Tag Archives: Writing tips

A checklist for aspiring erotic romance writers:

A checklist for aspiring erotic romance writers:

TakenByPassion_300YOU, TOO, CAN WRITE EROTIC ROMANCE IF YOU:

  Are willing to sacrifice the time to do extensive research with your partner.

        (Sweetheart, I prefer the velvet lined handcuffs.)

   Get turned on by what you’re writing.

        (Damn. Where’s my partner when I need him?)

   Can make readers believe that you’ve had sex with elves, vampires & cowboys.

       (Wow, you must have lots of experience to write sex like that.)

Can write “those words.”

        (Saying them out loud is not required.)

   Can write sensual and non-cliché dialogue in sex scenes.

        (As in more original than, “Oooh, yeah. Give it to me, baby.”)

   Can create a hero that you would like to have sex with.Forbidden300

        (Honey, can you start working out at the gym & grow your hair shoulder-length?)

   Are willing to read lots of erotic romances to get a feel for the genre.

        (It’s rough, but someone’s gotta do it.)

   Can write sex scenes without worrying what your family & neighbors might think.

        (Um, Mom. Sorry, but you can’t read my books.)

   Can write with an open mind and push the envelope—anything goes.

        (Yes, vampires can have mind-blowing sex with werewolves. Two at a time even.)

   can be creative and forget vanilla sex; instead triple almond caramel cherry crunch!

       inked300 (Ménages, sex toys, sex with faeries, sex while underwater…)

   can make something as simple as eating cheesecake sensual and sexual.

        (Give me some of what she’s having!)

□  can leave behind stereotypes, restraints on women’s sexuality, and shame.

        (When it comes to sex, if it feels good, honey, it is good.)

   can write a solid romance with strong sex scenes, a strong plot, and a HEA.

        (Funny thing how our readers actually love a good story along with all that sex…)

SOLD2_300dpi   can forget “the rules” that you may have learned in traditional romance publishing.

        (Yes, you can write that!)

   and most importantly, you, too can be an erotic romance writer if you

LOVE writing it!

~Cheyenne aka Jaymie

01_Cheyenne_BMG_MASTER_JPG copy 2

Amazon Reviewers All in or Undecided #reviews

rp_hahahastar-300x283.jpgBy accident today, I came upon an Amazon reviewer who has done well over 100 reviews.

I saw one particular review she’d written for a book I was considering and thought it harsh. Actually I was trying to decide if I would get this book from the library or buy it. I’m way over my Kindle budget this month, after two more purchases yesterday. And it’s a pricier book which is part of a series. The review was brutal!

So I looked at some of the other reviews given by this person. The first two pages were nothing but 1 Star reviews. Occasionally, the reviewer would give a good review, but about 80% of them were beyond brutal, even telling people not to buy the books, over and over again. This was an eye-opening experience for me. After reading so many despicable statements about author after author…I don’t believe anything this reviewer says.

I just pray he or she doesn’t pick up one of my books. I was more suspicious of the 5 Star reviews. Now I need to rethink this. Maybe I need to look closer at the STARS or ignore them altogether.

However if she ever does give me one of her zingers, I think I might even smile about it. I’d be in good company.

Top 10 Reasons to write romance!!

SleepingWithShadowsEbook_Medium

I love what I do. I know a lot of authors hem and haw when asked what they do, but I’m proud of it and don’t mince words when I tell them I’m a writer. And when they inevitably ask what I write, I proudly say, Paranormal Romance and Erotic Paranormal Romance.

After they wrinkle their noses and notice my total lack of embarrassment or shame over writing romance or even…gasp….erotic, you all know the question that comes next….

“Do you have anything published?” And have you ever noticed the condescending almost pitying tone that usually comes with that?

I’m also proud of saying, “Yes. I’m multi published under two pen names.”

Then they usually say, “Are you published with a “real” publisher? Anyone I would recognize?”

For a while I bristled at the “real” publisher comment since I was first published with a small press and I believe them to BE real publishers!! But, most people are oblivious to that fact so I don’t even bother to point that out. And I’m also proud of being able to say, “I’m published with a few places, but the two New York publishers are Kensington and Berkley…which you might know as Penguin.”

Most people have heard of Penguin and even though they probably know next to nothing about publishing OR Penguin that usually derails their condescending tone, at least a little.

