It was after I had written my first two books that I picked up Stephen King's On Writing and realized that everything I had done up to that moment was wrong. Agonized, I speed read through them again, cringing as I imagined Mr. King criss-crossing my manuscript with great big red lines and maybe giving it an F- grading if he was feeling in a generous mood.
One of his cautionary statements is 'the adverb is not your friend'. Oh My God. My pages were filled with those buggers - and some that did not easily trip off the tongue. 'She cried beseechingly' was one I gasped in horror over, and there were dozens more. Plus, I had absolutely no idea what POV was or that it even existed, and how important it was. Head hopping was the order of the day in my epics. Jeez, when I think of it now, I flush with embarrassment. Fortunately, I had the chance to rewrite them and have a real editor guide me over those hurdles a few years later.
Writing has been a learning process for me. I think in practically every story I submit to my publishers I learn something new, and I'm happy to. I very rarely argue with the editor. Sometimes I may raise an eyebrow at their audacity, but then when I really look at what they are saying, I invariably agree. Ain't none of us too good to thumb our noses at a suggestion on how to make a sentence read just a little smoother.
Originally I started out as a writer of mysteries with paranormal overtones. Writing erotica hadn't even entered my mind. My protagonists may have kissed and 'lain together' but that was the extent of the shenanigans. It was actually a friend of mine who asked why I stopped just when it was getting good!
"What on earth do you mean?" I asked all high falutingly - now there's an adverb for you!
"I'd like to have read about them... you know... doing it," he said without even blushing.
Hmm... I really hadn't considered that at all, and quite frankly I didn't know if I could actually write a sexual scene. I mean, in my youth, I was known as quite a lad (ahem), but describing the act, and making it sound authentic, and of course titillating, I thought would be a bit of a challenge.
My first erotic story was My Vampire and I, and I was amazed at how easy it was to write the sex scenes. Of course it was vampire sex, and we all know there are no limits to what those characters can do. They are masters of seduction, they ooze sensuality, their kisses melt the stoutest resolve to resist - and as an added bonus they can fly. Sex in the clouds or hovering over ocean waves - who wouldn't want to experience that kind of trip?
From then on erotica was all I ever wanted to write. Cowboys, detectives, marines, regular guys, and of course, vampires, all become the world's greatest lovers when I let them loose on the pages. I honestly don't know if I could write a story without erotic content now. Hopefully, I won't have to.