Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Naughty Bits – A Rose By Any Other Name

I’ve seen more than one discussion pop up as to what a writer should call the body points down south of the belly button.  How graphic, romantic, cute, silly, etc. should one get when it comes to naming the goods?  What do we call those … things?

The easiest answer I can give you is, listen to your characters.  Call it what they call it.

In Alien Embrace, Amelia has a hard time with F-bombs as well as other explicit language.  She was brought up terrorized by the idea of being tortured and killed for sexual misconduct.  Even after she’s safely off Earth, she has to rally hard to proclaim to her dead mother’s memory how much she likes sucking an alien’s cock.  Since much of the book is from her point of view, most of the language used is milder than you’ll find in the majority of erotica despite all the kinky sex.   Because of Amelia’s lack of ease with blatant sexuality, there aren’t even boobs or tits mentioned in Alien Embrace.  The references are to her mounds or breasts, even when we’re not reading her direct thoughts.

Chapter 2 opens with a very naughty encounter between Amelia and the clan stalking her.  Note the lack of graphic names of the body parts in the first few paragraphs:

                Rajhir’s tongue invaded her mouth, filling it.  As he tasted her, the massive hands on her breasts squeezed before pinching the engorged tips.
                Warmth coursed from the lips of her sex as another pair of hands parted her thighs.  Fingers slid up the insides of her legs, pushing up the scant material of her dress up and over her hips.   She lay completely exposed to the man rubbing her thighs.  She imagined him watching the honey flow from her.
                Rajhir pulled his mouth from hers and cupped her face in his hands.  He gazed into her eyes as if trying to read her mind.  She felt embraced by the cool depths of his blue-purple eyes.  Flencik continued to massage her breasts, slipping his fingers inside her bodice.  Breft’s fingers slid closer to her damp, naked sex, tantalizing with their nearness to her pleasure button.

Ditto on the restraint for the Netherworld series.   As a former escort, heroine Brandilynn Payson has no issues with sexual acts, especially of the BDSM variety.  However, she intensely dislikes profanity and will only say the words cock and pussy while she’s in the middle of intimacies.  No one around her is allowed to say anything unseemly either, so everyone has sex or makes love.  There is no ‘fucking’, and unless it is uttered by another character, you won’t find that word in the Netherworld series.

In contrast, Alien Rule’s Jessica takes great delight in cursing now that she’s free of Earth’s religious fanaticism.   Foul language suits her hot temper perfectly, so once she gives herself permission to let off profanity-laced verbal steam, the more graphic terms take effect when sex occurs.  Alien Slave is also a little more intense with the verbiage since heroine Dani is a prostitute and used to thinking that way.  But since Kalquorians hold women in such high esteem, penises and vaginas are still handled respectfully (pun intended) for the most part.

My next tip:  keep your word choices appropriate to the tone of the book and/or scene.   I personally find words like ‘cum’ and ‘cunt’ jarring when used in a supposedly romantic setting in which the participants are purported to be making love.  For me, these two words are better suited to porn or FWB or casual sex settings.  I realize my opinion is entirely subjective, but I feel no warm fuzzy love feelings when I read words like those.   So if I’m writing a candlelit encounter with two people joined at the heart (among other things), I will not use coarser language to describe their body parts.

Finally, when all else fails, simply call it what it is.  There is nothing wrong with calling a vagina, a vagina or a penis, a penis.  Sometimes simple really is best.  Waxing poetic can be unintentionally funny, which you usually don’t want in the middle of a hot scene.  Don’t be cutesy or evasive about it, unless the characters are acting that way.  An example of how euphemisms can be silly is illustrated in Netherworld:  Drop Dead Sexy, when Dan teases Brandilynn about her dislike of profanity:

Dan’s face was pure heat.  “Dibs on her—”
“Don’t be vulgar,” I warned. 
He grinned.  “Yes, my sweet Brandilynn.  I want your honeypot, your lotus bloom, your wet, warm, tight tunnel of womanly love—” 
“Okay, okay!” I yelled over Tristan’s laughter.  “Enough already.  Just do me.”

So put away the turgid man muscle and the gushing rapids of her innermost cavern.   Let those body parts be what they are:  a pussy, cock, nipple, mound, penis, slit, or whatever.  As long as your characters and story tone say the words fit, you’re safe.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday – Netherworld III: Once Bitten Twice Dead (WIP)

The witches put a containment spell around Eddie to make sure he didn’t start chewing on someone should the notion take him.  The officer in charge, a weregator whose nameplate read ‘Slocomb’, spoke in low tones with Tristan and Gerald.  Like hogs, gators don’t meld too prettily with humans.  Still, I decided Sergeant Slocomb was not as unappealing as most whose infection with Zoo Flu has made the jump from the swampy reptile to man.  His grayish-green eyes were sharp, and the two rows of scaled ridges that ran from his brows down to his elongated snout had an almost artistic element.  If it wasn’t so politically incorrect, I would have thought his skin would make a pretty pair of shoes. 

