I've been having this nagging thought in the back of my mind while reading some of the romances novels I love and it has to do with how writers wind-up conflict to keep the reader interested in the story.
Our heroine is conflicted--she outwardly pretends she doesn't like the guy but inwardly knows her body is hot for him. She acts tough, cool or unaffected.
He, too, is hot for her and either plays the nice guy or the bad boy--whatever, this isn't necessarily about him. It's about how the woman has to be broken down, harassed, coerce, and generally fight her own desire to have sex with the guy.
Okay, this is fantastic story material. But the guy in the story has to either pull the moon in from orbit, move tides and mountains or prove such unending devotion that the poor thing is near death.
My dearest ladies, I hope, to my love of men, that you don't think you have to act like that heroine, or that your guy has to build a spaceship from lint and a safety pin and get the rock of Vintari from Mars for you.
You know it's a STORY, right? That the writer is trying to keep your interest? That when you're attracted to someone and act cool or hard that you're just going to be lonely, right? Because a great guy is a wanted guy who has his choice of women. Why should he bother with a bitch? Oh, in the story he loves the bitch, but let's flip this scenario into a real life situation to this asshole trying to get your attention by pissing you off. Is that going to endear him to you?
Yet women expect guys to approach them, somehow take off your mask front and see you for who you are.
My dearest, I love you, but your living in a novel. Come to the world where real rainbows and light abound. Where women don't care about what taboo they're committing by walking up to a guy and getting his phone number. Where women find their own happiness and love men for the little boys, family protectors and female admirers they are. A place where women accept that men act different because they are different, speak different but are trying to get the same outcome as us.
It's the general rule that a women can't make the first move, can't accept her sexual needs and has to fight it even if she's single, ready and adorable.
This just proves that when a woman says "no" does it mean "no" or does it mean "try a little harder". A great guy is going to accept "no" for NO and move on to a wonderful woman who doesn't hide her desire and they will have a great relationship.
And that women having the great relationship with that fantastic guy is going to be called a slut--but you know what, she's not going to care because she's having a fantastic life with her wonderful prince charming who is so way out of your league because you can't accept your desire.
When you say no, is it with fear? Is it from the attitude of "what do you want from me?" Where is that question coming from? Try this question instead, "What am I comfortable giving to you?" Then ask, "Why?" Examine that answer and see if it really matters. Sticks, and stones may break my bones, but I don't let labels ever hurt me. Live your life in confidence and you shall be free.
Going over my latest Social Taboo in Cougar Bait in the Coffee Shop I realized another taboo I hadn't touched--women asking men for a date or sex.
It ties in with the myth that women aren't allowed to make the first move. But in reality, women have always made the first move. You see, when you look a person in the eye, it's an invitation. Come talk to me.
It helps a man's ego because, in reality, a good guy is not going to come talk to you unless you give him the go-ahead. That nod of approval, the eye contact, is the first move. This is a women's power. With one look a girl can get guys to surround her. She doesn't have to be pretty, young, or aggressive.
Who approaches first isn't important either. What is important is that both parties give the go-ahead. Sometimes, guys will be too nice, too insecure or carry the weight of rejection to walk over even though your staring at him and he looks like he really wants to come over. This is a case of two cars at a stop sign and none of them proceeding because both want the other to go first. The guy is trying to be nice and you're trying to give him his ego strut with the come hither look.
What a dilemma! He doesn't want to be a creep and you'll be called a "slut" for walking over to him. Tell me, who wins in this game?
Time for women to take their power seriously because Grandma's advice of "let the man approach first" didn't work in her time either.
I bet you can tell me what this story is about just by the title! Yep. Older woman, younger man. I've had my fair share of dating younger/older men. In fact my parents have a little more than a decade difference in their age.
As I look around, it seems to me age being less and less a social taboo as people get older (more mature if you will).
I recall one relationship in which I felt everyone's eyes on me, judging me for being with a guy about 15 years younger than me. It didn't matter to him. But for me, I was rather nervous being in public with him.
