Somewhere around the seventh grade, I discovered the joys of journalism. I wrote for my school newpaper and yearbook all thru high school. One of my first "real jobs" was as a photojournalist for a small African-American paper. I loved the cleanliness of the literary style. Each word was a valuable contribution to the piece. Who? What? Why? When? and Where? Just the facts, Maam.
Then I decided that I had to write a paranormal romance. Guess what? Readers want to know more than just the facts. They want to know what color curtains were in the room. What time of year the scene is set in? How tall is the hero? Bottom line...readers want goop.
Goop is all the stuff I skip when I'm reading a book. All those little details that make the story come to life. I didn't even realize that I was skipping over the goop, until I started reading to learn. I read the first paragraph of probably 50 books before I even got a clue.
Another thing that is really, was an online critique site. Other novice writers gave me very helpful advise on a short piece of erotica that I posted. From the feedback, I figured out that I was starting with the wrong part of the story. I was adding goop, but not goop that advanced the story.
I hope that I never completely lose my jounalist view of the world. I hope that the observation skills I have learned will translate into clean, crisp details that paint a vivid picture, for my readers, of my world.
I hope to vanquish the goop.