You are not alone. I seldom use the word "said" and I sell lots of books. If I were to pick up a book that had "Jane said", "said Bob" etc, I would look for "See Spot run" next. That's fine for those who like that, but I'd find a book like that extremely boring. I want see feelings and attitude in the statements.
There is a reader for every level of sex (or lack thereof). Write what you're comfortable with.
But if you've already written more than one book and you're going to make a dramatic shift up or down the scale, you need to shift your branding accordingly, which may mean you need to use a differentiating pen name as well. If a reader is expecting an 8 and you give him a 2, they're not going to be happy with the book. That's going to generate poor reviews, which will kill the book before it ever has a chance to find the audience that likes a 2.
All very interesting points, and I've actually learned the origin of the word por*n, my life is complete! I'm pretty much into writing YA exclusively but I've considered regency romance as well since I like to very occasionally read them. I never considered wanting to do more than allude to said scenes (because hey, it's regency), but I was concerned that I wouldn't be graphic enough for those reading. Not that I can't write a decent scene (I tend to think of them like fight scenes, its all about the action before the kill), but I just didn't see the point as I too tend to skim over these parts.
You guys have given me something to think about, if I ever decide to jump genres.
You would pick on the one book (trilogy actually) that probably contains more sex than any other book I’ve written.
Interestingly, it’s loosely based on a true story. In 1984, I hired an ex-Navy guy to be a computer operator at the company I then worked for. The guy was thirty-five, and had been medically discharged from the Navy. He’d had abdominal surgery which left him wearing an osotmy bag, and during the surgery, the surgeon had accidentally cut an important nerve-the one that controls the urethral sphincter. After the nerve was cut, even though he sensed that his bladder was full, the signal his brain sent to the sphincter no longer got there. Bottom line: he had to self-catheterize himself every time he needed to relieve his bladder. For the past thirty years, he’s had to deal with the dual problems of an ostomy bag and self-catheterization.
We’ve kept in touch over the years, and I finally decided to create a charac*ter based on his experiences. Enter Chris Bottoms. Chris is twenty-eight, an RN First Assistant, which means he assists surgeons in the OR, and he’s in the Navy. He was sodomized by his stepfather between the ages of twelve and fifteen, which left him unable to achieve sexual release by anything other than being on the receiving end of anal sex.
When we meet Chris, he’s on his back with his legs in the air, enjoying sex. Unfortunately, a few months later, he develops cancer of the rectum and lower colon, and has to have surgery. And, an inebriated surgeon clips an important nerve, leaving Chris in the same condition as my former employee. Oh, I forgot to mention that as a part of the abdominal surgery, the patient’s anus is sewn shut. All of which put Chris in an unhappy position.
In book two of the trilogy, Chris learns that he might be a candidate for surgery to reverse his ileostomy, and this involves two additional surgeries separated by about three months. I won’t go into details, but look up ileostomy reversal, and you will learn a lot. At the end of book two, he has the first surgery; and in book three, he has the second and final surgery, which rids him of the ostomy bag, and makes it possible for him to once again have sex the way he likes it.
Other things happen to Chris along the way, some of them good, some of them bad, and it was a fun story to write, despite the somewhat grim nature of the medical problems involved.
The guy whose story it really is, read the manuscript for vol one, and approved it. BTW, he’s not gay. I find it difficult to fully comprehend what he has to deal with every day of his life, and find myself wondering if I could maintain the sunny disposition he has, while dealing with his problems. For whatever reason, nobody ever told him that it was, in some cases, possible to reverse the surgery.
And, for what it’s worth, volume three, Bottoms Away, was among the finalists in its category for this years Rainbow Book Awards.
According to Merriam-Webster, to pander is : “To do or provide what someone wants or demands even though it is not proper, good, or reasonable.”
I can honestly say that nobody demanded this story be written, except the story itself, which needed telling. And most people have found it 'proper, good, and reasonable.'
... Interestingly, it’s loosely based on a true story ... which needed telling ....
Yet another opinion presented as fact. I'm detecting a pattern but do not care to follow it any further. It's funny that someone who has benefitted from the opening of the American mind remains himself so closed. But we're trolling now.
The guy whose story it is lives about 120 miles from where I live, and we meet for lunch once a year. I will never forget the expression on his face when I asked him for permission to base a book on his medical experiences. It made all the work worthwhile.
Marcy Henshaw wrote:
WOW. Just...wow. I imagine that it must have been a difficult story to write? (as in emotional).
Over a decade ago I wrote a fiction story where in one of the plotlines a mother and father lost their prematurely born son. The story was based on what happened to me and my wife.
I have thought about publishing the story as an ebook but before I could do that, I'd have to fix some problems it has. It took over two years to write it in the first place, because of the emotions it brought on and it causing me to stop writing it at times. To fix it up for sale at Amazon, would certainly be emotional again. It's over 100,000 words in length, which is very long for the subgenre I write in.
Writing about something you are or were involved with can be very emotional.
I am so incredibly sorry for the loss of your baby. My heart truly goes out to you.
Several scenes in my horror series are based loosely on events I have participated in (infant death, premature birth, still birth) as a labor and delivery nurse. I admit I force myself to go back to those times to face the raw emotions again, in hopes of transferring it through to readers. It can be really difficult...going back there.
Last spring I wrote a scene where a very young infant fell victim to a zombie. My MC (who was for all intents and purposes his adoptive mother) cradled him, sang to him, and drove a knife up through the base of his skull to end his life as the living dead. In May I took a writing break to be with our son as he was diagnosed with his brain tumor and underwent two major brain surgeries. I had completely forgotten about the scene I wrote, and in proofing/revising it hit way close to home, as the fatal wound to the baby was the same approach that they made for our son's craniotomy.
I don't see it happening right now, maybe in a few years, but I really want to write a dramatized true crime (is that even a proper term?) that follows the life of my cousin, who was born into a tough life, went on to live the streets as a hooker and drug addict and eventually fell victim to the Green River Killer (Gary Ridgeway). It'll take a lot of research, I'm considering visiting Ridgeway himself where he's rotting in prison, but man I think it'll be an emotional beast to write. It'd cover child abuse, drug abuse, life on the streets, crime...all connecting back to family. I don't want my goal to be money making with this one. I just want to give someone a voice. Not sure if that makes any sense.
I actually think it's extremely important to write what you feel needs to be written. A lot of what I write has some basis in my own life experience, or that of people I've known. It's human nature, and we as writers share that culmination of experience in a unique way, through words. If you feel emotional about something, that generally shows through in your work and allows others to connect with you. Nothing wrong with that.