Firstly, thank you to everyone for all the support. It means so much to me, especially during National Novel Writing Month when things can get really tough. And thank you for the kind words and tips — when I had a severe migraine last week. Day 1 obviously didn’t go as well as I’d liked, but I still managed to hit the daily goal, which should satisfy me enough.
Sadly, I didn’t remember to add to my last blog post, but if you are doing NaNoWriMo this year, feel free to add me. My username is: officialcadenceauthor. You’re also welcome to check out my profile and have a wee perusal over my projects.
This week, I have a lot of exciting things to share.
Of course, I have posted my NaNo word count below. (I’m staying on track, which is great, and to be honest, I didn’t expect to get this far). Yes, the writing has actually been going quite well — I’m having a lot of fun with a few scenes and chapters. The Marquis de Sade was a very complicated, multi-faceted man. Even in his letters you can see as his mood and tone go from one extreme to the next. For example, he will lovingly dote over his wife, then tell her what an idiot she is, and so on.
So, this is my word count so far:
Yes, I finally have a title for this book! (as you can see in the screenshot above). I had quite a few niggling around in my head:
- Crime of the Marquis de Sade (of course, you know this one)
- In the Blackest Shade Possible
- Guilty of the Blackest Crimes
- Lettre de Cachet
- Courting Disaster
- Courting Darkness
But I finally decided on Saga of the Sinner. I am curious to know your opinion though. Is there a title more fitting for my project? I’d love your thoughts!
I should also say, to those wondering, Saga of the Sinner is so completely different to Eleanor. It’s hard for me to classify this book, but I see it as a combination of creative nonfiction, historical fiction, and pornography.
Pornography?! Not romance? Not erotica?
No. Absolutely not. Although the line between erotica and pornography is quite blurred — in fact, I would have considered naming Saga of the Sinner erotica — I know a lot of people loathe their erotica being labelled as such. Personally, I don’t understand this. Pornography is just as legitimate and necessary as any other literary genre. And, there is no shame in either reading or writing it.
I have heard it argued that the difference between erotica and pornography is the sex of the author. I don’t agree with this, however I do believe that very few women will willingly label their literature as pornographic.
Yet, I have not ventured far into my project. I have used the term ‘pornography’ to cover one particular chapter I have written. In regards to the rest, Saga of the Sinner is relatively tame. It will not remain so however.
Now, while I say I have no issue with pornography or erotica, my one main concern of these genres is the tendency for some authors to romanticise rape and abuse — an issue prevalent even in some young adult literature (I won’t name names! Though I have a few titles in mind) — this is something I will absolutely be avoiding.
But, I have considered the Marquis de Sade’s work to be not merely pornography, but a form of philosophy as well — for pornography is a legitimate arena for literary criticism — this is especially clear in his novella, Justine, an argument against following a path of virtue. I think this is why I find myself defending Sade so easily. It is not mindless sex for the sake of mindless sex — yes, even in The 120 Days of Sodom! Using Justine, once again as an example, we see that the people who punish, torture, and rape Justine are, most often, priests. This simply reflected the corruption prevalent in the Church during 18th- and 19th-century France. But, enough of that! I could go on for days!
Currently, I am reading the follow-up book, Juliette. So, I am eager to share my thoughts on it, if I ever finish it — it’s a bloody long book!
I will continue to put out warnings, even to my beta readers, and editor, because there is no comparison to Eleanor, save for writing style and tone, perhaps. I want to do this because I don’t want people to be surprised by the content. Although I have stated a number of times that I’ll be writing a novel on the Marquis de Sade, I don’t think many people actually grasp my intention. I can’t allow myself to pull back and away from the truth of Sade, because people need to see who he really was. I don’t want there to be a chance at all of Sade being romanticised. So, even though it has been really difficult writing some parts, I feel I need to do it. I think it would be unethical to do otherwise.
Book Pipeline Competition
Recently, I entered Eleanor into the Book Pipeline Competition, which looks for works suitable for film or television. I thought I’d give it a go. Honestly, I don’t imagine winning, but I am really excited that every entrant will have their submission assessed. I’m looking forward to the feedback I’ll receive, though I could only enter the first 5,000 words!
The deadline for the competition has been extended, so there’s still time to enter if you’re interested.
A bit of sad news…
I was rejected by the agent (who I submitted Eleanor to). I’m bummed, but it’s not the end. I’ll keep a look out for more agents and, fingers crossed, Eleanor will be picked up.
Unfortunately, the cover art for Saga of the Sinner isn’t quite ready, but my amazing designer and I have done up a little teaser for now. Let me know what you think.