27 April 2015

Revising and editing erotica - what's your story?

I'm currently taking a little break from revising and editing Demon's Embrace to write you this post. Marketing or laziness? You decide!

I wanted to have a quick discussion on revising and editing erotica and how it differs from other genre or literary fiction. If you're an enthusiastic reader or writer of erotica and you know good writing when you see it, you know that much erotica out there could stand some improvement. Do readers truly not know or care what they're reading is full of misspellings, grammatical errors, and cliches? Some don't care, of course, but generally it's a more literate person who reads erotica instead of watching porn. Erotica readers want words, not pictures. That's why they're reading and not watching. And if they want words, they want good words. Correct words. Sexy words.

That's why I care about grammar and spelling and simply having good writing. Much erotica is throw-away profiteering, this I know.

Me? I'm writing what I enjoy, and I'm confident that eventually that's going to translate into die-hard loyal fans and a decent income for me. I guess we'll see.

Non-erotic fiction often goes through several revisions and editing stages, whereas erotica does not. I've seen it advised to give it a once-over and then publish it. I am combining revising and editing together into the same stage, though. I'm going about probably more thoroughly than many would.

The biggest slow-down for me during this is changing the point of view from first person present to first person past. I'm reluctant to do this, I really wanted first person present to work, but it's just too awkward and I found myself slipping too often into past tense or dancing around the wording to make present tense work.

At around 40k words, that's going to be a fair bit of work, but certainly do-able. It's also something I won't have to do again for the rest of the series.

Other than that, I'm going through looking to make my word choice more economical, clearer, and more correct concerning details, like names or the order in which the action occurs. Making sure that certain props don't come out of nowhere or mysteriously disappear (and no, I'm not writing a screenplay, but the word prop is just endlessly useful when talking about writing fiction, too).

What's your story? What's your revision and editing process look like? Or do you farm out editing?

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  1. Hi Bryce!
    In my other life, I am a professional editor, so I see a lot of writing that needs improvement and can recognize (and appreciate) good writing when I see it. I've tried to churn out work and not pay attention to editing, but I can't bring myself to publish my work if it's below my standard. So I have tried to become more efficient when it comes to the editing process.
    I believe you should write to the audience you want to attract, which are people who can appreciate the quality of your writing.
    Unfortunately, there will always be people who cannot tell the difference when it comes to the quality of the writing, but can tell a good story when they read one. :)

    1. Hi, Jayne, thanks so much for your comment. I agree with everything you say. It's ironic and also disheartening that the more careless I am the more I would sell because I could simply write and publish faster.

      Standards... what a bitch, yes?

      Ah, well. If I get to write the kind of dirty stories I want to and SOMEBODY appreciates them enough to buy them, I'll consider that success.