Saturday, 29 September 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey: My view on erotic writing.

Here it is for anyone that might have missed it. My words of wisdom on the whole Fifty Shades phenomenon. 

With thanks to John Woodhouse of The Sentinel for his great interview over the phone, I quote, 

Feeling the effect of Fifty Shades by John Woodhouse.

Extract from an article in The Sentinel Magazine…15. 09.12

What does it take to be a top class erotic author? What’s the blueprint for the next EL James?
       One person who’s tried her hand at the format is Misha Herwin. The Basford writer wrote The Devil’s Music for the Black Lace brand that dominated the market in the 80s and 90s. That was 20 years ago and now a successful children’s author, she almost takes it as a compliment that the story was eventually rejected.
        “It came about,” she recalls, ”because I’d sent off another novel I’d written and someone who read it said I wrote good sex scenes- they suggested I try Black Lace.
       “I actually wrote a historical black magic, erotic novel, but the problem I found was how do you fill an entire book with nothing but sex? There’s got to be a story and there’s got to be people and relationships.
      “I thought there’ll have to be a good sex scent in every chapter-surely that will be sufficient. But the problem is how do you keep that going? How, when you are telling a story as well, do you sustain it? It’s complicated.
       “To write an erotic novel is not as easy as people might think. It’s actually very difficult to do it well. You can’t just write endless sex scenes, there has to be a narrative. You could say that it’s to EL James’s credit that she managed to keep the story going.”
       The other difficulty for any writer thinking they can make an easy killing is how to walk the fine line between the erotic and the pornographic.
       “Erotic fiction is a different genre altogether,” says misha. “It’s about sensuality whereas pornographic writing is simply the biological and the physiological. Erotic fiction might imply something whereas the pornographic is just graphic sex. I haven’t read all of Shades but from that point of view it seems quite pedestrian.”
       Misha, a member of the Renegade Writers’ Club a 15-20 strong group which meets at the Red Lion in Hartshill, still has the manuscript for The Devil’s Music, but it’s a genre she’s left far behind. The married mother-of –three is now an established and successful children’s author. Her output is still quite hot- but only because it features dragons.
      Indeed she wonders if, in all the fevered Fifty Shades chit-chat, we haven’t missed a somewhat startling part of the story. “I find it worrying that children can pick it up in a supermarket,” she says. “There’s no “special” shelf in a bookshop, no watershed like on TV. I’ve heard of kids as young as 12 and 13 reading it. Is that the picture of sex we want them to see? I think that’s a problem that’s not been thought through.”

1 comment:

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