As a fiction reader, I have always been drawn to authors who pay attention to details. One of those details is plausibility of situations. Obviously, the range of what is believable varies by genre. Science and fantasy fiction push the boundaries of believability deliberately, challenging people to open their minds to new possibilities. In more straight forward contemporary fiction, and especially historical fiction, it seems to me that at least basic plausibility is necessary. If I can’t understand why a character would do something or if I can’t believe that the action is even possible, I generally lose interest in the story. “Death is in the details…”
Since they inhabit the same general corner of my brain, my reading preferences were close by when I began writing. Over the years, I’ve probably read more than my fair share of erotic fiction. Looking back, I realize now that the bulk of what I’ve read falls into the “Romance Novel” category, with fairly euphemistic descriptions of sex. I did take a foray into BDSM fiction in college. I was a huge fan of Anne Rice at the time, reading everything of hers I could get my hands on including the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy written under the pseudonym of A. N. Roquelaure. At that point in life, I was aghast, titillated, but aghast. I’ve since learned that what was so shocking to me at 21 is pretty vanilla in comparison to the variety of erotica that is out there. Erotica is a rapidly growing literary genre today – the enormous mainstream popularity of the Fifty Shades series illustrates how far it has come.
But I digress…I was talking about basic veracity in fiction writing wasn’t I? When I started to read RAcy fan fiction, I often found myself wondering if particularly acrobatic positions were humanly possibly without double joints and a spotter. (I’ve long wondered the same thing about some of the positions in the Kama Sutra.) When I started writing my own stories I decided that in addition to believable basic elements of the story, I’d like to know if the intimate positions I was about to put my characters into were actually possible. Enter the caveat scriptor:
Some of you may remember me complaining about an injured knee a few months ago. The official story, the one I told my doctor and everyone else with the exception of my RA (Research Assistant that is – that’s my husband for writing research purposes 🙂 ) and my BFF, was that I slipped on some ice in my driveway. I did slip on some ice, but that only aggravated an already injured joint. The real story was that I was testing out a prospective “storytelling device” and sprained my knee. The moral of my story is that before you try to test out “veracity” of this variety, make sure you stretch!
PS…I determined that this “device” was imminently believable for my characters since they are in much better physical condition than me 😀
PPS…if you’re considering a foray into erotic writing of your own, you may find Cosmopolitan magazine’s take on the Kama Sutra: The Cosmo Sutra, quite useful!