Coming August 11

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Alien Redemption Prologue

The Clans of Kalquor series has gotten to the point that readers who pick up a new book without having read the ones before it get a little lost.  To remedy that, Alien Redemption will have a short history at the beginning to bring newbies up to speed.  Still tweaking, but this is what I have on that so far:

            The Kalquorian Empire was and still is a civilization of great importance to the Galactic Council of Planets.  The fierce but intelligent species has been at the forefront of technological, medical, and scientific breakthroughs for centuries.  Their military might has never been in question; even their ancient enemy, the opportunistic race of Tragooms, hesitates to attack a Kalquorian force half its size. 
            However, Kalquor’s survival is in jeopardy.  Centuries ago, the Empire faced its most implacable foe ever.  The force that threatened this great people was not one that wielded weaponry.  It could not even be seen with the naked eye.  It was a virus.
            This virus struck the home world of Kalquor, wiping out a substantial number of its people, particularly the females.  Symptoms included massive bleeding of the body’s major organs, along with those of the female reproductive tract.  Damaging the x-chromosome of the Kalquorians, the virus’ effects went beyond death.  The majority of women not killed outright were rendered infertile, and daughters born to those who could bear children were not guaranteed the ability to do the same.  The virus altered the very DNA of the entire race.
            In an effort to keep their race from going extinct and prevent fighting amongst the men, family groups called clans were formed.  Each clan was made up of one female known as the Matara (childbearer) and a representative of each of the three breeds of male:  the Dramok (leader), Imdiko (caregiver), and Nobek (protector). 
            Despite their efforts, the numbers of Kalquorians continued to decline.  So few children were born that extinction was thought by many to be inevitable.  Despite all their medical expertise and attempts to find compatible species to mate with, the Kalquorian culture seemed destined to disappear.
            A little over a decade ago, a scout ship from a small, isolated planet no one knew of flew into the Galactic Council of Planets’ space.  These newcomers, searching for a new planet to house the overflow of their ever-growing population, called their home planet Earth.  It was immediately remarked upon how incredibly similar they were to Kalquorians.  The doomed race took note at once, and hope was restored.  It was theorized that perhaps the Earthers were the fabled Lost Tribe of Kalquor’s ancient ancestors.  
            Earth, however, was not as enthralled with their potential distant cousins.  Ruled by a government based on fanatical religious beliefs, Earthers were taught they were God’s Chosen, made in his wondrous image.  They looked upon Kalquor with hostility and outrage when the beleaguered inhabitants of that empire suggested compatibility testing for purposes of interbreeding.
            The leaders of the Kalquorian Empire, feeling they had no other recourse, decided the time had come to seduce Earther females and convince them to come to Kalquor.  Women on Earth were treated as lesser creatures and second-class citizens by their government and religion.  The Kalquorians, with their near-worship of women, hoped they could entice these lifebringers to join their clans.  And if the women would not be seduced, Kalquor was no longer above the distasteful necessity of abducting them outright. 
            Almost 2000 Earther women went to Kalquor, putting the Empire and Earth at each others’ throats.  Then the unthinkable happened:  an Earther woman joined the aliens’ ruling clan, making her Kalquor’s empress.  Earth immediately declared war.
            The fighting was horrific, with Earth’s greater numbers slowly overwhelming Kalquor’s more advanced technology.  With their already dwindling numbers reaching crisis stage, the Empire was desperate to find a way to win the war and secure their future.  They staged an invasion of Earth itself.  Earth’s answer was to set off nuclear explosions beneath its own major cities, devastating the population and dooming the planet.  For the insane leaders, it was better to die than be conquered.
            Most of Earth's survivors have been rescued by Kalquor.  The Earth females have been given the option of living on colonies with their own kind, hopefully to salvage their species; or they can live on Kalquor and join clans in order to continue the alien culture.  Many, still terrified of their recent enemy, opt to remain with their native species.  Others, traumatized by their experiences under Earth’s tyranny, have dared to start anew with the Kalquorians.  There are still too few to guarantee Kalquor’s survival, and they are held by most of the alien men in the highest regard.
            But not all Kalquorians are happy to have the Earthers among them.  Some are determined to see Kalquor go extinct rather than mix the races.  And still others nurse emotional wounds from the war, wounds that still bleed and demand that their former enemy bleed in return.
             Bleed and die…

Friday, July 27, 2012

First Five Friday – Alien Embrace (Clans of Kalquor 1)

Chapter 6

            Amelia awoke refreshed the next morning.  She stretched her hands towards the ceiling and flexed her fingers.  Not even a twinge of pain remained.
            She laughed out loud.  

(Time for me to read this again.  It feels like a million years ago!)

Available through Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and Kobo

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Netherworld III: Once Bitten Twice Dead Release News

The third installment of the Netherworld series is back from the proofreader.  One final read from me, then formatting, and it will be ready for your reading pleasure.  I plan for it to be out two weeks from tomorrow on Friday, August 10.

Some books start as a nebulous idea floating half-formed in my brain.  I can start a book with as little as an image or a first line.  That was not the case with Netherworld III.  From the very first book Drop Dead Sexy, I knew the stories in their entirety all the way through Once Bitten Twice Dead.  I have been chomping at the bit to write this story for a long time.

Brandilynn finally makes her decision between Tristan and Dan.  Whoever you've been rooting for in this triangle, I think you'll be very surprised as to how this turns out.  Beyond matters of the heart, an epic enemy threatens all the paras of Fulton Falls, and old friends are lost in the battle.  When it comes after our favorite dead escort, Brandilynn's fate is one she never imagined in her worst nightmares.

Stay tuned!