Saturday, June 20, 2009

Humor

I confess. I presented this to my local RWA chapter last year. But I think it still applies. It does for me at any rate. Hope you find something of value too.

Sex is serious business. It’s enthralling, enthusiastic, invigorating and enervating. In addition to being fun, it’s funny. Which is what makes my erotic romances different from others’. Humor—even in my darkest erotic romance—is my “brand.” My author’s voice.

I’ve written short contemporary, romantic suspense, Regency and Victorian historicals. I never sold. Now I write erotic romances. My fourth book—His Virtual Assassin—released June 20, 2008. My fifth--Passion's Twins--released in March 2009 and will be out soon in print. I think you can see why I write what I write. I SOLD!

NOTE: Erotic Romance is not Erotica. Romantica—my publisher’s trademarked term—is still first and foremost romance—with its developing love story, conflict, and usually a HEA. I say usually, because my second historical fantasy ends with the heroine’s death. Come to think about it, all three heroes died as well!

Why do I write what I write?

· Freedom of language: To ensure I avoid redundancy, I have an American Dictionary of Slang where I find lots of synonyms for sex parts. I also have a Dictionary of Euphemisms, which I don’t use much if at all.

· Freedom to fantasize: I remember being really angry at Erica Jung for revealing so many female fantasies in her novel Fear of Flying. Now I appreciate the freedom to imagine anything—and to write about it.

· Luck: In 2005 I ran in to Barbara Woodward at the RWA conference in Reno, NV. She suggested I attend the “spotlight” on Ellora’s Cave Publishing. I won an anthology, loved every story in it, and wondered if I could write a story as funny and HOT as Charlotte Boyett Compo’s The Windsday Club. Inspired as I hadn’t been in a long time, I came home and wrote Passion’s Four Towers, which became my first sale ever.

· Freedom to explore new (for me) subgenres: I started writing Futuristic Fantasy because I needed something to occupy my time while I waited to hear about my historical fantasy. Both genres are a lot of fun to write. I probably will never write a paranormal, even though I read them a lot.

· Naming Creativity: I live with my Character Naming Sourcebook from The Writer’s Digest. I don’t even start writing until I’ve named all my major and most of my secondary characters. Naming is fun. For example, PFT’s three brothers’ names are variations on the word “spear.”

Humor

Unless you’re Jennifer Cruise, Stephanie Bond, or Janet Evanovich, I strongly recommend you avoid setting out to write the funniest scene ever written. If you try it’ll most likely read like you’ve delivered the punch line before you’ve set up the joke. Having spent most of my adult life acting in comedies and farces, I know the funniness comes from ordinary people being caught in extraordinary circumstances and behaving like the situation is perfectly normal.

4 comments:

jean hart stewart said...

Interesting post, Dee. Somehow I can't write erotic romance, or at least I think I can't, but my books all get a little steamy. Glad it works so well for you....

Anny Cook said...

Cool post, Dee! I, too, like a humorous story!

Amber Skyze said...

I love humor in a story, Dee. Thanks for sharing this interesting post with us.

Terri B. said...

Without humour, erotica can be dire. And, well, embarassing... Trust me, on this, I know. As in the 'that position is physically impossible!'

How did you get away with killing off four characters?