Hi folks. ^_^
If you were unsure about what you were going to get from my half of these A to Z posts, then this should give you a clue. :p Decide for yourself if you’ll be reading my posts or just sticking to Ileandra’s going forward.
Cum vs Come.
There is a difference. Who knew?
Not me, that’s for sure. I remember back in August 2013 when I was working on Vicki & Lara, I was trying to decide on my ‘style’. My signature. My voice.
I made a few decisions that have been refined since then, but I’m still working on how best I want to present my characters through the prose I write when handling erotica. Yes, my tagline is Smut With Brains, but it’s the elements of myself and my voice that makes it so.
Anyway… Vicki & Lara; my editor picked up every instance of ‘cum’ and changed it to ‘come’. There weren’t many, but enough that I sat back and questioned it.
Why change it, I thought? Isn’t that ‘the way it’s done these days?
While I trust Karen implicitly, I thought I’d better do some digging into why she suggested this change, so as to satisfy myself. After all, everything else I understood and agreed with (or not) and made the relevant changes (or not).
My search for answers brought me here.
Talk about an eye-opener.
If you don’t want to read the read the whole thread (and it is quite a long one) the summary is that ‘come’ should be used as the noun and the verb and that ‘cum’ is not only less classy, but also jarring to the reader as it is just a poor spelling and takes its root in slang. Lastly, ‘cum’ belongs not in erotica, but in porn.
Oh, ho-ho! Yes… see here for my thoughts on that particular subject.
And I was really cross with myself because my original instinct had been to use ‘come’ and I changed it to fit, what I thought of, as the accepted conventions.
I think this was the first clear indicator that I should trust my gut more. I should trust my heart and what I feel is right for me because following trends (or what you think trends are) doesn’t help. Worse than that, if the trends aren’t true to you, your brand, or the image you want to portray, then you do yourself and your readers a terrible disservice.
I don’t use ‘cum’ any more. My characters do, occasionally, but they tend to be the sort of characters who would use slang, or characters with their dialogue written to show little nuances in speech. In the narrative, you will only ever see ‘come’ (or something equivalent) to describe an orgasm. Hell… I might even just say ‘orgasm’. What’s wrong with that, anyway?
Oh, and while I’m handing out links for that forum, there was an excellent thread containing lots of resources for writers of erotica. Yes, the thread is quite old (2010 I believe) but there is still some very valuable (and interesting) information in there. Enjoy.