An interesting article on the effects writing can have on people suffering mental and physical health issues.
I just knew there was a reason I find writing so soothing 🙂
After my recent posts regarding my difficulties with a medication change and subsequent nightmare of making the adjustment, I was contacted by Healthline.com in San Francisco, asking if I would be willing to promote their article ‘The Effects of Depression on the Human Body’.
I was more than happy to agree to their request. Depression affects a great many people in the world and the more we can learn about the subject and break the taboos surrounding it, the better it will be for everyone.
Please take a moment to read through the article – you many learn something new.
***WARNING*** THIS POST IS A BIT NAUGHTY – READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
In my other ‘life’, I’m an editor for a number of independent authors.
Yesterday, I got an entertaining email from a client – whom shall remain nameless. Below is their email (with anything taken out which would reveal their identity) and my response.
This link, here above, is EVIL. As I’ve told you before (Oh! no I said ”as” again lol), I’m –>trying<– to write something a little bit more spicy… on the naughty side but as you may know already, I may be a naughty reader but it appears that I’m a prude author. ha! ha! true fact.So here’s the thing, I’m almost at 40k, I’m not sure how much longer it will be since it was supposed to be a novella. I thought it was going to be around 30K. Okay, so the thing, I read that article and my heart skipped at least 20 beats. I wrote some of these things and now I feel like crap. I know I can change some of them.. I just want to know what you think about this article…Happy Saturday to you,Author Name Withheld
And below, having considered the evil article in question – are my responses. To make it easier to follow, I have copied the appropriate Erotica Lit Tropes the answer pertains to (but feel free to go and read the full article yourself):
Dear Writer,Readers lap up this stuff. Yeah, I know, I know – Cosmo is suggesting these things need to disappear out of erotica, but the fact of the matter is that they won’t. Ever. Women (and some men) love this stuff – who the heck doesn’t want to think that someone out there is having the perfect sexual experience with the perfect, hottest, sexiest man on the planet?Some of them, I definitely wouldn’t use… but honestly, who wants to read erotica in which the man tries five times to bring the woman to orgasm and fails, or is doing the deed with a penis that you need a magnifying glass to see? Some of the things mentioned in the article are the main things we read erotica for – to be removed from reality and enjoy a bit of fantasy.So in regards to what to use – here’s my definite no-no’s – but only my opinion…2.
“I come undone.” A thing no woman has ever said, either aloud or in her own brain.I agree – ‘I come undone’ is used far too often.3.
Women come from penetrative sex. This usually happens either after never having a single orgasm in her entire twentysomething years of life or never having an orgasm from penetration.It can happen that a woman orgasms from penetration alone (and I can’t believe I’m discussing this with you in an email…lol), but I do think it can be overdone and the majority of women need ahem… a little more than just penetration to orgasm. So as long as you are using penetration and other stimulation in your description (am I editing this, by the way??) I think you’ll be fine.4.
Women never have bad pain or hesitation when he wants to put something up their butts. Be it his penis, a butt plug (Hi, Mr. Grey will you see me now?), a finger. She surrenders all orifices without hesitation no matter what object he wants to put inside her when in the presence of her “sex god.”This isn’t a ‘shouldn’t be used’ – but I do agree that there should be some hesitation on the woman’s behalf about agreeing to everything the man wants to do. She shouldn’t automatically agree to whatever he suggests and I like to see some ‘adult’ discussion between characters as to what they will/won’t accept in their sexual relationship.8.
Quivering thighs caused by sexual arousal. Have your thighs ever actually quivered outside of a really hard inner thigh set in barre burn?No quivering thighs. Ever. End of discussion.12.
UTIs don’t exist. Even if he goes from butt sex to vaginal sex, no condom change or “length” washing in between. This is possibly erotica’s worst lie.I’m surprised this one is on the list, because I’ve read a LOT of erotica, and in the majority of cases, I find authors are writing with the existence of UTI’s being a consideration. In the majority of cases, they talk about condoms, and washing… equipment… So this one really isn’t seen that much in the writing world.15.
The couple does it like seven or eight times a day and still has time to go out to eat and work at jobs. He is always sporting an erection and dealing with it is like a full-time job.I do agree that a guy can maybe do it once or twice (maybe 3?) times in a row – but banging like bunnies all night long and then functioning like a normal personal all day doesn’t really happen. But this one I’m a bit on the fence over – it comes back to that ‘I don’t want to read erotica about Joe Average the Car Salesman who is 5’6″ tall, slightly overweight with a receding hairline and a really small penis, who’s doing the deed with Joan Average who is an accountant with a weight problem, and bushy pubic hair – and they’re going to do the deed once a night in the missionary position and five times out of ten she isn’t going to have an orgasm because she’s got other things on her mind and two times out of ten he’s going to ejaculate prematurely because he got too excited.’Which leads me back to my first point – we are reading erotica because we enjoy the FANTASY of it. I know the male character in the book with the six pack, the huge penis and the never-ending ability to provide amazing climaxes eight times a night isn’t real. Who wants to read real?Hope that helps,Much Love,The Editor xxxxx
After pressing send – I realized I’d got sidetracked (see below for why) and this is the second email I sent to my client…
Oh crap, I missed the ones after the rude Barney picture…18.
