Saturday, March 15, 2008


Marcy Sheiner was kind enough to feature my story Grit on her blog.

Grit was the first story I sold. At the time, I didn't think voyeurism was sort of out there as a kink, but then again, the first story I published (The ERWA website asked for it. A huge moment in this writer's life) was an extreme kink story with a lesbian protagonist, and I thought it was kind of sweet, so that tells you how naively kinky I was going into the world of erotica. (afterthought on this comment: I assumed that people who read erotica would be open minded about sexuality. Uh. No. Apparently, many hetrosexuals who have no problem reading or writing any level of kink with straight characters get violently angry about anything GLBT, even though there was no "on screen" sex in my story. One reader haughtility reminded me that decent people read erotica, and I shouldn't subject them to such things. Um. Okay. So don't read my work. I'd hate to think I was doing something irreparable to your mind, like opening it.)

I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating - I owe a great deal of my writing success to Marcy. Not because she bought my story, but because of the way she edited it. That was the best writing class I ever took. Yes, it hurt my little ego to see the pages dripping with red ink (And she liked this story? was my first comment), but I decided to learn from what she'd done instead of having a diva moment. And man, did I ever learn. Marcy changed the way I told stories. She taught me to sharpen my focus and get into it instead of taking a long running start at it (A problem I still struggle with, but at least I'm aware that it's a problem.) She made me tighten up repetitive lines. She edited out passages of narrative interference and stay on the action.

Now that I've sold many more stories, I'm aware of how unusual it is for an editor to put that kind of time and effort into a story. That was a real gift from her, one that I appreciate every time I write a story and see my bad habits creeping in. So thanks again, Marcy, and thank you for featuring my story.


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

"Decent people read erotica." I love that.

Love --

Kathleen Bradean said...

I actually agree with her. My definition of decent is far different from hers though, I suspect.

Do you have malice in your heart toward people you don't know? And would you like to impose your choices in life on them to reassure yourself of your moral superiority? - then you fail my decency test. Pretty much everyone else makes the cut. I like a crowded dance floor.

Marcy Sheiner said...

Kathy--I just discovered your blog and the wonderful sweet things you had to say about my editing. Thank you so much. I really love working with writers like you, who, as you say, decide to learn from editorial feedback rather than having a "diva moment." And yes, I loved and still love "Grit."