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Jul 21 2008

Good Stuff, or, Greta’s Sporadic Blog Carnival #1

CarnivalI’m going to do something a little new today.

I often run across great blog posts that I want my readers to know about. I often get inspired to write posts of my own about them, praising the writer and exploring my take on their ideas. I often then get distracted (or just don’t have time to do it). So I often wind up doing that stupid thing where you don’t do something at all because you can’t do it the way you want to. (For more on this stupid thing, see my post on The Harm Reduction Model of Life.)

So instead, I’m going to do what I’ve seen other bloggers do: a round-up of recent blog posts that I’ve especially liked. (I’m calling it a blog carnival, though, since I think the word “round-up” is boring.)

Compulsory Reading. Comic artist Alison Bechdel (“Fun Home”), on the literary canon… and the guilt readers feel when they haven’t read it.

Big Sur Burn. Susie Bright on the California fires… and the connection with low taxes and “small government.”

Great Atheist Quotes Award. Flinging Dust quoting Milo, on religion as Stockholm syndrome.

More cases for consequentialism: abortion and euthanasia. The Uncredible Hallq, carefully and thoughtfully exploring some of the moral issues of medicine, life, and death. (And citing Judith Jarvis Thompson, who rocks.)

10 Commandments of Smut. M. Christian, on 10 all too common mistakes that porn/ smut/ erotica writers should avoid.

And An Exercise in Empathy. Ebonmuse at Daylight Atheism writing on marriage, and on unjust marriage restrictions. And making me all weepy in the process.

Enjoy!

7 comments

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  1. 1
    flinging dust

    I just discovered your blog not too long ago and I love it. Thank you for the linkage.

  2. 2
    The Uncredible Hallq

    Thanks much for the link.
    Question about the “10 commandments” post: who is this directed at? Officially, it’s directed at writers of “smut,” and is said to be written on behalf of an organization with “erotica” in the name, but contains sentences such as “throw out the idea what you’re writing something that’s supposed to get someone hard/wet” and “when you write a smut story you’re writing a story first, that it happens to be about sex is secondary.” In my experience as a reader of fiction, there are sex scenes that (even if they play some other role in the story) clearly fall under the heading “supposed to get someone hard/wet,” and succeed. And there are sex scenes that play a define role and aren’t “supposed to get someone hard/wet,” and stand very little chance of doing this for anyone. It’s as if the writer can’t get his head around this distinction.

  3. 3
    Ebonmuse

    Aww – thank you, Greta! I didn’t mean to make anyone weepy, honest. I suppose my getting engaged has just predisposed me to take a more sentimental tone. :)

  4. 4
    Greta Christina

    Interesting question, Hallq.
    Really, if you want a clarification you should ask M. Christian and not me. But I can tell you how, as a porn writer, I interpret what he’s saying:
    If a porn story is badly written — if it isn’t a real story, with real plotting and characters and care for the craft of writing — it’s going to be neither interesting nor hot. You have to be a writer first, and a porn writer second. if you aren’t, you’ll fail at both.
    Now, when I write porn, I do in fact focus on trying to make the reader hard and/or wet. I feel that porn is a genre, and I try to respect the parameters of the genre. If I were writing mysteries, I’d feel like I’d failed if I didn’t create suspense in my readers; if I were writing horror stories, I’d feel like I’d failed if I didn’t create fear. And similarly, as a porn writer, I feel like I’d failed if I didn’t create arousal. I do think there’s a difference between porn and fiction about sex, and the difference is, “Is it meant to make people hot?”
    But when I forget about things like who my characters are, and why they’re having sex, and how they feel about it, and what it means to them, and how it’s going to change them, then my porn becomes a very boring series of descriptions of physical sex acts.
    So in that sense, the sex is secondary. It has to be a story first. If it’s not, it’s going to be both a bad story and bad porn.
    BTW, if you’re interested, I’ve written more about this in a piece on this blog called How I Write Porn.

  5. 5
    The Uncredible Hallq

    Your take makes sense–I’ll see what M. Christian says. Oddly, this has made me more curious to read his stuff, some of which seems interesting on independent grounds.

  6. 6
    Abbie

    I totally saw Alison Bechdel at the supermarket a few months ago.

  7. 7
    kamagurka

    Flinging Dust seems to be gone. Anyone know why?

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