She always loves giving blow jobs. And swallowing. She acts like his penis is a damn cupcake or something.Not all women love giving blow jobs. And a lot of women definitely don’t like to swallow. So I think that is overused.19.
All guys are really super excellent at finger-banging. Finger-banging is like the vegan, gluten-free pizza of sex acts. It’s never your first choice from the menu.Not necessarily, but we’d like them to be – which leads back to this is FANTASY20.
Finger-banging in public — like, you’re at dinner with his boss — is common. Unless he is Gumby, his arms are not so long and bendy that no one notices him reaching down and twisting his elbow at an insane angle in order to finger-bang.I don’t really see a lot of this in books – but again, this is FANTASY – not necessarily in restaurants, but some really sexy scenes are written about impromptu, in-odd-places sexual experiences. As long as it’s not too bizarre, or is going to make the reader raise an eyebrow and shake their head – I don’t see the problem.
Okay. Now I’m finished…
And clearly, now I’m finished with this blog post. And I can assure you, this may be the craziest response I’ve ever had to give to one of my clients 🙂 Hopefully, some of you will find it as amusing as myself and my client did.
I’ve been reading a book this week – which is not, in itself, an unusual occurrence. I’m a voracious book lover and read between three to five books a week.
What is different and completely out of the ordinary, is my reaction to the book. I loathed it.
I’m pretty much open to every genre and read a wide variety of authors. I try to finish every book I read, giving it the best possible chance of gaining my attention. Because I tend to leave reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, I do my level best to get to ‘The End’.
With the particular book in question, I made it to ‘The End’, but spent the second half of the book questioning why I was bothering. There are other books in this author’s series, but I will never attempt reading them because of the experience I had reading the first one.
The problem? I hated the main character. In fact, I didn’t just hate her. I loathed her. Abhorred her. Hoped she would get killed before the book finished. I’m not willing to name the author, or the name of the book – mainly because this is only my opinion, but the main character in this particular book was so incredibly self-centered, she defied belief. I couldn’t find one likable feature in the shallow portrayal created by the author.
Creating a character that readers will invest in isn’t easy, but the author in this situation made a shallow facsimile. We all have both good and bad aspects of our personalities – that’s what makes us human. No person on the planet is all good, nor is anyone completely and utterly evil. The most-sainted among us will have done something naughty at some stage in their life. You may be the equivalent of Mother Teresa, but at some stage you must have told a little white lie, stolen a peek at someone’s homework or nicked an extra chocolate from the fridge when nobody was looking.
Equally, the most evil person on the planet must have some redeeming feature, such as loving his mother, or patting a puppy once-upon-a-time, or dropping ten cents in a donation box.
In the book I was reading, I think the author was going for a Legally Blonde/Reece Witherspoon kind of character. Unfortunately, she failed miserably. The main character was completely self-centered, considering only her own situation. She was stupid to the point of needing to be committed for her mistakes. She didn’t care how she hurt other people, only that she ‘got to the truth’ in the case of her boyfriend who was accused of a crime that she was convinced he didn’t commit. Never mind that said boyfriend turned out to be married, and whilst not a murderer, was most certainly an embezzler and a cheat. Forget about the fact that he up and left without a word to her, or that he had many, many annoying and irritating habits which she didn’t like. Other than a cursory examination of her emotions, she was determined to find and rescue him. Stepping all over other people while she was at it.
Add to this her obsession with fashion, her self-obsession and a willingness to auto-dump anyone and anything if it didn’t fit in with her plans and you have a heroine in a book who would be lucky if Mother Teresa could like her. I certainly didn’t.
Balancing a character’s personality isn’t easy. When writing, its all too easy to have a picture in your head of who the character is going to be, what their motivation is and how they’re going to get there. But please, please, please! Remember that your idiot blonde can’t be a complete moron in every aspect of her life. Remember your axe-murderer must have a reason he’s turned out the way he has. Remember your pious goody-two-shoes must have moments of temptation placed in his path. Otherwise, you’ve created a character whom readers can’t relate to and won’t care about.
What you’ve actually created in those sorry circumstances, is a caricature whom readers will abhor. And unless they’re pig-headed like me, they’ll be closing the book before they’re anywhere near ‘The End’.
After my post yesterday, I’ve had queries from people wanting to know how they can link a store with Amazon to their Facebook page – it took a bit of searching to find out how to do it, so I’ve included a link to ‘The Indie Times’ below – where it’s explained. Admittedly, it’s none to clear about how to go about it, but with perseverance, it an be done. Click on the link below to discover how.