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Thread: When does romance become erotica?

  1. #26
    practical experience, FTW Noizchild's Avatar
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    When your sex scenes get hotter and people can see them.
    "You ask me what I thought about
    Before we were lovers.
    The answer is easy.
    Before I met you
    I didn't have anything to think about."

  2. #27
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    This post helped alot! I feeling its a rather grey area, I am at an impasse as to label what I have been working on Romance or Erotica. This helps find what genre would best fit it.

  3. #28
    Thick Skin Pre-Installed Zombie Fraggle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noizchild View Post
    When your sex scenes get hotter and people can see them.
    I disagree.

    Scorching hot sex scenes written in graphic, explicit terms can still be in a Romance (capitalized to indicate genre rather than a plot element) novel as long as the requisite structure of Romance is present: individuals 1) fall in love and struggle to overcome some obstacle in order to stay together, and 2) are happy and looking forward to a future together at the conclusion of the story. The presence of panty-melting, toe-curling, explicitly written sex (even lots and lots of it) does not make it any less a Romance. It's simply sub-categorized as an Erotic Romance. Still a Romance.

    Contrast with Erotica, where the sex (not the relationship) is the core of the story as part of the protagonist's personal journey, and the people having sex don't even have to like each other if that serves the narrative.

  4. #29
    practical experience, FTW Noizchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie Fraggle View Post
    I disagree.

    Scorching hot sex scenes written in graphic, explicit terms can still be in a Romance (capitalized to indicate genre rather than a plot element) novel as long as the requisite structure of Romance is present: individuals 1) fall in love and struggle to overcome some obstacle in order to stay together, and 2) are happy and looking forward to a future together at the conclusion of the story. The presence of panty-melting, toe-curling, explicitly written sex (even lots and lots of it) does not make it any less a Romance. It's simply sub-categorized as an Erotic Romance. Still a Romance.

    Contrast with Erotica, where the sex (not the relationship) is the core of the story as part of the protagonist's personal journey, and the people having sex don't even have to like each other if that serves the narrative.
    But what if it's both?
    "You ask me what I thought about
    Before we were lovers.
    The answer is easy.
    Before I met you
    I didn't have anything to think about."

  5. #30
    Thick Skin Pre-Installed Zombie Fraggle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noizchild View Post
    But what if it's both?
    What if it's both what? I'm not sure what you're asking.

  6. #31
    practical experience, FTW Noizchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie Fraggle View Post
    What if it's both what? I'm not sure what you're asking.
    Erotica and romance.
    "You ask me what I thought about
    Before we were lovers.
    The answer is easy.
    Before I met you
    I didn't have anything to think about."

  7. #32
    figuring it all out Shirokitty's Avatar
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    Erotica is, well, erotic. Romance certainly can be erotic, but the focus of the story is on the romance. Erotica is more about the sex.

    That's my understanding of it anyway.
    Current WIP novel: The Seeds of Witchcraft
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  8. #33
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noizchild View Post
    Erotica and romance.
    If it is both it is both. Nothing at all prevents a book occupying two (or more) genres simultaneously.
    Emily Veinglory

  9. #34
    figuring it all out
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    I'm an action adventure writer and my work contains elements of romance. I use other similar well known and popular novels in my genre as a guide to how explicit the sex scenes can get, and keep them comfortably within those boundaries. I'm sure that applies to any other genre.

  10. #35
    practical experience, FTW Noizchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    If it is both it is both. Nothing at all prevents a book occupying two (or more) genres simultaneously.
    I see.
    "You ask me what I thought about
    Before we were lovers.
    The answer is easy.
    Before I met you
    I didn't have anything to think about."

  11. #36
    practical experience, FTW CEtchison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie Fraggle View Post
    Contrast with Erotica, where the sex (not the relationship) is the core of the story as part of the protagonist's personal journey, and the people having sex don't even have to like each other if that serves the narrative.
    A million times this.

    I always think the sex in erotica or erotic romance is more like therapy to one or more characters. It's not just... insert tab A into slot B and a character saying "Oooh...I think I'm falling in love with him." It's more that the sex brings about an awareness or a spiritual awakening that helps a person to grow or even heal a wound from the past.

    I always suggest people read Megan Hart's BROKEN or DIRTY and you will see the distinction from a sexy contemporary romance. In fact, the heroine in BROKEN isn't even having a physical relationship through the majority of the book but she's having sexual fantasies. And those fantasies are what helps the heroine's transformation or character arc from point A to point B.

    And having a sex scene on the page does not make it an erotic romance. My books have "open door" sex scenes and they are not erotic romance because the sexual relationship is not part of either the hero or heroine's character arc. In romances, whether it's sweet or sexy or erotic romance, there are essentially three arcs in a M/F story: the hero's arc, the heroine's arc and the relationship arc. (This would of course be adjusted accordingly if your romance is a menage, M/M, F/F, etc.) The relationship arc determines the heat level of the book.
    Be so good they can't ignore you. -- Steve Martin

    www.cheryletchison.com

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