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Jae Baeli
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Number of posts : 103
Age : 55
LOCATION : Denver, CO
JOB/HOBBIES : Author, Editor, Artist, Webmaster, Singer-Songwriter
FAVORITE AUTHORS : Dean Koontz, Jeff Lindsey, Laramie Dunaway,Darian North, Richard Dawkins, Raymond Obstfeld
GENRES IN WHICH I WRITE : Novels, Stories, Technical, Business, Academic, Scientific, Copy, Scripts, Journalism, Memoir, Humor, Essay, Blog, Reviews, Poetry, Lyrics
Registration date : 2008-11-22

PostSubject: Random Act of Fiction   Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:36 am

The book I am working on now is an expansion project. Random Act of Blindness began as a short story for an erotic publication, grew into a novella, and now, I am expanding it to a full-length novel. This project is dear to me because I am trying to do something that I don't think happens very much in the genre: making a truly erotic story rich with all the elements of any other good novel.

I have always wondered why erotica seems to be sequestered in a dark corner, like a misbehaving red-headed step-child. Why can't we have stories that are interesting, filled with three-dimensional characters, and a plot that keeps you turning pages? Why are erotica and quality fiction so often mutually exclusive? I mean, we all know that we all have sex (unless we don't, and that's another subject). So why do we pretend that sexual activity is not a part of our existence? It is at once one of the most motivating factors in our every day lives. It melts hearts, it wrecks marriages, it defines us, moves us, reveals us, and keeps us in touch with both our humanity and our spiritual selves. So why do we pretend, in our fiction, it is only an afterthought?

Perhaps the crux of the issue revolves around the degree to which we describe our sexual encounters in novels. But then, I have to wonder if this is some atavistic mentality that smacks of our historical shame regarding the sex act itself. I contend that sex is not dirty, unless you haven't bathed.

Another challenge I have found with Random Act is that in expanding a story like this, one can only show the characters having sex so many times before it becomes tedious. It has to become, to a degree, less about the sex, and more about the characters and the story. This precarious balance I seek will no doubt make me a better writer, if I manage to pull it off. It remains to be seen if any publisher finds it a viable and respectable offering in the fiction milieu.

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Jae Baeli
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 103
Age : 55
LOCATION : Denver, CO
JOB/HOBBIES : Author, Editor, Artist, Webmaster, Singer-Songwriter
FAVORITE AUTHORS : Dean Koontz, Jeff Lindsey, Laramie Dunaway,Darian North, Richard Dawkins, Raymond Obstfeld
GENRES IN WHICH I WRITE : Novels, Stories, Technical, Business, Academic, Scientific, Copy, Scripts, Journalism, Memoir, Humor, Essay, Blog, Reviews, Poetry, Lyrics
Registration date : 2008-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Random Act of Fiction   Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:50 am

UPDATE:: I am close to being finished with this project. The composition part of the last quarter, that is. I'm trying to gel the ending--I'm RIGHT THERE, but i don't want to cop-out. Many authors do this, even if they are well-known and successful. You get this sense that they were just ready for the project to be over so they could start on something else, and there's this vague sense of being cheated at the end. I try really hard not to do that. So the ending will snap together as soon as I give it more thought and maybe a little brainstorming and research.

Currently, it's 46,231 words, which is a short novel, and maybe just beyond novella status.
There is a precarious balance here between telling the story as it needs to be told, without padding for word count. I don't believe in that. There are parameters, but if you have to force something just for the sake of word count, you run the risk of compromising your writerly integrity. I don't have a problem writing full length books, (one I'm working on right now is 600 pages...which is somewhere around 118,000 words, last time i checked it). But in relation to Random Act, I don't want to degrade this story by pushing it.

My concerns about juggling erotica with other elements of plot and character development seems to have solved itself just by applying the same methods to this book as I have others. If there is enough going on, and the right number of characters, the plot still moves, is still engaging, and the sex scenes are just like titillating icing on a cake.

I still have to start at the beginning with other edits: formatting, line-edit, syntax, etc--all those things in the polishing stage that make a book the best it can be (Until tomorrow, when I learn something else and feel I should apply it to every last word I've ever written...that's a somewhat aggravating tendency on my part.)
hateread

I'm sure I will have more thoughts about it at a later date--usually I learn a whole list of things each time I write a book.

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