A novel by Chuck Tingle
(Editor’s Note: If you’re not familiar with Chuck Tingle, he is a Hugo-nominated author of cross-genre erotic fiction, and has been featured in The New York Observer, The Guardian, Literary Hub, and The New York Times. His work includes: Slammed in the Butthole by my Concept of Linear Time, My Billionaire Triceratops Craves Gay Ass, Pounded in the Butt by my Book “Pounded in the Butt by my Own Butt”, and Pounded by the Pound: Turned Gay by the Socioeconomic Implications of Britain Leaving the European Union.)
Since the inception of thought, there has been the struggle of determining how best to express yourself. In most cases the answer is simple, thanks to language, because we can take the images and ideas in our heads and boil them down into a collection of words that are relatively easy to understand. Of course, things can get confused along the way, but with the help of nuance and expression, most of these messages are sent and received properly in our day-to-day life.
When I’m not writing fiction, this typical form of communication is something that I have trouble with. The language is lacking and the understanding of verbal nuance is completely nonexistent. Thankfully, I have my son Jon to help me.
Jon edits my writing; in fact, he is editing it right now. These thoughts are mine, and so are quite a few of the words, but if he were not here to straighten things out then they would end up tumbling all over themselves in a frantic mess of confusing phrases.
I understand the way I am logically, but that doesn’t change anything about the way I express it.
If I didn’t have Jon here to help me, then the literary expression of myself would come across very, very differently. To help me illustrate, I’ve asked Jon not to edit this next paragraph:
Suddenly, theways of man name of CHUCK have changed like a bullman in the city knocking over carts. (he is a handsome you can imagine him if you want) and this is my way. this is okay and it PROVES LOVE but some bucks have HARD TIMES understanding this way and that is okay. we are all getting hard in our own way and LEARNING OUR BODIES togeather (thanks)
Clearly, once Jon starts to edit again you’ll have an easier time understanding the point I am trying to get across.
The real question: Is one way better than the other?
we are all getting hard in our own way and LEARNING OUR BODIES togeather …
I was asked to write about the balance of literary elements in popular writing, and I believe that the correct answer to this question lies in a much broader stroke. As artists, fiction writers are going to be constantly making decisions that affect the way their message is delivered. This is not something that should be looked at as a secondary part of the artwork, but as the art itself. The experience of your words is what matters, and each instance of that should be handled on its own terms.
(Jon: There is a paragraph here about how unicorns frequently use this method on dates, but I have removed it and made this note after discussing it with Chuck. We think it illustrates Chuck’s point better if we leave this footnote in its place.)
If I’m writing a short story, I will have my son edit my work, because I am aware that it will be difficult for people to read several thousand words of my natural speech. That’s not to say that the message won’t be communicated, but it will be communicated in a vastly different way.
Chuck Tingle wants you to feel all the tingles
In the format of a short story I would much rather the reader be able to focus on the ideas being presented and not the language in which I present them. The same goes for this article.
On the other hand, when I’m speaking in short posts online, I would much rather use my natural speech and typing patterns because it better expresses the emotions that I feel in a vibrant, personal way. (Also, obviously, because my son cannot be around all the time to translate my every thought.)
This is a perfect example of my original point. When you are writing on social media, your words are typically limited in a way that makes vibrant expression much more effective. I can get across the emotional weight of what I mean quickly and easily, and anyone reading it can understand who I am. Anyone reading this essay can understand who I am if they read the whole thing with focus, but the language that I use here is certainly not true to who I really am … because it’s not my own language.
When trying to find a balance between literary and popular culture in your work, keep this in mind. There is no correct balance because the balance itself is an artistic tool. The best way to express yourself will change from situation to situation, and it will be the most potent when you follow your instincts.
Find your balance, and don’t be afraid to move it.
Hugo Award nominee Dr. Chuck Tingle is an erotic author and Tae Kwon Do grandmaster (almost black belt) from Billings, Montana. After receiving his PhD at DeVry University in holistic massage, Chuck found himself fascinated by all things sensual, leading to his creation of the “tingle,” a story so blissfully erotic that it cannot be experienced without eliciting a sharp tingle down the spine.