Please welcome guest blogger Louisa Bacio If one lover is good, two has to be better, right? Well,
that’s the common myth at least. When it comes to writing ménage, all a
writer needs to do is take a few willing participants and toss them
into bed, right? What’s the mystery? Well, it better be a big bed. Actually,
quite a bit of planning can go into the plot structure. First, what’s
the dynamics of the relationships? Is it a M/M/F threesome where the men
interact with each other, or is it M/F/M where both men lavish all the
attention on the woman? Then
there’s the physicality of the events. Sometimes, the carnal acts can
end up feeling like a Cirque du Soleil act gone wild. The key is to keep
it sexy and believable, and not make the reader say, “They’re doing
what? How?” Another
must is the emotional connection. How many people have ever been in
love with more than one person at a time? Seriously in love? (Raises
hand for major lust: One was a bad boy musician who acted like he didn’t
give a damn, and the other was the complete opposite: a church boy.
Rarely, would both have the same personality.) Was it equal? If the
writer favors one partner more than the other, then maybe the reader
will question the outcome. Final
component: It’s gotta be hot. If you think about it, the ménage plays
into some of the ultimate fantasies. Not many get to live the life of
smokin’ hot sex with multiple hot partners. As
part of the course lessons, I’ve talked to a number of people,
including authors who specialize in writing about multiple partners,
editors and reviewers (those critics!).
Ready to break the myths of ménage? Class Dates: May 14-June 10 How
do you write a love scene between a vampire and a werewolf and make it
believable? How about sliding a third lover into the common bed?
De-Mystifying Ménage explores the titillating combinations of sex with
multiple partners. The
course builds upon establishing basic chemistry between characters to
developing realistic storylines to finally describing the acrobatic
acts. Come prepared to build up a sweat writing, and leave your shyness at the door. Topics Include: Week 1: Lesson 1: Why write ménage? What’s happening in the market, and what’s selling? Lesson 2: Setting up the triangle: Characterization/motivation and the psychological dynamics of a love triangle Week 2: Lesson 4: Let’s talk about Sex: Terminology & How hot do you want it? First look: Male/Female Lesson 5: What’s fur got to do with it? Genre Setting and Genre Blurring Bringing in Paranormal Elements Week 3: Lesson 5: Bedroom Acrobatics: Writing a sex scene with three people Same-Sex Scenes Lesson 6: Complications & Conflict Week 4: Lesson 7: The Ending: Happily Ever After with a Threesome Lesson 8: The Publication Process: A look at Calls for Submission and the Query Letter To register, visithttp://my.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=230
Bacio writes paranormal and contemporary erotic romance. Bacio’s
writing crosses genres, from the traditional m/f pairings to m/m/f in
“The Vampire, The Witch & the Werewolf: A New Orleans Threesome.”
Her novel “Sex University: All-Girls Academy” features a f/f/f foray. Bacio
also teaches college courses in writing, and edits romance for several
publishing houses. She’s also highly involved with her local chapter,
OCC/RWA. Love Knows No Bounds –http://louisabacio.blogspot.com
Please welcome guest blogger Madeleine Drake Let's
start with the obvious: description is boring because it stops the
action of the story in order to give readers a look around. And
yet, if we don't give our readers a chance to look around, they'll
never see the worlds we've lovingly crafted for them, and our settings
will seem weak. Yes,
we could keep description to a minimum, breaking setting details into
small chunks and sprinkling them throughout the scene. But even the
smallest chunk of description, no matter how vivid, stops the action. Is
there a way to make setting descriptions a part of the action? Is it
possible to describe things as needed without boring the reader? Yes. But in order to do it, you have to understand how your point-of-view character's consciousness moves through the scene. We humans experience the world as a stream of stimuli, interrupted by our responses to those stimuli. You accidentally stub your toe (stimulus), you involuntarily pull your foot back and curl the injured toe (response). A co-worker says something critical (stimulus), and you come back with a snarky retort (response). You remember on your way home that today was your nephew's birthday (stimulus), and you feel guilty because you forgot to get him a present (response). Stimulus-response, stimulus-response, stimulus-response: that's the rhythm of life. If
you want to create the illusion of life, you need to reproduce that
rhythm on the page. A scene is a series of stimulus-response units
chained together to give the illusion that we're seeing the storyworld
through the eyes of a living, breathing, responding-to-stimuli person. Description
is boring when it's written as a series of stimuli without responses:
the car was blue, sunlight glinted off the vintage chrome bumper, the
tires grabbed dust from the road and threw it up in a red-brown cloud.
