Romance Versus Erotica

Oh, this is going to be fun! A couple of months ago I wrote ‘The (Not So) Definitive Guide to Romance Novels‘ for Reader’s Carnival . It got me to thinking (I know, a dangerous thing):

What is the difference between a romance novel, erotica and outright porn? Is it simply age group boundaries? Explicitness versus love? Where are the boundaries? Has this changed over time? Putting quality aside, what separates Danielle Steel from E.L. James? Read More

Square Peg, Round Hole: Avoid The Box

I love podcasts. I use them for a variety of purposes. Sometimes they are used to entertain, and sometimes they are used to educate. But the best is when these two purposes intersect and that is how I often feel about The Nerdist Podcast. For those not familiar, Chris Hardwick is an American born actor (sort of), tv host (occasionally) and stand up comedian (professionally) but over the past few years he has become particularly well known as the founder of the Nerdist network, a network that seemingly knows no bounds. His focus seems to be “if you want to make something, make something”. He is a believer that the current landscape of media and internet allows for anyone to produce anything they want. I’vactore always loved this concept because I think it is indicative of the entrepreneurial spirit that I think is so important in todays culture and economy. Read More

Words to Kill

Part of the self-editing process (you do self-edit, right?) is to clean-up passive voice, needless adverbs and filler words. This is typically done in a pass that doesn’t pass any judgement on the content itself. It’s a mechanical exercise.

So, why not use the awesome power of your computer to get it done. Write down a list of words that indicate writing that could be tightened up. Use an angry red crayon, if it helps. Start with these gems: was, were, had, just, that, started, think, thought, only. Add words to the list you often overuse. Search for them using the so-named function of your word processor. Don’t automatically remove, but challenge them. Are these the best word choices? Read More