Saturday, October 28, 2006

Thrills and Chills

I went to Equal Writes in Long Beach today for a session with San Diego writer D.C. Elmore who writes mystery, suspense, and horror. It was a great class. Most of what she said covered writing in general. She took time to discuss works in progress with each person in the room, and she had some insights that went right to my problems with a chapter, so I was very glad I went.

While I was at Equal Writes, I talked to the owner about leading an erotic writing class. The weekend before Valentines Day sounds like a natural. I have to check with Jolie Du Pre and see when she thinks Iridescence will be released. I'd like to have a recent anthology to pitch while I'm leading the class.

While I don't write horror, I've recently taken a deeper interest in it, which is another reason why I went to the class. I've come to believe that horror and erotica are closely related. More than any other genres, they manipulate the reader into physical and emotional reactions. (Don't fuss. All writing manipulates the reader. Don't believe me? Have you ever wept over a chick-lit book? Ever sympathized with a character who was a thief or killer? Think that happened by accident? Erotica and horror are simply less subtle about it, and go for a more extreme reaction.) There's even a subgenre (sub of which, I'm not sure) of erotic horror. Erotic horror doesn't work for me, maybe because while arousal and fear may feel the same physically - increased pulse rate, sweating, increased adrenaline - the emotional reactions are opposite ends of the spectrum. Still, I'm exploring horror and the language it uses to see why it's so effective at pushing buttons. When I better understand that, I think my erotic writing will be stronger.

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