Sunday, 25 March 2012

Rate it, write it, trash it….

A thousand years ago when I first stared writing I had no idea what I was doing. I figured I’d put something out there and see what happened. The first story was called Rose Perfect and it had no sex at all in it. One well known publishing company at that time, who has since gone under, said it would never sell and give up. The words ‘Give up’ to me are a challenge. I sold it to Cerridwen Press, the now defunct arm of Ellora’s Cave. As I got more confident as a writer I started to write for EC. Big money could be made there. At that time there was a rating system when it came to sex at EC. I can’t remember what it was exactly but it basically ran along the lines of hot romance stories were sensual and no plot, anal sex/ménage/ MM stories were extreme and that’s where you made the big money. So people wrote to get the hotter rating and the bigger sales. Writers on writer’s loops agonized over whether they could write anal sex to make more sales. No really. It’s true. Then EC got rid of the rating system and that’s when I think it all went down hill and got sluttish in eBook land How so? Well, at that stage Ellora’s Cave was the premier place to write at. To get a contract there was huge. Now? It’s no better then anyone else. No, I’m not bashing EC. They’ve about done bashed themselves to death over issues of payments and loyalty. But that’s another story. The point is ratings divide writers and talents – and no talents. Five flames? I want that rating. I only get 4? Are you kidding me? Did you read what he did to the heroine in chapter 3 with the coffee cup, a pen, a hair clip and three candy bars all while riding a horse? That was 5 flames baby.

Why am I bringing all this up? For the last couple of days I have been solidly writing. It’s a romance story with a plot and some sex. Yes. Bizarre. Will it sell? I have no idea but I’ll put it out there and see what happens. But in writing this story it reminded me why writers are supposed to write. It’s not because we all want to jump on whatever bandwagon is hot at the moment. For god sake isn’t every single bloody ménage ebook the exact same? Its fifteen thousand words of in-out, three up two down, Baby oh baby I love you and you and you – please save me from the evil-doer then please shag what little brains I have left out. All of you. Harder. Faster. Now. Yes, bring the horse along too. And we’ll all live happily ever after. It’s like the seven dwarfs discover Snow White’s a girl with whorish tendencies. Yes, yes by all means email me if that upsets you as a writer.

There are writers who specifically write no plot ménage because they know it sells. And it does. So what does that say about us as writers and readers? The hotter the perceived rating is or best selling genre may be we’ll sell our soul to write it? Is that a good thing? Do we write from our soul or for the money? Do we have any respect for readers? As for readers - are we so blinded by the need to read sex that we no longer realize there’s no plot? Do we have any soul left at all? Do we know what real romance is?

I dunno…it certainly has me thinking that things are about come full circle…


anny cook said...

In my experience, romance doesn't sell. Sex does. But I'm mostly tired of writing it so...we'll see what happens. Best wishes with the new book. And I love Rose Perfect.