Suspension of Disbelief in Romance Novels versus Short Erotic Stories

I’m not making a huge point here, but I think it might be a significant one for how I approach writing erotica as opposed to longer romantic works. I think the reader of a short erotica story is more willing to make assumptions from little evidence. They know where the story is leading; it is leading to two characters having sex; so for that to happen, the relationship (romantic, purely physical, whatever) must exist, so it does exist, at least so long as the writer has given the reader a tiny, tiny hook on which to hang their belief.

In a romance novel, things have to ring true for a long time, sinking into the reader’s mind bit by bit, like building a wall. Sure, a reader of Romance knows the genre, knows what’s expected, knows how things will turn out; but as I’ve said before, because of that, process (how the relationship progresses) is often more important in a romance novel than outcome (happy ending). So if the process isn’t believable, the story falls apart and the reader falls out of that world.

Related Posts: Making It Good and Preliminary Thoughts on Two Types of Erotic Novels.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
This entry was posted in erotica, genre, romance novels. Bookmark the permalink.