Thursday, 19 July 2012

Erotica or Not to Erotica...?

So far, the most-viewed post on here has been the facetious little article I wrote on Fifty Shades of Grey; a book I had no intention of taking seriously, especially as there was no recognisable plot and the most interesting part were the emails exchanged between the two main characters! Yet, it generated such interest and the reason, of course, is the amount of erotica the book itself contains, particularly the BDSM kind.
Personally, if my partner came anywhere near me with a smile and a whip, he'd soon learn the meaning of pain! And I don't mean in a kinky way.
That said, Fifty Shades, is not so much a love story as a sex fest; a manual describing how to seduce a virgin to the dark side. And it explores that in intimate detail.
And that's the issue here. How much is too much? Has the gauntlet been thrown down to writers  - of any genre - to include such explicit scenes in our books?
As they say, sex sells. And there's no doubt E.L.James, the author of Fifty Shades, is laughing all the way to the bank. She's already sold the movie rights. Actors are lining up to play the two leads. But really, who needs acting skills when all they do is sex! Although, I do have to admit, there are times when a woman has to give an academy award performance in the bedroom to assure her partner that, yes, that was the best orgasm she's ever experienced! But, I digress.
As a writer, of course, I'd like my books to sell, yet do I go down that path to erotica? I enjoy a good love scene as the next reader, but is it necessary to describe every breathless release, each pleasurable touch and exploding...? the rest is your imagination!
For those of us with families, this is a dilemma.
I have eight beautiful nieces -  ranging in age from eleven to twenty-five - who intend obtaining a copy of my fantasy book when it's released in August. After all, I'm one of their favourite aunts!
Do I seriously want them exposed to erotica, particularly the younger ones??
This is my consideration.
So, do I follow the masses and sell out to the devil? Or keep erotica in the bedroom where it belongs, between the cotton sheets, rather then the sheets of a book?
That is the question.


Quixotic Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quixotic Taylor said...

Yes, it is a difficult question to answer. You have a dilemma there!

While you want success as a novelist, you have to ask yourself what is the price you are willing to pay.

But at the end of the day, fads come and go. This "Fifty shades of porn" will also fade. If you look at the greatest novels of all time, how many of them have any erotica? My favourite novels of all time are anything from Jane Austin, the Lord of the Rings series and the Harry Potter series. None of them have explicit erotica in them. They are still great literature. In the end, the best novel do have romance and it is implied that the loved up characters get jiggy with it in after they declare their undying love for each other. That's the way it should be, a good book tells a great story, yet leaves the reader using their imagination about what happens to the characters when they live 'happily ever after'.

Maybe I am too 'old school' but I love the thrill of the chase. By that I mean that I want an old fashioned courtship. I want to learn about the characters when they learn about themselves and I want to fall in love when they fall in love. That is the sign of a great story.

Elizabeth Coult said...

It is tempting to sell out to the devil and write erotica in order to shift books, but at the end of the day that's not what most writers write for. I would much rather be known for the quality of my writing. And, like you, I wouldn't want my family being subjected to that sort of content matter!

Tima Maria said...

Thanks for the comment, Elizabeth. I couldn't agree with you more. I'd rather write something beautiful and romantic that all can enjoy, as the last thing I want is my own family banning any of my books from their kids! That, makes me cringe.

Anonymous said...

no... stay true to yourself. Okay a bit of naughty stuff never hurts anyone but the question is go for quick bucks or something that might stick around long term :)

Tima Maria said...

Yeah, I agree, although there's no denying the pull to go in that direction. Which writer wouldn't the success of E. L. James. But, at what price? I think I'll stick to the old-fashioned romance, with a little added spice.

Danielle Gianni-Corrick said...

Hello =) I'm a new author from new jersey...vampire erotica, and i was searching 'how to promote my book trailer'! Anyhow I came across your blog here, and I just loved it! I think your thinking is great! Now here is my opinion on go with the devil or not...? =)

I'm a mother of 2, married, and have many neices and nephews that I think ...hmmm? Do I or don't I write erotica?

Well than I got to thinking and thought well in my eyes... I'm a creative mind behind these pages. I created these characters because I am an artist! An artist just painting a picture! Now if someone doesn't like your painting, or if a family member feels it was too black... well I would suggest to them that my books are not for them to read, and I appreciate your support, but I do intend on entertaining the world with my creativity and my own style of erotica!
What I am saying is... just write what ever you want to write as long as it's with good intention, you should write what you feel your heart tells you.
My novels I shocked myself W/things I wrote, bur re reading it... I said to myself... 'I' did it! 'I'... me...! I did it! No matter what you write, remember you did it! Yayayayyayayayayyyy!

Danielle Gianni Corrick

Tima Maria said...

Hi Danielle,
Thank you for liking my blog - I have fun writing it! And, welcome to the writing - vampire - fraternity. As you say, write what you enjoy, although not everything will suit everyone - that's impossible. I go with my gut feelings when writing love scenes and if it's a little too hot, I tell my younger nieces not to read it till they're sixteen!
All the best with your writing.