The Real Problem with Cliches

Cliches aren’t an inherent problem. Shocker. I know. You’d never expect Rosie to say something like that, but it is true. Cliches are not an inherent problem in writing or life. The problem with cliches is twofold sincerity and whether or not they’re boring. A cliche fails when it feels insincere. Let’s put it another way your partner can say “You look great”, but you’ll usually be able to tell when they are really serious or just spouting platitudes. Why? Because there is a difference in tone. Whether your reading a book or a blog you can tell the difference between someone writing passionately and with more than a passing interest to get a concept out.

I say this because I think there are a lot of writers who like the idea of writing and the concept of telling a story, but who don’t want to dig into what they’re writing enough to make it feel authentic. You pick up a book or read someone’s story page and your met with an obvious love of the concept of a character or a relationship, but the writer hasn’t made the story worth your while. They love the idea of this handsome young lad sweeping this girl off her feet…but there is actually no relationship between them except for the writer telling you so. They never have serious conversations or bond beyond steamy scenes, and even if your’re left with a bit of enjoyment you can’t quite believe in their relationship.

Plenty of blogs and stories that I started have not been finished for that very reason. They’re concepts with no depth, and that’s how you fall into the cliche. You don’t sound sincere even if you sincerely want to tell your story. D.D Griggs and I talked about this the other day. Whether you are writing non-fiction or fiction there are cliches and themes. She writes self-help books, and 70% of them are similar or have similar themes that are cliches we can all spout to a certain degree. Writers like her put those cliches into a context and a way of living that is incredibly important, but we’re all familiar with self-help stereotypes of conferences, yogis, and hippies. Most people can tell you one common philosophy in self-help, but neither of those things are inherently bad. What makes a self-help book succeed or fail is a matter of someone liking the author’s style, but more so it is a matter of whether that author is speaking from a place of sincerity and belief. That’s what keeps those cliches from being a problem.

When cliches become a problem is when they’re boring and don’t feel genuine. A blogger talking about “the power of positivism” and working out won’t grab your interest if they are just issuing copy-pasted ideas to their audience. If they don’t let you in to who they are you don’t feel like you can trust them because all you see is surface cliches. The same thing happens in fiction. If you have a book about a werewolf romance that is just paint by numbers it may make money…but it won’t make you an audience for the next book. It won’t get you the sort of repeat readers you want because the readers can tell you aren’t in it and you’re not giving them anything interesting. By that same token, someone else can write the exact same plot (and people do this and do it well) but they make the characters more sincere and write with more passion. They try to keep the story interesting and their readers see that. In blogging and ebook writing I see a lot of people just regurgitating what they think will get them blog follows or downloads, and then I go to forums of people upset and complaining about not getting sales. Well, you aren’t giving a unique product. You give something that is pain by numbers…and so have hundreds of thousands of others, which has hurt the market in many ways all on its own. These writers just don’t see how the cliches aren’t what hurts or helps a story or blog or what have you. It is a matter of how something is written and the tone that allows readers to connect.

Cliches can be powerful tools not only when you subvert them, but when you embrace them with the intention of making them interesting and bringing somethign new to the table with all the sincerity you can muster. This not only applies to the page or screen, but to how you talk to people as well. I hope you keep that in mind when writing holiday cards this season or are getting ready for New Years.

Until next time…

marvel-comics-retro-love-comic-panel-crying-it-s-all-over

In Defence of Smut

As some of you know, I work in the book industry. I am surrounded by the latest books on the market, often proofs before they are published. Back around January/February time, I got my hands on a w…

Source: In Defence of Smut

This is an awesome piece I seriously recommend you not only read it but reblog because I really want to break down the snot nosed snobbishness towards one of my genres because it is truly undeserved.