When you give the reader a laundry list of details, it doesn't matter
how vivid those details are, the reader's going to get impatient,
because she wants to see something happen. When description is presented as part of a stimulus-response chain, those vivid setting details become part of the action. Consider this passage:
repeller dangled between my breasts on a cord, sending out a bone-deep
whine that drove the mosquitoes off and parted the pale clouds of
miniscule gnats swarming along the bayou path. The asphalt beneath my
feet radiated heat. The water treatment plant upstream tainted the
breeze with the scents of sewage and cloying sweetness.
At what point in this paragraph did you start skimming? Compare with this:
repeller dangled between my breasts on a cord, sending out a bone-deep
whine that wasn't supposed to make my teeth buzz. But it drove the
mosquitoes off and parted the pale clouds of miniscule gnats swarming
along the bayou path, so I left it on. Heat radiating from the asphalt
aggravated the ache in my sore, swollen feet. A whiff of sewage mixed
with cloying sweetness clung to the back of my throat, making me gag. I
could hardly wait to get upwind of the water treatment plant.
Better, right? Doesn't this passage have a sense of movement that the first one lacked? Let's break this down into stimuli and responses:
Stimulus: My repeller dangled between my breasts on a cord, sending out a bone-deep whine
Response: that wasn't supposed to make my teeth buzz.
that the response is both a sensory detail and a veiled complaint that
lets us know the repeller is annoying the POV character.
Stimulus: But it drove the mosquitoes off and parted the pale clouds of miniscule gnats swarming along the bayou path,
Response: so I left it on.
this case, the stimulus is the POV character's observation of the
repeller's effectiveness, and the response is her decision not to turn
Stimulus: Heat radiating from the asphalt
Response: aggravated the ache in my sore, swollen feet.
stimulus is another sensory detail, and the response not only tells you
how the character is feeling, but also implies that she's been walking
for a while.
Stimulus: A whiff of sewage mixed with cloying sweetness clung to the back of my throat,
Response: making me gag. I could hardly wait to get upwind of the water treatment plant.
stimulus is yet another sensory detail, and the response includes the
character's reflexive reaction to that detail as well as her thought
identifying the source of the smell. In
this version, you don't just get the stimuli, you also get the POV
character's reaction to each one: she's torn between putting up with
the buzz in her teeth or being swarmed by bugs, she keeps walking even
though her feet ache, she's gagging on the smells from the water
treatment plant. Her
responses also do double duty as characterization: we learn that she's
someone who keeps going until she gets where she needs to go,
regardless of what discomfort she suffers along the way. I
encourage you to choose a description-heavy scene from your
work-in-progress and revise it so that each passage of description has
this stimulus-response structure. I'd also like to invite you to join me next month as I teachEdit the Life Back Into Your Story: Hands-on Techniques for Creating Emotional Impacthere at FF&P. This workshop will include lessons on:
Using stimulus-response chains for maximum dramatic effect
Fine-tuning the emotional progression of a scene
Exposition techniques that keep your infodumps from putting the reader to sleep
Recognizing and eliminating author intrusion
Methods to ensure that your characters' emotions and personalities come through strongly on the page
A simple process for turning "telling" into "showing"
See you there!
Drake writes feisty, fast-paced paranormal romance and erotica that
spans the space-time continuum. Her homeworld is located out past the
constellation Orion, but she currently resides in Texas. You can find
her online athttp://www.madeleinedrake.com When
she's not writing fiction, Madeleine blogs under the name Lynn Johnston
about how to take control of your life ten minutes at a time using the
kaizen approach:http://www.smallstepstobigchange.com Her books include The Kaizen Plan for Organized Authors: Take Control of Your Writing Career 10 Minutes at a Time (www.smallstepsforwriters.com).
blog is about why my fantasy and paranormal novels center on wolves as
main characters, or spirit guides. In my debut fantasy novel, Mystic Stone of the Tenth Realm,
my hero is a Scottish werewolf, an alpha of his own pack. My current
series is an epic lycan series, The Wolf Maiden Chronicles. I have my
rights back and I’m currently revising for re-release. I’m also creating
another wolfish series and delving into steampunk as well. I’m busy
with writing and volunteering at a raptor center.
