Until You’ve Walked in My Shoes

The ignorance of some with regards to erotica astounds me. Just like I stated here, what I write isn’t a lifestyle I indulge in. I am, however, very comfortable in my sexuality and monogamous relationship with my husband. I don’t dive into erotica because I’m looking for a shock value either, or as this ‘wonderful’ blog post says:

Readers have their own imaginations and each will interpret events in the most perfect way imaginable without a writer needing to act as a voyeuristic intermediary and spell out every little detail for them. Readers shouldn’t be passive observers in the story-telling process – they should be active participants, using their own wonderful imaginations to fill in all the details and enrich their reading experience. I believe writers have a responsibility to encourage this, not take it away. There is a visual medium that does that perfectly well – it’s called film.

I didn’t choose to write sweet or mild romance because I radically disapprove of erotica. I chose it because I wanted to see if I could capture intense emotion without explicitly describing what everyone knows happens between couples at a time that most people would generally prefer a little privacy. Just as I wouldn’t spy on two people making love in real life, I prefer not to do so in my stories.I feel very clear in my mind about what I want to write – basically, it is exactly what I would want to read myself!

Wait…what? No, no… take your time and read that passage again. Better yet, get the bigger picture and read the whole blog post. It’s mind blogging and about the most misinformed diatribe I’ve ever read to date.

As a person who has published works on the erotic side AND the sweet romance side, I find the above block quote insulting and way off base on ‘what readers want’. It’s been my experience that readers come in various shapes and sizes. There’s a niche for every type of genre out there and to put down one of them as slew of un-imaginative voyeuristic intermediary… really? If you don’t like something, it’s your right to not like it but please please PLEASE stay off your holier than thou soapbox River Dance. Not every book buyer is as close-minded as you are and no one writer has a finger on the pulse of the reading nation. All one can do is speculate or *gasp* give an opinion. Which, by the way, neither is ground in any factual data.

It is the responsibility of the writer to draw the reader into their world. To describe the scenery that the main character sees in their travels. Not describing sex in erotica would be like not displaying the universe in a science fiction flick, leaving out the lasers set to stun. High Fantasy, especially, gives grand descriptions that don’t make me feel like a mindless troll thinking “wow this would be so much better as a movie so I didn’t have to read about the poisonous Yuk plant. Someone could trip and face plant, dying on impact. Then I’d totally know that’s a lethal plant. Gosh darn it. Geesh, this author must think I’m a passive twat”!

The thing with romance is it can vary from just an emotional bond to sensual exploit. I don’t expect dirty language in a romance nor do expect harsh language like (AVERT YOUR EYES, YOU PRUDES!) cock. No matter what genre you write, the emotions must be present to draw the reader in. However it’s my OPINION that when the emotions are overly exaggerated, my eyeballs will roll up into my head as I do my best Linda Blair impression. I also find head hopping, as a reader, quite annoying and amateurish.

In summary, just because someone decides to write out a sex scene instead of a wink and a closed door, leaving the reader hanging on whether they’re playing Scrabble or ‘hide the sausage’, doesn’t mean they are thinking less of their audience.

Hey there’s a word for you.. Audience! Definition:

      a. The spectators or listeners assembled at a performance, for example, or attracted by a radio or television program.
      b. The readership for printed matter, as for a book.

The second one pertains to the author’s audience. Is someone who goes to Halloween 20½ going to be lined up to see some quirky romance about two lovebirds discovering their feelings? Most likely, I would answer no to that question but I’m not so narrow-minded to think that those people don’t exist.

Give readers some credit and don’t belittle their choice of reading material. It’s bad form. Dip your feet into the shark tank for more than a mere nibble to get the feel of the world. There’s too much to experience out in the world. Give a little respect to those who work just as hard as you for that first publication. They deserve it as much as you do.

Also, please note that I allow comments on my blog posts. Novel idea, right? …or should it just be a movie?