Saying it Out Loud

By K D Grace

I had a professor in Uni who taught English
Lit, and much to my chagrin, he focused on poetry. Much to my surprise, I ended
up loving the class, but then forgetting just what poetry does for the soul
after the course was finished.  I’ll
admit to penning a bit of doggerel and quite a bit of angsty verse in my teen
years, but for the most part, I consider myself a poetery Philistine. Sorry Ashley Lister J

Fortunately for me, I do write filth fairly
well, so no poetry required. Then I got invited to my first

poetry slam in
London. I went because I had been invited by my good friend and fabulous poet, Mel Jones. I stayed until the
last poem was performed because I was totally and completely enthralled. Since
then I’ve attended several poetry slams including Ernesto
Velvet Tongue
Erotic Literary Soiree
, and I’m always, every single time, riveted.

While I’m not convinced that I should write
or perform poetry – I shiver at the thought, what I am convinced of is the
power that comes from reading a story out loud. Poetry, at least to me, is
story distilled to its absolute essence. It’s the vodka of the literary world
to fiction’s beer.

I’ve always read everything I write out
loud during the final edit because giving voice to what’s written on the page makes
it real, gives it power, and makes me aware of the weak links that don’t flow
with the cadence of spoken language. I’m often asked if it matters if what I
write can be easily read out loud, but I think it’s essential in story. The
original storytellers, the ones who kept the oral histories of their people,
the ones who were entrusted with the magic, the lineage, the mythology and the
essence spoke their stories out loud, maybe around a campfire, maybe in the
temple, maybe in a cave where artists painted their stories on the walls. Speaking
the story out loud gives it dimension, gives it breath and shape and power.

I’ve been thinking about the power of the
spoken word ever since the reading slam in Scarborough at Smut by the Sea. Yes, I read, but
more importantly, I sat and listened to fifteen other people read. We were only
allowed five minutes, so each reader had to distilled down their reading to the
essence of what they wanted the listener to take away.

I love reading slams for that very reason.
I love being able to take the message in aurally and visually, as I watch the
reader/writer interacting with their work. Here is what I discovered; in those
five minute segments, the sex and the heat of the sex the reader shared with
the audience had way less to do with how much I remembered of their reading,
how much I sat on the edge of my seat holding my breath during their reading,
than the story woven around that sex.

I remember Jacqueline Brocker’s chocolate eclairs
because I could close my eyes and taste the richness of them, the guilty
pleasure of them, the phallic shape of them, the luscious crème filling. I
remember JanineAshbless’ vampires because I could almost feel the sting of the thorns of
those red roses biting into cleavage, drawing little beads of blood.  Breathe, K D! Breathe!

The cadence of words spoken in English is
hypnotic – ambic pentameter that feels almost like a heartbeat. (trying not to
show my poetic ignorance again. Please forgive) The listener can feel it down
deep in the belly. We live and breathe and move and share our stories in that

That the rhythm is hypnotic means it can
just as easily relax us into a meditative state, put us to sleep, send our mind
off wondering as it can excite and invigorate us. It’s when story is woven in
with that hypnotic rhythm that our whole body sits up and takes notice. We
experience a good story with far more than just our eyes on the page. A good
story is visceral, and the more senses it touches, the more powerfully we
experience it and remember it and long for more of it.

‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but
words can never hurt me.’ SOO NOT TRUE! Words have power! Lots and lots of
power. And words spoken out loud have even more power. I think it’s really easy
for writers to forget that, and a reading slam or a poetry slam can bring that
fact home in a very real way. The rhythm of the spoken word can easily enough
put us to sleep. That’s true. But the

rhythm of the story boiled down to its
essence, read out loud can inspire, excite, stimulate and change us. I remember
the story read out loud, and I want more of it. That sex is a part of that
story makes the sex more visceral and more arousing.

