Leave the Door Ajar: #MFRWauthor 52-Week #Blog Challenge #amwriting

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Today’s prompt in the MFRWauthor 52-Week #Blog Challenge is Closed Doors or Open Doors, and I say leave the door ajar.

In my writing career, I’ve written everything from sweet Regency to erotic male/male romance, but I have never written a closed door love scene. Not that I’m opposed to that, just haven’t done it. Yet.

There’s a vocal readership now for so-called “clean and wholesome” romances, which I understand means not only no sex but no cursing. Let’s put aside my visceral dislike of the words “clean romance” which in my minds implies that all other romances are somehow dirty. My friends insist that wasn’t the attention, but it still seems that way to me. Clean and dirty are mutually-exclusive antonyms. The toilet is clean or it’s dirty. It’s be a little bit dirty or downright filthy, but it’s not clean. I wish someone could come up with a better term to satisfy that readership that doesn’t sound judgmental.

That aside, I honestly don’t think I could write a male character who didn’t swear. My dad was an Army vet and a truck driver who could swear a blue streak, esp. when the traffic was bad. I guess I grew up believing that men just peppered their conversation with cuss words. To his credit, I never heard him use the “F” word, but I heard everything else. Once I started to talk, he had to watch his language for a few years, because I repeated everything he said. Once I was old enough to understand that there were words Daddy (and Mommy) could say that Linda couldn’t, he was back to his old ways.

Lady Elinors Escape coverEven my honorable barrister, Stephen Chaplin, of Lady Elinor’s Escape utters a “bloody hell” now and then. Another male character is fond of saying “damn and blast” when he’s frustrated.

The rest of my romances fall into the middle ground of sensual (Linda) to steamy (Lyndi Lamont). While I have written erotic romance as Lyndi, I am not doing so now. The genre has changed and my vanilla sex scenes no longer qualify as erotic. I’m happier somewhere in the middle, anyway, though as I said, not opposed to closing the door if that seems appropriate to the characters and the story. It seems the rule book has been thrown out these days and pretty much anything goes.

My next project will be a sweet romance, though I’m keeping that closed door love scene in mind, just in case.

And as always, click on the linky list below for more posts in the MFRWauthor 52-Week #Blog Challenge

Linda / Lyndi

10 thoughts on “Leave the Door Ajar: #MFRWauthor 52-Week #Blog Challenge #amwriting

  1. I’m with you in wishing there was a different term to replace “clean romance.” No offense to those who write it, of course. I understand what you’re saying about staying within your brand, Linda. I’m all for open door, too, but not explicit. An occasional scene of mine will continue behind the closed door, but I do that so I don’t have too many “open” door scenes, if that makes sense. LOL Great post! Happy Friday.

  2. we have to write what we write, and our characters have to be themselves. Human. As far as I’m concerned, you’re definitely on track about “clean” and “dirty.” It may not be what the person who coined the phrase meant, but that is definitely how a lot of readers take it.

  3. In my family, my Dad was more likely to utter mild swear words, but my mother — man, when she was riled she had a vocabulary like a marine. I have a nephew who was in the marines. He went in kind of geeky and came out with a mouth his parents were ashamed of. That was Mum — but only when she was angry.

  4. My understanding is that “clean” is no swearing (not even “heck”) and “sweet” is NO open door sex. You can say “he kissed her”, but you CAN’T describe it (or so critics have noted in their scathing reviews). I don’t understand that – life isn’t like that. I defy anyone to go out and not hear a swear word (or hear them on tv). It makes me mad that there is now an insinuation that anything less than “sweet and clean and wholesome” is a bad thing.

  5. I agree with you on the ‘clean’ romance. It is putting all other romance in a category that should be in a back room somewhere hidden behind a curtain. I don’t get that, but sadly we live in judgmental times and people think their opinion is somehow better than all others.

    In some of my ‘for fun’ stories as it relates to the game that I play I do have closed door scenes. It fits the audience. However for my writing, so far it’s been open door. I don’t have a ton of them in my books, but I do have them.

  6. I came up with the phrase ‘Young Adult Smut’ to describe my alter-ego’s series. Too graphic to be YA; too tame to be ‘erotic’. I’ve got my own sub-genre, lol! (Characters are in college, not HS)

    My grandmother had a subscription to the Christian Romance version of Harlequin, but after reading a few, and marriage proposals occurring without so much as a kiss, I had the eye-roll moment and quit reading them. I’m rather firmly in the ‘you don’t buy a car w/o taking it for a test drive’ camp, lol!

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