by Daddy X
When I first stared writing erotica, I was desperate for someone to read my work. Momma X (greatest editor on earth) isn’t interested in erotica. And friends? They’ll say either what you want to hear, because they don’t want to hurt you, or, they never speak to you again. :>)
I’m sure there’ve been such times, frustrating for everyone, times before getting to know and appreciate the supportive folks in this erotica-writing community.
After an introduction by a mutual friend (call her Elaine) I approached a local mainstream author with professional editing skills. She was between projects, and though never having considered writing or editing erotica, she agreed to have a go. I sent a check as a retainer.
The following (except my comments within parens) is her report, word for word:
9 June 2011
As you see, I’m returning your check.
(See notation on check)
Let me explain a bit. I read the stories in the order in which you described them, began making notes about such matters as run on sentences and phrases, and in the particular problems as I saw them with each one, as in The Gift when it was difficult to know the age of the first person narrator. A man of, say, 75, fanaticizing like that about a teenager has a creep factor beyond dirty old man. Good closing scene of the girl’s lover recognizing your (sic) lust, and showing her dominance, I wrote, then went on to Stairmaster, (avail. The Gonzo Collection) noting some funny lines, eg, “The ladies frequenting the apparatus right in front of me are quite concerned with their posteriors. So am I.”
(Stick with it. This builds)
Puzzlement got the best of me in “Case Closed” about the trio in the car, and “Tenters” (First ever submission, Naughty Nights Press. First acceptance. Batting 1000 for a while. Yay! Now avail. Brand X) when I didn’t know if the reader is supposed to think the man’s wife is in bed alone or not. I thought she was. There is a good description of the girl with “bright rosy cheeks and dimples of the Anglo Celts over fine and fair Norse skin, accentuated with the full black tresses, dark features, and even darker passions fathered by Roman seminal overflows from occupied England.” But I was confused by the back-and-forth narrative. In retrospect, I appreciated that at least in this story, everyone was willing.
As for “Phyllis Diddle”, I didn’t know if the language was mock-offensive or real offensive.
Finally I read, skimming some passages, “Suasion” and “A Woman In My Position”. (Gonzo Collection; previously, ERWA Gallery and Treasure Chest) I found the depictions of the humiliated women, written in the first person, so excruciatingly offensive and pathetic, that I realized whatever I might have to say about scenes, voice, and more—basic editing advice—would be impossible for me to give. I could not overcome my discomfort at their appalling self-hatred and wretched lives. Some may consider there to be philosophical elements, but to me everything was obscured by sado-machochism. (sic)
So, rather than spend more hours trying to put together helpful suggestions for the collection as a whole, I am bowing out, gratis. I know Elaine considers you a friend and fine person, and that made me decide to agree to read the stories. By the end, though, I had to recognize that whatever your work needs, I am not the right editor for it.
(Name deleted to protect the innocent.)
That obviously didn’t deter me. I figured if she came on that strong, the work must be effective on some level.
At that point, I took some workshops with Susie Bright, who was apparently impressed with my stuff and referred me to the Erotica Readers and Writers Association. The kind folks at ERWA and editor Lisabet Sarai helped turn these stories into quality products.
I haven’t asked ‘Elaine’ if the woman ever mentioned anything.
The Gonzo Collection http://www.amazon.com/Gonzo-Collection-Daddy-X-ebook/dp/B00WLGVP0K/
Brand X https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DONG9R2/#nav-subnav
Or, hit the cover at your right.