Posts Tagged ‘erotica’
As a writer of erotica, there are many things I’ve tried to learn from this book. How to make condoms sexy. How to coarsen my vocabulary. When to let my heroine wear knickers with a gusset. And many other tricks of the trade.
But there’s one thing that, for my money, Kristina does better than any other writer of erotica, and that’s to use her sophisticated mastery of language to describe quite complex physical sensations. She does it very simply and accurately and the effect is very powerful.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of her language. What she is doing is very difficult. For she doesn’t just focus on the physical. She manages to dig out and express the emotional roots of desire.
I recommend this book to every writer. Kristina can be lyrical at times but she is never self-indulgent. And when she needs to be crude she is definitively crude. Above all, she strives to be accurate. Her touchstone is undoubtedly herself, her own body, her own desires, her own responses. For this reason alone the book is very daring. Many writers of erotica fall back on well-worn phrases. They do not make best use of the raw material available to them – themselves.
As an example, here is a description of Beth walking along the beach in Brighton.
The wind buffeted me and, every now and again, my steps went crooked and drunken because it was so ferociously strong. It was warm and arid too: my eyes didn’t stream the way they would do in a chill wind. That rushing air had the opposite effect; it made my eyeballs feel strangely dry.
There are some emotions lying beneath the surface of those stark sentences but even if you are not aware of them, because I have lifted the words out of their context, you get a sense of how clinically accurate Kristina can be.
Stephen King once wrote in one of his introductions to Salem’s Lot (June 15, 2005):
So turn off the television … and we’ll talk about vampires here in the dim. I think I can make you believe in them, because while I was working on this book, I believed in them myself.
Whenever I pick up Kristina’s book and re-read her sentences about Ilya and Beth, her vivid descriptions of Brighton, her sharp and swanky dialogue, I believe that what I am reading is real. Because while Kristina was writing this book, it was real.
Not everyone can handle this kind of authenticity. This book isn’t for everyone. Beth degrades herself in ways that are sick and disgusting. She does things that no woman should ever do. But I believe in her. I understand her. I care about her. And for that Kristina earns my everlasting respect.
Every so often I download a batch of free ebooks from Amazon and trawl through them looking for some good writing. Normally I dismiss them after just a few sentences.
This one surprised me because it was literate and fluent. I read it very fast and I was quite entertained. I did a little research on the author and it turns out she is doing very well. This ebook will now cost you a dollar or two, so she is obviously working hard at the marketing.
The book was more or less error-free but the prose is a little loose. For example:
His enjoyment, he thought ruefully, may have sprung from his intense desire to see Candace wrapped in the silks, velvets and satins he purchased.
Or, more to the point, his even more intense desire to unwrap her.
He tried to shake the image of Candace naked with her legs spread wide open before him, begging for him to ram his cock inside her. He needed to focus on the task at hand.
Yeah, shake that image, Charlie boy!
This is a romance in which the man and the woman are both writers of soft porn. Now, when I read a novel I want to escape from the mundane real world that is my daily grind! This is just a small niggle. The characters are not very interesting or credible, even though Ms. Andre is writing about what she knows, but she is a capable author who is raising the standard for self-published romance novels. This is better than some Harlequin novels I’ve read anyway, although that’s not saying very much.
I give it only four stars not because it is not an important, vital book, but because the journal entries are necessarily fragmentary, disjointed and a little hard to absorb sometimes.
This is a book that has to find you at the right time. You could easily become bored or restless reading it if you weren’t in the right mood.
Nin was a beautiful writer and I often think she is misrepresented as a writer of erotica. What she wrote about so well was her sexuality, in all its complexity. In her stories she tends to play down the most important part of herself, her poetic soul. For that reason they are not her best work. Much of her best work is here, in her careful analysis of her sexual responses and her frank, unflinching and persistent process of self-discovery. Do not expect it to turn you on, though. Some of it will make you cry and depress you for days. Some of it will make you euphoric to discover that at least you are not alone.
By the way, I did not like the film of this at all. Not at all.
Hey, who said erotic stories had to be predictable?
With titles like FUNHOUSE MIRROR, NUDES, LISTFUL, RUSSIAN DOLLS IN REVERSE, CAUGHT ON TAPE and many more, these writing exercises really shake up your style and get your creative juices juicing.
I have bought and read just about every book ever published on creative writing and this is one of four I kept.
What I like about it is that many of the exercises can be applied to whatever you are are writing at the moment. You don’t have to stop what you are doing. It’s like adding a turbo charger to your Volkswagen.
Hey, so I can’t drive all right? Don’t mess with my metaphor.
I couldn’t decide whether to give this two stars or three.
The stories were not bad. But they didn’t turn me on. If an erotic story doesn’t turn me on, it should at least be interesting.
Is it asking too much to want some sensual language as well?
It’s very generous of Eden to include four novellas in her book Fall Into Winter. Many writers would have published it as four books and charged you the full price for each. Then they would have brought out two double novellas before finally publishing the quadruple novella anthology.
This is what modern book marketing experts recommend.
But Eden is very generous in lots of ways. She gives us four novellas at once and she gives a lot of herself in each of these four novellas. It’s this generosity that makes them special.
In The Asian and the Austrian there’s a character called Elena. When Elena tells the handsome Austrian that she has given up her job in banking to write erotica, he asks “These are stories about sex?”
“Not exactly,” Elena replies. “They’re not about sex, but they include it.”
Lots of novels and stories include sex. But in Elena’s stories the sex is very explicit and detailed. At least, it must be if her stories are anything like Eden’s.
Part of the thrill of reading Fall Into Winter is knowing, or imagining, that all of the female protagonists are really Eden. Eden in various thin disguises.
In the Austrian and the Asian the disguise is hardly there at all. Elena is Eden at her most naked, her most vulnerable, her most honest.
Because of this, it is a very touching story. Since I am also an Asian who has been to Austria, it is a story that I can very much relate to. The things Elena notices in Austrian culture are the things I noticed too. The sense of place is so strong that at times it is just like being there. And when you are reading erotica this good, that’s exactly the right place to be.
Elena’s observations about being an Asian woman in Thailand are also very accurate. You are not Thai but people treat you as if you are and expect you to behave in the same way. Both Elena and Eden are very good at fleshing out these background details that help develop the characters.
So I enjoyed these stories as stories and I enjoyed them as erotica. If Eden hasn’t already, I urge her to go and conspire intimately with one or two close-bosom friends so she has enough material for her next quadruple anthology. I understand the bees are already buzzing about the blossoms but I can hardly wait for the whistling of the redbreast so I can pluck more fruits from Eden’s bountiful garden.
This book succeeds brilliantly on its own terms. It’s probably the purest form of erotica I’ve ever read. Pure in the sense that it will give you an orgasm sooner or later. Amelia overwhelms you with one erotic image after another. One of them is bound to trigger a reaction; and, once that trigger has been pulled, it’s a sprint to the finish. The pace is relentless and exhilarating. Yet it’s very light-hearted. The stories are witty, imaginative and playful. No-one gets hurt. Whether you dip into it now and then or devour it in an orgiastic frenzy, the clever plots will leave you radiant, satisfied and uplifted. Nice work, Amelia.