Stiletto

Everyone loves a fairytale, right?

I figure I’m not the first person to take on the fetishy Cinderella story, but I had a good time doing it anyway. Maybe I need series of short BDSM-y stories. I did once write a Little Red Riding Hood story, but it had more to do with coming of age and sexuality than anything else.*

I love fairytales. My very first professional sale was a retelling of the Swan Maiden story, and one of the first pieces of erotica I read was Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty series. I’m pretty sure that if you put a tower, a thorn forest, a comb that turns into a forest, and an unliving creature in it, I will read it.
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*Looking back on it, it also says a lot of nasty things about female sexuality and predatory intent. I wouldn’t mind that except for the fact that I didn’t know that it said those things when I wrote about it. Sometimes I hate you, college-age Kannan.

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I Don’t Want to Sympathize With Stupid

As should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog, I like reading erotic and I like reading power play stories. Stories where one person is emotionally or physically abusing someone else? Sign me up. I don’t mind happily-ever-after, I guess I just like to see a little bit of screaming and suffering along the way.

That being said, it’s a big disappointment when I am reading along and discover that I want to strangle one of the characters, and not in the fun, sexy way.

I’ve run into far too many stories that have a great premise, good writing, good characterization, which then fall flat the moment the submissive partner opens their mouth. Maybe its because the submissive character’s the one I usually end up wanting to identify with, but bad writing on submissive characters pisses me off.

Being submissive does not immediately make someone weak, pathetic, incompetent, or stupid. They may have Stockholm syndrome, they may be making lots of dumb mistakes, or they may be damaged people who are reaching for the wrong solution entirely,* but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are idiots.

I’ve always thought that one of the best ways to get a story going was to find out what the character wants and then to take it away. I guess my issue is that there are too many submissive characters who don’t want anything, and that makes for a pretty dull story.

Things a Submissive Character Can Want
Money
For that to stop, please?
For that to stop, NOW!
Approval
Love
To be dominant
Fame
Ponies
Glory
Butterflies

I figure that just about anything can go into that list, depending on the tone of the story and what the story is trying to convey, but there needs to be something there. If the submissive partner is just wandering through the story with a big question mark above their head, well, first, I want to know why there’s a big question mark suspended above their head, and second, it makes for a bad story.
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Coming Soon:
BDSM For Characters On a Budget
The Most Inappropriate Slash Pairings I Have Ever Come Up With
Naked Pictures of Joan Blondell or Why I Need to Write More Vintage Erotica
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*Or in the case of my characters, all three.

Killian and Imyrr

In the realm of projects that refuse to die, we have Killian and Imyrr. I wrote them up for a proposal that didn’t end up going anywhere, but they’ve stuck in my mind ever since. Essentially, Killian’s looking for a lost tomb, Imyrr thinks he knows where it is, and Killian, who is broke, barters sexual favors for Imyrr’s help.

I think one reason why I like thinking about this pair is that they’re essentially living in an adventure pulp novel. There’s Egyptology, explosions, crossdressing, and a lot of snappy one-liners. Imyrr thinks they’re snappy, anyway. “We’re here to drink your beer and annoy your women,” is probably not nearly as funny as he thinks it is, though I giggled.

I’ve got no clue if I’m ever going to get the opportunity to write these guys, but I did write out their first sexual encounter.

Because I’m getting hungry and need to go find food soon, have some oral sex and trauma!

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The Dread Middle

So I’ve talked about getting a story started, and about ending it,* but that ignores the entire middle part, you know, where all the story/sex goes. Lots of other writers call it the dreaded middle, and when I can put my head down and just bulldoze it over the course of a few days or weeks, depending on the length of the work, sometimes I can’t.

The thing about the middle is that there is just so much stuff there, and I mean stuff in the technical sense. Limbs, people, props, fortuitous interruptions, non-fortuitous interruptions, guns that go off, guns that don’t go off, guns that are used for sex of an extremely questionable nature, just stuff.

