Did I ever mention that I teach creative writing? I write. I review. And I teach writing. One of the things that I say to my students, quite a lot of the time, is: “Don’t worry about the standard of the material you’re producing. Don’t bother to invest your fiction with any concept of a narrative style that engages the potential reader. Don’t bother with that stuff because some publishers will publish any old rubbish.”
“Nonsense!” say my students. “You can’t make a sweeping statement like that. If it’s true that publishers will publish any old rubbish, prove it by showing us some.”
And, on an unrelated note, this month I read Stephanie by Noelle Douglas-Brown. This is the opening paragraph:
My breasts are my jewels, I thought to myself, looking at the reflection in front of me. Although not overly large, they certainly allowed me admiration in a sweater. My nipples are smallish, nicely rounded with a rose/pink hue, pointing slightly skywards. My strawberry-blond hair just reaches them. My hair is unusually straight. I leave it that way because it suits my slender build. My hair color has led of my friends to call me ‘Ginger’ but I prefer my real name, Stephanie, which shortens to ‘Steph’. My blue-green eyes are a feature people find attractive so I wear contact lenses most of the time. Glasses make me look too academic. At twenty-one my life is coming together nicely. The break up with Phil six months ago was not a happy time, ending a two year affair. We had a lot of good times but he was too needy and I had a busy life.
Last week I was talking to one of my classes about the importance of creating convincing dialogue. “Some authorities think that fictional dialogue should seem like it’s been captured from living, breathing people,” I told my students. “But don’t worry about those opinions. There are some publishers who will publish any old rubbish, not caring whether or not the dialogue sounds convincing.”
“Nonsense!” say my students. “You can’t make a sweeping statement like that. If it’s true that publishers will publish any old rubbish as dialogue, prove it by showing us some.”
And, on an unrelated note, here’s a dialogue exchange from Stephanie by Noelle Douglas-Brown.
“Doll, don’t worry that Ron could ruin our relationship. I have made a commitment to you. I love you. We will live together right away. Perhaps a part of me is envious of the passionate affection and desire that I see in your relationship with Nigel. I also admire Vanessa’s devotion to Michael. If Ron and I do become close, it would be under the terms of our ‘understanding’. You will always be number one with me.”
“All right, I’m starting to get the idea. Do you actually want to sleep with him?”
“If things go well, yes I do.”
“In that case Lover, I will return the favors I owe you for helping me find ladylove. I’ll show you a few things I have learned that will add spark to your first heterosexual experience. I guess we don’t know how things will evolve with Ron. I’m sure he isn’t gay, but you are gay, Lover. I never thought I’d be a bisexual…perhaps that is soon to be your situation too. Can we adjourn to the bedroom? For the first lesson we need Mister Chicago.”
Did I mention? I was teaching a class last week and I told my students, “Some writers produce the most mechanical and unconvincing drivel that’s supposed to pass for convincing action. It’s dire. It’s expository and bereft of poetry.”
“Nonsense!” say my students. “You can’t make a sweeping statement like that. If it’s true that publishers will publish unconvincing drivel, prove it by showing us some.”
And, on an unrelated note, here’s a super-hot sex scene from Stephanie by Noelle Douglas-Brown.
Nigel stood up to take his shirt off and I used the opportunity to undo his belt and pull his jeans and underwear down. He stepped out of the jeans and stood in front of me, wearing only his socks. His penis rose in front of my face as I sat on the couch.
I wrapped my fingers around it and pulled him closer to my lips. After months of sucking a clitoris, it was an exciting change to have a penis between my lips.
His erection was complete almost immediately and I really wanted pussy penetration. I stopped the fellatio and asked Nigel if he had a condom. He did, as I had told him the pill wouldn’t be effective until next week.
We made our way to the bedroom. I took my jeans off and Nigel complimented me on my panties as he ran his fingers under the fabric to find my waiting target. We lay down and continued fondling each other as we kissed.
The condom was rolled on and we started with the missionary position. Nigel thrust into me at a feverish pace. I soon had an orgasm and told him I wanted to try another position.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t care for this title. I thought it was expository in its construction and the writing style struck me as clumsy and didactic. That doesn’t mean this is a bad book – there’s a sequel so clearly my opinion runs counter to what the book buying masses enjoy. However, I can’t honestly put my hand on my heart and recommend this one.
Nevertheless, if the above extracts sound like the sort of fiction you would enjoy reading, or if you’re simply aware that my specific tastes run counter to your own, I trust this review has given you enough of an incentive to confidently go and enjoy a copy of Stephanie.