Ah, I love when friends send me things to read and review. I don’t get it very often, but when I do it’s generally entertaining. And often for the wrong reasons.
I have a friend, an Internet buddy, whom I’ve known for nearly 10 years. He’s tried his hand at erotic writing off and on for a few years, and every so often he’ll send me something that I just have to look over and give my opinion. Unfortunately, the end result often ends in tears for us both.
His latest “story” entails his Mary Sue (and that’s really what it is, as he always writes himself in as the male protagonist) taking a lady friend to a very special magic show where all sorts of extremely sexy women get transformed into various . . . things. Trust me on this last.
Now, the apparent gist of the story is that his lady friend is so turned on by all this paranormal transformative magic that she simply has to try it herself. Or so you would think. And you would be wrong.
Because what happens it that one person gets transformed, and people–and the lady friend–get sexually turned on. Then another person in the show gets transformed, and everyone gets sexually excited. And then another . . . and another . . . and another. And when I get to the end of his “story” I discover it’s a work in progress and he’s still writing. Oi to the Nth degree.
I don’t like being the bearer of bad news, but giving the time–early morning for me–and the fact the coffee just isn’t doing it for me, I felt I had to be brutally honest. In the past I’ve suggested he tell a story and make the fetish stuff an aspect rather than the core of the story, but it never seems to take. So this time I was a lot more upfront. In short, and I quote: “This isn’t so much a story as it is a laundry list of every fetish you’ve ever wanked to. Your lady friend is like a freakin’ kid in a candy story–she sees one transformation, gets excited and wants it, then sees another an wants that, making her already come across like the blow up doll to which she’ll eventually be transformed.”
In short, there’s nothing worse than erotica that’s not only not erotic, but boring.
Now, I know what this guy will do eventually, because he’d done it in the past. He’ll finish the story and then get it posted up on a fetish web site. And there’s nothing wrong with that; if that’s what he likes to do, go for it. But even then, if you’re going to write stuff that’s going to be mostly viewed by people into agalmatophilia, then do make it interesting.
Even if your audience is an internet subculture, doesn’t one feel they should create a work that is not only enjoyable, but ends up standing out after it’s read? For a while I did some stories in these groups, and while I had a number of people tell me how much they liked my work, the one comment that, to this day, still stand out was one that said the following: “It’s not bad, but there’s too much story.” Alrighty, then!
It wasn’t long after that I stopped writing in these groups because, quiet simply, I felt limited. And I knew this so because of another friend who, quite simply, told me that she hated it when I wrote XYZ type fetish stories, I needed to keep writing ABC type fetish stories! My response to her was, “I’m going to write what I like to write, and if that means I won’t write what you enjoy from here on out, so be it.” We still chat, but I can always sense her disappointment that I no longer write the sort of stories she used to so adore.
Yes, you can write what turns you on. I chat with a few writers of erotica and they not only enjoy what they write, but sometimes their stories get the better of them. The big difference between what they do and what my friend showed me: they write stories. There is a plot, internal logic, real characters. It’s erotica that touches you and not simple porn that’s only meant to get you off until your next required fix.
I don’t mean to put my friend in a bad light, but at some point a person needs to understand: one can keep writing stuff that meets your base needs and little more, or you can strive for something better. I moved on because the base need stuff was never what I wanted, was never what I did, and generally left me feeling like I could do more. He might not ever get that message; he might not ever get past his desire for showing everyone his wank list.
But, hey: I can always take a shot at letting him know he can at least try to train that sucker up into something better.