October 31st, 2002


erotica is difficult and I am a snob

I visited an erotica board this morning, one which I have occasionally participated in. I browsed through the stuff up for critique, and, well, [yawn]. I don't want to critique what's up. I especially don't want to ever critique any erotica with no setup, no characterization, no originality. What's eating me is the same old John rules that I would apply to any story, erotica or not: What do we win? Why do we care?

I am a snob, yes.

Erotica is difficult. I think many people do not acknowledge this. I only like to read erotica when it's done really well. I know my own stuff is not necessarily any better than that I am criticizing now, but I have the strangest conviction that it is. And it's okay for me to believe that I have talent in this one thing, and that I can judge others, so long as I don't impose my critical judgements on others.

Part of it is burnout. I have to read erotica to know my market, but there are some tropes I am just tired of. I don't always even read contributor copies in their entirety.

Sometimes I can handle reading fanfic erotica when I can't read mainstream. Well-written fanfic, anyway. Because I know it's not work, maybe. And because it isn't ashamed of what it is.