August 3, 2016
The Insecure Writer's Support Group
Here in the Mid-Atlantic states, we often refer to our summer weather as being triple-H. That’s hazy, hot and humid, and not a reference to a wrestler. We also call the weeks from approximately July 15 to August 15 the Dog Days of Summer, so named by the dog star Sirius’ helical rising.
In other words, if you live in Maryland, it’s hot outside.
But is it hot between the pages of the latest work-in-progress?
A writer friend once told me, when I mentioned the phrase triple-H, that she’d never heard it applied to the weather before. Her triple-H was hot, hard and hung. Writing romance, I certainly get that in a big way.
Writing hot is a topic those of us in the romance genre frequently discuss. What’s too hot? What’s not enough? What are readers looking for right now, today? Maybe it’s all about trends, and maybe not. If I write the next story and move one way or another, will it impact readership?
I’ve second-guessed myself more than a few times on that question. I’ve flip-flopped back and forth on just where I think the line is between romance and nothing more than “triple-H.” It’s difficult to define a line that keeps moving. (And please don’t think I’m not a fan of the purely triple-H story. I’ve read some excellent stories that easily fall into that category.)
Trends generally take a few months to develop in the writing world, which is why it’s so important to study the part of industry you’re in, and the industry in the whole. At the time of the writing of this blog entry, Dreams to Sell had just been on the All Romance eBooks best seller list. That was quite a surprise as the book has been available since 2014. What suddenly lifted it to that list?
So how far into triple-H should a writer go? I say go as far as you’re comfortable with going within each story (stay true to the characters). If you’re not comfortable writing hot, hard and hung, then your reticence will show in your work and disappoint your readership. Trust your instincts and you'll get it right.
Dreams to Sell - book eight in the Men of Marionville series.
Dreams to Sell is available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other online book sellers.