Reading out loud has always been a test for
me. If I read my sex scenes out loud and the story doesn’t demand them, require
them, use them, need them, then they don’t belong. Reading out loud exposes the
true essence of the story in a way that nothing else can do, and hearing other
people read their stories out loud is a very intimate experience for the
reader/author and the listener. The sharing of stories out loud links us back
to roots older than written language, back to the roots of story itself, forged
in the experiences and the myths of our ancestors. We writers share those roots
in a powerful way, and it’s good to be reminded of our role as the Keepers of
Story by clearing our throats, opening our mouths and giving our story voice.

Sex, Chaos and Story

By K D Grace

Happy Birthday to me! Well ERWA birthday at least!
As of today I’ve been writing for ERWA for a whole year. Where has the time
gone? So much has happened in a year, and yet it seems like only yesterday I
wrote my first post about inspiration and mythology. Traditionally birthdays
are a time to celebrate, let your hair down, wreak a little havoc and raise a
little hell. Oh wait a minute … That’s writing I’m talking about, not birthdays.
Writing, plot, story — there’s no place better to raise a little hell, and we
writers know it’s the perfect place to let our hair down vicariously.

In my opinion, there are few things a writer can do
to a story that will kick-start it quite as much as creating a little chaos. A
calm and happy life in the real world might be just the ticket, but in story,
there’s one word for it – BORING! A story is all about upsetting the apple
cart, breaking the eggs, turning the bull loose in the china cupboard and —
heart racing, palms sweating – seeing what happens, while we’re safely
ensconced on the other side of the keyboard/Kindle/book.  Oh yes we do love that adrenaline rush — at
someone else’s expense!

One of the best tools for dropping the character
smack-dab into the middle of the chaos  –
and the reader vicariously – is sex. And the more inconvenient, the more
inappropriate, the more confusing, the more SO not what the character was
expecting, the more delicious the chaos will be.

The thing about those big brains that I spoke of a
few posts back is that they like to make us think we can control all the
variables. The thing about the biological housing for those big brains is that
it doesn’t always want to be controlled. Oh and that big brain, well that means
there’s all sorts of stuff going on up there that can lead us down the
havoc-wreaking road to sex and chaos. It wants what it wants. And the ole grey
matter can be so damned stubborn at times. Oooh! I get goose bumps just
thinking about what happens when the big brain gets a hankering and the
biological soup starts overheating and sex happens.

If we look at Western history from the point of view
of religion and its effects on culture, there are few things the religious
powers that be have made more of an effort to control than sex. And in story,
in myth, there are few things that have caused more chaos than a little rough
and tumble in the wrong place at the wrong time. Troy lost war and was
destroyed over it, King Arthur’s realm fell because of it, David had
Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, killed because of it.

The resulting chaos that sex unleashes in a story
can be nothing more than to create self-doubt in a cock-sure character, which
is always a delight to see. Or the resulting chaos can be world-destroying, and
anything in between. Sex can cause the kind of chaos that will make the reader
laugh, or the kind of chaos that will make the reader say, ‘if only they hadn’t
done that.’  However, the one thing sex
should never do in a story is leave things the way they were before it
happened. Can it be used for bonding? Of course! But the tighter the bond, the
more chaos can be caused if that bond is tested or broken. I shiver with
delight at the thought.

And because our big brains don’t give a damn if our
sexual thoughts and fantasies are ‘socially acceptable,’ nor is it
discriminating about who we might have those thoughts and fantasies about, the
resulting internal chaos can be almost as delicious as the external – maybe
even more so. That lovely mix of guilt and desire and self-loathing and arousal
and denial and shear over-heated lust. OMG! It’s a total writer’s paradise
there for the taking.

