Writing a porn story is so simple, isn’t it? You don’t really need anything more than two characters with hormones. Hell, even one character with hormones is enough as long as they’re fantasizing and you’re willing to spell that fantasy out on paper. As long as you can accurately depict sex… actually, never mind. As long as you can depict sex, you’re good to go. No need to go for accuracy. Who cares how a hymen works or what menstrual cycles are or any of that boring stuff?
The real problems start when a porn author thinks they’re too good for their craft and they have the nerve to write stories. At any rate, a porn story is fun to write, especially when you integrate themes that complement both. Passion, connection, stakes, etc. It’s fun to write a story that’s more than just the sex scenes. Much like sex itself, if only the climax existed, it would be dry and boring in retrospect, wouldn’t it?
Part of the joy of writing the stories I do is that I’m given the freedom to pursue stories alongside my smut. For all of my complaining that my writing is niche, I somehow have accrued a community of people that enjoy when I lay the story on thick. That’s a blessing that I really should be more grateful for. Not a lot of sex story authors get that opportunity, and I love to use it to flesh out characters and make them more interesting. Gone are the two-dimensional characters of yesterday’s sex stories – now subtlety can exist, characters can communicate desires and feelings without having to expressly say it, and this makes for a connection to the character that readers, in my experience, often crave from sex stories.
Interestingly, writing three-dimensional characters comes with its own problems too. I remember the time when I was writing Being More Social and I released the chapter with Nicole coming into Adam’s room, visibly upset with something Phil did to her. The day I released that chapter, I received my first death threats. I did, and do, take that as a compliment mostly – people were so passionate and invested in a character that I had written that when I revealed in the story that someone damaged her, they felt protective and threatened violence upon the person ultimately responsible for damaging her. IN a way, that’s almost… noble.
Another problem is the lack of universality. I always knew the extent of Nicole’s more problematic side, but never got to show a lot of it off until Only If You Want was released. For the first time, Nicole wasn’t everyone’s favorite character, and a few people messaged me to let me know how much of a jerk she could be. That said, my favorite response came from one particular reader…
In case you haven’t read it yet, I’ll keep things relatively spoiler-free, but there’s a point in Only If You Want that Nicole lies to Phil about something. Phil nor Nicole nor the story ever outlines the fact that she lied; it’s on the viewer to realize that she was lying in that moment. One such reader emailed me to point out how that exact thing Nicole said doesn’t line up with the Being More Social timeline and made a kind of smug comment about how if I rewrite the story to fix this, they’d like to be credited. I let them know that what I wrote was intentional and the character was just lying, and the reader never responded. As I’ve mentioned before, stories are what we make of them and it’s on you to pick up on the subtleties I lay down or even to agree that the more subtle things I imply are true. You don’t have to, although writing to me as if I was just wrong and that I should rewrite it and credit you is certainly… bold.
Aside from boldness, I can’t hold that reader at fault. Perhaps as a writer I was too subtle or not clear enough. Perhaps making Nicole as unpredictable and three-dimensional and complex as she is creates more problems than it solves. Perhaps I should dial it back a bit on the whole chapters-long character arcs that take active paying attention to unravel. Or, hey, maybe I’ll keep going forward with multiple types of stories so that there’s always something for everyone and I don’t have to stop experimenting with my writing style. Who knows. I’ll talk to you all next week.