(This is another article in a new series I am writing about the different elements of fictional characters.)
In my third book Love, Simplified I’ve tried something new. More sex. Call it the “Fifty Shades Effect” but as I have written my WIP I have felt freer to try a few new things. In my previous two books I wrote what I felt was one “obligatory” sex scene.
Why feel obligated, you ask? I could’ve just skipped the scene all together. I know there are lots of successful romance authors who have no problem simply shutting the door on their couples: Nicholas Sparks, Debbie Macomber and Stephenie Meyer to name a few.
But I’ve wanted to explore the sexier side to not only my writing, but to my characters for a while, yet when I sat down at my keyboard it felt…weird. I knew better than to try and force a scene, especially one as important to a romance novel as a sex scene. So, I left it alone.
Then the spring of 2012 happened and something came along that changed my viewpoint: I saw erotic romance as sexy and fun to read. As a writer, I wondered if more sex between characters could create a more realistic bond between the Hero/Heroine. When I started writing the love scenes in my WIP, I decided to give the sexier and more frequent love scene thing a try.
And so far, I feel like I’ve found my niche. Another benefit to the sexier tone? It has made me focus on making Ethan, my hero, scorching hot! .
So what caused this change?
I read the hyped Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James.
A Key Difference:
I had read other erotic novels before I read Fifty Shades, but I will admit, few of them focused on a love story between the H/H, as FSOG did.
Even though the romance part of the trilogy appealed to me, I wasn’t in love with everything. While I liked the love story aspect that eventually comes about, there were times when I thought I’d put one of the books down and never pick them back up.
Like I’ve told a few friends and female relatives about the books, they’re not for every romance novel lover. There were lots of things about the trilogy I didn’t like. There were scenes I’d rather not have read. There were times I said out loud, “This would NEVER happen!”
So why did I keep reading?
He’s just so freaking hot. And I know I’m not alone in my obsession. I’ve yet to talk to another woman who has read the trilogy that doesn’t share my feelings about him.
As a writer, I have tried to analyze the fictional character of Christian Grey. The logical part of me knows this: James pushed the envelope of the Bad Boy archetype commonly found in romance novels.
But I also realize there’s more than that to Christian. He’s complex. Vulnerable yet domineering. Beautiful and self-loathing. A saint and a sinner.
While he may be gorgeous, rich and powerful, he struggles with some pretty major inner demons. I don’t feel that deflects from his appeal. If anything, I think his flaws make him more attractive.
I still can’t figure out what it is about him. Or if it’s one or two things, or a slew of things that make women everywhere fall in fictional lust with Christian.
I made up the poll you see at the bottom of the page to try and gauge what my readers think about Christian Grey. Please participate in the poll and of course, feel free to leave comments about the subject as well