Chapter 3 is up--and where's teh secks?!

  • Posted on: 3 March 2008
  • By: MeiLin

And you get a walk, a folly, a dance and a flirtation. Next time, you'll get a ball, a lightning bolt and hussies! Smile

Some of you are probably wondering wtf--where's teh secks?! Isn't this supposed to be an erotic novel? It totally is. Supposed to be, that is.

But in its first form, that's ALL it was--teh secks. And while that has its charms, it wasn't that erotic. Readers would tell me, "Wow, that was hot, but why does Character X feel the way he does? How does Character Y react to this event? etc?"

I bumbled along in the same vein, though. My fear has always been that I wasn't good at plot, that characters were easy but plot was hard. hah! That faulty belief led me to make a great mistake that turned out, like most great mistakes, to be a godsend.

I gave an incomplete manuscript--essentially a pile of notes--for this novel to a (perfectly nice but) vanilla straight boy. Mistake #1: Giving anyone an incomplete pile of notes. Stoopid MeiLin, that's just insulting. Mistake #2: Giving a pansexual erotic novel (with overtones of BDSM in spots) in any condition to a vanilla straight boy. To quote Jack Harkness, "Never doing THAT again..."

He told me it was disgusting. (The word he used was "disgustica," which I'm totally stealing except I don't think the final version of this work will be disgusting. At least it won't be if you're not a vanilla straight boy.) And then he gave me some solid notes on what needed to happen to make it into something readable.

At first, unsurprisingly, I was devastated. Then, as I thought about what he'd written, I realized some things, beginning with those two mistakes.

The first thing I realized was, I wasn't taking this writing thing seriously. I thought I was. But I wasn't. I didn't trust my own writing enough. I didn't trust my characters enough. I just wasn't taking myself seriously, and I wasn't trusting my story.

The second thing I realized was, I was trying to fit 50 pounds of mud in a 5 pound sack, as Dolly Parton once said. My natural medium is the web. It always has been. I was a radio producer long ago, got out of the business, drooped around for a while, and then got my first web page in 1994. It was like coming home. It was the medium I had always been waiting for; I just didn't know it.

So why was I trying to shoehorn this thing--strip it down to just the "good bits," which weren't so good by themselves--to fit into a 100 page affordable self-published paperback? Especially when I had a great example of how to self-publish stories like this, with all the room I'd need to paint the picture fully--to essentially "write my own story's fanfiction," as I told a friend?

Serialization worked for Dickens, among many others. And I love Dickens. And I'm doin' it.

So there will be sex--oh yes, there will be sex. There will be lots of it. There will be straight sex, bent sex, gay sex, lesbian sex, self-sex, voyeuristic sex, ritualistic sex, public sex, possibly some unwilling sex...yeah. Sex. But I am giving myself room to tell you who these people having sex are.

Whenever I wrote fanfiction I always worked hard to make sure that if I had characters having sex that it wasn't just a description of a physical act that could have been any two (or more--hey, I was writing Torchwood!) people. I wanted the sex to say something about the characters. Why wouldn't I want to do that with my own work?

But unlike fanfiction, I don't have the luxury of a common vocabulary of characters with you. You don't know Temmin, or Ellika, or Sedra. I do. You've never seen Allis dance, or Issak smile. I have. You don't know what the Teacher looks like, or how much Jenks loves clothes. I do. I want you to see it, to know these things, too.

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