Ever since attempting to read Fifty Shades of Grey, I have found myself preoccupied with the idea of trying to pen some well-written erotica.
I have absolutely no experience with the genre — either reading or writing — other than the heaving bosoms and throbbing manhoods of the rather modest bodice rippers I read (and attempted to write) as a teenager.
Is it all this bad or would the disturbing scenes and images in Fifty Shades of Grey be more palatable, or at least less unsettling, if they had been written by someone with a modicum of talent.
Apologies for being so judgmental of the book, but the writing is extremely hard to stomach.
The characters are one dimensional and it’s littered with exclamations like “oh my” and “wow” and “holy cow.” Words are repeated ad nauseam in a single paragraph and, while fans of the book would disagree, the plot is practically non-existent.
Let’s be honest. The story is simply an excuse for riding crops, leather straps and wooden paddles.
Would I have been able to read the book in its entirety if it had been written by someone like Hemingway or Melville? Or by one of my favorite contemporary authors?
Or by someone who understands that real people don’t think things like “holy cow” the first time they see a naked man?
Or was it the graphic, kinky sex that turned me off so violently?
Perhaps it was a combination of the bad writing and subject matter, with a little disdain for the hysteria the book has caused thrown in for good measure?
The question haunts me and, either because of the literary challenge it presents or my narcissistic desire to prove that I can string a sentence together better than a best-selling author, I have found myself composing a short erotic story in my head over the past couple of weeks.
I haven’t had the guts to commit it to paper yet.
And I certainly haven’t had enough courage to research any sort of erotica online so see if quality sex stories already exist — ones with actual characters and plot lines.
Or maybe I just I don’t want to read more of that stuff.
But for some reason the idea of writing literary (or at least literate) erotica keeps floating around in my brain and I can’t turn it off.
I’m not suggesting that could write anything that would be a fraction of a fraction as commercially successful as Fifty Shades of Grey.
Obviously people like their erotic books plotless and written in short, simple sentences, and that wouldn’t be my objective.
I just have this strange need to prove that you can write well in any genre.
And if I’m able to rise to this challenge and actually dare to write it down, I just might be able to put that whole sordid mess of a book behind me.