But even when I was only published with a small press publisher, I would proudly tell people what I did and was never shy about writing romance.

So with a huge thanks to Virginia Nelson for giving me this blog idea, here are the top 10 reasons to write romance!!

1. I get to fall in love all over again with every book!

2. How many people get to experience the excitement of that first sexual encounter with someone new over and over again while remaining totally faithful to their spouse? And even having their approval? And a total side note and probably TMI, but….you know I don’t shy away from that… To understand this, you have to realize that if I don’t get hot and bothered while WRITING a scene, my readers won’t be when they are reading it. SO, when I sold my first erotic romance trilogy to Kensington…and was writing them….hubby came home one day with a HUGE package of batteries he bought at Sam’s club and slapped them down on the headboard of our bed with a smirk…. Smart ass! 🙂 But you get the point…snerk!

3. I believe true love is out there, and that soul mates exist. I love getting to show that possibility and inspire people to look for it. For those who argue that romance gives people false hope – I would rather have people putting out good energy and believing in true love and drawing it to them than exuding doubt and fear that they’ll be alone forever and attracting THAT back into their lives.

4. I get to be a part of helping people rekindle the passion in their relationships! I’ve gotten several emails from couples who thanked me for rekindling the spark in their relationships. Especially my erotic works! I’ve heard from couples who read chapters of my Cassie Ryan books together and then let nature take its course. I’m glad that the hard work and time I put Into creating these stories and these worlds helps people and inspires them. What could be better than bringing people back together and reminding them of what they saw in each other in the first place? One year at a book singing they mistakenly sat me under the “Inspirational” sign since the “Erotic” table was full. I took it in stride and told the people who came by my table that my Cassie Ryan books are definitely inspirational, just in a different way than the other ladies at the same table 🙂

5. I get to show that all kinds of women and women can find romance, love and fulfilling sex lives. None of my characters are perfect. They aren’t all skinny blondes with perfect bodies and perfect personalities. And the men aren’t all cover models who always say the right thing and sweep the women off their feet and save the day! In fact, most of the time, my heroines save themselves and sometimes even save their hero as well! I try to make my characters “regular” women and men who are put into irregular circumstances. And all of them need to “find” or “accept” themselves in order to truly find love. So through my work I get to show people it’s possible to find love, acceptance, and companionship no matter who you are and what you look like. And that’s very rewarding!

6. In my Cassie Ryan books, I get to explore all kinds of kinky and off the wall sexual things that I would never try out in real life! If you’ve read my Seduction series you know that can sometimes get pretty out there 🙂 In fact there’s a sex scene that has about 30 people in it… Snerk! Not something I would sign up for in real life, but I have to admit that it was REALLY fun to live out in my imagination. Yes, I admit it. It WAS fun. But then I have a really good imagination!! LOL!!!!

7. After a long, hard day of work, I’m still smiling and feeling good, even if it’s during the big black moment where all looks lost, or I killed someone off that day!

8. I get to do my job in my pajamas, sipping butterscotch martinis, on a comfortable patio with the breeze blowing or sitting in a squishy chair at Starbucks with a hot chai tea latte next to me 🙂

9. I get to meet the ‘good guys’ who are still out there waiting to fall in love and meet the right woman for them 🙂 Yes, I do have quite a few male fans. Granted, they prefer to think of my books as ‘sci-fi with sex’ rather than paranormal romance, but it works out the same in the end, and they do even enjoy the romance parts since I don’t write soupy, scholcky romance that makes you want to gag or get a toothache…or so I’ve been told! (And I’m glad!!)

10. I get to people watch and mentally stalk people and not get arrested for it! After all, anyone and everyone who comes across my path are fair game to be book fodder!! Mwaaahaaahaaaa!

I really do have the best job in the world. Not only do I get all the perks above, but even beyond that I get paid to make stuff up and even to be sarcastic!! Who else can say that?

#WritingTips Fun snippets of Writing Tips to Make You Smile

It’s been a while since I’ve posted these and figured this would be a fun, quick blog for a Friday morning 🙂

Every now and then I’ll go on a Twitter binge and post a bunch of writing tips or pet peeves or whatever else is on my mind that day.  So in light of that, here’s one of my recent Twitter “binges”

For those of you not familiar with Twitter – if you’re posting something under a topic you want people to be able to search on and follow, you use a hash tag.  And mine was #writingtips.  So since a lot of my Facebook friends either aren’t on Twitter or don’t follow me on there – I have a TON of Facebook friends…lol…I decided to do a blog about them so everyone could experience my warped-ness…  I know – if you follow me on Facebook you already get a big dose, but hey – if you can stomach that much, what’s a little more, right?