As any juggler will tell you, any ball that you throw up in the air is a ball that you need to be ready to catch. The problem is that sometimes, when you throw the ball up in the air, it comes down as a snake, or jar of jam, or a gender problem. I juggle very badly, and on a bad day, I write like a juggle, that is dropping things all over the place, with plot points rolling away under the bed, and getting stuck behind the radiator.**

Often, I don’t know how to fix these things until much later. Sometimes I get smart and correct them on the go, but other times, I only realize that things are wrong after the story is done. Excising thousands of words is uniquely painful, but its nothing compared to replotting a story from nearly the ground up. Eventually, the bleeding word count feels like a flesh wound compared to the reconstructive surgery that needs to be done.***

So, for your perusal, 3 instances where I had to make major changes to my story.

Where the Hell Did Liulfr Go?

So Lord of Misrule is a novella that is going to be published soon, and the main characters are Verity and Iskander. Liulfr is a secondary character and he shows up in the first third of the novella, has sex with Verity and then summarily disappears. This was the first draft of the story and Lauren very wisely told me to put him back in or to take him out. Some major novella restructuring later, he was actually incorporated into the main plot. He’s unhappy, he makes Iskander unhappy, I call that a win.

Erotic Romance Is Meant to Have Romance.
The first erotic novella I finished was called Tsukumogami, and it was a cyberpunk story featuring a hardware designer, the heir to a Japanese corporation and a Chinese sword ghost. I liked the story, writing the sex was fun, and then my first readers asked, “Hey, what are they feeling?” The answer that immediately sprang to mind was obscene, but then it was explained to me that people have emotions, and feelings. I can write sex, I’m pretty sure I can write angst, but romance is something else again. That one’s shelved until I can figure out what else is going on.

Surprise Non-Con!
Consent and power play are two recurrent themes in the erotica I write. As I’ve mentioned before, they’re great things to hang stories off of. However, when non-consensual sex sneaks into my stories, and I didn’t plan to put it there, there’s a bit of a moment. I was writing a story for a steampunk anthology submission and suddenly I realized that the way things were going, the female ballerina was going end up raping the automaton designer. If I had planned it that way, it would be one thing, having it sneak up on me was not okay. That story was shelved and I didn’t have anything to submit, and I still need to figure out if that’s something I need to fix or if the idea needs to be scrapped.
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Coming Soon:
My Favorite Stories, My Least Favorite Stories
Why Read Erotica?
I Talk About the Fact That I Am Becoming a Crazy Plant Lady
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*On stories where I am very tired, it is less “ending it” than “step on its head before it breeds!”
**Reigning Queen of Bad Metaphors since 2001.
***See second footnote.

Novella: Lord of Misrule

Man, this week’s posts are easy.

Pretty soon, not sure when, I’m going to have a novella coming out called Lord of Misrule. It’s the continuation of the short story by the same name that appeared in the Circlet Press anthology Kneel to Me.

Lauren Burka, editor extraordinaire, sent me the cover art, and I now I get to share it with everyone else.

I have cover art!

If you twisted my arm,* the elevator pitch for Lord of Misrule probably ends up being something like, “Spoiled student at a magical university deals with a magical possession while getting plenty of beatings and sex from his servant.”

Verity Fen attends a magical university called Atia Selene, and Iskander Bahadur is his servant/secretary/minder. During the course of the story, there’s an illicit mummy dissection, some university politics, and lots and lots of bondage and disciplinary beatings.

My favorite thing about the story was honestly writing Verity. He’s a very, very easy character to write for, if only because he knows what his priorities are. It’s not exactly like taking dictation, but if I put Verity in a certain situation, I can figure out very quickly how he is going to react.**

Iskander, the other main character, is probably the closest thing to a pure sadist I’ve ever written, and he’s even being fairly responsible about it. He’s actually an immigrant from Liuba, and I’ve always thought that how he got to Atia Selene in the first place would be an interesting story. His past is Not Fun in all the ways that happen to make it fun for me.

Interestingly enough, they are perhaps the first couple I’ve ever written who I could honestly see as having a good shot at Happily Ever After. They complement each other fairly well, and I think they’re better off with each other than otherwise. This is contrary to my other characters who are much more apt to be healthy and happy the further apart they are.

When I was writing this story, I was listening to a lot of music from Jean-Baptiste Lully. It doesn’t exactly remind me of Verity or Iskander, but it does remind me of Atia Selene.

I’ll post here when it becomes available and I am also looking forward to posting some of the things that didn’t end up in the final cut.
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Coming Soon:
My Erotica Shelf and What’s On It
Current Projects
Writing Submission
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*Please Don’t!
** “Badly.”

