Heaving Bosoms and Whatnot: Critical Update

27 Nov

Better than gingivitis?

After my thrilling discussion with Doreen last week, I stumbled across an article on Internet fiction  that left me absolutely stunned. Being the money-hungry web writer that I am, I became fascinated with the successes of the young author featured in this article, Amanda Hocking, who sells around 100,000 romance novels per month. Grabbing onto the coat-tails of the successful “oh Edward, I love how you look like a dead person, ravish me now” vampire sex craze, she writes paranormal romance fiction for young women who gobble up her books at an insane rate.

So she writes loads and loads of romance novels and is really successful – so what? That doesn’t provide me with enough enthusiasm to embarrass myself all over again with a bog title that has “heaving bosoms” in it. What makes this story interesting is that she is self-published, and didn’t have to persuade Harlequin or any other publishing house that her work was worthy of publication; she just did it. At the age of 26 she has had more success than most authors achieve in a lifetime, by a very long way.

She’s not the only author who has carved out an incredibly successful career this way. Selena Kitt, a mother of four and devoted wife who enjoys organic farming and raising chickens in her back garden, writes  romance novels with titles like Alice (A BDSM Fairytale), and French lessons. Her novels are less about vampires and more about pages and pages of graphic sex scenes that women can’t get enough of.

I started to think about all of this. I imagined my life as a romance novelist, and what would be required of me to pull it off. First of all, I would have to consume a vast amount of this sort of thing, to really understand it (it’s all going to be for my personal and professional development). I would also need to find a way to be passionate about it, since I really can’t write this stuff without a love for doing it.

Or can I? If I can write 2000 word articles on periodontal disease for one client, edit memoirs for another, and churn out pages of copy about doberman dog dog dogs, surely I can write this, no?

In fact, what sounds more interesting? Bacterial tartar and discount canine massage, or whips, penises, and long walks on the beach? I can write about all of those, I’m sure!

You know what’s coming next. It’s the Literati Smut Writing Challenge. Here’s an outline of my plan:

-Read a lot of naughtiness from multiple romance sub-genre authors, and research the popularity of these sub-genres (1 week)

-Identify a sub-genre that I want to adopt, and the characteristics of this genre that I will need to master in order to write well (plot development and character development, blah, blah, blah…Doreen the smut monger will come in handy there). (1 week)

-Create plot outline and build characters (1 week)

-Write feverishly about spanking, bodices and hot men (or whatever) (2 months)

-Edit all that goodness (2 weeks)

-Develop a marketing plan to back up the release of my novel, and identify which platform to use for self-publishing (1 week)

-Create artwork for front cover, and a load of other stuff I haven’t identified yet (2 weeks)


Can I publish a romance novel in 3 months? Now that I’ve written all this, I really hope so.


One Response to “Heaving Bosoms and Whatnot: Critical Update”

  1. Alicia November 28, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Thank you, Lorna, for sharing so much how-to information about this topic. It’s very helpful!

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