Sunday, June 21, 2009

Break the Rules

The rules that Helen presented are for newbies. Eventually, you need to start breaking them.

Especially:

5) Orgy scenes.

I recently started writing threesomes and moresomes. They're much more manageable once you've gotten the basics down, but before doing that, do some M/M or F/F scenes; you need to figure out how to write this kind of action when pronouns can't distinguish the participants.

6) All sex, no story... and no characterization and no setting. People, this is what sexual fantasies are for! Write me a story!

Write a hot fantasy. All sex, no story. The kind of thing that gets sent to "Penthouse Letters" and starts "I never thought something like this would ever happen to me..."

They're fun, and you can learn a lot about telling stories in the implications and margins rather than straightforwardly.

7) "Her mouth said no, but her body said yes." No means no, & rape is rape. Coerced sex is hard to make sexy. Not for beginning writers.

I've been dancing with non-consensual sex in a few stories lately. Not out-and-out rape but definitely people engaging in sex for reasons other than attraction to each other. People are complex.

9) Speaking of comedy, degradation isn't funny. If all partners aren't enjoying the scene, it's a fail.

See #7.

10) Writing m/m sex. I love m/m stories, but do your research. Gay men are not women with penises.

11) Writing f/f sex. Again, lesbians are not men without penises. People in the GLBT community are individuals, just like us!

The thing is, people are people first, and G/L/B/T second (if at all). I've seen F/F fiction, written by a lesbian, that looks like M/F fiction with the plumbing changed. People are complex and if your characters are complex people first, the individual twists that their sex lives take will be accepted by the reader.

13) Incest. Forbidden is hot, but don't let your hero have sex w/ a hot woman, only to find out she's his sister. It's a cheat.

Then again, there are hundreds of these stories on sites like literotica or storiesonline.

14) Anthropomorphics - if your character must get down and dirty with a real beast, that beast better be sentient & consenting (again, most publishers won't touch stories on bestiality and those that do may be courting legal trouble).

See #13

16) Sex in zero G! For every action, there is an equal & opposite reaction. Thrust into a partner in zero G. See what happens! (Hint: WHEEE! SPLAT!)

Yeah, I broke this one too. It was fun. Requires research, though.

So once you've got your chops, Break the Rules.

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