Why Clean Romance

Why Do I Chose To Write Clean Romance?

When I first started out writing seriously I was asked a question. What do you like to read? That was easy to answer. I like contemporary romance. I read little else. But I was asked to dig a little deeper and came up with three different words which apparently describe the same romance sub-genre, sweet, traditional, clean.

As so many of us are at the beginning of our writing journey, I was advised to  ‘write what you read’ so there began my career as a sweet/clean romance writer.

As stated in my previous post, I recently discovered my interpretation of the term “clean romance” is different from many other peoples. After reading a couple of truly “sweet” stories I do accept I write slightly more physical stories so I now use “clean but more suitable for 16+” when talking about my writing. But I insist they are clean romances. In the back of my mind while I’m writing, I always think of when I’ll give a copy to my 100 year old, very conservative mother to read. I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable with graphic sexual scenes. Although she’s an avid reader so I’m sure she’s read many before, I don’t want to embarrass her, or myself, by having such scenes in any of my stories.

Personally I find little enjoyment in reading detailed intimate encounters and usually skip these pages if I inadvertently pick up a more explicit story. I don’t believe I’m a prude – I spent over 20 years serving in the then male dominated world of the Navy, I doubt being prudish would have allowed me to survive. My modern, red blooded characters do indulge in sexual encounters, but I like to think my readers have their own imaginations and can interpret what’s going on behind that closed bedroom door without too much help from me.

Explicit romance stories probably sell much better than clean romances, but I know there is a market out there for clean romance, just as there is for more explicit stories. I’m determined to continue to garner favour with clean romance readers.While a couple of my stories have the added warning ‘sensual’ applied to them, I have found it hard work to spice up a scene. I have struggled to find the right words and ended up spending an inordinate amount of time detailing one small scene in comparison with the time I’d spent on writing the whole book.

I don’t feel writing “clean” impacts at all on my ability to spin a yarn. I do believe it is actually more difficult writing a clean story as descriptions implying emotional/sexual tension can be tough.

I write clean romance stories because I love to read clean romance stories. I know I must be writing in the right sub-genre because I never imagine my stories with any explicit sex scenes. They come to me as clean romance and they get portrayed as clean romance.

 


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