Tuesday, February 04, 2014

There are now generations of erotic romance writers

cliff1066™ / Foter / CC BY
It used to be there were so few erotic romance writers that they could only be thought of in two ways: as a group, and as unique individuals.  But it seems to me that we are now in an age of cohorts with vague gen-x/y style traits.

  • For example we have writers from before "erotic romance" was a thing.  
  •  We have writers from before the breakthrough of self-publishing and e-publishing respectively.
  • We have authors from when these things were brave new frontiers, and those from after they become mainstream.
  • And now we have the first fresh intake of authors who were oblivious to erotic romance until they read 50 Shades of Grey.

By no means are these hard and fast divisions as some of the most progressive and original authors vault from paradigm to paradigm with envy-inducing ease.  But as I read yet another press release from an author inspired by 50 Shades to revolutionize our now rather venerable sub-genre, I must admit I roll my eyes a little.

It is not as if any of us were in the business of writing banal hack fiction waiting for 'Susan from Alabama' or 'Kat from Australia' (or the next self-proclaimed savior of sex writing) to rescue us with her shocking new ideas that sex is good and erotica can be literary.

We're here, we're writing erotic romance,  and... um... we've been doing this for a while now.  Is it not time that people stopped planting a flag and claiming to have suddenly discovered the fact that sex and romance are a pretty nifty literary combination?


Unknown said...

Keep it clean and your readers will follow! Interesting story!

Michael said...

a story no matter in which genre needs to be unique and yes, after hundreds or more times of inspiration which in fact is a repetition it starts becoming boring. a good erotic or romance story might be fantastic as long it's unique.

Seeley deBorn said...

But they are speshul little snowflakes! and everything they do is so new and different from everything else that everyone else has ever done!

Angie said...

This happens everywhere, unfortunately.

I'd been working in the online RPG business for several years (for a company that'd been around longer, and had older competition) when Everquest came along, and to read their press releases you'd swear they'd invented online roleplaying games, and that nobody ever made friends online or found romantic partners online until their game. (Point of fact, I met my husband online, in a game, before EQ was even a glimmer in its venture capitalist's eye.)

More recently, the newer generation of media fans started wearing costumes to conventions about fifteen years ago and called it "cosplaying." Because nobody ever thought to make an SF or Fantasy or media or related costume and wear it to a convention before, so they had to come up with a name for this brand new thing. [cough] I sat in a panel at a con once and listened to four young cosplayers burble with great excitement about how you didn't have to just copy a media costumes -- you could actually do costumes based on things like the zodiac, or the seasons, or whatever you came up with!! You could just be creative!! Really!! Because SF/Fantasy costumers totally haven't been doing that for decades. [eyeroll]

So now we have baby erotic romance writers who are here to invent the genre for us and tell us all how to do it. Been there, eyerolled that, ignored the ignorant newbs. :P


Unknown said...

@Chris Not all readers want a "clean" story. I remember reading a book by Pierce Anthony and it had an entire chapter named Rape in that book. People bought that book because that chapter alone. No matter the industry, Sex sells.