I remember reading a blog post about a year back from a sweet romance writer. I love sweet romance. I read it all the time and have nothing against it. I also have written several sweet romance novels.
What I don't like is someone giving an opinion without actually having tried something themselves. This writer said that erotic romance writers were lazy - that they weren't very good writers who used sex scenes to fill up the page.
I'm a little like a caterpillar undergoing transformation. I started off as a writer in a different form. I actually started off with very chaste inspirational romances and slowly started dipping my feet into the pool of erotic romance. I'm a newbie. Not to romance, but to writing sex. I've written sweet romances - I have five published under another name. Yes, it was hard to get that first publishing contract. It was very hard to edit my books and make them worthwhile but none of them were any bit as hard as writing erotic romance.
I've recently revised one of my novels to resend back to a publisher. They asked me to up the heat - to bring in more sex and longer sex, to add more sexual tension. Whew, it's been a very intense road. I sent off my revisions today but I added and changed things many times before I was ready to send it.
Because you can't just write sex scenes. It goes much deeper than just the technical side. And believe me, the technical side isn't easy also. You don't only have to make it hot, but you have to make it believable and true to life of your characters. Your imagination has to rise to a new level. Your writing skills are put to the ultimate test. You can't use the same overused phrases. You have to come up with something new and fresh without being wacky and stupid.
And technical details aside, you still have to touch the emotions in each sex scene. Every scene has to bring the characters closer to that "happily-ever-after." It's not just sex for the sake of sex. It's part of the plot.
Erotic romance requires weaving in many coloured threads - the romance, the plot, the conflict, the character arc, and the sexual tension.
So, I'd like to say to those who have only written sweet romance and who think that erotic romance writers are lazy, think again. Before you jump to conclusions, try it yourself. You never know, you may get hooked on a new thrilling genre. I know I am.