I think many writers fall into this category called Oh-My-God-My-Parents-Are-Going-To-Read-This-Book! You know, you've written this bestseller (because that's what we all write) and you either edit out anything questionable OR you hide it from people you think might look at you with that sideways glance, you know the one.
I am a huge fan of Nora Roberts! Love her! I love that, even though parts of her stories either gross me out, freak me out, or piss me off, she wrote them. They are graphic. They are sensual. They are are emotionally gripping! And I sit back and think, WOW! If I could write like that!
Truth is, I can! The hard part was letting go of that demon inside of me that said "You can't curse or write about sex!"
So I had this discussion with my editor, way back when we were editing my first book. (Which by the way on the scale of 1-Hot...is maybe a 4...maybe.) Do I remove the few curses? Do I elude to everything that happens behind closed doors? Or do I say screw it...and write it? We thought (and even made a sign that said), "What would Nora do?"
Obviously, somewhere Nora has decided to go forth with the "questionable" writing that we all possess inside of us. She put graphic sex or murder on the page. She created villains that scare the hell out of you and sexy men you'd leave your husband for. (Not me. I can't believe I even wrote it...but I know some of you are thinking it.) I don't think it hindered her career any!
So I left it! I had to deal with the few awkward comments at first. "Oh, wow. I couldn't believe my (insert relation) was writing that." "Who taught you that?" "I skipped over those pages." People cuss. People have sex. People make bad decisions. People fall in love and that is all included in life. I like it a little edgy. OK I'm not writing AMAZING stories with erotic details like Megan Hart! I'm not Debbie Macomber with her amazing gift to walk the line between popular and what a woman of faith would write! I have my own voice and I have embraced it! I can write with or without curses, depends on the people. I can even write it without a bedroom scene and its just as good. I just choose (in some stories) not to omit those little gems.
The sign that reads: W.W.N.D. What Would Nora Do has been filed somewhere among old contracts. New contracts have been written along with some very amazing stories (well in my opinion anyway.)
I no longer worry about what "someone" will say about my writing or what I did or did not include. Now I ask myself, What Would Bernadette Do? Well... she'd write the best damn book she possibly could and continue to hope her mother would just skim over those pages and pretend like she didn't write them. But deeply hopes everyone else in the world would read them and enjoy them! :)
Happy Reading (or skimming)