To absolutely no one’s surprise, Mutual Benefits won the Patreon poll again, so for March, I’ll be writing its next chapter. I’m really glad I’m getting back into a consistent writing schedule, and hope it’ll last. It’s often dependent on a lot of things – how much real-life work I have to do, my mental health, even small things like how much I’ve gotten to daydream lately.
As mentioned, most of my writing process is writing down how my imagination pictures these events, so I feel I have very little control over the events that go down – I can only decide how to best word the events. I can control a little of the story consciously though, and I’m glad I can control what I can, because it allows me to control the pacing of my stories. Pacing is actually pretty difficult in erotica – If sex happens in the first few events in a story, it’s either starting in the middle of the story (‘in media res’ is the term, something I learned recently) or it just feels unrealistic. It kind of annoys me when authors try to attempt a story starring two people that were strangers before the events of the story, and yet they’re hardcore flirting and having sex within the first few paragraphs. It feels like it cheapens the experience. I want the absence of sex in the first little bit to make the sex feel more special, because otherwise the sex feels as commonplace in the world as does reading a newspaper or something, and who wants to read a story about someone doing something as banal to them as reading a newspaper?
There’s an author I know of that publishes an insane amount of work – often one or two chapters of a story every single week. That’s an amazing work ethic and I’m not knocking that, although most of their stories are the exact same thing over and over with characters swapping out for one another. That’s one issue. The bigger issue is that the stories never start in media res, and yet all of their characters, including family members, keep making sexual comments at one another. Whenever I read this person’s stories, I ask myself, “How fucking weird and uncomfortable would it be to live in the world of this story?” And at that point, I’m disinterested. If I’m too busy thinking about how an author is trying to pass off non-reality as reality, I’m out.
There is a market for non-reality. I think surreal stories in erotica deserve to be written more. But specifically passing off an unrealistic-feeling event as a ‘this could happen to you’ story just comes across as immature. I don’t find it fun, and it just makes me decide to read something else.
But real means buildup and relationships that take pages to develop, and if you’re only looking to get off, why would you stick around for that? I was nervous writing Mutual Benefits Chapter One because there is no sex in it. There’s a guy jacking off in his room but that’s it. As it is, for realism I feel like Taylor gave nudes to Quinn a bit too quickly and yet still, two chapters went by and no actual sexual contact had been established. For erotica standards, I should have been chucked out in the bin a long time ago. Can you imagine how unsuccessful Being More Social would have been if I had written the story without having Nicole as a character (which was the original plan)?
I try to strike that balance, especially for my reputation. If Quinn full-on fucked Taylor in Chapter One, it may have been what a couple people wanted, but I don’t know how many of them would have stuck around for a chapter two. What could I even add in a chapter two? There was sex in chapter one. That sets a really clear pace, tone and standard for the story. Take chapter four for instance. If Quinn and Taylor have sex in this chapter, with the way I wrote it so far, that’ll be a huge development. Now picture that Quinn fucked Taylor and all of her friends in chapter one. Would having sex in chapter four mean as much?
There is another end of this scale too. If the first three chapters of Mutual Benefits were Taylor and Quinn going over math homework, my story would be dismissed as erotica and rightfully so. I don’t think I’ve ever done optimal pacing in my stories, to be honest, but it’s a learning process and I hope I’ve done a decent enough job to keep you all invested in my stories. I guess that’s not up to me to decide though. I’ll talk to you all next week.