Reverse the situation when I was with a guy 15 years older than me and I was fine with it. I have to ask myself why was older fine for me but younger not?
Hmmm...perhaps you, my dear reader, can shed some light on the subject? I'd love to hear your experiences! I've heard some very interesting things that make me feel as though I'm not the only one!
Set up a following before you have a book published.
It's a great idea! Wonderful advice. It wasn't so much for me.
1. I was trying to learn how to write.
I was not illiterate. But if you're going to write you need to learn things like spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. Yes, I went to school, I learned basics but things degraded after I was able to communicate and be understood. As long as people get what you're saying, who cares on the technicalities, right? Well, professionalism started me honing lessons learned. I'm still learning to many my critique partners dismay!
2. I was learning how to publish.
I wanted to learn how to do everything about writing. I didn't stop learning plot structure, characterization and story arc. I went back and started learning the history of writing. There's a boat load of information on just learning how to publish alone. But also studying writing and publishing can be overwhelming enough.
3. I was writing.
I couldn't stop at one point. I was a horse running across a field of fire. If I stopped, I'd burn.
4. I wanted to learn marketing before I went out and did marketing.
The times I spent learning how to write, how to publish and while writing, I was learning how to market. I figured if I wanted to market I needed to learn how. Some people just know how to market themselves. Me, not so much.
People kept saying, get a blog, get a fanpage, twitter, get yourself out there! I did make a blog but it has no brand. I did go on my personal Facebook page and say "I'm writing a book..." and readers would say "Great! Where can I buy it?" ...Ughhh... lame.
So my lesson learned was, I'm glad I didn't pour a lot of effort into building an audience when I had no book to give. I believe the get a following before the book is published is great advice when you have a brand, brand idea or a built in fan-base to market to. Because selling a book-to-be experience was too overwhelming for me. Thinking about getting people to follow me on the road to publication was too overwhelming. However, it might be just right for you!
LinkedIn has a group called "Writer's Cafe" that I rifle through each morning searching for good blogs, good marketing techniques and good laughs! Here's the best I've found.
Somebody said they loved it. I checked it out! I now love it too! I've since learned about Google key words and notifications indirectly through this too!
2. How much I'm in the minority.
My publishing company's genre is love. That includes Unconditional Love, Love of Oneself, Romantic relationships, and finally Sex. Frankly, I feel like a Jezebel surrounded by Puritans. They say writing is a lonely art. None more so than the erotica writer in a room full of Christians.
When I get worried about offending my group, Jezebel takes over and says--it's good for them! Make 'em face the social taboos they try to hide around! But, I've been eager to respond to some of your services only to realize, you're just too bashful to mix it up.
Sure you preach write from your heart, which is what got me in the love genre in the first place. I could say my heart is located near my groin, but that wouldn't be fair. I don't write about sex to write about sex. I write about sex that changes lives. But, hey, if you feel uncomfortable about an honest account then I'm glad to steer away for both our sakes.
3. That the saying is true -- I can swing a cat and hit an author/publisher.
Owww! Hey, I resemble that comment! Wow! So many publishers! I love it! I can go from website to website and see the shiny! I've learned what looks professional and what I'd like for my website to be like and perceived as. I've also found some damn fine authors whose books I love to read! Although, I can't recommend marketing to other writers, it's helped me find a few good authors.
4. How to...
Because I go to so many books recommended here, I go to the website and if it's a publisher that sells their author's book off the website I want their books from the publisher. You get a better price direct from publishers, so...I had to learn how to download files! It's pretty easy!
5. Other members are really helpful!
They really, really are! They've helped me in marketing, they've helped me in writing, they've helped me with blog post ideas. Like this one! They are helpful also in the way they engage. I measure my feeling on what I take away from a post and sometimes, I try to duplicate it. I also see what I don't want to do. I've made friends and I've prospered from all of them. So thank you Writer's Cafe. I love you.