But back to wolves.
My totem guide is the raven but my heart guide is the wolf. I’m not alone. Numerous authors are following the call of the wild.
is the wolf a common archetype in many myths and stories, even today?
Nothing sends a chill down your spine more that hearing a wolf’s howl in
the night. While volunteering at a wolf sanctuary, I spent the night in
a trailer on the grounds and was privileged to hear night after night
of thirty wolves in their nightly serenade. No sound is more awesome.
in the past, the wolf had a more sinister reputation. During the
development of agriculture and domestication of livestock, people
settled down and pushed out old hunting deities. Wolves were vilified as
part of pagan beliefs and turned the wolf into Satan’s ally. Fear of
the wolf once ruled Europe. Wolves were hunted and exterminated. Legends
of werewolves were rampant. Little Red Riding Hood and the story of
Bisclaveret brought fear to the hearts of many. Many accused of being
werewolves were tortured and or burned at the stake.
there is more of a movement to save the wolf and what was once
considered a savage killer is now becoming a spirit guide for folks who
need a strong archetype and for environmentalist who see the wolf as a
“spokes-creature” for nature. So why is the admiration and fear of the
wolf so universal? My own explanation is that the wolf’s biogeography,
high intelligence; and social interaction helped them enter into the
mythos and literature.
wolf is ubiquitous, found throughout most of the world from the icy
Tundra in the Northern Hemisphere to the deserts of the Arabian
Peninsula. Even in countries where the wolf is not found such as
Australia, there are canines that serve as a wolf proxy such as the
dingo. Here in our modern homes and cities our pet dogs are constant
reminders of our “wolfen” companion. We after all, created the dog from
the ancestral wolf, as our most loyal companion.
display common social and intelligent behavior similar to our own. They
both play and have a strict social status, just as some of our cultures
have. They communicate with their kind, much the same way we do, both
vocally and in non-verbal ways. We have kings and presidents, they have
the alpha pair. Humans low in status such as slaves and peasants
certainly were low on the pecking order or in a wolf pack the omega.
Wolves also mate for life, which endears them to people who long to have
a long and loving relationship with a mate. How romantic! What
impressed me the most about the wolf sanctuary was the relationship
between two wolves, Beasly and Barksalot. Beasily a white wolf had been
rescued from a cruel man who gouged his eyes out, leaving the wolf blind
and helpless. He was brought to the sanctuary and became friends with
another rescued wolf, Barksalot, who literally became his “guide dog”.
Beasly grabbed on to Barksalot’s tail and would be lead around.
Barksalot would also bark to communicate with Beasly. Barking is unusual
for wolves. Beasly was unusual in that he was the only blind alpha
known. He passed away last year and soon after his two other companions
joined him. These similarities to human behaviors let us see the good
and bad in us in them.
long to emulate their hunting prowess. Wolves use team strategy and
their powerful carnassials to bring down a much larger prey. Imagine a
hero that can do damage without a weapon.
wolf is universally regarded as creatures of prophesy and omens, and
have connections between the worlds of the living and the dead. The wolf
is affiliated worldwide with magic, medicine, healing and
transformation. In Native American culture the wolf is an important
archetype. They had great respect for the wolf and often offered prayers
before a hunt to the wolf spirit. Wolf spirit was also powerful
medicine for shamans who traveled to the world of the dead. In the New
World, there never was an attempt to eradicate the wolf from their land
by the indigenous people. In Europe just as in the New World, myths and
stories about wolves are universal. Early Europeans Respected the Wolf
as Protector and Teacher. From the Steppes of Asia Minor to the British
Isles the Wolf was mighty totemic protector. Hecate, an Ancient Greek
deity was worshipped as a goddess with three wolf heads. Rome was
founded by Romulus and Remus who were fed by the she-wolf, Alcala.
Ancient Celts respected the wolf as a totem and often as a spirit guide. In Ireland, King Cormac was nursed by a she-wolf.
the Viking world to be a member of the Wolf Clan, Ulfhednar was the
greatest honour. Viking warriors believed that if they died a heroic
death they would be turned into magnificent wolves. Vikings also
believed wolves chasing and devouring the sun and moon caused eclipses.
