Becoming “sweet”

The unthinkable has occurred.

No, I’m not talking about natural disasters or the collapse of our society. Perhaps I have a flair for the melodramatic. However, something has happened to me that I didn’t see coming. Not by a long shot.

I appear to be writing a “sweet” romance.

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What does that mean, you ask? Aren’t all romances sweet? No! In the romance world, “sweet” means sex happens behind closed doors. In other words, you may see your heroines and heroes kissing and holding hands and feeling tempted, perhaps even indulging in some foreplay, but the actual penetration isn’t discussed.

Now, if you know me, you know my previous romances haven’t been sweet. Let’s see. Aside from intercourse, I’ve given you all sorts of interesting activities: food play, oral sex, anal sex, a bit of light spanking, scratching, hand tying. You get the picture. I love being an erotic romance writer and adore exploring the emotions behind lovemaking.

So what lead me down this dark and unfamiliar path? Well, dare I say it? The story did.

I’m in the midst of reworking an old ghost story romance of mine, my very first manuscript. I decided to make it a paranormal featuring an incubus. Now, incubi are, by their very nature, sexual demons, right? Yes. And there has definitely been some sexy action with this ghost and my heroine. However, for the first time in a long time, I haven’t felt it necessary to lay it all out there for the reader. I find I’m choosing my words differently. I’m striving for an all-over ethereal quality to the piece, hinting more, rather than describing the acts.

And guess what? I haven’t exploded. I wasn’t sure I could make the transition from erotic writing to sweet writing, but I’m rather tickled to try. At the end of the day, I may change my mind anyway and heat things up, but for now, this is proving an interesting exercise. I’ll keep you posted, and when it’s all said and done, perhaps you’ll let me know if you think I’m sweet after all.

PENIS!! (Sorry- just had to get that in there. I don’t want to lose all my naughtiness.) 😉

22 thoughts on “Becoming “sweet”

  1. I never write explicit scenes in mine, they are usually fade to black. I think sometimes it’s nice to let the reader imagine what has happened, and keep going with the story 🙂

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    • Imagination can accomplish so much, Harliqueen. I don’t mind scenes that fade to black either, as long as the expectations are set for the reader. I once picked up a book by a well-known erotic author. The cover looked erotic and all the love scenes faded to black. I was NOT a happy camper because my expectations were toppled. As long as we’re clear as to tone, we can write however we like. Thank you!

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  2. That sounds interesting. And there’s nothing wrong with sweet romances, if it fits with the story – it’s all about the characters and plot. 🙂

    …though I do love the smut. 🙂

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    • Absolutely, leesha. It has to fit, which is how my experience began. It just seemed to fit. We’ll see if I remain “sweet” until the end! Thank you for visiting.

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  3. Writing any romance whether it’s “Sweet” or “Naughty” is a challenge. I knew you had it in you Rosanna Leo, cause you’re the bomb!

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  4. When I started my career, I never opened the door. It was all about the tension. Now, I do the tension for like half the book and then wham, the door is very open. I can do both. I read both. There is room for all levels of romance in this world. So, you go, girl.

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    • Wham, bam, thank you Moni! I think there’s room for both too. We’ll see if I weaken and write an orgy before I’m done. LOL

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    • I like it sometimes when books start of “sweet” then transition to full disclosure later. And sometimes I like it when they start out showing you everything but then after awhile dial back to hinting more than showing. It just depends on the story and what seems appropriate for the characters and how they would act and interact.

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      • Great point, Michelle. I think in both cases, there is a change, a development. And that always feels good. 🙂

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  5. Rosanna, I think that’s outstanding!

    I feel that as a writer, a great way to improve one’s craft is to try writing in different genres, and “sweet” romance, when compared to erotic romance and certainly when compared to erotica, is a whole different can of kisses.

    Believe it or not, I first wrote horror, then thrillers, then erotica. Each one required different pacing (horror was slow and tense, thrillers were fast with short chapters, and erotica is slow and all about fully enjoying the moment), different attention on different aspects (horror focuses on fear, thrillers focus on the chase, and erotica focuses on the sensuality), and different words (horror: “In that cabin in the woods, he opened the closet and poked at a piece of Evelyn’s gristle stuck between his teeth,” thrillers: “In place of Evelyn’s gold he expected to find inside the closet, there ticked an explosive set to detonate in the three minutes,” erotica: “Though Evelyn no longer lived, he could still feel the memory of her soft, warm hand down his pants, he remembered the way she made his heart drum and sweat tickle down the side of his temple. He now stared at his predicament in the closet. Even from the Great Beyond she was able to make his heart drum and his temple sweat. This time out of fear.”

    Good for you for stretching and playing with your writing muscles! (Behind closed doors, of course.) 😉

    ~Liz

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    • Thanks so much, Liz! Those are amazing examples. I didn’t know you’d tried different genres as well. I’m cheered by your story. Thank you.

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  6. I recently tried to write “sweet” and ended up with my guys barebacking over a desk in the back office of a restaurant. You know what they say about repression… 😛

    I’m excited for you and this new direction your writing is taking–it’s always fun to stretch in new ways as a writer. 🙂

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