I had a surprise last weekend. I learned that I may have a future in erotic romance. It was unplanned and completely caught me by surprise.
GRRWG has a Winter NaNo challenge. It's like our own mini-NaNo event that we use as a motivation to write as well as a fund raiser. If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, it's National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as NaNo. Basically, you write a 50,000 word (or longer) novel. But it happens in November when most of our writer's are extremely busy. So we do it later, after the holidays.
Anyway, this year I entered, not sure what I was going to write, but used the results of an writing exercise we'd done for that month's meeting as a starting point. Set in Grand Rapids, Michigan (that was a surprise, I tend to write in the SouthWest and East Coast), it started out pretty straightforward as a story about a business consultant. I just let the character take me where she wanted to go, no plotting for me, I'm a total pantser.
Imagine my surprise when other characters popped in that are more like the characters that two of my fellow GRRWG writers, and dear friends tend to have. Pretty soon my straight-laced, independent, strong willed, smart business woman was losing her clothes and getting naked with not just her boyfriend, but her BFF as well. Pretty soon another male jumped and there were naked bodies and naughty characters everywhere.
This really caught me by surprise and I keep telling the Big Guy what my naughty characters were up to and wondering where they heck they came from. I don't normally read romance, unless it's the sarcastically funny and foul mouthed characters that come from MaryJanice Davidson (I simply ADORE Betsy!) or occassionaly something from a fellow GRRWG member, like Simone Anderson, Suzanne Graham, and Jenny Trout.
(Seriously, if you like romance or erotica check out our GRRWG members at grandrapidsregionwritersgroup.blogspot.com).
As a result, I simply don't have the vocabulary built up for all the necessary euphemisms (I mean really, how many times can you reuse the clinical terms for human genitalia without sounding like a medical textbook?) and was sure I was writing something as badly written as 50 Shades of Grey. Yes, I did try to read that book but couldn't get past the horrid writing of the first chapter. If you want kink, I can point you in the direction of better writers than that.
Certain that I had written the worst romance since 50 Shades, I had three people who read and write romance read a few scenes from the verbal vomit I had spewed into the electrons on my laptop's hard drive. I was shocked that not only did they like it, they assured me I wasn't as bad as 50 Shades.
I'm writing up the ending to the book (last I'd left them, all four were naked and doing naughty things on their friend's living room floor). Suzanne Graham is willing to read it, tell me if it is salvagable enough to publish, and - hopefully - co-author it with me since she has all the vocabulary to turn the story around. Only time will tell.
Still, color me surprised!