But why would you call it a bathroom unless you are planning to have a bath in there?

I watch those House Hunter shows, and one big difference I've noticed is that the toilet is often in the same room as the bath/shower.  So asking for the bathroom will still get you to the toilet.  Not so much in any of the houses I've lived in.  Same with showers over baths.  That seems to be a common thing, with a separate shower being a big deal.  Here a shower over bath only really happens in really old houses, or where they're trying to fit it all into a really small space.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Americans help foreign writers!
« on: September 27, 2017, 02:14:00 AM »
Same. But if I heard/saw 'kitchen bench,' that's what would pop into my mind.

I read a book set in the UK several years ago that was a really immersive experience. A day or so after I finished, my son (who is very tall) and I were walking in to a place that had a low doorway. I turned to him and said, "Mind how you go." He stared at me for about two seconds, then turned around and went back out to wait in the car. He said he was afraid I was going to start talking like that to everyone and embarrass him. I wasn't even thinking about it, it just crept in!

Top marks for that author!

I'm pretty sure my 7yr old is a US import.  I refuse to bow to her demands for 'candy' and 'soda' until she learns to say 'lollies' and 'softdrink'.  ::)

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