Chapter Eleven | Finding Jennifer Book Teaser

Here is a little taste of what’s going on in Chapter Eleven of my upcoming novel – and sequel in the SEARCHING FOR KATHERINE series, FINDING JENNIFER. Enjoy!

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Sex In Books | Not That Sexy (16+ content)

sex in books.pngEveryone loves a cheeky sex scene in a romance novel; or those secret make-out sessions in your favourite Young Adult series, but there’s a line.

With a society that is climatized to seeing sex in everything, perhaps no sex in a book is the New Sexy?

If an author tells you they have never written a salacious sex scene – they ar lying. But, ask them if it ended up in the book, and some will say no.

For my novel, Searching For Katherine, I wrote a sex scene for the night of Jennifer’s wedding – and then deleted half of it. Yes, I kept some of the build-up and the tension in, but there is no actual sex in the sex scene.

Sometimes, the idea of sex is sexier than the act itself. And sometimes, sex isn’t sexy. 

the-russian-concubineIn The Russian Concubine by Kate Furvinall, there is a sex scene between the two main characters who are roughly fifteen or sixteen years old. The boy is injured and weak, the girl tending to his wounds as she hides him the shed from her family.

It is a sweet, tender moment, but it is – naturally – a very awkward and fumbling scene. Why? Because virgin teenagers don’t know how to have sex, so it would be ridiculous for the author to have pretended otherwise. It is a beautifully written scene and one I have specially marked in my copy. I read it when I need reminding that sex isn’t always the sinners show it’s perceived to be. Sometimes, sex is communication.

It is a beautifully written scene and one I have specially marked in my copy. I read it when I need reminding that sex isn’t always the sinners show it’s perceived to be. Sometimes, sex is communication.

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It’s difficult to write an article about sex in books without mentioning the elephant in the room: Fifty Shades of Grey. Originally written as a sexy Twilight fan-fic, and quickly tidied up when the website when crazy and was picked up by a publishing house; Fifty Shades is the perfect example of Sex Overload in fiction.

I won’t waste too much time talking about this series, but if memory serves me right; there’s a lot of pretty ridiculous sex in this book series. They have sex anywhere and everywhere, several times a day and it some strange positions and situations. I think Mr .Grey needs to see a therapist because he just can’t keep it in his pants.

The sex is completely unrealistic – however, it also proves that sometimes there is only one way to write a sex scene: badly. E.L James repeats the same phrases and rhythms throughout the book, giving all the scenes a very samey vibe. But, she is an international best-selling author; so she must have gotten something right!

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Perhaps sex scenes in books scene somewhat ridiculous because they are a little bit more real than we’re used to.

Most adults have watch pornography at some time or another, and we’ve all seen those perfect six-pack muscle men with engorged penises and perfect bodies. They give women expectations of what a man should look like in bed, and I’m afraid to say that not every man is built like Superman. Nor, should they be!

And for the men, those poor bastards are relentlessly shown swimwear models with tidy, toned bodies and tiny waists. None of these women have scars or stretch marks, none have bore children and they certainly don’t look like the women we see in the high street doing their shopping.

Why is porn so popular? Because we like to fantasize. Why does sex suck in books? Because sometimes… you’ve just got to use your imagination – and the only references most of us have are porn sites and some embarrassing sex stories of our own.

And because reading the word penis is never going to be as sexy as seeing one! 

So maybe next time you read an awkward sex scene in a book; remember that sometimes it’s better in real life than it is on the page; give the author the benefit of the doubt. And, if it’s really bad, just skip it.

Got an opinion? Share it in the comments! 

Graduation | 1 Year Later

12015242_10153531992797488_4467283861848174181_oA year ago to the date, the Creative and Professional Writing BA (Hons) Class of 2015, graduated.

We were nervous and stressed and our robes were trying to strangle us. We had rogue family members randomly popping up to take pictures, and we spent our time either losing our friends in the crowd or readjusting our gowns.

We had spent three years stuck in cupboard seminar rooms, only 11 people in our year at any one time, freezing cold and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Lectures were nearly always followed by alcohol, in the true spirit of sticking to the writing cliches, a tipsy wobble home to do our assignments. Quick nap or dinner and you were ready for  a night out.

It is safe to say that university was one of the most turbulent, stressful, broke, enlightening and friendship-filled eras of my life. I do not regret a single second – including the time I got so drunk that I had to go to class wearing sunglasses in the middle of December… yep… pathetic is the word you are looking for, my friend!

It is the time after university, after you’ve graduated that nobody prepares you for, not really. You are of course advised to get a job in your studied profession, but that doesn’t work for most students. We end up behind bars or retail or office jobs, slugging the 9-5 with everybody else.

