Wednesday, March 7, 2012
What is Erotica?
I have a friend and fellow writer, R.E. Butler, who recently wrote about the difference between romance and erotica, Classifying Romance and Erotica. Reading her blog made me think. I know the publisher norms for romance are that it must have a likeable heroine, a problematic romance, and no matter what there must be a HEA (Happily Ever After) or at least a HFN (Happy for Now) ending. I also tend to see romance novels as having sex throughout, but using silly or flowery words to convey it.
Now erotica is more about the sexual encounters. It may have romance, but you know that as you read it you are going to get HOT. It is not safe to read erotica around family or employers (unless it's your spouse), because you are going to get horny if it is well written. The storyline requirements for erotica is not limiting and the words used are real words spoken in the bedroom.
There have been a few short stories that I have read on Smashwords that were labeled as erotica, but in my opinion fell far from the mark. Just because you say the characters had sex does not make it erotica. If you don't take me into the mindset of the character and detail what they are seeing, doing and feeling then it is not erotica to me.
I do like romance with my erotica, so I am happy to read a storyline that sets up the characters and events. But don't leave me hanging! I recently read an erotic storyline between a police officer and an FBI agent thinking, "Oh yeah, oh yeah. This is going to be good!" The author kept hinting at this delicious and naughty scene and then did not deliver at the end. She skimmed over it and I was left panting and desperate for more. Grrr...
When I write erotica, I want you to experience what my characters are experiencing and I design it to excite you. If you read my work and it doesn't get the juices flowing, then it is not a successful story in my opinion. Now, if you don't care for my endings - hey, I'm sorry. I'm not 100% sold on HEA endings. :) Just saying...