Erotica: Response to Condoms: fictional contraceptive of choice

I’ve written several times (here, for example, and here), about why, in real life, I’d always rather be on the pill. I like semen. I like spontaneity. I like intimacy. To a certain exte…

Source: Condoms: fictional contraceptive of choice

I agree with what a lot of the author here says, but to me contraceptives come down to one thing…anything can be sexy if you set it up to be sexy. I don’t mean describing putting on a condom like taking off lingerie. I mean if you make it fit then it will fit. I love writing bdsm and toying with the mental aspects of it, and I know many people love integrating contraceptives into the “game”. The billionaire gets his secretary on the pill because its his choice not hers anymore. Hot. Sexy. Dominance that she actually agrees with. Great. It certainly surpasses doing nothing because you can’t help but wonder in many stories what is going on. The secretary and the billionaire are going at it like a couple of animals and she only gets pregnant at the happily ever after? That is ok, but it is a bit laughable. For longer more full stories at some point you’re gonna have to tap into that and make choices about how.

How you do it is what makes it sexy. When you get into how you have to get into the scenario…and ask if they’re even going to pause to ask or do anything to prevent anything negative or unwanted from happening. Beyond the billionaire example there are different ways to talk about this without it being shoveled in. The worst and most unerotic thing to do is to randomly drop “The secretary knew it’d be fine if he finished inside her…after all she was on the pill.”. That line isn’t in her head. That line takes us away from her perspective like we’re being tackled by security guards.Sometimes you have characters who don’t think about it. In my Lita Loves Tales she’s on the pill but the momentum of the story in White Hot Room is so forward that contraceptives are the farthest thing from her mind. In book two she mentions being on the pill. It’s a small scene, but she reflects on the fact that she loves sexual fluids and is glad she’s on it. In another hot scene she handpicks male partners with her dominant to choose who will ejaculate inside her. It’s a simple conversation that becomes a game. In other stories the goal is to make it just as organic. Some characters do just randomly worry about that sort of thing and others will ask a partner to wear a condom while making out. The duty of the author is to make the reader believe it and not lose their arousal.

Condoms are an oft vilified thing, but if you can sort of explore it and not make it awkward than you get something. In The Black Hat Society K.K is penetrated by a male dominant and as he puts on the condom she becomes entranced by the sight of his erection. She thinks about how watching her, beating her, treating her like a toy made him that excited. She thinks about how appealing a penis can be, and the anticipation to know what he feels like is driving her crazy. The condom becomes a symbol of his care for her, of her being topped by him, of her penetration and consented violation  in front of an eager crowd who can do the same whenever they wish. For K.K this is better than the game…it is the best feeling she could imagine and it is intoxicating. Just because there is symbology doesn’t mean it is some great mythic thing. No it is her, a woman, being aroused and naturally her mind signalling “This is what is happening and this is how I feel”. It isn’t complicated to convey (though all feelings are complex). It heightens the sex. It heightens the joy of it.

Contraceptives can be sexy…so long as you make it sexy.

Excerpt from White Hot Room Draft

 “‘This wasn’t planned’. That wasn’t true. It was planned but Lita never imagined it could go this far.”

 Offered a chance to explore her deepest and darkest fantasies with her most trusted friend, the confident and handsome if somewhat unpredictable Jon, Lita finds herself submitting to things she could never imagine. However a world of self-consciousness has held her back for so long that going through with it may be harder than she ever imagined. This only gets harder when she realizes Jon’s love is as intense as his dominant side. Love and lust can be frightening things, but anyone worth their salt knows one is far easier than the other. Will she succumb to her fears of the unknown, or surrender to the wiles of love, passion, and the depths of submission?

A Lita Loves Tale. In fact this is the first of this realistic and sensual series!

The Lita Loves Tales are an erotic fiction series for a mature audience. White Hot Room features rough intimate scenes of bondage, spanking, flogging, curvaceous women, male domination and female submission. The Lita Loves Tales proudly proclaims to be a series with interracial romance and intercourse without any odd racializing found in other stories. Sensual, hot, and tinged with Miss Ruthers desire to capture the complexities of sex and intimacy White Hot Room promises to bring something new to e-readers everywhere.

