Sorry for the delay in posting our Friday Frolics. Life loves to interrupt, but here we are and let's get going to Noelle's question this week:
Do you write to please yourself or your target audience?
Let's get to it:
Myself. I have to be comfortable with what I'm writing in order to write something I think my target audience will enjoy. Taking into consideration the requirements of the erotic genre and mixing with (hopefully) solid writing in general.
My first draft is always written to please myself. I will step away and come back to reread it later. It gives me perspective to see if the physicality is logical and whether the action is sexy or clunky. In my current story for Naughty Royals, I am debating a few of the scenes. There are things I believe would happen logically in the situation, but I’m trying to keep it light with a little tension. It could easily get pretty dark and I don’t want to go that way. And now I’m off on a tangent. One lesson I took to heart years ago: I was reading a historical romance that I enjoyed up to the very end. The heroine wasn’t an idiot. The hero wasn’t a date rapist. And the heroine had a little dog she adored. And at the very end, the author had the bad guy kill the dog. She Killed the freaking dog! And that wasn’t even the worst sin to me. The heroine was all ‘happily ever after’ with the hero and didn’t seem to give the dog a second thought. I might have forgiven the author if there had been mourning and tears. Anyway, if I do something bad, I want there to be consequences, and since I don’t want the story to end on a depressing note, I don’t want to do anything unforgivably bad.
I write whatever is dictated to me by my characters, and they happen to be sleazy paranormal creatures most of the time. However, after my characters have had their say, I naturally go back in to fit it with what I perceive the target audience would love to read.
Well, I write for myself! I assume that the target audience is "out there" and I have a general idea of what their interest is - the parameters, so to speak. So other than the basic parameter, I plot and write the story for myself. If the readership likes what I wrote, great! If not, well... But to write to please the "target audience" is like writing for hire. If I'm writing for hire, and I'm paid accordingly, then yes I'll write something to please the audience. If I'm paid through royalties, as I am, then I'll go with the parameters and write the actual story to my satisfaction (and hope the audience likes it).
I write to please myself, mostly. Although, I do try to target a reading audience, which doesn’t always work out the way I’d like. Lol I learned long ago that what I needed to do was write what I wanted to read. Even if that meant most people wouldn’t read or even look it. Writing, creating worlds and characters, is all a form of enjoyment. If you aren’t enjoying writing then why are you writing to begin with? It’s an art, like painting or drawing. Art is passion. Passion comes from the soul. An artist (of words and/or pictures) gives the world beauty.
So for me, writing is something I do to please myself. Do I want to please readers? Yes, what writer doesn’t want to bring joy to another person? But, whether I’m writing for publication or not, I’m still writing. Because I’m happiest when I’m writing.
If I enjoy reading my own work (Some authors find this hard to do), I figure my readers will like what I write as well. I tend to write for my own enjoyment. I have eleven titles with MuseItUp Publishing, and I feel comfortable in my craft. But even with my early books, I created stories I wanted to read (though some of the characters and the plot lines sometimes went in directions I never intended—but I’m so glad they pulled me along those different paths!). That holds true for writing a hot love scene. I had one reviewer label my work as sensuous romance. It’s not necessarily sweet and it’s not really graphic. But it will raise your temperature a degree or two.
To be honest, I never read much romance and very little graphic romance. That doesn’t mean that I don’t know what’s going on in the bedroom. It just means I prefer to write a scene as if I’m the lady being romanced (even though it’s in third person). Therefore I want certain things considered in lovemaking. I want dignity between two lovers. I don’t use certain words that other writers might feel very comfortable using, but I’m not going to use some euphemisms that would make you laugh.
A male editor friend of mine told me once that he read a romance submissions that made him burst out laughing. The author wrote that the romantic interest in the book had entered the bedroom and “his manhood filled the room.” The author must have meant that his male mystique filled the room. The editor read something quite different. I learned from that editor’s response to be careful about my euphemisms.
Thank you for dropping over, we appreciate it. Have a fun weekend and hope to you see next week.
Remember, if you have a question or anything you want us to muse about just drop me a line at MuseChrisChat@gmail.com