posted on June 17, 2020 by tinadonahue

Writing PNR Can Be So Freeing – And Totally Restrictive

I’ve been writing forever, or at least it seems that way. I wrote my first book when I was nine years old. I called it Dimples the Adventurous Flea. Basically, it was about a flea that jumps from dog to dog to ‘see the world’. When he’s on a French poodle, he’s in Paris. An English Bulldog puts him in London. A German Shepherd…you get the drift. I even illustrated the manuscript, made copies, and sold them in the neighborhood to my friends’ parents. My first book tour! J

From there I swung to thrillers and horror in college then finally to romance years later. Within that genre I’ve written just about every subgenre, including thriller, suspense, sci-fi, urban fantasy, erotic, erotica (yeah, there is a difference between erotica and erotic, but that’s a post for another day), contemporary, historical, romcom, etc.

I didn’t try paranormal until a few years ago and found I love, Love, LOVE it. It’s my fave subgenre, along with romcom.

PNR has soooo many possibilities. You can create whatever world you want—there are no limits, which is freeing. However, once you create your world, you had better stick to the facts in it. Even a made-up world has ironclad rules, which drives me crazy at times.

For example in Hard Lust (PNR reverse harem – totally delish), my heroine Megan, an avowed feminist, is condemned to Hell’s second circle Lust and a gentleman’s club called Hard Lust. She’s doomed to serve drinks to demanding demons and to obey Andros, Racan, and Vespar’s every command, since they own the place. Yeah, sure. Although I could have given my three guys any powers I wanted, I had to keep from gifting them with so many it would screw up the plot. If they can do anything without restraint, there’s no stopping them. Even Superman has his kryptonite, right? In my story, my guys can’t read minds, even though the other female servers believe they can, thus controlling any wayward thoughts they might have and their subsequent actions (such as defiance, etc.). Megan quickly discovers the guys’ mindreading is pure BS and uses it to try to escape and get back to Earth. If they could have read her thoughts—or if demonic possession was possible down there (it’s not), she wouldn’t be able to surprise or defy them as frequently as she does. What a shame because they use erotic discipline to coax her back into line. Talk about sexy and fun.

Another instance of creating rules and having to stick to them, were scenes in which the demons drink booze and servers chase chocolate on trays they can’t catch. If they do, the trays zap them before they can snag a treat. No surprise, this is Hell. While writing the book, I suddenly recalled that everyone down there is dead. They don’t need food, water, or booze. So what’s the point of having any available? Then I recalled since this is Hell, the need for food, water, booze, and any other pleasure found on Earth never goes away. In fact, it gets worse over time, kind of like an addiction. That opened up endless possibilities for the demons, servers, and Megan to go chasing after those things, while keeping my world true to the way I’d envisioned it.

My last example also came to me well after I’d written the first draft. Throughout the story, I called Hard Lust a gentleman’s club. However, there are definitely no refined men there such as CEOs, hedge fund managers, billionaires… Again, I needed to fix the discrepancy. Then I had it. Men who would do anything for money wouldn’t be in Lust. They’d land in Greed, which created another scene that worked perfectly for Megan’s quest to escape.

Writing any novel is a matter of fixing details an author didn’t consider when the plot first popped into her mind. I’m not a panster; I’m a plotter. My outlines are often longer than my books, but I can’t predict everything. Something always pops up to make me think ‘oh god, oh god, oh god—how in the hell am I going to fix THAT?’

Thankfully, the solution always comes.

I’m hosting a giveaway for Hard Lust (runs June 1 to August 1). One lucky winner will receive $365 in GCs and ebooks from bestselling authors.

Enter here:



Tina Donahue

Tina Donahue

Tina Donahue is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher's Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic novels (Freeing the Beast, Come and Get Your Love, and Wicked Takeover) were Readers' Choice Award winners. Another three (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the EPIC competition. Sensual Stranger, her erotic contemporary romance, was chosen Book of the Year at the French review site Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for her erotic romance Lush Velvet Nights. Two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer's Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.

2 thoughts on “Writing PNR Can Be So Freeing – And Totally Restrictive”

  1. Thanks for hosting me today! Would love to hear what readers think about paranormal romance. It’s my absolute fave!

    BTW: At the end of Hard Lust is a link to download Wicked Hot, my PNR menage, for free. Two books for the price of one. 🙂

  2. Thanks for hosting me! So what does everyone think about paranormal romance? Do you like vamps, shifters, or other supernatural beings the best?

    BTW: At the end of Hard Lust is a link to download Wicked Hot, my PNR menage, for free. Two books for the price of one. 🙂

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