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Of Geese and Ganders, Baits and Switches
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Written by Amanda Gannon   
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 04:30

Not  a  fucking  fish

Something that has occurred to me as I'm plotting my next work, something that might go here, or which I might send to an actual erotica publisher: I'm going to be going back and forth, in this one, between sadistic and painful sex that is quasi-consensual at best, to affectionate and totally consensual (and still occasionally a little kinky) sex.  And it occurred to me how very few dedicatedly erotic/pornographic books I have seen that take this tack.

Once you go down the rabbit hole, the reasoning goes, it's Wonderland all the way.  Once you go full on pirate-abduction three-way bisexual ravishing, you can't go back to shy kissing and "May I please touch your boobs?"

It ties in with the idea that one has to keep upping the ante; rising action, and all that.  And those are, of course, important principles to keep in mind when writing.  They work.

But I don't think it's a matter of prematurely putting the cat back in the bag, as it were.  I don't think that a tender, heartfelt, slightly awkward sex scene is necessarily a step back in terms of action, or down in terms of tension.

Plotting A Course
Written by Paul   
Thursday, 26 January 2012 02:09

Does anybody still write with these?

Plotting is the hardest job a writer of any kind of story is called upon to do, and so much fiction - of all kinds - fails in this regard because plotting is the hardest thing to teach.  Style, voice, diction and psychic distance can all be easily shown on a mechanical level and learned through study.  Even a prevalent problem like passive voice is easy to spot and fix once your attention has been called to it, but plotting is more ephemeral.

Partially this is because plotting has to do with values beyond simple quality of prose: ethic, morality, and drama.  Some of these are suspect to a modern mind, and some are hard to define.  Thus their study remains esoteric, even in an era where we have more writers and would-be writers than at any other time in history, and the market for advice on "how to write" is enormous.  Now a lot of this advice is really an attempt to answer the ancient question "How do I get published?"  To which the only answer that means anything is "Get lucky".

But I'm not a guru about publication, I'm talking here about the actual writing process on the assumption that the person reading this either wants to become a better writer or is at least interested in the nuts-and-bolts of it all.

So: Plot.

The Question of Max
Written by Amanda Gannon   
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 02:20

So, I'm sort of working on Vengeance and Valor again, off and on when my brain will let me, and I've run into a problem that there is just no good answer for.  It makes, I think, a perfect illustration of how narrative concerns, point of view concerns, time period and setting concerns, and character concerns can combine to create thorny problems even in a piece with a very simple plot.

Here you have Max, born with a female body, raised with comparatively few behavioral restrictions due to biological sex.  Max, who is now on a pirate ship presenting as male, has never identified with traditionally female roles; nor, for that matter, with traditionally male roles.  It's not hostility, a rejection, it's just an absence of feeling drawn any one way or the other. While that in itself isn't indicative of gender issues, it is certainly a kind of foreshadowing.

As a young adult, Max feels male most of the time, but biology and physiology are hard to argue with.  It's also hard to argue with the fact that Max likes sleeping with boys, which, in a time when sexual orientation and gender are even more hopelessly confused than they are now, would seem to indicate "Hello, I am female."

Now, it's also 1875, with all the backwards social constructs that implies.

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