Two wolves accompanied Odin, ruler of the Norse Gods. He created the
wolves Freki (Hungry One) and Geri (Greedy One) as loyal companions.
the wolf is once again a positive force in literature and as an
important part of the predator/prey relationship that keeps nature in
balance. And those hot one mate werewolf lovers make us long for the
coming full moon.
Werewolf Lore, presented by Eva Gordon, runs from May 14, 2012 through May 27, 2012
Gordon, BA Zoology, MA Biology, California Secondary Teaching
Credential in the Life Sciences. She volunteers as a wildlife educator
and has volunteered at the Howling Acres Wolf Sanctuary in Southern
Oregon. She loves doing presentations on wolf and werewolf lore. She
writes paranormal romance and fantasy novels. She is author of the Wolf
Maiden Chronicles. Werewolf Sanctuary is book 1 followed by Beast
Warrior: Viking Werewolf and White Wolf of Avalon: Werewolf Knight. With
many more coming in the series. Her epic fantasy trilogy, Mystic Stone
of the Tenth Realm hopes to find a publisher with the help from her
agent. She loves delving into werewolf lore and writes what she calls
her 'werewolfhistoricals' romance novels. She also pursues non-fiction
scholarly research on global werewolf lore.
alphas everywhere and what’s a girl to do? No matter where romance
readers turn, alpha heroes dominate the genre, from paranormals to
romantic suspense to those guilty pleasure stories about billionaires
with secret babies. What
is the fascination with such seeming hard as rock heroes? Let’s
consider some of their characteristics. Alpha heroes are generally:
3.In positions of power, whether by virtue of wealth or their profession, such as law enforcement, military, firefighters, etc.
4.In control of themselves as well as others by virtue of their position.
5.Loners with few connections to others.
five traits, along with some others, make alpha heroes seem
unattainable and even rude, over-bearing, domineering and emotionally
distant. So back to the question: Why the fascination with alpha heroes? If
we somehow break past that hard façade that alpha heroes present to the
world, we often find that alpha heroes may be emotionally tortured. In
some popular series, the alpha heroes are even physically challenged by
one ailment or another. Even if they are not, there may be some
incident in their lives that has wounded them and made them equate
having physical power and being distant with being in control. As
readers, we often see past that illusion to the heart of gold inside
that wants to be healed and doesn’t want to be alone anymore. We yearn
for such heroes to find a mate that will help them lose the hardness
without losing their strengths. At
least, that’s why I love alpha heroes. I see past the face they
present to the world to what’s within and I want to help them grow past
the limits they have placed on themselves. I also want these heroes to
find the perfect mate and oftentimes, that mate may be as wounded as
they are. By getting together, they save each other! Always a perfect
ending in my opinion. Other
times, that mate might seem like a genteel and easy-going woman, but
beneath that veneer lies a spine of steel and the fortitude to tame the
alpha hero. That’s
another thing that I love about these heroes. For all their power,
control and strength, it takes an equally strong woman to truly make for
a lifelong mate. When you get two such people together, the sparks will
not only fly, but it is intriguing to see the alpha hero finally allow
himself relinquish control to his woman. That is a very very sexy
thing, especially when the happily-ever-after leads to a loving and
equal partnership between the two. Thanks
for dropping by for this too brief discussion about alpha heroes. I
look forward to sharing more about them in the future.
York Times and USA Today bestselling author and RITA® Finalist Caridad
Pineiro wrote her first novel in the fifth grade when her teacher
assigned a project – to write a book for a class lending library.
Bitten by the writing bug, Caridad continued with her passion for the
written word and in 1999, Caridad’s first novel was released. Over a
decade later, Caridad is the author of over thirty published novels and
novellas. When not writing, Caridad is an attorney, wife and mother to
an aspiring writer and fashionista. For more information, please visitwww.caridad.com.
Johnson loves her life. She’s her own boss in a quaint beachside town,
and has great friends who keep her grounded. If only they knew who she
really is: an heiress to an ancient race who possesses astonishing
superhuman powers. It’s Victoria’s duty to restore her clan of Light
Hunters to their former glory by choosing the perfect mate. In
Christopher Sombrosa, she just may have found him. Strong, smart, and
successful, Christopher exudes a powerful energy. Their connection is
sensual, irresistible-and forbidden.
member of the Shadow Hunter clan, Christopher has defied his own father
to lead his people away from affliction and violence. Yet he cannot
ignore his duty to carry on his ancient bloodline. Stunningly beautiful
and brimming with an erotic life force, Victoria is everything
Christopher ever hoped for in a mate . . . but as a Light Hunter, she’s
his mortal enemy. Together, they could unite their warring tribes. But
murderous factions on both sides don’t want peace-and they’ll stop at
nothing to keep light and darkness apart forever . . .
