Writing Career Changes for Q4 2023 and the New Year

by Sep 19, 2023Updates, Writing Journey

Well, it’s been a few weeks, which means it’s that time again: time to announce that I’ve once again changed my mind about the direction I’m heading in with my writing. But those of you who know about my constant flip-flopping will be proud of me this time: I only made slight adjustments toward passion in one area of my writing and practicality in the other.

Change #1: I’m Writing More To-Market Dark Erotica Under a New Pen Name

I’ve been considering this one for a while now. I even had the author name, avatar, and Draft 2 Digital profile already set up. As I get more serious about writing novels, I’ve concluded that putting as much time and effort into Taryn Moreau erotica as I do is simply unsustainable. I need most of that time and energy for my novels, especially since I’ve decided I want to put serious effort into making money from my erotica. That means publishing more frequently, which means being less of a perfectionist.

I’ve concluded that I’m a little too precious about my reputation under Taryn Moreau to write stereotypical erotica under the pen name, though, so enter T. M. Sable.

Here’s what’s happening erotica-wise:

  1. I will rarely publish non-romance under Taryn Moreau anymore: Since my talents are simply better served by romance vs. erotica (and most of my longer ideas focus on dark love stories anyway), that’s where I’m choosing to focus my energy as Taryn Moreau. That means I’ll rarely publish on my Smashwords store under this pen anymore (I know, I know, I rarely published anyway LMAO).
  2. Taryn Moreau erotic fiction will become 100% passion project-based: The good news (depending on who I’m talking to) is, when I do publish under Taryn Moreau on Smashwords, I’ll no longer hold back at all for the sake of trying to make a sale. Expect longer, more story-driven non-romance erotic fantasy. 99% of it will still be noncon and breeding stuff. I may publish on my website instead of Smashwords if I decide to write super violent stuff (they consider it snuff).
  3. I’m writing the same exact kinks under T. M. Sable: It’ll be noncon, breeding, and related kinks on Smashwords with, perhaps, more risque or even the occasional Amazon-friendly story in the mix.
  4. T. M. Sable will produce less polished stories: I’m aiming for two rounds of edits—one for high-level problems, one for spelling and grammar. That’s it. I already only self-edited my stories, so there were always mistakes in the published versions, but expect more under T. M. Sable. I’m hoping ProWritingAid will pick up a lot of the slack.
  5. T. M. Sable will write shorter, less thoughtful stories: Expect more standard wank-fodder erotica under T. M. Sable with the titles and covers to match. I can’t entirely help myself, so I expect you’ll still get a little more story and character development than average, but not much. Expect 4-7K words per story on average.
  6. T. M. Sable will still write elevated prose: You can still expect very similar writing to Taryn Moreau because that’s just the way I write, but it may be more straightforward overall. I’m doing minimal line editing under this pen, so you’ll get a higher percentage of “flow state” writing. It might be more lyrical in places and plainer in others.
  7. I may move some stories from Taryn Moreau to T. M. Sable and update others: Depending on how much of a pain it is, I might republish some of my shorts under T. M. Sable and might expand others with more story (and sex scenes) to emphasize the difference between the two pens. Most of my upcoming stories will be published under T. M. Sable.

Whew, I think that’s the brunt of the details on that. I’m just praying that donning a new pen name helps me shed some of my perfectionism and publish erotica more frequently.

Change #2: I’m Still Writing Dark Fantasy Romance, but I’ve Said “Fuck It” to Convention

Here’s a fact about me: I don’t like most romance. As a matter of fact, most romance bugs the hell out of me—mainly, I think, because I’m so unconventional in so many ways when it comes to my actual romantic inclinations (I may, in fact, be aromantic).

Here’s another fact about me: When I find that rare romance that aligns with what I actually am drawn to, it shoots near the top of the list of my all-time favorite fiction. A majority of my favorite fiction of all time has strong dark romantic and/or erotic elements wrapped in speculative fiction.

So yeah. Very dark fantasy romance or at least dark romantic fantasy is absolutely a great fit for me. But I can’t follow the exact plan I set out in Okay, Maybe I’m Selling Out Just a Little, where I said I’d push aside the less commercially viable stuff I liked. I have to write some off-market stuff in order to love what I write and make this a sustainable career.

So here’s what Taryn Moreau the romance novelist will primarily write:

  1. Fantasy dark romance & dark romantic fantasy: Everything I write will have all of that noncon twisted relationship goodness with the same kinks I always write set in the same fantasy and paranormal worlds (mainly fantasy). Sometimes the emphasis will be more on the dark love story and sometimes it’ll be slightly more on the fantasy plot.
  2. More gritty, nuanced HEAs and story beats: Sugary sweet HEAs in dark romance tend to make me mad, make me roll my eyes, and/or just leave me unable to suspend my disbelief. I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to depict toxic, abusive “romantic” relationships, they should take their toll on the participants and should not end in sunshine and roses unless your villain went through one hell of a redemption arc (and who wants that? 😛 ). I would never attack another author who wants the consent violation, abuse, and the head-over-heels marriage-and-three-babies romance (after all, romance isn’t about realism), but you’re not getting that from me. The couple will be together at the end and the heroine will have accepted that, wholeheartedly or otherwise.
  3. Casual multiple partners: And here’s the real career-killer. I love open relationships. Not menage (though those can be fun). Not reverse harem. Technically polyamory, but not necessarily with more than one significant partner. I’m talking your standard open relationship: a man and a woman as the primary couple who like fooling around with other people. Now, I personally love FFM and FMF (and, as previously discussed, female harems), but that might be too outrageously unpopular for me to even attempt in romance. Might still leave that for the erotica. But after literal years of deliberation and getting some feedback from others, I’ve decided I will write MFM sharing scenes at the very least. I probably won’t be able to resist some MM either. And, hell, I probably will get ballsy enough to have the couple fooling around with other women together too. This is my ideal romantic relationship, so I’m going to write about it, damn it.

It’s frustrating. I wish I could be a robot and just write to market because that’s my best bet for making a living as a writer. Better yet, I wished I naturally loved romance in its most conventional iterations. But I don’t. Writing what I love matters tremendously to me and I don’t think I could suppress that no matter how hard I tried.

So hopefully, a little fraction of the enormous dark romance & fantasy romance audience will be willing to read dark fantasy romance with sharing/multiple partners and some same-sex hankey-pankey.


So yeah. If I don’t change my mind again before the year is up, I’m writing more conventional erotica and less conventional romance in 2024. My plan is to start doing both pretty much now, actually: choosing my debut novel project, outlining, and drafting during NaNoWriMo and publishing my first few erotica stories under T. M. Sable. We’ll see how it goes!