Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Awash in Virgins

Yikes. I'm having a bit of a literary crisis here. I recently found a lot of my "noodle pot" stories--when I finish a big project, before I start the next one, I take some time and just "noodle" around with some of the ideas that came to me while I was working on the last one, and pick the one that seems the most developed, while setting the rest aside for later. I discovered something in a good portion of these noodle pot ideas--they all feature some form of the "virgin heroine." Ack! I mean, I thought I was soooo over that!

I sometimes write short contemporary romantic comedies (at one point I was pursuing publication with a certain house that published a lot of them) and in my contemps, I always favored a heroine with a healthy sexual outlook and the experience to have come by that outlook honestly. I felt--and I still feel--that a heroine who's ready for the HEA does not need the extra baggage of sexual hangups for the hero to help her through. And besides, in comedies, nobody really wants to slog through all the dysfunction. 'Cause it's just not funny.

But in my SF/Futuristic universes, virginity can be as alien and outlandish as extra appendages. And in erotic romance, it can offer up a creative tension between the characters. So here's my chewing question. Knowing how very annoying the ZOMG_VIIRRRRRGGGIIIINNN! heroine can be, and knowing how easy it is for her to be annoying, what makes a smart and entertaining virgin heroine?


romblogreader said...

If she's got to be a virgin, I really prefer it if she actually knows where her clit is, and has given herself an orgasm before.

MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott said...

Just because she's a virgin doesn't necessarily mean she's a prude. You dig? You can still make it sexual and exciting without penetration. It all depends on WHY the character is still a virgin. Once you establish that, the rest might fall into place easily.