Again, for those of you who don’t Tweet – you can only use 140 characters in your tweets so that’s why some of the funky abbreviations.  I didn’t type them all fresh – I copied/pasted…LOL!

Now for those of you who have had me edit your books somewhere in your past – some of these will look familiar – and you’re already used to my warped sense of humor…LOL!  But you may even have more “Tina gems” that I don’t have on here…

So here we go!  Here are mine – feel free to add your own in the comments – especially the fun ones!!  Don’t give up too early – some of the really fun ones are toward the end of the list! 🙂

1.  #writingtips If a cock leaps 2 attention, it had better have little feet & B ready 2 run across the room…LOL!

2.   #writingtips If writing anal scenes – don’t do a BrokeBack Mountain thing – sliding in w/ one stroke w/ no lube would HURT! Ouch!

3.  #writingtips Another bad euphemism:  “Dangling globes of manliness” – ACK!!  Just say NO!

4.  #writingtips If you aren’t getting hot and bothered while WRITING your sex scene, no one will while reading it!!

5.  #writingtips Make sure your hero and heroine’s internal thoughts & dialogue sound different. Each character’s should be unique.

6.  #writingtips Usually if a sentence begins with And or But, the ‘and’ or ‘but’ can B removed without changing the sentence & will read better

7.  #writingtips Action/reaction. Let us see the character’s reactions to things – internal thoughts, emotional reactions & physical reactions.

8.  #writingtips Don’t forget to SHOW emotions in your scenes. How are the characters feeling? SHOW US!! Don’t TELL us.

9.  #writingtips A hero who looks at, fantasizes about or ‘plays with’ other women than the heroine (unless it’s a menage book) is NOT heroic

10.  #writingtips Heroine can’t flirt/cheat on hero either – NOT heroic, If they both agree to a threesome etc – fine, but not outside of that

11.  #writingtips When writing romance, a hero who is a jerk or treats her badly is NOT a hero. Readers want a romantic hero – give it to them.

12.  #writingtips If your hero knows every brand name your heroine is wearing – he’s gay, folks! Which is fine if you’re writing M/M romance 🙂

13.  #writingtips Be realistic. Most guys (sorry guys) can’t come four times in an hour…some women can…Don’t make readers roll their eyes!

14.  #writingtips Word choice – jizz or love juice – YUCK! Just use come or orgasm. Don’t gross the reader out!

15.  #writingtips KNOW your reader demographic – for romance – mostly highly educated women 18-50  Don’t talk down to them!

16.  #writingtips If hero/heroine are running for their lives & stop to have sex – they kinda deserve to die…Just sayin’ LOL…

17.  #writingtips Call it what it is. It’s not a ‘man rod’ or a ‘love shaft’ or a ‘steely length’ It’s a penis or a dick or a cock. Really…

18.  #writingtips Don’t be afraid of words – use them, but use them well. Her yawning moist cavern is just icky! Sooo not sexy!! 😦

19.  #writingtips Afraid of using the “C” word? If can be done..lol! Read my Seduction series – used in non traditional way, but readers loved it.

20.  #writingtips “Clit” is better than a euphemism like “love button” – ACK!

21.  #writingtips Word choice matters. Thigh is sexier than leg. Breast is sexier than boob or tit.

22.  #writingtips If heroine/hero are chafing – and handcuffs aren’t involved – get them some freaking lube, ppl! LOL…That’s just not sexy!

23.  #writingtips If a scene doesn’t move the story forward – cut it! Seriously!!

24.  #writingtips World building: Make the rules for your world/characters & then don’t break them! You’ll lose the reader’s trust…

25.  #writingtips Make sure U know your book’s timeline. Keep a chart. If 3 nights have passed, but it’s never bn dark-better B a paranormal LOL!

26.  #writingtips If your prologue is just an excuse to do a backstory dump -cut it! Only use those when absolutely needed to set up a story-RARE

27.  #writingtips If writing a sex scene & you’ve never done whatever it is U R writing about – talk to someone who has!!  Seriously!

