I am held to standards

In fanfiction as in original fiction, it’s vital to have standards – and my standards are high. They’re also enforced by a pit of sharks who like to chew through unsuspecting writers in an orgy of violent, bloody criticism.

I love them so, and here is what I told them today.


When I get criticism, I don’t expect people to defend me, and I don’t really defend myself, because I don’t see criticism and discussion as an attack. I find it interesting to see how people react to what I write, whether positive or negative.

I also find it interesting that readers see things that I may not have intended consciously, but that are still present in the story. I don’t think readers realize how important it is for me to know this, because it leads me to a greater understanding of what and how I write.

Can we have a talk for a minute, just me and you? Have a seat over here, and let me get you a beer.

Your reactions to, and your expectations of, a story are just as valuable as in-depth criticism, because ultimately… I do this for you. I do it for me too, but if it were just for me, I’d keep it all on my hard drive. But I don’t. I post it, or I publish it, and that means I have an obligation – to listen to criticism, to process every response, to tell a good story, and to finish what I start. I’ll ask for a little of your trust that I know what I’m doing, but I expect you to be hard on me regardless – and I’ll not blame you if you don’t want to give me the benefit of the doubt. Sturgeon’s Law and all that…

Because I do it for you. I always do it for you. There are a few other places I can go for praise, if I want my ego stroked, but what I need to become a better writer is honesty.


I don’t say it much, but I do believe this: a writer can’t write for money, because we might lose our artistic soul. We can’t write for ourselves, because we might become self-indulgent and narcissistic. We can’t write to some literary ideal or construct, because the world isn’t perfect.

So we write for the reader sitting beside us, for the fans who want to know how the story ends.

May Thor have mercy on me if I ever forget this, no matter how high I rise.

//shay

I reviewed myself

Good job, me! Clearly you have a bright future as a seller of smut. Although, and I’m sorry to say this… you need to add more sex.

No, really! Don’t cry, me! Your stories are good, really they are. (Except for the description. And the dialogue. And the plotting. Okay maybe I’ll just send you a copy of ‘On Writing’, by Stephen King.) But trust me, me, you need to add more sex.

Sex, especially if it’s unrealistic and stupid, is what brings in the sweet tasty money. Just look at Fifty Shades of Grey! Oh, how you love to bash it, but come on, check out those sales numbers…

..

…..

 

……………….

 

GAH. No. Cannot do. I can’t write to a formula any more than I can stand on my nose and recite the digits of pi.

BUT!

I can do vampires. I WILL do vampires. Yes, even if it’s ridiculous and over-played. And, because I love you all so much and I feel bad that I can’t publish something this week (because it’s not finished yet), here’s the first two parts of the next story. I’m calling it Vigilant. It has vampires in it – my kind of vampires, which do not sparkle why would you even suggest that – as well as other stuff I haven’t really filled out yet. No, I have no idea where I’m going with it, although there will eventually be sex because that’s just how I roll, baby.

Don’t tell me the ending, I don’t want any spoilers! Now to go hunt down some freebie Kindle erotica…

//shay

Something you didn’t know

I talk a lot about masks. I wrote a story about one. This idea of revealing our true selves through hiding our actual identities is just fascinating to me. I love the concept of simply dropping the labels on which we hang our day to day world, and taking up a single identifier as our own. It lets us be free. It lets me be unfettered.

So, here’s a thing you didn’t know about me that no one else knows: I think in stories. The stories I hear, the stories of my own life, the stories people tell me. And I can’t help rewriting those stories in my head; what if this, what if that, playing out a million possibilities and, if I’m in a particular mood, all involving sex.

The endings always depend on my current state of mind. If I’m angry, they turn out violent. If I’m happy, they turn out like an after-school special. If I’m horny, well, you get the idea.

This is probably why I find porn so relentlessly boring. I need something to tell the story. I need a starting point to latch on to. If the story is very bad – or if it isn’t there at all – then it is… nothing. Hollow. Meaningless.

We know ourselves through stories. Giving yourself a new name, a new identifier – that’s starting a new story, separate from the one we already live in, and it can hold just about anything we want it to. That’s kinda attractive, when you think about it, if your usual story forces you into a particular role.

Kathy’s World is still free, I think. I can’t figure out when the promo will end, so go grab a copy now if you haven’t got one already. I sometimes wish my own story was as interesting as the ones I dream up. I’m gonna go read some erotica I snapped up this morning.

//shay

Vampires

The next story will be vampires. I am going to ride the sexy bandwagon until the wheels fall off it.

I’ve actually got a plot this time. I always have to decide what kind of story I want to tell – not what sex acts I want to include, although that’s usually fun, but it’s more important that I thrash out all that other stuff first. I need to know the big picture before I get into the fine details of what body parts go where.

It’s the problem of porn with plot, again. The porn almost writes itself, in my admittedly limited experience. It’s getting all the plot to work that bugs me, especially when I’m writing a sexy vampire story in a vague homage to Twilight. I have an outline that bears no resemblance to Twilight, and now I have to shove a vampire into it. I might have to boost this one to two weeks to get it somewhat working.

Hah, I’m essentially going to try to make something Twilight-esque good in only two weeks. And add sex into it. If the end result doesn’t look like it belongs on FanFiction.net, I will eat my various hats.

(Just FYI, you need to slap me if I ever use the word ‘perfect’ to refer to either of the main characters.)

//shay

And I already have followers?

This both confuses and interests me. For all you know, dear reader, I am a terrible writer who will make you cry.

Fifty Shades of Grey made me cry. And then I heard that ANOTHER Twilight fanfiction with the numbers filed off has been offered a book deal, and ONCE AGAIN it involves a manipulative man and a sweet, innocent women. I cried many tears that day.

Then I realized that I could also write porn for money, and the tears magically stopped! But just between you and me (I think I can trust you with this, you’re such a good friend and all), I’ve done this before. I’ve even used the phrase ‘hot, throbbing manhood’ without being ironic. I just wasn’t being paid for it, back then.

The first story will be plain fiction, but I want to write porn in fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, historical… anything that pleases me.

//shay

Blog Blog Blog

New blog. So shiny, so new.

Now to file everything under news, just because I can.

My first erotica release is coming soon. I just love the term, erotica. Like we’re not just writing porn, yeah? We have to give it a nice name, with pretensions of proper manners.

I have no illusions about what I write. It’s porn. Not porn without plot – I have standards, don’t get me wrong – but I want to be honest from the start. I write this because I like to get off and my imagination is frightening and twisted.

(And that is my first controversial opinion, by the way.)

Busy busy… I have sex to write…

//shay