White Hot Room

One thing was certain about Lita and that was nothing was 100% certain with her. Her father used to tell people that the “2.99% of uncertainty will get you if you aren’t careful”. Though she liked her comfortable life and usual routine, something in her always managed to surprise people…even herself. Still every single inch of her was no better than a pile of nerves in that hallway despite the fact that deep down she yearned for Jon to take her to another level; another level that lined up with odd thoughts that always lurked in her dirty mind and made her feel not just good, but like living fire and also the calmest ocean.  Tonight came as one of those little astonishing circumstances, one of those little moments that fell under the 2.99%. Lita hoped things would go smoothly, but they hadn’t even started and fear glued her in place. So much remained unknown and could only be known by exploration. That gave way to anticipation which meant nerves and hesitation. With every ounce of trepidation that resounded inside her as she looked at Jon there was this grand sort of rush building in her stomach. Nerves. Part of her liked the nerves even as another part of her felt like fleeing. This moment would never come around again. These nerves. These sensations. These thoughts. All of it made for a powerful part of the game they were going to play, and she had to play it. She said she would and she knew if she didn’t she’d regret it for the rest of her life.

Something told her she had to savor everything rolling around inside her, and that meant, in their mutual silence, reminding herself that sex didn’t get them there.

This game always seemed to be about sex, but it was so much more intimate if it was done right. He told her that “I don’t just play with anyone…I can, but it’s not the same, but I’d like to try with you,” but he didn’t seem to believe she’d say yes that night. There in the hall the joyous look in his eyes remained tempered by the sort of nervousness she’d only seen him have when their friends kept hinting at getting him an ‘epic’ birthday present despite their funds. He didn’t want to get his hopes up and yet…hope was there lurking around in his eyes. Still he remained composed, watching her, meeting her gaze with his own.

“I worried you would choose…not this.” He motioned to himself and then from his back pocket pulled something out. A split second later Jon held up a dangling patent red collar. The glimmer of light reflecting off the shinnying faux leather made her heart skip. “Or this.”

The Reality of Romance — hangingwithamanda

As much as we love getting lost in the world of book romance and the fairytale life, there’s also nothing like a true committed real life romance. There are so many views on romance. Do you remember being younger writing in your diaries about everything you wanted in a partner? You would write out all […]

via The Reality of Romance — hangingwithamanda

 

I found the perspective of this blog really fascinating, and I think as a romance writer I feel like this is real romance. I love grand sweeping stories, but these smaller events and mundane things are what make or break a relationship. We can pretend the jealous Ex or the family gets in the way 90% of the time…but 98% of the time it is how we live day to day, it is how we grow, and it is how we respond to our partners’ growth that determines how our romances unfold. In life and in writing this is something to keep in mind,

Never His Lady, but I was His Ferret. Poetry under Polyamory

Unique.
It is an over used word,
But every blue moon,
When the stars align,
And your wireless internet holds,
And you’re aching to be noticed,
And that someone interesting notices you,
You find something truly unique.

What we had was unique.
Love and Sex and,
Chemistry,
Words and hurt and,
What was once certainty.
It is broken now.
By my hand.
By my lips.
Twice by my body,
When it arched with pleasure,
When it quivered in pain.
Some days are harder than others.
Some days I can barely breathe.
Some days are easier.
Some days I just dream.
Of what? Of other things that could never be…
I could never give you what you need.
You could never give me more than what I want.

Before I was his lady,
I was his ferret.
I tried to hide the pitch black clouds in my eyes,
The sorrow in my sighs,
The youth in my mistrust which ultimately turned to lust.
Great big smiles and corny pun filled jokes,
Recipes for left over egg yolks.
Science things and history,
Inside jokes because “well you know me,”
I scampered with my words,
Sprawled in glittering images for your eyes,
Joined your little world with my fur well groomed,
Observed with quiet trainable adoration,
And my intentions? More than light.
They were right.
they were right…
Never thought it would end this way on a weary autumn night.

