“Why Did You Make May Like That?”

One thing that could very well damn me in the long run has been made obvious in these two-and-a-half years I’ve spent writing: I’m not good at social media in any form. My private Facebook account is clunky and barely existent, my twitter is empty and small, and my attempts to make a forum have been laughable.

I was never really interested in getting a Twitter until I started writing anonymously. Sometimes I even wish that judgments made in the professional world didn’t exist so I could do away with the fake, regrettably pretentious pseudonym and be free to make my online persona a little more… personal. I sometimes feel fake writing a tweet, or even a chapter. Blogs feel very real though, so I guess I’m grateful.

I finished the first scene of chapter 17 this week. I’m a little behind, seeing as I need to have something tangible done by next week to fit my quota. Although if this week turns out to be hell, I’ll excuse it as long as I release something in November. The scenes are getting a little difficult to write, as mentioned in the previous blog. Now that the characters aren’t mysterious or leaving more to be desired, writing them can get a little daunting.

Which leads to a questionable point in my story. Many readers feel to an extent dissatisfied with how I portrayed May in recent chapters. I was tempted to not bring this up at all, since I firmly believe a story should be able to justify itself. After all, if I have to explain a character’s motive for it to make sense, I’ll need to be over the shoulder of every single reader. Not exactly feasible. That said, I would like to make a few points about the current situation involving May in particular.

A lot of erotic writing is safe. When it involves teenagers, the grand majority of stories I’ve seen are ‘underdog’ tales, wherein the usually male protagonist goes from a shy nobody to a stud. To an extent, a large amount of teen erotica is just this. It’s either growing or discovery, those are the two major themes. Being More Social is totally about growing. That being said, a lot of authors don’t really like to show their protagonists not always growing. They start off pathetic and always get better with no potholes in the road to success. I like to take that formula and shake it up. No one attains perfection, God knows I haven’t.

So in this ‘underdog’ tale, the lead protagonist becomes less shy, yes. He also makes stupid decisions constantly. He keeps getting dragged down to earth. He’s hard on himself, but the world to him revolves around him. Sometimes he’s an absolute asshole – a cheater, an outspoken moron, a wimp. The same goes for the people in his life, sometimes the people he was led to believe were good people. Enter May.

Sexual assault exists. Sexual assault with males being the victim exists. If you’re into rape as a hypothetical fetish, you do you, but when it’s played out in reality it’s not sexy. So what the hell was Mr. BS thinking when he included sexual assault in his story? It wasn’t sexy. But frankly, it wasn’t meant to be. Sometimes I don’t want people to get off to my chapters at all. I’m trying to experiment a little, and the point of the last few chapters wasn’t so much sex as it was wondering what the hell it must be like to be in Adam’s shoes. If people didn’t like it, hopefully it was because it disrupted the flow of the story, not because it wasn’t well written. If it was the latter, that’s unfortunate, but if it’s the former, that means you care about the character. Much like in *SPOILER* chapter five or six or whenever when Nicole’s brother is introduced, but this time was different. In that instance, readers felt like they were Adam, wanting to help Nicole but not knowing what to say/do. They sympathized from afar. If I did this right, chapters fifteen and sixteen forced people to empathize with Adam, but I’m going to hope that very few of my readers were in his situation. Something bad happened to the main character, and it’s difficult to know how to feel about it.

So people lash out. They lash out at May, and to an extent, they lash out at me. I love that. They care so much about the characters, they’re angry when their world is upset. That’s the ultimate compliment to a writer, when a world feels so real that when something truly terrible happens, they’re angry. People want to know why I couldn’t have just left May as the sweet barely attainable love interest. Largely I’d say because if that person genuinely exists to you, you just didn’t know them well enough. Everyone’s an asshole to some degree, especially in high school. Every one of my characters is an asshole in some way. I’d hope that you, yes you the reader, disagreed with at least one decision every major character made at one point. That means I’m writing high schoolers correctly.

Now if the sequence of events came out of nowhere or it was badly written, that’s another story entirely. Fun fact, except for spelling errors I don’t even edit my chapters anymore, because I want to get my raw account of what happened on the page. Once I finish the story I’ll edit the whole thing, but until then, this whole thing is first edition. Maybe I’m writing these few chapters poorly, who knows. I would just rather write them poorly and try to be me than to write them in a way that pleases everyone, but it isn’t the type of story I want to write. Does that make sense?

I’m planning a few extra goodies for the website that’ll come in December. Nothing too amazing, don’t get excited, but I hope you’ll enjoy them. As well I’ll be working on chapter 17 right after posting this. Like I said, my bare minimum quota is a chapter a month, and I’ve learned my lesson with taking my community for granted. You may not agree with my writing decisions sometimes, but hey, you’re reading this. That counts for something, and I’m grateful you’re here.

One thought on ““Why Did You Make May Like That?”

  1. I think I’ve mentioned to you previously about K.M. Weiland who runs a blog and writes books about “Helping Writers Become Authors.” Well, this morning, not long after your blog post, she posted “How To Write Unexpected Story Events” http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/write-unexpected-story-events/ fitting right in with your comments here.

    I’ll let the others here know that we have occasionally discussed your plot elements in private. For your age and level of experience I think you do a fantastic job of translating these ideas into a well crafted story. I had to pitch my own first version and have been working for over a year on the rewrite (although my v2 is much better than the first.)

    You talked about May, where a nice girl ends up doing bad things. It also brings to my mind Phil – the not so nice guy who ended up accused of something bad which he may not have done. Because of his known background, it’s easy to presume, “He did it!” but fortunately for us readers, seeing the story through Adam’s first person experiences, we still do not know what happened – and that’s what makes it a great part of the story. It allows us to think about and debate the issue, and then we can maybe see real life incidents in a different light. Adding in May’s bad behavior with Adam later further muddies the moral waters. She was in the wrong there, but it still doesn’t prove what happened with Phil. He’s been bad, she’s been bad. Put them together behind closed doors, and who the hell are we to believe?

    That’s the brilliance of what Bashful wrote.

    Liked by 2 people

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