Sunday, July 25, 2010

Answering Anonymous: 202

I try and answer most comments I get through email, which covers most questions (the ones I’m prepared to answer anyway). Same goes for the public comments left on stories posted on Literotica. This is for the anonymous questions I couldn’t respond to. Not sure if ‘anonymous’ will see this, but hey, I tried!

I covered the queries on Verdé last time round. The other common question was along the lines of “Where is this story going?” or, to borrow a Monty Python catchphrase, “GET ON WITH IT!

I’m glad people are keen to read about Phil’s lessons at Wargsnouts. There is a plan and it will (may) make sense at the end. I took a slight detour because it seemed like a hot scene and to give myself some breathing room while I plan out how the arc is going to play out.

I was a little surprised at one comment wanting the story to move away from Phil’s constant harassment by deadly demons. It’s good that the story is holding up well enough to interest readers as well as the obvious sexual titillation, but I don’t want to let the plot start to crowd out the sex scenes. It’s still supposed to be erotica!

I don’t think Rosa would let me anyway.

There’s a reason behind everything anyway, even what might seem like a little filler scene with two smoking hot daemons. It will all become apparent.

203 is in progress, but will be delayed. I’m frantically trying to get a third anthology (with mostly new stories) finished for eXcessica and that’s running a little behind schedule. Normal (slow!) service to be resumed soon!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Dilemma with Verdé

She's sweet, nice, warm-hearted...and she kills people.

As a writer it creates a dilemma for me. Verdé is liked because she appears nice and good-natured, and seems to care for Phil rather than wanting to suck out his soul at the first opportunity. She isn’t a Nicole or Amanda though. She’s still a succubus, which means some of what she does is going to be unpalatable to most readers.

Now I could hide those aspects of her character off-screen, or try to justify them with plenty of they-had-it-coming’s, but that would feel like a lame cop-out. As much as I don’t want to prick the fantasy, I don’t want to shy away from what she is either.

The end of 202 was intended as a gentle reminder. She’s not quite as nice as you think.

If the lovely Verdé was on a bed in front of you in all her seductive glory and there was an open door behind you, the sensible thing – for a long and hearty life – might be to run for that door. Fast!


Maybe she might decide she likes you. Maybe she won’t kill you. She’s not Rosa after all. She’s capable of having some feelings towards her human ‘snacks’. It might be worth the risk...

It's those contradictions which I hope make her character complex, intriguing and appealing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Write Like...

...James Joyce, apparently. Or is it Stephen King, or maybe Margaret Atwood, or possibly H.P. Lovecraft and maybe sometimes even a smidgeon like Anne Rice? Sometimes I even write like Dan Brown or Stephenie Meyer.

Yes, it's the funky, hot-trending, salve-for-aspiring-writers-everywhere, IWriteLike tool!

It's all a bit of harmless fun really (or a sinister idea-harvesting machine of diabolic proportions). I'm not sure what's whirring away behind the screen, although a previous incarnation of me would postulate they're using some kind of vector space model with maybe some extra doodads to score other metrics such as sentence length, etc.

How useful? Probably not very. It's a nice boost to be compared to someone successful and famous, but ultimately the program is only returning whichever writer in their database (I believe there are 40) you happen to be closest to. Close in this case being relative. Even if they’re all clustered tightly together at a position in space marked ‘publishable and famous’ and you’re way off in the void of ‘never-to-be’, one of them is still going to be the closest to you.

What they needed to do was raid the slush piles of a big publishing house to create some more realistic reference points such as ‘rejected for lousy grammar’, ‘rejected for overly flowery language’, ‘rejected for unbearable dullness’, ‘rejected because it doesn’t contain any vampires’ and ‘rejected because our intern fell behind and couldn’t be bothered to read it’. In the absence of those points Dan Brown and Stephenie Meyer appear to have been designated as the badges of shame. Not sure why really. Personally, I’d be quite happy to be told I write like people who’ve amassed bank balances large enough to capsize small islands. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You know I meant submit on the 13th...

Ugh, sigh.

I thought I'd make it. The first draft was done with days to spare. All I had to do was edit it and then submit around the 10th.

Then I hit a wrinkle.

