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I'm also a writer... Lesbian Romance research
#1
Hey all!

I've been a member of a romance writers' chapter for years. Even though I've mostly been a SF/F writer, they've humored me and kept me around. Now that I've come to terms with things, it seems pretty obvious why I haven't connected to the genre... M/F romance has been a turnoff for me. Hot scenes are easy to write, but everything around it is tough, because the emotional oomph isn't there.

That said, I'm unfamiliar with lesbian romance. I don't want to start reading it now, exactly, because I want what I write to be fresh. On the other hand, I feel a bit lost. Are there particular aspects that drive f/f romance that are unique, aside from the obvious?

Also, from a marketing standpoint, where do you get most of your reading in this genre? Electronic, indie, Amazon, novels vs. short stories vs. novellas, self-published, etc. Are there leading authors in the genre?

Finally, are you more likely to buy from an author using a normal sounding name, or a special pen name (like Silver WinterMoon)?

Thank you in advance! Also, any typos are the iPad's fault! Darn thing. ;-)
#2
Or maybe I should stick with my steampunk novel? Wink
#3
I write fan fiction, and I do hetero, m/m, f/f and every other possible partnership. I tend to go with m/m being the most aggressive, fast paced, quickest building romance, f/f a close second, but not so aggressive and in your face "I want you now" sort of thing and, hetero being the ones with the most misunderstandings, and slowest moving.

I get a lot of positive feedback. Mostly telling me it's pretty accurate, but sometimes wanting the m/m to be a bit less aggressive, gentler. Yeah in reality it would be, but this is fiction and, you can't put all the mush in there Smile
#4
I did some hetero erotica & romance for the challenge and I'm told I do it pretty good. I did it partly for the challenge, but also because I thought it was getting ridiculous as nearly all the fanfic was femslash (so the irony was on a board with so many straight men writing femslash I was the token lesbian writing ships Rofl ). Ironically, one (though she was a woman) said I came off as having more heterosexual erotic experiences than the male authors (I suspect men focus on different aspects of erotic & romantic material which is why it seemed so to her).

I did femslash, too, and it was greatly appreciated (though one won both an award for best erotica that year but at the same time a razzie for being the most out of character for one...). Generally speaking, if you want a male audience as well then be sure to include descriptive scenes that focus on boobs & butt (this doesn't have to blatantly erotic, it can just be a woman walking up the stairs in tight jeans or a clinging dress), men tend to really appreciate that (as long as you include passionate desire and appreciation of beauty by the one viewing the scene then the women won't mind either, men can feel voyeuristic and women can feel desired and/or desiring like one or both of the characters). Rolleyes

Btw, I read Writing Romance Novel for Dummies years ago and it explained the various formulas that sell and what publishers are looking for and from what I recall I believe it would work well with lesbian romances as well (it shied away from erotica only briefly touching on that, IIRC, and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't even touch the subject of "forcible seduction" that appeals to a number of readers out there). This also had some useful advice IMO about how to pick your audience (for example, many want a partner who is truly a partner they stand with while others want a dominant partner who takes care of them and it's nearly impossible to make a love interest that appeals to both so it's generally best to pick your audience and write accordingly).

As for me, I don't read much romance or erotica, and when I do I usually prefer a short story. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE romance, I just like it mixed into something else (like say Steampunk). In addition to TLW I liked movies like White Oleander (the book, too, but it was less romantic than the movie) and The Hunger Games (I'm gonna read those books soon). I liked Willow & Tara (and also Willow & Oz) on Buffy. I adored Stardust. Granted, this is mostly ship rather than slash but the genders don't really matter that much to me. And it's also something to watch rather than read but if I were to read then those are the kinds of stories I like and that speak to many others as well.

As for author names it doesn't matter to me.
#5
I've been in the Romance Writer's Association for years, and I think that "For Dummies" book is standard reading. Wink LOL

Now, "ship" and "slash" -- those terms are new to me.

I should finish my steampunk novel, but I'm always keeping an ear open to something that might sell faster. I have the writing chops for sure, just not the romantic touch in m/f romance. The sex scenes are far easier than the interaction.

But the story idea I have now, the emotional oomph seems to me like it'll be easier (not easy, just easier). Maybe a bit cliche, but who knows. Suburban mom in wealthy area, not happy, not wanting to acknowledge what's in her heart, not wanting to leave the steadiness of her life, yet she meets her soulmate, and her world changes. I'm sure there's a ton of that out there, but maybe for a reason. It takes a little from my experience and a lot from real life that I've observed, and then a heap of imagination.

Or maybe it's too sappy? That the "best" sex she has w/her husband is when she suddenly fantasizes that she's with this woman?

Maybe I need to stick to SF/F/Steampunk. LOL
#6
Slash is same sex erotica, ship is short for relationship or romance. Mostly fan fiction terms.

example : ship building to mslash, Bob/John. Would be a story about Bob and John building a romantic relationship that would lead to sex later in the story.

I like your story idea, it would, or at least could be a true to life novel with plenty of drama with coming out and parents, children, etc...
#7
For anyone wondering a "ship" (short for "relationship") is a fic between a heterosexual couple. A "slash" is a between a gay couple (some make that "femslash" for lesbian), and my understanding is that the term "slash" came from fan writers decades ago writing about a gay relationship between Kirk & Spock which was called "K/S" (or Kirk-SLASH-Spock).

But I don't know what a polyamorous fic (with one or more bisexual within it) would be called, or even some soap (btw, "soap" comes from that when the first "soap operas" played on TV advertisers rushed to peddle their soaps--from dish to laundry to bath--to them, and I think back then they only played one commercial at a time and women were the ones responsible for the cleaning) like fic of cheating hearts and love triangles.
#8
Well, in my story, the lead would leave her husband and end up with the other woman. Just to clarify. ;-)
#9
Depending on if you took it into erotica or not, it would be bi/fem slash or bi/fem ship. Either way I think it would be a good story. There are a lot of different ways you can go with the basic idea, so it could have a few good sub plots going on.


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