28.  #writingtips Avoid using euphemisms that will make most people laugh – “his hairy man sack” is just gross!  NOT sexy…lol!

29.  #writingtips Anything that pulls the reader out of the story & gives them the chance to put the book down-weed it out of your writing!

30.  #writingtips Try 2 avoid giving all your characters in 1 book names that R2 similar or all start w/ same letter-could confuse reader!

31.  #writingtips Use of “locks” for hair has become cliche – seriously. PPL have hair, not locks unless it’s a padlock in their hair – ouch!

32.  #writingtips Use age appropriate language 4 yr characters. If yr 20 year old heroine says “Golly gee” – that’s odd & jarring 2 reader

33.  #writingtips Schedule a time each day 2 write, sit butt in the chair & write-brain will get the hang of being productive on cue.

34.  #writingtips Watch repeated words used close together -distracting for reader. For me it’s usually a diff word in each scene I have to edit!

35.  #writingtips “Mary was scared”=Telling. “Icy tendrils of fear raced up Mary’s spine”=showing. Paint a visual picture!

36.  #writingtips Try to avoid using was/ing combos-makes it kind of passive. Was running can become ‘ran’  🙂

37.  #writingtips If yr pacing is slow & dragging-go back & make sure yr conflict is big enough & difficult enough! Conflict drives pacing!

38.  #writingtips READ widely. Pay attention to writing you enjoy & writing you don’t and figure out why on both counts!

39.  #writingtips Don’t use flowery writing-readers like simple writing that paints a visual pic, not something schlocky & makes them groan!

40.  #writingtips Make sure your events aren’t out of order. pick up book, walk to door, open it, walk through, out of order won’t work here

41.  #writingtips If yr hero is “hard enough 2 drive nails” he needs 2 call the # on the back of the Viagra box!! That’s not healthy!! Ouch!

42.  #writingtips Avoid cliches – find a new, fresh way 2 say something! Make it yours. Cliches R distracting 4 the reader & don’t add value

43.  #writingtips Remember even when writing that heroes usually don’t want to kiss a heroine right after she’s “swallowed” – Jarring for reader

44.  #writingtips If your heroine’s vagina is “weeping” – there’s salve for that…LOL! Get her to the doctor! Ewwwwww!!!!

45.  #writingtips Make sure the action is w/ the character, not the body part. Fists won’t clench on their own, the character clenches them…

46.  #writingtips Beware of over repeated actions. If yr heroine is always sighing the reader is gonna wnt 2 kill her by the 10th time…seriously

47.  #writingtips Keep in mind yr job is 2 paint a word picture 4 the reader so they cn C the pic U have inside yr mind when writing the scene

48.  #writingtips Beware of wimpy verbs that don’t give reader a visual picture – words like ‘put’, ‘got’, and ‘went’ Use a more descriptive verb

49.  #writingtips If the heroine’s heart clenches inside her chest and she’s short of breath, she’s not in love, she’s having a heart attack!!

50.  #writingtips Who vs That. If you are talking about a person – use ‘who’.  If you are talking about a thing – use ‘that’

51.  #writingtips Get rid of “filler” words like “just” and “that”, which don’t add much value

52.  #writingtips Write what you mean. If a heroine leans INTO a hero – that’s gonna hurt & require surgery – she’s prob leaning AGAINST him.

53.  #writingtips Watch out for body parts gone wild. Eyes can’t fly across the room unless they have little wings. Gazes can though…

54.  #writingtips Purple prose is distracting & annoying & doesn’t help your story, it only discredits your writing in the eyes of the reader.

55.  #writingtips Remove exclamation points, use your words 2 carry the emphasis, not throwaway punctuation that distracts the reader.

56.  #writingtips if hero’s “member” has a head the size & color of a large plumb, he’s got medical probs & his partner will NOT be excited!

Goals & Motivations

I’ve set myself some pretty good goals for 2008 and some even loftier goals to be achieved by 2010.

First, an update. I lost 10 pounds in January! At this rate I am going to look amazing in my Faery outfit for RT. 2 more months, another 10 pounds a month, I’ll be right back where I wanted to be, and in better shape than I’ve been in years.

Heart of Glass, my November 2007 release made the top 10 bestseller list at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. This is the 2nd consecutive month my titles have made the top 10.