You tend to lose your confidence, your passion, you lose motivation for your talents. As a writer and graduate of Creative and Professional Writing, it was never going to be easy to get a job, let-a-lone a career in creative writing. So instead, I did some writing projects and got a full time retail job, thinking it wouldn’t be a distraction. Oh boy, how wrong was I!

I have barely written anything for my current novel – compared to what I planned to write anyway –  and my poetry has all but resorted to a quick Instagram post every week. I am struggling to write, read and do anything creative.

But that is my fault. I spent three years training for this year, training myself for my future career goals, and I am wasting that. It has taken me a year to realise that I am not the writer I was whilst at university, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t be.

It’s time to get back into not only my writing, but also my studies. I’m going to go back to my studies and get my Masters degree (hopefully) in Creative Writing and go from Melissa Holden, BA to Melissa Holden, BA MA. Time to pull my socks up and get back out there!

22 Blog Posts For 22 Years | Blog Series

In two short days, I will be celebrating my twenty-second year on the planet, so I thought I’d celebrate it with a new blog series!

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This time, it’s a blog series full of all the things that make me… me. Whether it’s my obsession with all things vintage, my love of tea, my struggles as an indie author, or my day-to-day life. I’m sharing it all with you guys!

Here is a list of the blog posts you should be expecting over the next few weeks, starting with the first post on 18th August 2016 – AKA, my birthday! and ending twenty-two days later (in theory…).

  1. Happy 22 Years To Me
  2. Personal Changes
  3. Is Being A Witer A Risky Career Move?
  4. The Fraudulent Writer | Prose
  5. Instant Culture
  6. Relationships
  7. Why Is My New Novel Is Taking So Long to Finish?
  8. Throwback to the 90s
  9. How to Add a Little Vintage to Your Life
  10. Look book: Summer Author Style
  11. How To Use Social Media To Expand Your Readership
  12. My To-Read List
  13. Me Before You Book and Movie Review
  14. Finding Dory Review
  15. A Bookish Day Out (Writerly Things to do in London)
  16. Doubts Every Writer Has
  17. Why I’ve Never Tried to go Mainstream with my Books
  18. Life After University
  19. How To Motivate Yourself To Write (or do anything)
  20. Short Story
  21. Long Poem
  22. 22 Reasons I’ve Never Given Up Writing (Quick List)

I really hope you guys like the series, and I hope it gives you a bit more of an insight into why I started this blog in the first place.

Peace!

Your Past Made You Amazing | Picture

it made you amazing 13.6.16

Originally posted on my Instagram feed. Follow me at: www.instagram.com/melissaholden94 for more posts like this!

A Writer’s Muse: Myth or Must-Have?

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For as long as their have been story-tellers, there has been the idea of muses. Originally, – in Greek and Roman mythology – they are the nine goddesses (daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne) who presided over the arts and sciences; helping to inspire and create. download

In the ‘good old days’ of Shakespeare, and later the Romantics; ‘muse’ was an everyday term for writers, poets and playwrights alike. It’s well known that crafty old Will would take a lover in town, leaving his doting old wife clueless in the country. (Personally, I hope she got her own back and slept with a hot gardener, but that’s another article!).

So we must assume that other Romantics, such as Byron, Keats, and other stuffy poets that Lit Professors love to chorus on about, must have had muses – or a girl who they sweet talked for a few months before moving on to the next innocent maiden (or servant boy).

However, in the age of selfies, Tinder and Instagram filters, how can we claim to have muses, when the whole social media aspect of our lives is to present a perfect, prettier version of ourselves?

We’ve all been there: you meet someone online and think they’re cute, then you meet them in person and they either look nothing like their picture – or they are a complete and utter bore!  No inspiration found there, then. social-media-marketing-image

As a writer myself, there was a time where I too considered muses to be a thing of myth, or at least only of writing history. But recently, my mind has been changed. Having said that, I would like to clarify a few things.

Muses have changed to suit the 21st century. They are no longer scantily-clad girls or gleaming muscle-men in torn white shirts. They are the everyday people. Our friends, our colleagues, the random faces we encounter everyday.

We absorb so much information through our phones, that sometimes we forget to stop and just look. Look at the dozens of faces that walk past us every single day. They are our muses. That character that appeared out of nowhere in your story? You walked past her on your way to work. That suspicious baddie on page 109 of your new novel? He’s that rude guy who served you in the supermarket.

Our brains are beautiful,  creative, chaotic entities – but they don’t create people out of thin air. Just like our dreams, they pull features, words, accents, gait, height, weight, patterns – all from the passersby you womble past every single day.

So, fellow writers, wanna-be playwrights, and hopeless romantics that name yourself poets: go and find your muse! Maybe you already know them. Maybe you saw them in the cue today. And maybe they just walked past you whilst you had your head buried in a screen. Go find your muse. Go and be inspired.