Friday, February 22, 2008

Red Hot Passionate Mistakes

On my author blog today, I tackle the topic of “The Morning After,” as it relates to Lena, the heroine in Nature’s Pentacle, my March 25 release with Loose Id. And that got me thinking about the hell we put our characters through, in the interest of fascinating fiction. Of course, when you write erotic romance, your characters have the opportunity to make choices that land them in some wildly compromising situations.

But how much is too much? Put a heroine in bed with The Wrong Man on her eventual road to finding a satisfying union with the hero, and most of us will probably give a little nod of sympathy. Ouch, she made a bad choice. We feel for her, and many of us have been in her shoes.

But what if The Wrong Man is her best friend’s boyfriend? Her sister’s fiancé? Her boss? Where do we as readers draw the line in sympathizing with the protagonist’s mistakes? My experience is that if there’s real growth following a large misstep, readers will step up to the challenge and keep on cheering for the flawed character. After all, perfect characters hardly make for scintillating reading.

In Nature’s Pentacle, my heroine, Lena, has to live with the fact that she’s participated in a forbidden sexual rite with thirteen other witches. Strangers. Hot and naked. Outdoors. All for a good cause, mind you. The arcane sexual power they raise heals the land following a horrible drought. But understandably, she’s a bit put out when someone leaks the witches’ identities to the press. Talk about aftermath that’s tough to live with.

Even more interesting, in my opinion, are the opportunities erotic romances give characters to make wild, over-the-top decisions without regretting them later. Sure, Lena regrets the fallout from that pesky arcane rite. But her ménage with hero Matt, and Matt’s best friend, Kenji? No regrets after that one.

So let’s hear from you, now. Any memorable morning after scenes you’d like to share, either from fiction or real life? How much does it take for a protagonist to alienate your sympathies? And what are some of your favorite “over the top” scenes that characters come out of whole and happy, with no regrets?

Eden Rivers


Meagan Hatfield said...

Holy yum! You lost me at "menage with Matt and Kenji"...what was your question? And when does this book come out, woman?!! I want to read it!!

Eden Rivers said...

ROFL, Meagan! You want "holy yum," then you'll have to check it out on March 25, when Nature's Pentacle goes on sale with Loose Id, and read on till you hit the foursome (blush, blush) with Lena, Matt, Kenji, and Giorgio near the end of the story! I don't pull any erotic punches (ahem) in this one!

Minx Malone said...

A heroine that seems unaware that her actions are bitchy is annoying to me. At least if the character acknowledges when she's doing wrong, I can usually sympathize. Everyone's had days when they do stuff they know just isn't right!

However, if she says "why is my best friend so mad that I slept with her boyfriend anyway? She slept with mine back in the 5th grade!" - THEN I usually throw the book across the room.


Eden Rivers said...

Oooohh, yes, nothing alienates me faster than a heroine who comes across as bitchy (bold, brash, in-your-face are great--but not bitchy). When ya make mistakes, you've just gotta own up and make it right. No sulking, finger-pointing, bitching, etc.