Friday, November 4th, 2011 • No Comments on Answering Questions About Erotica (Sort Of)
I’m chugging along on my NaNoWriMo novel, but I’m working on some other stuff, too. This week’s Oh Get A Grip! theme is a question—“But is it erotica?” I have contemplated this question in various forms since I first started writing erotica back in, oh hell, over 10 years ago. I’m afraid I don’t really have any answers, but I do offer up some of my observations:
I’ve noticed an interesting trend in literary fiction, both in novels and short fiction. Stories that are published by highbrow literary publishers often contain some extremely raunchy sex. I can’t be the only reader who finds some of those sex scenes arousing, yet the stories and books aren’t labeled erotica. Why not? Publishers choose labels and market the books accordingly—but what role do the authors play in keeping that erotica label off their stories?
Two writers can write essentially the same story and it will be labeled differently. Two writers can write a similar stories about, say, a woman who enjoys rough sex and seeks out sex partners on a kinky adult website. Both writers can describe the sex in graphic detail, along with how much she enjoys it physically and emotionally. The stories can be identical right down to the concluding scene—and that one scene will make the difference between whether the story is considered “erotica” or “literary fiction.”
What would the difference be? Do you know?
You can read the answer (according to me) and the rest of my column here: Legitimizing Erotica
P.S. My NaNoWriMo count is up to 7287 in 3 days. I’m not breaking any records, but I’m pleased with my progress so far. If you’re participating in the “thirty days and nights of literary abandon” please add me as your writer buddy! (Even if you’re one of those amazing writers who makes me feel like a slacker because you’ve already hit the 10,000 word mark!)
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 • 2 Comments on My NaNoWriMo Novel
I had no idea if I was even going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. It’s crazy, given everything else I have going on. But I love a challenge and I’ve missed noveling and I really wanted something to bring me back to center (center being fiction writing). So I decided I would participate if I could figure out what to write. Writing a book in a month is an exercise in stamina and I knew I needed a story that was fun, fast-paced and able to hold my attention through 30 days and nights of writing. It was late Halloween night—maybe an hour before midnight—when the idea finally clicked. Maybe it was the Halloween influence, but I decided to tackle the idea that I’ve been carrying around for a couple of years.
My NaNoWriMo novel is based on the characters in my erotic vampire story “Cutter” in D.L. King’s anthology The Sweetest Kiss. From the time I wrote it early in 2009, I thought the story had the makings of a novel. I even blogged about turning it:
In all the craziness of this year, I had kind of forgotten that I had contemplated spinning “Cutter” into a novel. I had to develop such a back story for the female human protagonist that I found myself thinking about her long after I submitted the story. I still think she would make a great anti-hero for a series. I need to revisit the idea when my life calms down a little. Or just when I’m not pregnant anymore and get my creative energy back. (From Sweet Vampire Erotica, October 16, 2009)
I read that now and laugh. I was pregnant with Patrick at the time. And here I am, two years later with two babies and I’m finally getting around to working on this novel. Better late than never, yes?
In any case, my NaNoWriMo novel (which I’m calling Cutter for the moment—new title to come) picks up a couple of years after my story, “Cutter.” I’m thinking I might include the story as a prologue, though I don’t know if the book will match the erotic tone of the original short story.
So far, I’ve written a couple of scenes and I’m rediscovering the characters. Evelyn and Kallinos were very vivid personalities in my mind when I first wrote the story and they’re still there, waiting to be teased out of hiding. I reread “Cutter” for motivation and I’m thinking I might post it, either here or on my NaNoWriMo page. Reviews are also lovely motivators. If I could write a novel that even came close to matching this reviewer’s description of the story it’s based on… well, I’d have a hell of a novel.
And then we reach Kristina Wright’s Cutter, a spectacular tale and easily the best in the book. A Las Vegas dealer meets a vampire and finds a brand new way to get rid of her pain; part fantasy wish fulfillment and part insightful characterization, Wright’s tale speaks eloquently of need, desire, and the beauty of surrender.
God, I wish I wrote that well. Do I? Really? Right now it’s just about getting the words down. I’ll worry about making it beautiful later.
(If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, please do add me as a writing buddy! Let’s help each other get to November 30!)
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 • No Comments on NaNoWriMo, Day 2
Just tired. Not much sleep last night.
I knocked out some words yesterday. 2898 for NaNoWriMo and 2215 for a story I was trying to get submitted by yesterday’s deadline. I finished the story, polished it up and got it sent off before midnight. Not bad. I wish every day could be like that. True word bliss.
I haven’t written that many words in one day in at least a year. I was thinking about the why of it. After writing nearly 3000 words on the novel, I was motivated to write a 2200 word short story and submit it—something else I haven’t done in awhile. Maybe NaNoWriMo inspires me to write regardless of whether I’m writing the book or something else. In any case, I love it. I love the feeling of putting the words down, watching a scene or story come together. There’s really nothing like it.