To Be (Or Not Be) Graphic

As I wait for news on “Embers of Eros” and start work on my next project, I’ve been doing a little experimenting in between. Whenever I read novels that involve sensual, romantic themes, there are any number of styles for depicting these themes. Some are purposefully vague, using all sorts of colorful metaphors to depict these basic acts. I think anyone who has read “50 Shades of Grey” is very familiar with the concept of the “inner goddess.”

Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are styles that leave little to the imagination. They try to paint a very vivid, very graphic scenario between lovers. They describe everything from the shape of a man’s penis to the presence or absence of pubic hair on a woman’s body to the taste of various sexual fluids. Needless to say, the verbiage here can be pretty crude. Some of it sounds like it comes from a porno set, but in some respects that makes it more real and vivid. When done right, it can really put the reader in the scene.

I’ve learned after writing over a half-dozen books that I can write on both ends of the spectrum, but I’m not adept at navigating the areas in between. As my style of writing has evolved, I’ve learned to use both styles. Whichever style I use depends on the story. Some stories, like “Embers of Eros,” require that I be more vague. That story is heavier on romance than it is on erotic themes. So for that reason, I emphasize the romance more than I do the intimate moment.

For a story like The Final Communion, however, there’s just no way that being overly vague can work within those themes. That story is built around concepts of reckless indulgence and overt decadence. It needs to be vivid to get the theme across. Nothing can be left to the imagination. The reader has to see, hear, and smell the scenes it depicts.

So far, I’ve used a more vivid approach for my stories, but that’s largely due to the theme. The next story I write will be fairly graphic in that respect. It’s going to have little romance, but a lot of erotic themes. So this will be a chance for me to refine that approach.

At some point, however, I’d like to work on my romantic writing skills. “Embers of Eros” is a good point of reference right now, but I want to see how it turns out before I start another story. I do have a few ideas brewing that are more romance heavy, but they’ll require a bit more brainstorming before I start putting pen to paper.

So for fans of romance and fans of overt eroticism, I hope to give you plenty to enjoy moving forward. I also hope to continue improving with both themes as time goes on.

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