I’m sure I’m like most writers in that I analyse
what I read for pleasure in terms of what worked and what didn’t, what I would
have done if I’d written it, and what I’ve learned from the author’s writing
skills that can be used to make my own writing better. I have to say one of the
biggies for me is how well the author uses chaos to move the story forward at a
good pace; and especially how effectively sex is used to create chaos.  I’m sure I pay a lot more attention to how
sex is used in a story (or not) now that I write erotica, but it’s the
resulting chaos that fascinates me and keeps me reading in almost any kind of novel.
The world is not a static place, and especially the world of story should not
be static. Happy endings are called happy endings because they are at the end.
They follow the chaos and happen when the story is finished. There is no more
story, or at least none the reader wants to follow. It’s the chaos that pulls
us in and keeps us turning the pages, and when that chaos is directly tied to
sex, hold on to your hat!

The Power of The One By K D Grace

By K D Grace

Like most writers, I spend a lot of time analysing what
makes a story work. Why does one story grip me when another doesn’t? Why do the
characters in one tale make me want to curl myself around them and never let
them go while others feel more like they’re only people waiting at the bus stop
with me, people who barely register in my mind.

How much of what makes a story work is plot and how much is character?
Sometimes nothing happens in a story, and I’m enthralled. At other times
everything happens in a story, and I don’t care. Am I just picky? I wonder if in
the age of free Kindle downloads, being spoiled for choice hasn’t jaded us so
much as it has left us frantically searching for The One. And the stories that
really do work for me are the stories in which I most fully experience the
power of The One.

It seems to me that the power of The One is more evident in erotica and romance
than it is in any other genre. I suppose that sounds really obvious in a
Cinderella and Prince Charming, or best fuck ever sort of way. At the risk of
over-simplifying, it’s all about being The One, finding The One, enticing The
One, seducing or being seduced by The One. Happily ever aftering with The One.

In our need to connect, in our need for intimacy, it seems to me that the power
of The One draws us more than any other element of story. It isn’t so much the
need for a knight on a white horse as it is the need for a kindred spirit, as
it is the need for someone who groks us, someone who gets us on the deepest level of our quirkiness, our flaws, our potential,
our Oneness. The archetypal story is that The One goes on a journey that no one
else can go on, and on that danger fraught journey, The One finds The Other
One, the only Other One who really gets
him/her, who is the flint to The One’s steel. And the resulting fire is what
propels the story, what takes the reader in and entices her into her own place
of Oneness. Hearts and flowers – maybe. Best fuck ever – could be. Magnetic
connection – bound to be.

The thing is, not everyone’s fire is fueled the same way. One person’s One is
another person’s bloke at the bus stop. The story of The One can be a game of
substitution in which our minds edit out the hero/heroine and insert ourselves
making the story about us. WE become The One. Or the story of The One can be
more of a voyeuristic menage in which we find ourselves happily inserted into
the relationship, experiencing a bit of the hero, a bit of the heroine, and
basking in the chemistry that happens in the space between, when two Ones
collide. I find this to be more of a 3D way to experience The One. In a lot of
ways that space in between, that joining place where the rough edges rub up against
each other is the real One. The joining place is the space in which the two become
a different kind of One.

Beyond romance and erotica, the power of The One is what so much of story is
about. The One who catches the serial killer. The One who is the serial killer.
The One who wins the battle, The One who pulls the Sword from the stone, The One
whose face launches a thousand ships. The One who can wear the glass slipper.

The tale of The One is the mathematics of story. The One plus the Other One
equals One, and that One is the Whole, the plurality of One.

The tale of The One is the physics of story. When the One
fuses with the Other One, when they join together to form THE ONE. That fusing
results in a release of energy, energy that feeds the reader, energy that
drives the story.

When The One reader finds The One story, the energy released
can change the reader’s internal landscape. The constant search for The One
story by the reader is a treasure hunt that can change everything. Every reader
has experienced that post coital bliss of indulging in The One story. It’s
chemistry, it’s fire, it’s magic! It doesn’t happen often, but every time it
does, it’s enough. It’s enough to drive us on in search of the next One. 

Hot Chilli Erotica

Hot Chilli Erotica


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