Greetings from Robin Joy Wirth.
I'm happy to see you here. In the Glory Star Project I will create a steamy sci-fi romance from concept to completion, allowing readers and writers to follow along. I will place everything here exactly as I would do for any other book, leaving nothing out and explaining things as I go along. I am working so hard on other things it's difficult to update here, but please let me know if you'd like updates whenever I manage to find some time.
A client asked me to create two samples on the fly for a steamy sci-fi romance, with a limited word count of about 1000. The first, a regular interaction between the main character and her love interest. The second, a steamy interaction. These clips were just an off-the-wall story idea I generated with one of my story tools and threw onto the page.
If you have never attempted to write a story in your life, your first expectation should not be that your attempt will be the next best seller unless you are a total genius. Writing a novel well, as opposed to simply throwing words onto a page, requires you to hone your skills first. It also requires that you know the difference between the types of romances and what expectations a reader has for them.
If you are new to writing, you would be wise to learn your craft before you are ready for a 50k or longer work. If you have never wrote anything at all, not even a hundred word description of an idea for a story, then you probably ought to start off with one of those. In fact, write a few 500 word complete stories and work your way up from there. Certainly, your first attempt at something a bit longer probably should not exceed 20k because it is more important to first learn your skills than to create content. Especially if you prefer a genre like sci-fi, paranormal, or fantasy, you should start with some world building first. This concept will be discussed further down the article, but is something to keep in mind.
However, first I would like to point out that many times writers might create works with titles which turn out to be similar to others, or even turn out to be the exact same title, without any purposeful intention to do so. To clarify the nature and intent of this project in particular, and officially disclaim any intention to infringe on the rights of others, I would like to disclose that Glory Star is simply the name of the title character in this story, which was created using a random generator tool I call a 'sparker', similar to the hot slots, character and story generator tools I currently have here on redshadow, but it only threw two random words together which excited my imagination to create this project.
Since I know some of you love playing with gadgets, I have decided to build a special set of tools just for this project which you can access from the tool menu. Enjoy!
There are people out there who view a 'steamy romance' as pornographic material, and I felt that I ought to define the difference, so that those wishing to write stories containing sexual content are not uncomfortable or hesitant because they think such work is 'bad' or 'wrong' or other such nonsense. For the record, I do not have a problem with pornography, I simply consider it yet another art form, which is different from the one we will be working with. It helps greatly if you understand the distinctions between them.
The process of writing any romance requires that it be a romance. This means that the story is about emotions, reactions to internal and external forces, and the way that one or more characters are affected by one or more other characters with the aim that these people will come together and attempt, successfully or otherwise, to join as a cohesive unit. I word it this way to clarify that menage and reverse harem, if they follow such a guideline, are also viable as romance, distinctive from porn because of the emotional bonding and the desire to share in life together at least for now.
In steamy romance, you maintain that core objective of coming together, but describe sex scenes as part of that process. The difference here lies in intention, as you will understand when I define porn below. In some cases, it will seem more subtle, but for the readers and writers, this distinction can be astronomical. Further, there are general guidelines in place for how much sex goes into the story, though it is up to the author to make a final decision in that regard.
There are different levels of heat you show the reader in a romance story. If you want to write "steamy" romances, you need to become comfortable writing sex scenes. In all truth, those scenes ought to be no different in your mind than the others. If you are too embarrassed to say, "I want your hot, throbbing cock, baby", then you are definitely not ready for much in the way of steam. That's not to say you can't blush profusely the whole time you are writing, just that to place such dialogue is equally as necessary as a scene in which you write, "Hi, I'm Leonie."
In general, you will want at least three sexual encounters before your story is in the "steam" zone, though four, five, or even six are acceptable before "steam" gives way to "sizzle". Remember, these scenes are more about showing the reader how the coupling persons grow closer through the experience, but they should be 'hot' too. The reader isn't interested in boring sex, so write them with some intensity or emotional charge when you do so.
The definition of porn is equally distinctive. When one creates porn, the aim of the work, written or otherwise, is to titillate, arouse, and gratify the sexual response first, with the rest of the story being created around that core objective. You may very well establish a love interest in there, but if you did it was probably so you could then go ahead and create more reasons to have sex. The plot is in itself sex, with props and events written only to lead in to that sex. If there is a conflict introduced, it was placed as a means to create more sex. If the story even has a resolution, you resolved it as an excuse for them to have more sex.
My best advice to someone wishing to write novels is this: don't write even the first chapter until you do a few other things to prepare first. You shouldn't begin writing an actual chapter, using action or dialogue, right away. Rather start by building the world your characters will interact in--or worlds as the case may be. It is imperative that if you have a shape-shifting entity in your world, that you explain the physics behind that. And if you have a hidden utopian society into which one of your characters wanders somehow, we need to know some things about that place. Such as where it is located, what laws of physics govern the area, if there are any specific rules which are dangerous to break, if the people there are truly happy, that sort of thing.
Then into that mix, you might want to write down notes about how the people in that place interact on a daily basis, what they expect from each other, what they eat, what they wear, where they sleep, what work they do, and any particular quirks they might practice during the sex act.
When this world is built next determine how the person stepping into the place is different, what kinds of expectations they bring from their normal society, and how they are likely to react to this new situation. Because if you start off knowing these things, the dialogue and action that ensues in the actual story will be much more compelling.
Even a romance story needs to have a theme and a direction, so that you can bring your characters from point A through to the ending scene by experiencing changes to their overall being. These need not be profound or anything, but if you take a young woman who is a virgin and have her enter a sexual relationship she is naturally going to become more mature and learn a few things. That is not to say what she learns is necessarily good, and the ending need not be happy. But in either case, your character is sure to have changed. She cannot possibly be the same at the end as she was at the beginning, and nobody would want her to be. And the same goes for her romantic counterpart, or any other people who have traveled along with them in the thing.
Please keep in mind that I am also a freelance writer, and generally write at least 100k in a month just to pay the bills, so this project might not move along at more than a snail's crawl. However, I guarantee that eventually I will finish it, and the book will be published on amazon.