Yesterday I had to cancel a project. The client wasn’t thrilled about it, but honestly, they misrepresented the project. The job was presented simply as a fictional novel that needed a final edit. I happily started working on it and made it through ten pages with increasing caution.

It started heating up around page 5, but I kept going. By page 11, I was finished. I don’t consider myself a prude and have edited low level erotica fiction before, but this manuscript jumped the line between erotica and out and out pornography.

Which led me to the question: What IS the line between erotica fiction and pornography?

Time for a trip to the dictionary (as I tell my students)….

Erotica – explicitly sexual literature or art

Pornography – obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, especially those having little or no artistic merit

Ah! There is the distinction. Yes, I can understand that. I can imagine Picasso and O’Keefe can be thought of as erotica? Perhaps, although they really just hint at sexuality…not really explicit per se.

The novel I was reading for the client – well, with nothing but a lot of sex happening in all manner of places, no real story line, flat egotistical characters…I’m gonna have to call that one porn.

Help me out here, readers. What is your opinion? I honestly want to know!

(P.S. For those who aren’t ‘in the know’, TMI stands for Too Much Information)