Tuesday, July 29, 2008

MORE ON SMUT...

ANTI-SILENCE SOLUTION: Fellowship of the Ring Score; Howard Shore
JAVA PRESCRIPTION: Raspberry Mocha
MOON PHASE: Waning Crescent

First, thanks to the many friends who have popped over to say hey’s and so forth. I am ever grateful to know cyberspace isn’t all cold and alone.

Second…let me ask about humor. Comedy Central has joke of the day which, if you like cats, today is a good day to pop over and read their daily sample. Let me ask…what is the number one thing you look for in a book? (Aside from a good, intriguing plot with characters you love and love to hate, which are, of course expected.) Action? Mystery? Humor? Smut? What? And for the writers, what do prefer to write, what comes naturally, and do you read something other than what you write?

I’ve been reading Stacia Kane’s ‘Being a Sex-Writing Strumpet’ series here: http://stacia-kane.livejournal.com/ and it’s good. Like really, really good. Smut isn’t just smut…it’s deep (no pun intended there) and it’s about more than sex. Every time the characters ‘bump uglies’ the scene should do more than just be a voyeuristic glance at their most intimate moments…it’s a change in their relationship, a character-revealing moment. After reading her examples (and taking a cold shower) it hits me (as ideas often do when I’ve gotten shampoo in my eyes and they’re stinging and I’m feeling stupid) that strong emotions always make for strong scenes. (*Disclaimer: expecting that the emotions are real, viable and the scene is well written, of course.) If characters are having sex and there are not strong emotions bound in it, what’s the scene for? Decoration? Is the lack of emotion showing something? See, it’s DEEP. And gosh, here I’ve been thinking it was just dirty for lechery’s sake. Silly, na├»ve me. And if you haven’t read Stacia’s book PERSONAL DEMONS, you’ve missed out on a great example of that new genre dubbed Urban Fantasy but which is so much more than fantasy stories in urban settings. This book has everything. Good plot. Likable characters. Action. Horror. Smut—hot, hot smut. Even the aforementioned humor. What’s not to love about that?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

FIRST OFFICIAL POST

I’ve noticed that a great many bloggers add a few little tidbits atop their posts. Rather like scene setting, and as a writer I can appreciate that. Well here’s the scene:

ANTI-SILENCE SOLUTION: ROCKET QUEEN/Guns N Roses
JAVA PRESCRIPTION: Sumatra Mandeheling; with peppermint and chocolate
LAST NIGHT’S BLISS POSITION: On top

Well, really, have you seen some of the things people advertise? People admit to listening to Barry Manilow? No, I’m kidding. I actually ripped him off when the kids were little. I’d sing a version of Copa Cabana while changing diapers. Instead of ‘At the Copa, Copa Cabana’ my version went: ‘At the poop-a, poop-a-stinky…’

So. Yeah. That’s the kind of weirdness you will find here. Interspersed with some more serious thoughts, of course. Like….

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I write, market conditions, readers, why my muse seems to be whoring around. Not to offend said muse of course, perhaps I am not listening fully or maybe my skills are not up to the task and she’s kind of using me as a sounding board. Like, if I approve of the idea, she expounds on it and takes it to someone who is more established in the market and leaves it in their capable hands to distribute. Well, I intend to raise the bar. Out there, in the writing community, the competition is stiff, and no I don’t mean only in the smut market. (pun intended)

Let me digress here…

Smut. I like the word smut. I like it much better than porn. Ever been to the grocery store and seen that glow-in-the-dark looking genetically crossed version of broccoli and cauliflower? (yes, I’m digressing on my digression) Brociflower or something? Some geek sat in a lab and said, “I can create a new vegetable with better taste and more vitamins!” Then he wrung his hands greedily and giggled. Well, when I hear the word porn, I think of some mad scientist/genetic physicist deciding to cross peas and corn. Then I see, in my vivid mind’s eye, rows of this tall, willowy stalk topped with a version of corn that looks like peas lined up. Not an ear, not a pod. A poar? An ead? A perd? I mean if you ask, “Pass me an ear of porn, please,” there’s no telling what would end up in your hands. (Pun very much in tended again.) Or in your ear.

So, as you can see, the word smut allows me to not get lost on silly little tangents. Wait…is smut a smurf slut? Do the natives who live on the little island in the south pacific where the marshmallow plants grow…do they make s’mores and live in smuts?

I think the muse gives me nibbles of ideas because she’s messin’ with me.

So where did I start all of this…yeah, market/readers. I have to write the stories that I’m inspired to tell; I can’t write to the market. BUT. But I can look at what is selling, look at what I’ve written, and examine for ways to enhance what I already have to be more saleable. It would seem that deepening character relationships by exploring their sexual natures is really intrinsic. Previously I felt it was private aspects of their life I didn’t need to know about and I didn’t want to share my private aspects either. If you read the top of this post, clearly you see that’s over. In the paragraphs of a book, we are intimate with these characters…they are often in our bed, lounging on the couch with us, laying by the pool, maybe in the tub with us. Why shouldn’t that work both ways?

Who else is out there, who dares read this, and has jumped a hurdle in their writing and noticed a change? Did that first credit make you more confident? Did the editor teach you something valuable? Do share.

Blog Virgin

*insert sound of glass shattering*

Okay. So I didn't just break a bottle of fine liquor over the bow of a nifty, piratey ship about to set sail on a course for what I hope will be a grand adventure, but I have just toasted this maiden blog-voyage with a sip of Strawberry Margarita. Just to celebrate, of course.