I’m still buried under deadline. I’ll be back full force after next Friday (that’s D Day for me). The Darkest Kiss is complete, but I’m revising and polishing, being generally anal retentive, and generally worried about the book right now. That’s the last phase of my editing process. Having a toddler chasing the cats around (she went from crawling to walking to running in like the span of a week!) is not helping (but it is seriously cute).
The book itself ended up at about 92k. That means for Sweaty Seventy I wrote…*calculating*… 62k on The Darkest Kiss. BUT…I wasn’t only writing on TDK during this time. I also wrote… *more calculating*… 15k on another project (a skreeit one!). That brings my grand Sweaty total to 77k. I did it!
That’s actually not what I came here to write…
I had a question emailed to me by a reader. She asked why I don’t use the harder words in Witch Fire and is wondering if my editor asked me not to. I thought I’d answer this one here.
No, it was my choice to not use the harsher words in my Berkley books. I use them in profusion in my Ellora’s Cave books, but in writing books that I knew would reach a wider audience, I chose to refrain. I still use sexy language, especially for the male parts of anatomy. For the female parts I’m going a bit softer.
My Berkley books are still very hot, much hotter than most mainstream romances, (I think…), but I never, not even at EC, wrote sex scenes that had that harder edge to them anyway. I know lots of readers like that, but it’s just not my voice. When I write a sex scene I’m striving for emotion, sensuality of language, and titillation. I do want the scenes to be hot, of course, but not in a coarse way. This is all a matter of perception, though. One person’s sensual sex scene is another person’s coarse.
Oh, watch me tangent!…
Sometimes I’ll write sex scenes that are little harder in the beginning of the book, before the characters have had a chance to connect in a deeply emotional way. As the characters fall in love, the sex scenes change and become more sensual/emotional, to show the development of the relationship. They’re still going to be erotic and kinky (I love to write kinky) but they’re going to have a softer edge to them emotionally.
Anyway, coming back to the question, I deliberately left out the harder words in Witch Fire (and Witch Blood, The Darkest Kiss, ect), while still trying to maintain a high level of hot, in order not to alienate a large portion of my readers. I don’t think the harder words add anything to the plot or the character development, anyway. They haven’t for me so far, in any case.
Caveat is if I ever write a character who I think would use the harder words and it skews his/her character not to, I would use them in his/her POV. I just haven’t run into that yet. Maybe down the line I will. There’s always a caveat.