Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)
A while ago, I brought "Companion" to market. It didn't spark anything like the interest that I thought it would. That book has actually been a ten year journey that I won't go in to here, but suffice to say that after that length of time and that amount of work, I was furious inside; unable to understand why something like Shades, being slammed left, right and centre, was being read and talked about.
So I asked on a forum...
Why do people say they want "better" works but then ignore them and slobber all over the "car crash" material? People seem to go hell bent for car crash works that earn millions in the box office and say, "Oh, that was awful. I wish there was something better to watch/read" and then when people DO put the effort behind works which people are critically applauding ... they go nowhere. Why is this?
My answer came back from Martijn Sjoorda, a Systemic Therapist...
Because real art is scary: it touches you, moves you, causes you to pause and the scariest part: makes you reflect on yourself. Most people experience that as opening a can of worms, best stayed away from.
So they opt for the fast food in cinematography, those films that just touch superficial emotions and are by design not a lot more than a well-paced sequence of adrenaline and endorfin triggering moments.
Keeps life "simple".
In a further confirmation of that sentiment, and to show some cultured-ness it's en vogue to say you long for deeper experiences and rationalize away that you just lowered the bar substantially for yourself by watching Lure of the Zombies.
I've been thinking on this answer for quite some time now, and I think that he has a very valid point. Why else would someone watch, listen to, or read anything which they're not actually enjoying?
That takes things to the next level. If someone is enjoying it, then what are they getting out of it? A soggy patch in their underwear most likely! What would cause it? Access to something naughty. The modern version of Lady Chaterleigh's Lover at a guess.
Certainly when I was in the BDSM scene in the mid nineties, there were those who obtained part of their thrill by doing the unacceptable. Being the rogues. Living life on the social edge, potentially being discovered at any moment. When BDSM became more mainstream and socially understood, then these people lost a part of their thrill.
So for some readers, Shades will be a case of dipping ones toes in the stream of the illicit river, for the thrill of doing something that is considered naughty!
I have to admit to not getting my head around this; because Shades is not being derided for its explicit content, as there's really bugger all in there (from the quotes that people delight in throwing around) that is in any way edgy. I've actually DONE, "worse," than that fiction, in real life.
Shades is badly written. And that's where I've got the problem. While I can understand someone getting a thrill from dipping their toe in the illicit stream ... where's the thrill in taking a swim in badly written literature? ... That's the only part of this that I still don't get; and likely never will.