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Thread: Subgenre?

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW CaliforniaMelanie's Avatar
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    Subgenre?

    So I've heard 50 Shades (didn't like that book, BTW) called "romance erotica."

    Does anyone know what the genre would be for an extremely sexually graphic (this obviously being its ultimate purpose) novel-length piece that has a solid backstory - I'd say probably 25-30% non-sexual, suspenseful material?

    In other words, this would be something with a little meat to it (oh yar har! See what I did there?), something more than just a very brief plot to move things forward - the reader is intended, in between, well, juicier reading, to be really caught up in the mystery that is motivating the MC. It's a little mind bend-y. But the sexual material is extremely graphic. The book does explore the MC's feelings in depth, but would that mean it fit with the "romance erotica" genre? I am not really feeling it as a "romance." It's not a "she was so beautiful that he couldn't help himself...he leaned her gently backward but with strong hands, hands that had explored others but which had never been compelled to be quite this soft, this searching before...she gasped..." sort of thingie.

    I don't know if this would be "just" erotica and where such a thing would be submitted to...?

    Thanks for any help. <3

    ETA: Reading down this forum, I feel like I should clarify. I see subgenres such as romance erotica. This would seem like a subgenre since there is the mystery/psychological suspense BUT it is definitely not mainstream fiction AND "romance" isn't the driving factor. The MC has feelings for a particular person which definitely drive the plot but if that person were taken out of the story there could easily still be most of the major motivations. So what other types of subgenres might this fit, I guess is what I'm asking (ugh, grammar, sorry).

    I hope all this makes sense! Have only had one cup of coffee this morning.
    Last edited by CaliforniaMelanie; 11-10-2017 at 09:56 PM.

  2. #2
    I want one for Christmas!! VV c.m.n.'s Avatar
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    If you feel it's not "romance", and which it sounds like it's not romance, then it's highly likely to be suspense erotica. Unfortunately, a lot of times you have to settle for whatever your publisher categorizes it. You can sell it as suspense erotica, but they might change it when they put it in their store.

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW CaliforniaMelanie's Avatar
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    Oh, I see. Thank you. I'm actually not worried about it being recategorized; I was more wondering what exact angle I'd be using for a prospective publisher.

    So this totally makes sense...thanks so much for your help.

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW Noizchild's Avatar
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    Go with what your gut is telling you.
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    Before I met you
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  5. #5
    Abnormal Romance Author thethinker42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaMelanie View Post
    But the sexual material is extremely graphic. The book does explore the MC's feelings in depth, but would that mean it fit with the "romance erotica" genre? I am not really feeling it as a "romance." It's not a "she was so beautiful that he couldn't help himself...he leaned her gently backward but with strong hands, hands that had explored others but which had never been compelled to be quite this soft, this searching before...she gasped..." sort of thingie.
    You're confusing genre/subgenre with writing style. And I kind of feel like you're making fun of a particular style of writing, but hopefully I'm just reading too far between the lines. Anyway, not all romance has the tone you're describing. Mine sure as hell doesn't. So whether or not your writing sounds like the above has nothing to do with what genre or subgenre it would be labeled with. If that's how you think romance and/or erotic romance are written -- to the point that they're defined by it -- I would suggest reading a bit more within the genre before you start looking to publish in it.

    To quote the Romance Writers of America:

    A writer can include as many subplots as he/she wants as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel. An Emotionally Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.
    Nothing in there about the tone or writing style. What defines a romance is if there's... a romance. Do the characters develop a relationship and have a Happy Ever After or Happy For Now ending? Then it can be called a romance. The tone can be gritty, fluffy, light, dark, etc. If it fits the definition of a romance, then it can be called a romance. If there isn't a happy ending, the characters don't end up together, etc., then it's not a romance. Period.

    If there's a mystery/suspense plot, then Erotic Suspense or Romantic Suspense.
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  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW CaliforniaMelanie's Avatar
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    I really meant no offense. That was hyperbole. If I'm poking fun at anyone it's more myself than anyone else (though again, I wasn't really thinking of it as poking fun, I was trying to be lighthearted). My own sophomoric take was supposed to be the funny part. But I guess it wasn't.

    You and I both know there's some pretty bad writing out there, even published bad writing. If you're not included in that category you already know that, too, and therefore are not included anyway in the exaggerated, funny - or, well, maybe not - example.

    I haven't seen a literal bodice ripper like that in...I don't even know how long. I think I found some in my grandmother's dusty stash...we laughed like crazy over them (we were kids). Lots of snapping green eyes and fiery hair and barbarians who wore deodorant. I don't really see anything like that today although who knows. I'm not in the Romance section very often. But if so, I'm not judging, trust me. Many - I might even say most - of my interests are of a less than academic nature and occasionally ARE downright laughable (so go ahead). For instance, some forms of reality TV are my dirty little secret. We like what we like and we don't have to like all serious, all academic or even all realistic subjects. We're human.

    Life is, overall, a pretty hard proposition. So I try to be light about it every so often. For example, I call my book a spank book pretty regularly. I think I have loads of quality content beyond that factor...but in the final analysis I realize what it is I'm probably pretty much aiming for and so I try to have a bit of fun when talking about it. And while I think "well-developed, top-notch, above standard erotic suspense," I fully realize the next person might think, "Hmm. A spank book" and put it back on the shelf (or into a purse for later...at least that's the hope, LOL!).

    And yes. There is a mystery/suspense plot.
    Last edited by CaliforniaMelanie; 11-12-2017 at 12:22 AM.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW CaliforniaMelanie's Avatar
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    Also, the happy ending definition helps tremendously and makes perfect sense. My book contains loads of happy endings... but ultimately, no...that's not how the story wraps up. So that's definitive, then: it's not categorically any type of romance. Thanks for the help.

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