Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"That's Too Much!"

While reading an excerpt from an erotic romance the other day, I was reminded of the game on The Price is Right called "That's Too Much". The prize for the game is usually soemthing big, like a car, and prices are revealed one at a time. When the player thinks the price is too much, they have to yell "That's Too Much!" and if the actual price is in between the price they chose and the one before it, they win. As I was reading the erotic excerpt, I found myself yelling "That's Too Much" when I had reached a certain point.

Now, I do not consider myself a prude at all. It did take me some time to feel comfortable writing sex scenes and find the balance in terminology between clinical and corny. I don't shy away from erotic novels that I read for myself either. BUT I do have a line and this excerpt crossed it.

The line is one tiny little word...only 4 letters in length. I can't even type the word and I have never ever said it in my life. All I'll give you is: See You Next Tuesday. You should have gotten it by now.

Language normally does not bother novel is titled A Bitch Named Karma...and karma isn't a female dog. My MC uses the f-word numerous times. Sometimes there are just situations where that 4-letter word is needed, at least with this character and her personality.

But in the sample excerpt, as soon as I read that word, I lost any and all respect I had for this book. That word just gets me...that is my line...that is when I say "That's Too Much!" there anything that turns you off from a book??? Any genre, not just romance.


  1. Oh my goodness! I still can't figure out the word. :o A lot of swearing can turn me off at times. Some of what Stephen King writes is a little too crude for me, but I keep reading. Swearing now and then is fine, especially is that's what the dialog calls for. Great post!

  2. Unrealistic characters turn me off big time but worse than that for me is when I read a book and I know what is written is wrong factually. That could be the distance geographically, a term for something, anything that is just blatantly wrong and shows lack of research. I know authors aren't specialists in every field they write about, but with the internet and the use of email, its becoming easier to just take an afternoon to look up something and therefore less excusable in my opinion. :) Great post!

  3. Ah, yes. I just don't think that word belongs in a romantic scene. In my experience, it's only derogatory, y'know?

    Not much will turn me off a book. A combination of elements, sure, but I'm not going to say, "I'm not reading this because of xyz." I certainly don't censor my own writing, and I won't snub anyone else's.

  4. Summer, I in no way snub it, but I have my limits, ya know. I know a lot of people have no problems with that word...but for me...that's my line. I am sure there will be people turned off by something in my book..... Ah...such the subjective business we are in!!! :)

    Bethany, I agree!! Facts should be right!!! But, sometimes you can do your research and there are things that may slip through. I met a writer who had a scene in her book with a woman getting out of her car and pumping gas. Well, she received a bunch of emails about it...apparently in that state, it is illegal to pump your own gas!! I would never have thought to research soemthing like that!!

    Aubrie...I'm gonna send you a private message ;)

  5. That word doesn't really bother me....but I have to say-my theory with "language" is that people must have poor vocabularies if they can't think of any other word to use-and THAT to me is a shame.