Got fantasy, futuristic, or paranormal? Then the On the Far Side contest is for you!! Welcome dragons, witches, ghosties, vampires, shape shifters, unicorns, and any creature your imagination can conjure up in a galaxy far, far away, in a time long past, or in your very own backyard. Every category MUST contain a futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal element.
NEW: First 20 pages of manuscript for $20 ($25 for non-members) plus OPTIONAL two-page, double-spaced synopsis
*NEW DEADLINE*May 30, 2012- Deadline for submissions
ROMANTIC ELEMENTS: Any of the below categories with romantic elements (a romance plays a significant part in the story, but other themes or elements take the plot beyond the traditional romance boundaries).
HARD SCIENCE FICTION/SF/FUTURISTIC: Set in the future with science fiction elements that include technological advancements; these stories may involve futuristic earth, other planets, aliens, or space travel.
DARK/LIGHT/GENERAL PARANORMAL: Paranormal happenings are a major element of the plot.
TIME TRAVEL/STEAMPUNK/HISTORICAL WITH PARANORMAL ELEMENTS: A character or characters travel back or forward in time; these stories can take place in a historical, contemporary, or futuristic setting. Steampunk should include typical steampunk elements.
DARK/URBAN/GENERAL FANTASY: Includes mythical creatures and magical elements; these stories are not limited to but may be set in medieval worlds with medieval characters.
YOUNG ADULT: Novels appropriate for teen and young adult readers, typically featuring main characters in high school or college. These stories may take place in a contemporary, historical, futuristic, or otherworldly setting. Minimum word count: 40,000 words.
*NEW CATEGORY* EROTIC ROMANCE (WITH PARANORMAL ELEMENTS): No straight erotica - this means there must be a HEA ending or at least a Happy For Now and your entry must contain a significant paranormal element (such as a futuristic setting; time travel; paranormal creatures--vampires, shape shifters, werewolves, and or any other mythical creatures or magical elements typically deemed fantasy, futuristic or paranormal in nature.)
• Must not be published in full length fiction (40,000+) for the genre entering/or not published in genre entering for past 5 years
• Entry fee: $20 for FF&P chapter members/$25 for all other entrants.
• First 20 pages of manuscript plus an optional (unjudged), 2 page maximum synopsis
All entrants must be valid members of RWA National® with a valid RWA® number.
Entries shall consist of first 20 pages of manuscript plus an optional, unjudged 2 page maximum synopsis of the novel. A prologue and/or second chapter may be included if within total page guidelines.
Do not include illustrations, author bio/photos, vocabulary lists, or footnotes.
Entries shall be in standard manuscript format, 12 inch Courier, Courier New font, or Times New Roman font, 1" margins, and double spaced. (Format is not a judged component of the On The Far Side contest. No points are deducted for format infractions.)
The title and category should be on top left of the page, page number on top right.
The author's name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript or synopsis. Entries bearing the author's name on them shall be disqualified.
Entries must be submitted by midnight EST May 30, 2012. If requirement is not met, entries will be unopened. Payment must also to be received by Contest Coordinator before deadline.
Entry forms may be submitted in advance of emailing your file. Entrants will receive an email with instructions for how to edit their entry form and email their files. No changes may be made after the contest deadline.
Entries will be received in RTF (Rich Text Format) files only. (To convert your file to RTF, open the document, go into File, click on Save As and choose RTF format. This will create a new document with the same title in RTF format.)
No more than TWO (2) entries per entrant per category.
First round entries will be judged by experienced, qualified, or published judges. FF&P cannot guarantee judge commentary will be on every entry; however, we strongly encourage our judges to provide positive, constructive feedback.2012 OTFS Scoresheet
Entries will be judged by FOUR (4) first round judges. Lowest score will be dropped to determine final average. Three highest scoring manuscripts will advance to the final round. All judged copies will be returned to non-finalist entrants following finalist announcement. Finalist entries will be returned after winners are announced.