Monday, November 26, 2012

Reflections On My Writing

Ever wonder what the author is thinking about when writing those steamy scenes? What's the difference between pornography and erotica? What distinctions do you make in your own mind? Ben shares a little from his heart on this matter.

Reflections On My Writing


Ben Hannigan

Sex is something that is always special. Sex holds a power regardless of time, of space, sex can be gentle, sex can be rough, it can hurt, it can heal. Sex is something that I write about often but I would like to think that the focus of my work isn’t sex. Sex to me is something that is both beautiful and terrifying. It opens you up as a person in ways that cannot be foreseen; opening up to a lover in a kiss bares your soul in ways that simply talking will never do. To me if a lover is to cheat, taking them back if they confessed to fucking another would be easy but sharing a slow loving passionate kiss would be far harder and I take these views about what is meaningful into my writing.

The passion, the love, the desire I believe must come from more than sex, more than the simple act of making love. My characters have in my mind an image and a personality before they have their sexuality. In the piece that I am currently writing for this blog, I tried to create not only a plausible relationship but also create characters that are real and more importantly, can draw on the emotions of a reader. The erotic for me as a writer is more about the build-up to the act than the act itself. While the act is exciting; the moments of frantic thrusting, kissing, tasting, biting and the ultimate explosion of release, the teasing passionate build-up of anticipation, the lingering longing kisses and the slow gentle stroking are the things that keep me coming back to a piece, to an author. The foreplay and the lust have to intertwine in a deeper story. Simple sex has nothing in my view, it has no substance, no draw and no interest. If we use an analogy of food, crude hypersexualised writing that is concerned with the reproductive act and nothing more is a fast food hamburger, whereas the full piece focusing on the hunt, the chase and the challenge of courtship as well as the highs and lows of two lives colliding.

Sex without a reason to me isn’t interesting so I try to create a world for my characters. I want them to feel like people. Erotica that doesn’t have that feel of realism for me is similar to porn on the screen, it doesn’t feel quite right, it feels hollow and doesn’t have the same depth to it. For some reason, it doesn’t grab my attention and hold it. For me starting at “he was inside her deep, fast, rough, the sweat dripping down his back as he moved, driving his lover down into the silk”doesn’t appeal in the same was as starting at say, “they sat opposite each other at the bar table, she rubbed her bare foot over the younger girls thigh as their hands touched gently as they moved, reaching for the bread”. That’s not to say that the sex isn’t interesting or something that I want to read about, but it I think requires building up to it.

The role of the author, I believe is to inspire and create a world that a reader can lose themselves in for as long as it takes them to read. To create a world that you can be lost in eagerly awaiting the next instalment. I draw my inspiration from conversations with other writers, friends, things I read or have seen. I start with an image and spend my time trying to put the ‘thousand words’ that image contains onto paper.

I want to thank my fellow writers on Storytime for their encouragement, patience, and guidance as I test my new wings. They provide inspiration and support that I didn't realize I needed until I had it. There are people I talk to about my life, my writing, my hope and dreams; they know who they are and they are an amazing help. Thanks to all!


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