I am trying to work up the plot for a novel to keep me entertained through the misery of winter. The characters are all there waving at me. But the plot…
I can tell you what it won’t be, though: it won’t be juicy. I cannot adequately express how fed up I am with finding interminable pages of heavy breathing and bodice ripping, padding out what would otherwise be a good yarn.
I am not a prude, and even if I’d been that way inclined, any prudery I might have had would have been knocked out of me during several years in live theatre and the production and raising of four kids. Rip the odd bodice or two by all means if that’s what’s appropriate, but sticking it in for the sake of it – you think we’re stupid? You think we can’t tell?
What disappoints me most is finding that authors I previously liked have turned 400 pages into 800 pages with detailed descriptions of supersonic sexual gymnastics. If I’d wanted to read about throbbing members, thrusting nipples, electrically-charged shudders and orgasmic eruptions, I wouldn’t be browsing the library shelves marked Detective Fiction, would I. And if the plot itself could sustain 800 pages, they would have come naturally, and I wouldn’t be having to plough through 400 pages of extraneous raunch. (Not that I do, in fact. I skip them and get back to the story.)
There’s obviously a commercial reason for it. Isn’t there always? Working across two genres, perhaps. Cornering the long-haul-flight market. And realistically, who cares if cranky old bats like me find erotica boring and an 800-pages paperback too clumsy to read in bed? We won’t be part of the market much longer. We’ll be dead.