Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tone of Story and Word Choice

When you write a story, do you take into consideration the genre you are writing?

For example, what words do you use to a horror story?

What about a mystery?

In horror, do you simply use that tone in the specific scene where a ghost appears? Where a monster makes its appearance and maybe kills a victim? Where does build up begin?

When do you start to seduce your reader into the ambiance of a horror or a mystery or a romance?

The same is true for the eroticism of a story, wouldn't you say? Word choices throughout the story give it the texture and tone for the genre, not just the number of A-into-B sex scenes, or a murder scene, or the swashbuckling warrior scene in a fantasy. It is the whole ambiance.

Would you disagree with that?

When I describe a mountain (such as in Breathless Peaks), a pair of gloves (Skin Tight), a painting (Caution: Wet Paint), in an erotic romance, that item is imbued with sensuality. That is part of the plot. In a mystery, in a horror novel, what are your word choices for bringing a reader into the emotion of that story from the very first page?

From Breathless Peaks:

They both called to her--both wanted her total attention. The feeling was like being drawn to two possessive lovers--neither one willing to let her go. Neither one giving an inch. No matter how far she ran or how deep she tried to hide, they wouldn't let her be. Not really. She'd always felt their presence.

There were times when she thought she'd won, but those times were fleeting. Like a sharpened nail of silvery metal, she was drawn by a powerful magnetism she fought against daily. She was weary of the fight. She wanted to simply let go and go back. To bend to their will, to give them what they wanted. What she needed.

If she went, would she lose her sense of self? Would they press her between them and suffocate the life from her?

Every time she thought about them, her heart beat faster, raced like a ticking bomb, ready to explode. The heat of remembered contact coursed through her like an avalanche that she couldn't fight and she was swallowed whole, buried alive. Not any more. Not now.

She loved them both. More than she should. Both left her breathless, always wanting more. Needing it, and nothing could change that.

From Skin Tight:

The fit was tight, so very tight. Just the way she loved it. Slow and easy. Curving and sheathing until there was no space left to breathe. She sighed as she stroked her fingertips across the glove's supple leather, tracing the outline of each of her enclosed digits one at a time. She inhaled the item's earthy aroma, allowing it to wend its way through her.

Karli loved the scent of finely tooled gloves. And these, oh these, were perfect. They were so tight a fit, she could see the outline of her nails through the stretched fabric. Yet the leather was so pliant there was no problem at all fisting her hand, and her knuckles peaked with shiny definition.

"They look gorgeous on you, Ms. Logan. Almost like a second skin." The saleswoman smiled. This expensive pair would undoubtedly mean a very good sales percentage for the woman behind the counter. "I knew they would," she gushed. "That's why I called you right away. I hoped you'd get the message. I said it was important."

With difficulty, Karli looked away from her gloved hand to smile at the girl. "The service did get the message to me. And I appreciate the call, Wendy. You take very good care of me." Of course, the call had been vetted through several different people before it ended up in Karli's hands, but at least it had reached her. In a gesture of appreciation, Karli's gloved hand pressed the back of Wendy's bare one. She could feel the warmth of the woman's skin even through the boundary of the elegant glove.

No man's cock had ever fit her pussy as tightly as her fingers fit into these gloves. The press and scent almost had her orgasming on the spot. She bit her lip, then soothed the wound with her tongue.

"You have such elegant hands, Ms. Logan. This style looks just wonderful on you." She looked around the small shop, then back at Karli. "Actually," she said in a confidential tone, "I set them aside until you could come in to try them for yourself."

Karli flexed her hand again, enjoying the feel of confinement, the stroke and give of the leather. She wanted to touch herself so badly, to baptize them with her juices. To feel the leather against the soft flesh of her inner thighs.

Caution: Wet Paint:

"It's a very...riveting piece, isn't it? Do you know the artist?"

Clara couldn't take her eyes off the work of art. She felt the heat of a summer sun on her naked body. Sable brushes skimming across her skin, between the lips of her pussy. She squeezed her legs tightly together, trying to deny the erotic sensations that quaked through her.

"Clara, did you hear me?"

"Yes, Maggie, I heard you. It wasn't created by one artist--it was two. You know one of them."

Spread your legs, Clara. Show us your desire. Clara shivered as the ghostly demand echoed inside her head.

"I do? Who is it?"

She felt fingertips stroke gently across her inner thighs. The warmth of a bonfire against her back. The rough texture of a flannel blanket beneath her.


Maggie turned to look at Clara, her mouth agape.

"I didn't know he ever did work like this. It doesn't look like any of the stuff you have on display at the gallery. Who was the other artist?"

"Samir Zahi." Prince Samir Zahi to be correct. Samir, whose mouth had tasted her, lips hot and demanding on her breasts. Her nipples burned for him as she studied the painting, yearning to feel his mouth on her flesh once again.

And in Body Parts foreshadowing a sense of darkness and mystery:

She studied the exterior of the powerful stone structure. It was built to last the ages and much too substantial to simply be called a house. Right out of a gothic novel, it was one of the most opulent pieces of architecture Korrie have ever seen.

Within seconds, the sun shifted behind a dark cloud and cool darkness settled over the property, shadows grabbing at the structure. And at her. She again looked up to study the architecture and this time her gaze settled on the towers. Just below the spires in the left column she noticed the blackened stone and boarded-up brace of windows. From the early photos, they had once held handcrafted stained glass.

It was a terrible tragedy when the Ransoms perished in a devastating fire that destroyed a great deal of the laboratory on the top floor of the mansion. It was reportedly one of their experiments that had gone horribly wrong. Most of their research papers were destroyed as well. At least that’s the rumor.

That’s what it said in the file. She should know because she was the one who’d conducted the interview with the retired newspaper reporter. One of the many reasons she wanted to come here ﷓﷓ to discover the truth. To walk in their shoes, so to speak. Now was her chance.

The lack of sun set a pall over the house, making it look like a fixture out of one of those old horror movies. A shiver spread up her spine, like tiny fingers gripping and tightening around her flesh. What experiment had the Ransoms been working on when they perished?

Does explicitness equal erotic in every scene?

Does erotic equal a full sex scene on every page?

Does revulsion equal horror in every paragraph?

Does violence equal mystery in every act?

Or is it the word choices we use as wordsmiths, throughout the story, that draws the emotion and keep the reader enthralled?

Can you segment plot from atmosphere, or intimacy from relationship, be it mystery, horror, scifi, fantasy, or erotic? If you do, is that story still firmly planted within a specific genre?

Just asking...


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