You see,
I kept things cool until truths got too hot.
The heat blasted and I sweltered,
As you gave it nary a thought,
It had nothing to do with you really.
Needless drama. All my making.
Accidental self-destruction,
A common cause of animal disruption,
I jumped from a shadow filled floor,
To a sweaty place near the ceiling,
Stepping on that thermostat, turning and turning and turning and turning and turning
With every struggling step.
It had nothing to do with you really.
Senseless drama. A trifle of my making.

Your little ferret knew who should win,
You,
but you did not. Instead you found no one can.
A ferret dies in too high heat,
Our systems run and then combust,
Or just give out as we wilt and rust.

Ferrets are tricky animals.
Cute, a tad odorous, a tad amorous, a tad…
chaotic.
Before all these terrible things,
Before all my missteps,
Before all my misdeeds and loves,
I was his treasured pet.
Before I ever knew his name,
Before I ever played this newer game,
Before the slipping in the wet snow-rain,
I became his pet.
Whenever I see red I think of you,
When I see purple it happens too,
I just wish I knew what to do,

But wishes mean nothing.

Little rhymes? Just words.
Little lies turn to just desserts.
I never was his lady.
I never loved him quite the same.
I never called him “baby”,
I never took the blame.
Yet no matter what one unique thing remains,
A noble burning pang…
A unique tie to heart,
A sign we were never the same.
The differences that excited us….
The pitch black lust that ignited us…
A ferret, most curious, and a man unlike most…
Now both have nothing with which to boast.
And yet…and yet this defies other lover’s chains.
I never was his lady, but I was his pet,
I never knew him truly, but I was his broken ferret.
Some days are harder than others.
Some days I can barely breathe.
Some days are just easier.
Some days I try not to dream.

-For K

Ramblings: On Erotica

Is it some cardinal sin to mix the two most often criticized aspects of erotica and roll them into one? I take one part physical smut and action, and weave it between bright emotional reaction. Associated with and disassociated with the glorious peculiarities of sex. It seems horribly authentic of me without falling into the over the top or the purple poetic. Yet both rear their heads when appropriate. To me is seems a glaring error, a human folly, to simply praise the literary sex or even to view sex as the wholly erotic. Once on a lark a man dragged is tongue up my spine. My back –rarely touched, rarely seen, but often thought of as a thing best forgotten due to marks and spots of all kinds– reacted as though he shot bolts of sensuous lightening through every inch of my body. It was more intimate, more intensely erotic, and more loving than anything I’ve ever experienced. The intention, the surprise, the feeling, and context swirled together into this marvelous embodied erotic experience. Such trivial matters are major points for those who live them and the beauty of writing is conveying that to others, to writing words so potent and powerful your reader understands how the actions transcend action and become inseparable from how they affect feeling, and are felt. Slot A into Slot B is nothing by itself. However descriptions of intimate acts. Of the fullness of intimate contact ,both mental and physical or real and imagined, provides writers and readers with a connection forged not on simple erotica or romance but on something that feels whole. I’ve read both types of erotica and loved it. However my desire it to toy with that middle ground and make you feel present.

Some would say I’ve done it all wrong. My prose is too purple, too random, too empty, too sexual, too slow, too fast. And yet…my readers, my professors, my friends find it deeply intriguing even as it defies what they expect. I’m not tooting my own horn. They find the flaws, point out my weaknesses, and eviscerate me until I think I might snap like a dragon backed into a corner. Usually those critiques are more than right. I am rough. I need work. Funnily enough that is what my sex, my writing is about, is about. We must round out the rough spots and sex is one means of doing that. Erotica must be well rounded for it to be felt in a way that satisfies me. I will not be satisfied as a writer until I believe I can give you something real to lose yourself in. That I promise you. Perhaps it is a literary sin to dare to make romance, erotica, and such defy itself. Perhaps it is a sin to make purple prose or action orientated sex a necessary part of my style.

Only you can decide. Either way I hope you enjoy what I write.

One Sentence Story Time!

His last words to me were those of sweet nothings and love even as my teeth sunk into his chest; he sang my praises, but he was not insane; simply he was the best lover I ever knew.

#storytime #writelife #writing #dailydose #halloween

I consider this one sentence because that is how this character speaks. Long run ons