1. aClem
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    aClem Active Member

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    Confessions of an Erotica Audiobook sound editor

    Discussion in 'Erotica' started by aClem, Feb 23, 2015.

    I stumbled into this 'gig' almost by accident. I was trying to promote an audio book of my own, which dealt with prostitution, when I was contacted by a narrator of audio books whose specialty is Erotica. She is actually a very competent sound editor but feels her time is better spent doing narration than the drudgery of editing out breath sounds and flubs. She thought I probably wouldn't be offended by the sex considering my own audio book and ebooks. We agreed to give it a shot and as a result I have done quite a lot of work for her. I write the following based on hours and hours and hours of editing, all of which requires that I listen to the stories. (duh) I should mention that I am a hetero male and in my sixties. ,

    Now that you know how and why (for the money, such as it is) I became familiar with the genre, I will offer a few thoughts about what I work with.

    Item 1: Who reads/listens to this stuff? I read an article in Publisher's Weekly that said the primary audience is adult females, and that was pretty much my conclusion even before I read the article. The stories seem to fall into one of the following categories, sometimes both. The first is the "romance" type, which always includes graphic sex. A very common trait of this type of story is that that the end result is a lasting "love" relationship, regardless of how and why the lovers take up with each other. Although there is a heavy dose of fantasy in these stories, but it stays inside the lines of generally agreed upon reality. In other words, a world without vampires, werewolves, succubi and sorcery, etc.

    This leads us to the other type of Erotica I have encountered, which are essentially hard core fantasy novels. Sometimes the stories have a happily-ever-after romance ending, and sometimes not, though those without the romance angle seem fewer in number.

    I will frankly confess that I don't enjoy either type, and my least favorite part of any story is the hardcore part. It's not that I am at all prudish, quite the contrary. What I find unappealing are a couple of things. For one thing, there is so much cliched hyperbole. Every erection is the hardest, every penis enormous, every vagina dripping wet, even penetration deeper than the Marianas Trench. And then there are the synonyms. Engorged Manhood, meet Honey Cave. Ay yi yi!!!

    I am SOOOO far from being aroused... but then again, I do realize I am not the target audience at all. I don't want to disparage the authors of such stories. Writing Erotica that resonates with its audience is as worthwhile as anything written to entertain. The volume of Erotica that sells speaks for itself. My lack of appreciation for it means nothing. I don't like opera either.

    In any event, I thought perhaps writers and potential writers of Erotica might like to hear a point of view that is quite familiar with the genre, but quite alien to its typical readers or writers.
     
  2. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write erotica (hard-core SM, non-romantic). I would say that clichés, hyperbole, and awful synonyms abound in all genres, with less and less to be seen as the quality of the writing increases. Erotica is often seen as an easy genre to write, which is of course untrue.
     
  3. aClem
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    aClem Active Member

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    Doing the editing I do, I do hear some writing that seems (to me) well done, at least up to the point of where it goes into Erotica mode. Bryan, who are your readers, what sort of demographic?. I guess what I like least is the romance/sex mixture I work with. As far as SM goes, I wouldn't remotely try to write any, as I have no 'feel' for it.

    Anyway, I don't want to sound like I am making absolute judgments, only how it strikes me as I encounter it. I briefly considered trying to write some erotica that would appeal to me, but what I envisioned was so far from what I have ever run across I am guessing that relatively realistic eroticism isn't a major part of the genre, if it's part at all. ''

    Good luck.
     
  4. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have I think a fairly diverse reader demographic, both men and women, and of varying ages. I recently had a very positive review of one of my books (a pirate novel) from a reviewer who normally didn't read erotica.

    It is not impossible to have both great romance and hard core sex in a single novel, but I would agree that it takes significant skill to blend the two in a way that is not jarring.

    With regard to realism, you would be surprised. For instance, there is a very large genre of BDSM stories that are based on everyday relationships and adherence to real life rules of safety and care.

    Starting from the classics of erotica such as Fanny Hill, to more modern stories like The Image by Jean de Berg, Forever Ecstasy by Tor Kung, and BDSM themed novels such as the classic Story of O by Pauline Reage or Finding Lovers For Justine by Aran Ashe there are many examples of stories and plot lines that are no more unrealistic than any other kind of fiction.

    Perhaps you should give it a try :)
     
  5. Skaruts
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    Skaruts Member

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    I can confess to be a very sexual person, and get interested by anything that has sex in it (especially if it's about sexual fantasies). Yet I don't usualy consume any of it because what little I have consumed was so riddled with distracting (and unnecesary) fluffery and hyperbole and metaphors and horrible dialogues, that it just threw me off. Sometimes it's also that the story, or whatever is happening in the scene, is just not very interesting, and often seems forced (especially the sex scenes).

    I may be prejudiced for just happening to have read the really bad ones or something, since I never read much, but most of them had one thing in common: they made me go like "What the hell? Sex is sex, not poetry! Geez". It's not that I want it raw (not that I mind it), it's just that I want it believable.

    Movies are the worst, though. Those just make me facepalm. Nearly all of them.

    There was one book I've read when I was boy (and the book was already (probably) older than me) that actually aroused me and engaged me. It was called Memories Of A German Singer. But I have to re-read that to see if it's any good, since I was maybe somewhere around 12-15 when I found it, and a bad book might have had the same effect. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  6. Gisella_M
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    Gisella_M Member

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    There is a LOT of bad erotica out there in my opinion. In fact I would say most of it was bad. I tend towards more realistic plots etc because I find these more arousing, there is very little like this out there though.
     
  7. Spice Fiction
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    Spice Fiction Member

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    Much of the audiobook erotica I've heard has been a case of decent writing, ruined by over-acted delivery. That's why I make my own (bad) erotica and audiobooks of such.
     
  8. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I think I will stick to Warhammer 40K audio books. I tend to watch most of my porn on mute anyway,
    so I can't imagine how Erotica would be ruined by a bunch of excess background nonsense in lieu of a
    story. Granted when it comes to reading Erotica so far, it has been kinda cheesy and highly unrealistic.
    Makes me wonder what people think when they are writing some of it. Granted I have read some pretty
    strange stuff that anyone can find online if they care to look for it. Just not a big fan of the 'out there'
    stuff, or the Urban Fantasy and Classic Monster aspects tossed in these days. Who would want to
    screw Frankenstein's Monster? Nothing says sexy like banging an amalgamation of rotting corpeses
    I suppose. Starting to think some of the stuff written nowadays is based on Cannibal Corpse album
    covers.
     
  9. amerrigan
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    amerrigan Member

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    I have often wished that I could do a survey with women to find the statistics on this. Like - if they really thought the words 'engorged manhood' were sexually arousing or not - and a whole list of other words...

    But I would be swiftly arrested.
     

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