The Realism of Fantasy

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When you’re writing romance and erotica, you’re creating a world of fantasy. The people are sexy, love is in the air, and everybody has an orgasm. And yet, you want to make sure the situations are realistic enough in order to be plausible. Your readers want to be able to immerse themselves in the fantasy but if the situation is too far fetched, it’ll pull them out of the story.

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It’s a contradiction wrapped in an oxymoron and topped with a bow.

For example: in sex scenes, fellas never have a problem getting an erection (unless it’s somehow necessary for the plot), but to have a guy fire off seven loads within one hour just isn’t very realistic. The only way the latter would work is if he was some sort of space alien and that was part of his physiology, but if you let your reader in on that little secret, then it still makes the scene plausible.

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Dibs on writing a story about ultra-virile space aliens.

The same level of realism is necessary in the building of relationships between people, as I discussed in last week’s article about the art of pacing. If you want a character to go from zero to love slave all the in space of five minutes, you have to let your readers know why. Did someone cast a magic spell? Did someone say the code word to trigger a Manchurian Candidate-type brainwashing? Does someone really love bears and then their partner shows up and reveals that they’re secretly a bear?

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Whatever kind of bear you’re into *wink wink*

The most important thing to remember when creating these fantasies is that the reader really wants to go along on this adventure with you. They want to get into the moment and enjoy your protagonist getting it on with a billionaire pterodactyl in a helicopter, but you’re going to have to offer up some kind of explanation as to why dinosaurs are around (and possibly one about how they got so good at managing their money).

I’m not personally a fan of the series, but think about Twilight:

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Just go with it for a second, I promise I have a point.

Bella moves from sunny Arizona up to the pacific northwest and discovers there are vampires everywhere. She then learns that vampires are able to be out and about during the day because the weather in that particular region is notoriously overcast. Is this basically a four book-long joke about weather? Yes, but it also gives the reader a plausible reason as to why Edward and all the other ancient vampire children aren’t relegated to night classes. Create whatever environment and situations you want with your book, but be sure to clue in your readers as to how you got there.

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“Oh, the aliens have seven retractable penises and that’s why they can come so often–it makes perfect sense!”

I hope these quick tips are useful for your next scene. More than anything, just have fun with it. Sex is fun and your writing should reflect that, so get busy!

 


 

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Emily Regan is the author of several books, including "What's an Adult?: No One Knows Anything and We're All Going to Die." She is an avid fan of reality TV, an unironic Hanson fan, and currently resides in Arizona with her family.

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