Two questions (well, two and a half) questions this week. First, on censorship. Are there guidelines, etc. for writers when writing love scenes?
The best guidelines would be the books themselves. If you’re wanting to write paranormal romance then in general they can be pretty racy, depending on the mood you want to hit. They can be gloriously hot, like Jeaniene Frost, they can be more restrained, like Patricia Briggs. They can be outright erotica. Now fortunately (or unfortunately) I like all levels (well, I shy away from erotica a bit, but that’s a whole ‘bother subject and it has nothing to do with me being prissy or against erotica). But in general you need to pick which form you respond to, and keep your level of sensuality in line with that. If you’re writing a 6 book arc where the characters finally do the deed i the third or fourth book then you’ll have a lower level of sensuality (usually — Laurell K. Hamilton is an exception). If they’re at it immediately then you’re going to have to up the action on the second or third book, give the sex a strong reason for being there since we already know how well they do together.
As for GAME OF THRONES, I don’t get HBO. There was a free weekend before the new series started so I watched a bunch of episodes and got totally caught up. Loved Peter Dinklage (but then, I always have). My only problem was that I couldn’t find a love story I could like (though I like the one with Jason Momoa and the blonde, but I knew he died). And I love Sean Bean and knew he died in the series too, so that didn’t make me feel too cheery. At some point I’ll be able to afford HBO again, at a time when GOT is running, and then I might be able to catch up.
Amazon review? I think they matter, though I hope people are able to see through the constraints. If I want to try a new author I’ll choose the one with the highest average, though if I stopped to think I wouldn’t. Something that had lots of 5s and lots of 1s is more my style — I like polarizing brilliance. But it’s short-hand, and life is busy.
As for my own Amazon reviews, I know they’re subjective. They seem to boil down to two main points. !. Anne Stuart is not for everyone and 2. I am a God.
I like point 2. Then there’s always the readers who throw the books against the wall, find the heroines TSTL, hate my heroes, etc. In fact, I might instinctively distrust something that had too many good reviews.
Look up your favorite book and see if you agree with the comments. If you find you tend to go along with Amazon’s reviews, trust ‘em. The great thing about a Kindle (and maybe other e-readers) is you can download a sample for free, and you can decide for yourself.