I have to admit that this post has nothing to do with Colin Firth or Mr Darcy-I just love this picture! It's that moment when we see the softening in Darcy's eyes as he observes Elizabeth playing the harpsichord/piano-I love that scene, it says so much without words.
Actually, I'm really following on from Jane's post about menage a trois, or however many you want to make it, because it's a subject close to my heart writing-wise rather than personally-I can't imagine having to put up with 2 real men-think of all those dirty socks, (it's okay I said socks, crumpets!) the endless demands for sex, the toilet seat never down! (I could go on but I think you get the picture.)
Maybe that's why it's nice to write about it instead. I understand that it is a fairly common fantasy, two men and one woman. It fascinates me because I write about dysfunctional sexual relationships and adding 2 men into the romantic mix offers both the writer and the reader, a whole new layer of complications.
The book I'm writing at the moment, potential title 'Simply Sinful' (but as we know, that can change in a second), is an exploration as to whether a menage a trois really can work without someone getting left out or sidelined. One of the things I've learned is to allow my characters to explore the things that I don't understand either as they wend their way through the usually dark and emotional quagmire of my story line.
Instead of trying to intervene and offer author-like hints such as 'little did they know' or telling the reader, I get my characters to have a conversation about the particular thing that is worrying me and somehow, we all work it out together. Okay, that sounds crazy, but it really is a learning experience for me too.
At the moment, I'm trying to get the heroine of my book to decide whether she really wishes to commit adultery, even with her husband's approval and for the best of reasons. How will that make her feel? How does it affect her relationship with God, her family and her husband? I'm not sure yet, but we are working our way through it together.
One of my crit partners once told me that reading my books was like hands on sexual therapy in action. I 'think' she meant that my characters really do discover themselves through the sexual acts they engage in, or choose not to engage in, as they work their way through the story and ultimately reach a satisfactory conclusion.
That's one of the reasons why I get twitchy when people describe erotic romance as a story that could possibly stand alone if you took all the sex out. Mine definitely can't, but I still don't believe I'm writing straight erotica as my characters usually end up together by the end! Maybe not conventionally happy ever after, but happy enough :)
It will be interesting to see whether I can get away with this book...and whether people will still see it as a romance. I hope they do, because that's what I intended all along, even if I choose the most torturous paths to get there! Sometimes I wish I could write the more conventional stories but my muse says otherwise, and ultimately, you have to write what you believe in...
Is there a line you draw between erotica and erotic romance and if so, where do you draw it? I think it's getting very blurry these days...