Short Story: Virgin

So besides writing blog posts, eating too much rice and bugging Miss Rat and the Long Suffering Girlfriend (LSG), I also occasionally manage to get things published.*

This week is going to be me talking about what work I have for sale and coming up, and today, I’m going to be gleefully chirping about my story “Virgin,” in the Circlet Press anthology Queerpunk, edited by Kelly Kinkaid and Cecilia Tan.

Click the link to buy the book!

“Virgin” features a cyberneticaly-augmented thief named Dust and a lockpick called Laika. They’re hiding out ofter a job went south, and I suppose when you hide out in a love hotel, certain things are inevitable.***

The primary kink in the story is Laika’s fascination with cybernetic augmentation, and though it’s not quite one of mine, it usually gets my attention whenever it shows up. One the only scenes that I remember from the second Matrix movie is the sex scene between Neo and Trinity, where you could see the connection points that had hooked them up to the Matrix.

The scene in the Matrix, a cyberpunk novella that I’ve never gotten published and playing way too much bad pseudo-Shadowrun back in high school were probably the many sources of inspiration for this story.

This story was fun to play with, though I remember that I had an awful time trying to end it. Reading it over now, I have no idea why. Seems simple enough. Here’s a spoiler for you: there are lots of orgasms.

Not a lot hits the cutting room floor when I write short erotica, but there were some things I was sorry to lose. There’s a bit about Nova Rus, where Laika is from that had to go, as well as a part where Dust talks about incarceration and jails in that universe. I also had to cut some stuff about the Izumi augmented dogs that I liked.

As you might expect from me, it’s damaged people playing games that they shouldn’t be playing with each other. Laika and Dust are not due for happily ever after, they might not be happy an hour after the story’s close, but they’re definitely happy for now.****

If you like the sound of it, please buy, and if you write of a review of it, let me know and I’ll link to it.

That said, wooh! I have two listings on Amazon! That makes me kind of like a real author!
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Coming Soon:
Lord of Misrule: Writing Even More Jerks
First Person Erotica vs. Third Person Erotica
Good Morning World: Writing Erotica at Stupid o’Clock
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*The opposite happens, too. Yesterday, I received a very nicely-worded rejection for a story that had been sent to them less than 12 hours before. You can’t beat that kind of speed. **
**Except for the time I had a piece of fiction accepted in under an hour.
*** Though if it were me, the only inevitable thing would be me snitching all the nice soaps.
****Kind of.

Link Salad and Balsamic Dressing

It occurs to me that I really don’t write erotica in a vacuum, or at least, I shouldn’t. The mechanics of sex, especially once you get into kink, non-standard body types, multiple people and the increasing complexity of sex toys, do require research, and while there’s always the tried and true do it yourself method,* there are still things that I need to look up.

Good resources let you confirm things that make your erotica story more believable, ** and they can give you ideas when all you’ve got is a deadline coming up.

These are some of the sources that I use on a fairly regular basis.

The Big Book Of Filth: 6500 Sex Slang Words and Phrases, by Jonathon Green
This one properly belongs to Miss Rat, but I borrow it all the time. When I’m writing vaguely period porn, it helps to know how to call a spade a spade or a penis a penis. Of course, for every time I grab it to find a good word for a period story, there are at least three times that I grab it just to giggle at the descriptions of tribadism.

Male Submission Art
I love just about everything that maymay posts, and one of the best things about his pictures is that they are almost all narrative. It’s a good reminder that erotica has a story, and looking at the pictures can help me figure out how to get that across. There was also the time that I ran across a picture of a young man that looks exactly like Verity does in my head. It gave me a Moment.

BME: Body Modification Ezine
Though I’ve not gotten new piercings in quite some time, I still love this site. It has passionate people speaking articulately and clearly about transformative physical experiences, and it’s an invaluable resource if you ever want to know some of the important nitty-gritty parts of edgeplay.
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Coming Soon:
Cybering: The Gateway Drug to Erotica
Crap, I Need a Blog Post
Probably Some Fiction
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*Woohoo!
**Plausibility is actually more important than believability in a story. Believability is not always necessary for a good story.***
***I don’t need to believe in goo girls to find them freaking adorable.****
****Um, I just searched that to try to find a link. First, don’t search it at work, and second, I meant anime women made out of clear or tinted gel, not women who enjoy getting covered in semen.

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