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Thread: Clinical sounding or not?

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Clinical sounding or not?

    I searched for another thread like this and I didn't see any that asked this question, but I might not have used the right search terms, so I'm sorry if there is another thread like this.

    So I freelance ghostwrite erotica and I'm currently working for a couple who has also had me bring in a proofreader I've known for a while, so that they can kill two birds with one stone. We aren't friends, but we get along. She and I have very different tastes in the authors we like and how we like to write erotic scenes. I like to use the word 'wet' sometimes. Every time I use it she marks it as 'too clinical sounding, use a different word'. I also use other words, but my main question is do you like using or reading the word 'wet' to describe female arousal? I've always preferred it myself and don't see it as a clinical word.
    Last edited by Avalon_Marks; 11-09-2012 at 07:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Doesn't seem at all clinical to me.


  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW victoriakmartin's Avatar
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    I definitely don't find it clinical. That said, it's not a term that particularly appeals to me but that is just personal taste.

    Is it the only word you are using for female arousal? If so, the work might benefit from switching it up with other terms, since using the same one over and over again makes things start to seem monotonous.
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  4. #4
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    Definitely not the only word. I've learned that switching it up with other words that mean the same thing helps it appeal to a wide range of people who might prefer certain words over others. She reads a lot of first-person romantica, like Janet Evanovich, which is one of the main reasons I brought her in on the project. I started reading erotica in third-person and I greatly prefer writing in third over first, but with being a ghostwriter I don't always get a choice. Her comments on my choice in erotic words has me second guessing myself as an erotic writer. I know I can't be a terrible first person erotic writer... my erotic first-person writing sample has gotten me several clients since July. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being weird for liking the word 'wet'.
    Last edited by Avalon_Marks; 11-09-2012 at 08:36 AM.

  5. #5
    Playing the waiting game MsLaylaCakes's Avatar
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    If using 'wet' makes you weird, then I'm weird too. I don't use it excessively, but I do use it a lot.

    I also read it often... I mostly read Romance/Romantica, but I would think that if established print authors in the above two genres can use it, so should I.
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  6. #6
    ELMontague
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    It's a common usage. Don't sweat it. Write what you want to read and what your clients want to read. You ought to be fine.

  7. #7
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    Well, it's good to know I'm not nuts. Okay, I just have to get this off my chest. I just got a chapter back from her and she has completely butchered it, everything I love about it she hates and I mean hates. It's taken every ounce of my control not to write something not very nice back to her. I like it, when I write similar scenarios for my fanfiction readers they love it, so I know at least a certain type of person will like it. Seriously though, she talks down to me as if I have just started writing erotica for the non-fanfiction public and I won't say how long I have been doing it, but it's longer than a few years. I've worked really hard to get to the level I am now. Sorry, just had to write that somewhere before I exploded at someone. I get that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but damn, she makes my self-confidence plummet to the point it's really hard to get up and dust off my knees.

  8. #8
    Impractical Fantasy Animal sunandshadow's Avatar
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    Oh, lol, I thought this was going to be about sounding, and I was wondering how or why it would be clinical! Reason #453 to love erotica...

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW
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    Cool

    ... wet works for me ...

    ... i'd get a new proofreader who has a similar style/taste ...










    ral

  10. #10
    Fuelled by tea and crumpets. Anna_Hedley's Avatar
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    I don't see the word 'wet' as clinical. Any other alternatives I can think of bring me right into squick territory.

    I sounds like you and your editor aren't very compatible. Perhaps get a second opinion or try and find a beta or something?

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW KVL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avalon_Marks View Post
    Every time I use it she marks it as 'too clinical sounding, use a different word'.
    Have you asked her to suggest a different word? Would be interesting to see her preferred alternatives.

    I don't consider "wet" to be clinical sounding at all.
    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

    This Twitter thing.

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    She also thinks a guy or woman purposefully inhaling a woman's scent during foreplay is creepy, that 'taste' is clinical and there are a bunch of other things she doesn't like that leaves me scratching my head. Clinical to me means terms that doctors would use when explaining something. As for the smelling thing, I personally find it arousing, it means the guy finds it pleasing. Now if it was a guy doing that to a random pair of knickers, then that is creepy.

  13. #13
    ELMontague
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    Smell is powerful stuff. What credential does your proof reader come with? From the above, it sounded like you brought her in.

  14. #14
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    Well, she started out as a graphic artist for the project's cover, but she also writes romance. Her and I run in the same circle of fanfiction groups and she has done amazing work for me in the past. My client decided he wanted her to come in as...I'm not sure now since he has decided to hire a freelance editor (much to me pushing him to do so). So I guess she is an alpha reader. She had already signed the confidentiality contract, so I am guessing this was his motive behind it. I didn't object, I liked her and I figure it would be good to have a second pair of eyes for plot holes and characterization. She is well versed in the first-person romance and romantica genres, more so than even me, that's why I didn't think it would be too big of deal. Why she took the extra job is beyond me, she has already told me several times that this type of romance wasn't her cup of tea (the client wants me targeting women who like Twilight and Fifty shades of grey). We are a week and a half away before deadline, so I'm just going to put up with it. I'm going to ask my client if I can find a different alpha reader for the second book though, because her negativity towards everything about the book is giving me writer's block for the sex scenes. I over think almost every action and word now.

  15. #15
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    By the way, only other erotic words I can think of other than 'wet' to describe being wet are: drenched, soaked, sopping, dripping, moist, damp, soggy, and sodden. The first four seem over descriptive if I just want the character starting to get aroused. Moist seems...unerotic, though some women think its pornographic. Damp seems not enough or just boring. Soggy and sodden are something I would use for after the scene if I want to make the character uncomfortable in her knickers, otherwise soggy is just gross.

  16. #16
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Dry is dry and wet is wet, and moist is in between. This is hardly the language of a clinician who would probably refer to one as experiencing vasoconstriction of the vaginal walls.

  17. #17
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    I agree. I just wish there was a way I could bring it up to her without sound ungrateful or arrogant. I know she has been reading romance longer than me and maybe writing it longer, I'm not fully sure when she got into writing I do know she is older than me though. I really rather not get on her bad side either, she has a strong personality if that makes sense and has seniority on the sites we write at.

  18. #18
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I usually just write STET. Most editors are not surprised at having a few suggestions... well, ignored. And a proofreader should be correcting errors and improving clarity, not really getting into tone and style, IMHO.

  19. #19
    Word Monkey psychling7's Avatar
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    oh boy, This sounds rough. You don't want to go on saying salty, juicy, secreting, or dripping. Wet kinda hits the spot in some ways.

  20. #20
    Kimber Vale Kimber's Avatar
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    Sounds like she dislikes erotica and maybe she should take her dewy flowers elsewhere.


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  21. #21
    Soaking up information. L.Blake's Avatar
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    Not clinic at all. Sounds like you need a new proof reader. Smell and taste are important too. Toning down my attitude.

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  22. #22
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    You don't want to go on saying salty, juicy, secreting, or dripping.
    I've actually read "dripping" a lot and not just in the skeezy shorts stuff. Mostly it doesn't skeeve me as much as I just find it a little implausible and silly.

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