50 Shades of Poorly Written and Trite
You read Anita Blake after book 6 (except for Obsidian Butterfly which, hello, Edward) and you'll wish it was 50 Shades level.
I don't have any problem with 70% sex, 30% plot. I think of it kind of like with musical theatre. Pre-Oklahoma, musicals were segmented. Like, now we shall stop and sing! Now we shall dance! with no plot or character development going on in the actual musical parts of the musical, which is why so many old musicals center around show business, since that gave a reason for irrelevant musical numbers.
But Oklahoma, there the songs and the dances to move the plot/characters forward. Since then, that's the overwhelming norm for musical theatre.
So, I think even with 70% sex or sex-adjacent scenes, it's fairly easy to work in character and plot, since in reality, all the sex we have contains characters and plot. Sex is really just an action scene, and action scenes can either be gratuitous where nothing really happens or they can be much more.
However, the Anita Blake series is not 70% sex, 30% plot.
Now, let me say that I stopped paying attention to the AB series around #10 and then had stopped entirely by Narcissus in Chains, which I could not even finish, so this is based upon those books.
My breakdown of everything past #6 except OB is:
5%: Introduction of someone/thing villainous.
5%: Talking about having sex.
5%: Talking about who is/not going to have sex (because Anita is a cockblocker#).
5%: Arguing about who is/not going to have sex (because Anita is a cockblocker).
5%: Negotiating about who is/not going to have sex (because Anita is a cockblocker).
5%: Negotiating about where sex is going to be had (because Anita is a cockblocker).
5%: Inventing arcane rules about where people can place themselves relative to one another upon whatever surface they've agreed will be the location for the sex (because Anita is a cockblocker).
2%: Anita interrupting the sex to insist people reconfigure their positions relative to one another (because Anita isn't just a cockblocker, she's a buzzkill)
10%: Descriptions of what Anita is wearing, which will consist of either:
A. A red polo/t-shirt with matching socks/scrunchie and jorts (typically) or jeans (sometimes), or
B. Some black minidress that Jean Claude ordered from a Frederick's of Hollywood catalogue from 1985 and black heels/boots.
10%: Descriptions of the eye and hair color and hair length (which is always LONG) of the 15 or so guys being juggled at any given time. This suffices for characterization except in the following cases:
A. Huge penis haver.
B. The one with short hair who is the only male character in the series who doesn't want to have sex with Anita. He deserves to be rescued by Tuesday Next for that last bit. Maybe later in the series he started to want to have sex with her but nobody tell me, I can't stand it.
C. Jailbait with ankle-length hair who wanders around wearing satin bootie shorts with white stripes on the sides.
10%: LKH punishing characters based upon various IRL members of the St. Louis LARP and Rec Room BDSM Party scene (because LKH is butthurt)
5% Some sort of participation by one of the three female characters who are not Anita. One is evil, one is a jellus cow, and one literally wriggles on her tummy and kisses Anita's feet every time she sees her (because Anita is a cockblocker and LKH is butthurt)
10%: Dialogue in which Anita is neither clever nor funny nor incisive nor successfully cutting.
10%: Anita being told how clever or funny or incisive or successfully cutting she just was.
5%: Villain being defeated by another sexual superpower Anita just gained like 5, 10 minutes ago.
# Cockblocking, in this sense, can happen to anyone, even if they don't actually have a penis.
[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 11:03 AM, January 25th (Friday)]