Guest post by #buqosteamyreads author Halina Cabrera: On the steamy side of things

Taking over the blog for today is #buqosteamyreads author Halina Cabrera!
I would never have finished writing a steamy story if it weren’t for Mina Esguerra’s workshop. I think the discipline of having to write using a specific trope, a literary device (for more info, join Mina’s writing workshops), learning all the background on romance heat levels and alpha males, and having to finish on a specific deadline really helped. So there, a big  thank you to Mina and all my classmates. For all writers who are looking for a push (to finish writing a story): attend a writing workshop now!
Inner Bitch
I liked writing strong female characters. I was challenged when Mina said the main character should NOT be simple/ ordinary. The female character should have an X-Factor that will make the alpha male fall for her.  It was challenging but it was also fun. It was like finally getting permission to let my inner bitch come out. Haha! It was actually quite liberating. But according to one of my beta readers…my bitchy character wasn’t bitchy enough! More practice is in order.
The Steamy Parts
Writing the steamy scenes took a bit of work. Not because I don’t get any practice! That’s a different story. It was challenging because I was writing so fast, my initial readers (beta readers and editor) felt like I wanted to get it over with. (Side note: beta reader and editor feedback are invaluable). The point of writing steamy reads is to get the reader to enjoy the steamy scenes: linger a bit and really make the reader feel (smell, taste, and see!) the action. Maybe that was my way of dealing with the discomfort of stepping out of my comfort zone: by doing it fast. But that’s no way to enjoy anything. The editing process was really a good way to address this.
What helped? It helped to have a picture of my love interest in front of me when I was writing. It’s easy to describe my main characters. But looking at actual pictures helped me be more graphic with the descriptions of my love interests.  I needed to put myself in the reader’s shoes. Who is this guy? Why is he so hot? Why should the reader pay attention to him? Details make a character very interesting. And there’s nothing like having a picture to add more details to the page.
Another thing that made a difference when writing the steamy scenes was having a romantic perspective. What makes a love scene romantic? It’s the…romance. That sounds easy to follow, right? But it’s not. Getting dirty is not the same as getting romantic. This distinction takes some balance. Mina was very emphatic during the workshop that there should be no mistake about what was going: consensual romance. No rape (subtle or otherwise) and no intoxicated sex. I’m glad Mina made this clear to all the writers in the workshop.
Lastly, I liked being part of a community of writers. I felt like I was in this with a lot of other people and it was okay to be in certain spaces: unsure, embarrassed, awkward, not getting enough word count, etc. I got to meet a lot of great people while working on this project. I am eternally grateful to them for the help they gave me.
Shameless Plug
On this note, I’d like to introduce my short stories: Boyfriend-Stealing Bitch and Crashing Into Him, both going up on buqo ( as part of the #buqosteamyreads bundles by April 1, 2014.
Boyfriend-Stealing Bitch: Jess Rodriguez always gets what she wants. That’s why no one in her office has difficulty believing she tried to steal the gorgeous Martin de Guzman from his perfect girlfriend, Eliza. Now, the label “boyfriend-stealing bitch” has been slapped on her. Plus, Martin has to leave for the U.S. and Jess is left all alone to pick up the pieces.
Two years later, Martin shows up in the most unlikely of places: at Jess’s weekend getaway with her boyfriend, Joey. Will it be his turn to steal her away on a hot summer night? Is she finally going to claim the title she was so unfairly given back then?

Crashing Into Him: Hazel Fernandez, certified workaholic and finance manager, and Luis Cortez, fitness buff and gym owner, meet when he crashes his truck into her car. In the first five minutes, she notices that he is one hot guy. But he immediately starts acting like a jerk. She decides she can’t stand him. And she guesses he can’t stand her either. Except that she catches him checking her out.
Then Luis wants to meet about car insurance issues. Will all discussions end with what will be done with their cars or will there be more crashing into each other? Hazel is about to find out one rainy night.
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Another way to thank me (if you found any of this helpful)


About Mina

Mina V. Esguerra writes and publishes romance novels. She founded #RomanceClass, a community of Filipino authors of romance in English.
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