Today I received a rejection from a publishing company because my submitted novella “wasn’t erotic enough”. It made me smile. I truly didn’t mind. I won’t be adding to the already explicit descriptions, or leaving home to indulge in some physical research sessions. I have a fairly vivid imagination which fills in the gaps in my experience and knowledge.
I can’t write a story without a plot. Scene after scene of erotic romping that doesn’t aid the plot, move on the progress of the story line or is simply there for the sake of more sex, is not my style. I’m writing a story, not a series of descriptions of a physical marathon with gymnastic moves, performed in situ.
I did the best I could and I now have to find a home for this less than erotic romance. I could add some more sex scenes but I would then need to add lots of dialogue to keep my interest alert. Perhaps I could introduce a sub-plot that is only ever discussed during sex? A different approach to consider but, nah, I don’t think so.
It boils down to this: I wrote it, I like it, and I’m happy to have it molder away in my computer's innards than rewrite it adding lots of sex scenes. I know it’s been done in the Grey story, but even that story had a compelling layering to it which made you read all three books to find out why the male lead acted like he did. I don’t want my readers to be thinking as I did by the second book - ‘another sex scene. I’ll skip these pages and get back to the real story.’
Thinking of this reminds me of the comment made by Elmore Leonard in No. 10 of his rules of writing: “Try and leave out the part that readers tend to skip.”
With that in mind I might have to remove all the sex scenes and turn it into a murder mystery instead.
What would you do? Comments welcomed.