I follow the same pattern for nearly all my stories. First draft, then a second draft, then final editing to clean up typos.

The second draft is necessary because my first drafts are, let's be honest, messy. A second pass cleans up some of those awkward passages, removes the stuff that isn't necessary for the story and hopefully makes the whole thing flow better.

In theory. Sometimes I wonder if I lose some of the raw heat with the second pass and introduce blandness. I know I was far too brutal in chopping Pussy-Wrapped down to what I thought should be the correct length and readers noticed the intro wasn't telling the whole story. As an exercise I might throw up two versions of the same story to see where I'm being a little over-zealous with the pruning shears. Something for another time.

Sometimes the second draft has sections that require a fresh rewrite and sometimes those sections end up being an obstacle. And yeah, I ended up posting the later Succubus Summoning chapter three days late.

I suppose you're all used to it by now.

Succubus Summoning 202 has been submitted though. It usually takes around three days for Literotica to post new stories so look out for it around Thursday/Friday.

Sadly, 203 might be even later as a deadline for my third anthology is looming. Perversely, that might even be a good thing. Knowing how my mind works I'll probably end up writing that instead of the short stories I should be writing... :D

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Anonymous expects...

Hehe, it's that time of the month again. I can usually tell when it's been around a month as I start getting the emails and comments telling me how much they like the Succubus Summoning series and when is the next damn chapter coming out!

I always feel a bit guilty at how slow I seem to write nowadays. After finishing 201 the idea for 202 came straight to me and I thought I'd be able to hammer it out in a few days. Unfortunately, for some reason, if I don't manage to get the story finished in those two days I go into this terribly scratchy writer mode where it feels more like each word is being chiselled out of granite rather than flowing smoothly from my fingers.

Very frustrating. I've had a couple of ideas that have come fresh (rather than the many many ideas I've got stored up and half-written in notebooks) and gone at them thinking I'd hammer out a 3,000 word story in a night, only to find the damn things have become 5,000 word monstrosities and dragged out for weeks instead.

Very ill-disciplined of me. I hate scratchy-writer me. The worst part is it's usually for silly paragraphs at the start of the story that end up getting cut anyway because the lead-in is too long.

Anyway. 202 is nearly done and features some new sexy characters I hope you'll all enjoy. Just cleaning out some grotty grammar and rewriting some of the more sloppier paragraphs. I'm aiming for a regular release date of the 13th of each month, guaranteed to no longer become regular when 203 overruns... :)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Why the shame?

So I was on one of my night time internet trawls – distraction behaviour when I should be writing – and I came across this.

It was the marketing blurb that interested me:

“Longing for sizzling stories of sexy demon lovers, seductive vampires seething with oral metaphor, kinky succubi ready for nameless sins? Are you slavering to taste the obscene forked kiss of tales that titillate and terrorize?

Wow, sounds scorching. Where’s the button with the little shopping trolley icon?

“This isn't it.”


“If you want unsurprising, comfortable "erotic horror," you've got the wrong book Go back to reading Fangs For The Mammaries XXIV

Um...yeah. Guess I’ll slink off with my tail between my legs. Thanks for the slap on the face.

Okay, so you checked the date, saw the anthology is about ten years old, probably out of print and are wondering why I’m blathering about it now.

I think because it struck me as a perfect example of the inferiority complex genre fiction – always a whipping boy for the critics in their ivory towers – suffers from, and that’s just as true then as now. It screams defensiveness – “We’re not like those other stories you think might exist, we’re important, serious work.”


Seductive vamps and their ilk are the bread and butter of the horror genre. People buy horror books and pay to go and see horror movies because they want to read/see those tales. One of the things that used to bother me back when I was devouring horror anthologies was so many writers were trying so hard to avoid the usual horror conventions their stories ended up being not what I bought the book for in the first place. Why the shame? Isn’t the purpose of Erotic Horror to ‘titillate and terrorize’?

Nothing against the book. I’m sure it’s very good. There are a lot of good writers amongst the contributors. I found it odd they chose to define it by what it isn’t rather than what it is.

Wouldn’t mind reading that hypothetical Fangs For The Mammaries XXIV though...