The same title received a 4 star review in Romantic Times Magazine, the review will be published in the March 2008 edition, along with my ad.

 

On the writing side, I’ve been slacking. Not a single word written since January 5th. I did not meet my goal of 3 submissions for January, but will strive to make it happen in Feb. I sat at the computer last night and opened my current work in progress. Not a bad story if I do say so myself. Whether a publisher thinks so is entirely another story. Hope to blog about “the call” here soon. J

 

Anyway, I digress. I opened the document and began to edit chapter 1, again. Now, this can be a good thing or this can be considered destructive. In this case, it’s destructive. How am I ever going to progress and write the rest of the book if I’m hung up on editing the first chapter? Answer: I’m not.

 

I need to back up for a moment and tell you where I found my motivation again. I spent the weekend at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire and shared a tent with 26 other romance authors in various stages of their writing careers. Everyone from self published to USA Today best sellers gathered to autograph their books and chat with people. They were the friendliest and nicest group I’ve had the pleasure of spending a solid 48 hours with. This event which happens the first weekend in February, every year, was the key. The spark to relight my writing flame.

I brought my laptop to work with me today and spent my lunch hour writing. I only managed to eke out 2 pages, but, and this is a big but (pardon the pun) they were 2 NEW pages. Maybe that 2010 goal I set isn’t so lofty after all.

 

What rekindles your writing flame when the fire goes out?

Kayla Janz

 

No matter how high you climb, there you are…

Today is my day to post on the Aphrodisia Authors blog, so I wrote one on “No matter how high you climb, there you are…” It’s about writers and what an interesting breed we are…lol. So, head on over and check it out, and please feel free to leave comments on one or both blogs.

I LOVE comments 🙂

Tina/Cassie

Things I’ve learned from being a writer…

**A quick public service announcement before I move on with my post.  Don’t forget that there is a contest running to win a free signed copy of Ceremony of Seduction.  I’ll be drawing a winner at random from all those who are signed up for my monthly e-newsletter.  If you’re interested in subscribing, you can head out to my MySpace page – http://www.myspace.com/cassieryan44 or send me an email.**

Someone asked me last night what the typical day is like for a full time author.  Now, that’s a pretty common question, and I receive quite a few others, but it made me think.  This is a strange and wonderful business we are in, and I’ve actually learned a lot that has surprised me.

So, what have I learned from being a writer?

 – People think the day of a writer is glamorous and involves bon bons, mojitos and a sexy assistant who cleans your pool and dresses in a sexy thong.

 – People are often disappointed to realize that authors don’t make “movie star” amounts of money.

 – People think that you being a writer entitles them to ask all sorts of personal and inappropriate questions they would never ask someone in another profession.  (How much do you make, How many people have you slept with, does writing all those sex scenes mean you’re a nymphomaniac, won’t your children be ashamed of you for writing that?)

 – Everyone is fascinated by what you do.  Some have fantasized about being a writer themselves, and others think it’s one of those deliciously wicked things they can look down upon and say they met a real life writer (sort of like a real live gangster, prostitute etc)…LOL

 – People think that if they give you a story idea (like you don’t already have 10 thousand of them on your own) that you can write the story and then split the money.  They really don’t realize that writing the book is the hard part, not coming up with the idea.

 – Every inch of space within a bookstore is real estate – bought and paid for by the publishers.  If your book is face out, or on an end cap, or on a front table etc – paid for by the publishers.

 – People don’t realize that every weird thing they do or tell you about is fair game for going in one of your books or blogs.

 – That with the big pubs, it takes over a year to get your book published and sitting on a shelf.  And readers have no idea it works this way and thinks the writer just writes slow.

 – Many people view writing as a misguided profession that we will grow out of once we grow up or accept responsibility.

 – Every artist and several models on Myspace mistakenly think that by contacting the author, they can get their work on our cover.  (For those of you who don’t know – most of the time, the author gets little to no input into the cover)

 – That word of mouth is the best promotion.

 – That my husband is proud to tell his friends his wife writes both erotic paranormal romance and paranormal romance, but he refuses to read my books…lol.

 – People think that any sex act or situation in my book is from personal experience.  (I had one reader ask me where she could buy an altar like the one in Ceremony of Seduction.  Uh….Altars R Us?  LOL!)

 – That writing is my calling and I truly love it.