Raptor on a Half Shell

The last couple of weeks has seen the rise of Dino Porn, which if you haven’t been paying attention, or you’ve been living in a cave or meth trailer—which are pretty much the same thing—you’ve missed out on one of those things that tends to get the Internet tongues a-wagging.

Long story short, two women in Texas are writing tales of dinosaur on human female erotica, where lovely lasses from all walks of light end up getting bedded by various reptilian beasts who breathed their last during the K-T Extinction Event.

But that doesn’t stop the production of Ravaged by the Raptor, Taken by the Pterodactyl, T-Rex Troubles, and Dino and Wilma Make a Porno—oh, wait, that’s Kevin Smith’s next movie. No less than that esteemed cultural critic Cracked.com has weighed in on the matter, and have pretty much declared that the Internet can now be shut down and our libraries burned.

(On a side note to the lady writers in question, can’t Stegosaurus get a little love in your books? Or Ankylosaurus? I mean, if it’s alliteration that you seek, I can think of one for Ankylosaurus. Come on! Lets go for it together.  Call me!)

On first glance it’s very easy to make fun of this stuff. I first learned of these stories while roaming the Lousy Book Covers site, and posted the found cover a few days before the tales of Saurian Sex began appearing all over Facebook. I’ve made jokes on this blog about werewolf erotica, vampire erotica, tentacle sex, dragon fantasies that involve more than killing knights and hording gold, and my favorite erotica genre, unicorn porn.  I’ll look at these and wonder, first, who is writing this stuff, and that–damn, they’re writing it because there’s a market.  Roll over to Amazon and do a search on “Lactating Lesbian Babysitter”, and make sure all the shape objects in the house are put away.  You won’t get an exact hit, but the ninety-five you find may keep you entertained.

There is one thing I can’t fault them for:

They’re writing.  And they’re writing a lot.

I’ve heard from a few people who’ve said things along the lines of, “I couldn’t write crap like this!” and for a lot of people this is probably true.  I’ve written erotica, some of it pretty strange and fetishy, and it’s not an easy thing to do.  Sometimes it’s easy to skip the character building moment and go right to the hard core boning.  (That last is a technical term, so it’s okay to use it.)  Sometimes you just never get the right mood.  Sometimes one couldn’t write a sex scene to save their lives.

And then I’ll hear someone talk about the quarter of a million word Harry Potter/Mass Effect crossover fan fiction, where Harry has knocked up Fem Shepard and Luna is running a strip club out of the Hufflepuff commons, and my eyes go crossed . . . I know I shouldn’t do that, but if dino porn isn’t your thing, fan fiction isn’t mine.  Such is the world.

Neil Gaiman has written a list of things one needs in order to become a writer.  The three I remember the most are write, keep writing, and finish what you write.  That last is where I always used to fall down, because I’d start in on a story and about half way through think, “Who’s gonna read this crap?” and just leave it.  On another system I left behind about a dozen stories that I’d not finished, and knew I never would.  One was an actual novel that I was about a hundred thousand words into . . . it was also something of a fan fiction, and while I’d love to have finished that story, I know it’ll never happen.

Gaiman has also said that, when it comes to people writing fan fiction of his own work, he doesn’t care because no one is going to write something that will change what he knows about those characters, and as long as people are writing, they should keep writing.  The Dino Erotica women are not only writing, they’re finishing their work, and they’re selling–probably better than I am with my work.  So more power to them, because, like it or not, they are doing what I’m working towards, which is making something of a living off my work.

Which gives me an idea . . . fan fiction dino erotica!  I mean, think of the possibilities.  First up could be a HP slash fic called Hermione Rides the Hadrosaurus, and I know at least half of you saw, “HARDosaurus”, and now you can’t unsee it.  Now all I gotta do is find a picture of a Hadrosaurus and a sexy Emma Watson picture–like there aren’t any of those on the Internet–‘shope the pictures so she’s riding ol’ Hadro like a reptilian pony . . .

Yeah, I’m talkin’ best seller here.

As long as J. K. doesn’t get upset.

Mortal Changes

After a weekend of working on various things, it’s now time to–get back to work?  Seems like only Friday I was looking forward to a relaxing time of doing nothing.  Which doesn’t happen around here, because if I’m doing nothing, then I’m probably sleeping.  Correct that:  trying to sleep.  Here I am, up at four-thirty again this morning, and my head is feeling a tad woozy.

One day I’ll go to bed at ten-thirty and wake up at six.  It will happen.  But today is not that day.

I was reading film reviews on Something Awful–’cause if you’re going to read film reviews, you may as well read something that’s gonna be funny, or at least sarcastic as hell–and they were doing a review of The Mortal Instruments movie.  While they didn’t care for it–they did give it a four out of ten rating “As a Piece of Absurdest Humor,” so it’s got that going for it–they did mention the fact that “Cassandra Clare”, the pen name for one Judith Rumelt, got her start penning Harry Potter and Lord of the Ring fan fiction.  They also mention that there’s more than a passing resemblance between some of the characters in The Mortal Instruments, and some of the characters and passages in the HP fanfic, all of which was pulled from the Internet as soon as her publishing career got started.

As Neil Gaiman has pointed out, fan fiction is writing, and anything that gets people writing is a good thing.  He’s also said he doesn’t care if you do fan fiction of his work, because, hey:  nothing you’re going to do is going to impact anything he’ll do to his characters.  He probably wants to stay away from Coraline slashfic, however . . .

His point about fan fiction is well taken, however.  It’s very likely that Neil never reads it, or if he has he’s sort of skimmed over it and thought, “Hum, yeah,” and moved on to working on his HBO adaptation and Doctor Who scripts.  And he’s correct:  there’s nothing millions of words of fan fiction will do to his characters that will reflect what he’s going to do to them, so why sweat it?

I wonder how he’d feel, however, if someone wrote a million words of Sandman fan fiction, put the character through some interesting changes–like having him get hammered in a strip club while watching his sister Death gyrate to some Millie Cyrus crunk as she’s making out with a demonic Taylor Swift–and then, a year later, finds a book called, Sleepytime Sam, the Dream King.  Book One:  Down and Out in Sister Stripperville.  Oh, sure, it’s just a coincidence the characters bear a little resemblance to his . . .

Not that I’ll have to worry about any of this.  I doubt that anyone will start ripping off my characters and write stories of their strange escapades, ’cause anything you can do, I know I can do better–and I love being strange.  I need to open up the strangeness stuff a little more, ’cause I feel I’m getting rusty.  Maybe it’s time to write my magnum opus about gay cuttlefish shapeshifters–

Oh, wait:  it’s been done.

Q1 and Done

It’s the end of the month as we know it, and I feel fine, save for the soreness in my legs.  Too much time on my feet, too much time laying on a bed that hurting my calves for some reason.  Or maybe it’s me:  maybe my weight is pressing down on my lower extremities and causing problems.

Last year this time I was lamenting over writers, people who usually make things up for a living, being unable to make up the names of towns and people.  I read this post over last night, and was struck by the fact that most of the people who I’d written about don’t seen to write these days.  When I joined a few writing groups on Facebook back in 2011, it seemed as if there were  hundreds of people posting about what they were going to write, what they were writing–and then, how they couldn’t finish what they started.

Today, those same groups seem to be inhabited by a few dozen hard core members, and a few dozen more people who flit in and out when they decided to pick up their book and get back into The Great and Not So Loving Game.

Writing wears you out.  I managed to edit two chapters of Replacements last night, maybe twenty-seven hundred words total, and when I was finished I wanted to write something new, but couldn’t.  I was starting to nod at the computer, and trying to crank out anything that would have made sense wouldn’t have made sense at all.

In his March 30 blog post, Neil Gaiman offered a few simple words for writers:  “Write.  Finish Things.  Keep Writing.”  Sure, you’re thinking, “That’s easy for you to say, Mr. Last Cybermen!”, but at one time he was just like everyone else, working hard to get into the biz.  He’s now in the biz, and he still works hard, only now he does it full time, whereas most of us need another job to play the bills.

My biggest problem was always finishing things.  I’d jump into a story with both feet, burn through ten, twenty thousand words, and then–nada.  I’d get disappointed, depressed, defeated:  the story before me had to be crap, so why bother?  It’s not like anyone’s going to read it . . .

I’d say that’s a mindset that it not just unique to me; I’m almost certain there are others out there who end up feeling the same way.  I even get that feeling still, only it starts kicking in about forty-five thousand words into a novel, and it screws with me until I’m about ten to fifteen thousand words from the finish line.

And then I find the strength to make my way to “The End”.

I’ve told people I know that one of the reasons I keep a blog, one of the reasons I write every day whether or not I have anything interesting to say, is that it keeps me thinking, it keeps the mind going, it keeps me writing.  Without it I might not ever bother pulling out a manuscript and doing anything with it, and just become another of those left by the Writing Wayside.  That’s not completely true, but I do feel as if my blog keeps me anchored and focused on my goal of becoming a full-time writer.

Back on December 1 I detailed what I’d written up to that point over the course of a year and change.  At that point, with everything from the end of 2011, and all over 2012, I’d calculated I’d written approximately 568,000 words.  What I should say is that I wrote and finished that much, because I don’t consider the story worthwhile if I haven’t finished it.  During 2012 I started a story for someone, got about five thousand words into it, and then put it away, because what I was writing wasn’t me; the story didn’t feel right.  And to have went on would have meant doing something that I wasn’t going to enjoy, or take from the work any pride.

Since I wrote that last post I’ve written another novel, and blogged every day.  Suggestive Amusements ended up running just over seventy-one thousand words, while the blog has averaged about five hundred fifty words a day for 121 day, or right at sixty-six thousand, five hundred fifty words.  Add all that up, and at the end of Q1 (the First Quarter of the year, as we call it in the business world), I’ve another 137,550 finished words added to my total.

Plug in the numbers from before 1 December, 2012, and we have a new total:  705,550 words.  Ding, ding, ding!  We have a winner!

Yes, there is marketing and editing and getting a great book cover, but the above is the real heart of the issue:  writing and finishing.  You wanna walk that walk, you gotta do diligence.

You gotta write; you gotta finish; you gotta write some more.

Which reminds me–

I got some writing to do.