[New Piece Posted!] Pleasing Everyone

A new commissioned short piece is now out! It’s called First Impressions. It’s a brief lesbian story, and it’s a lot more *ahem* to-the-point than most of my stories are. If you’re fan of stroke stories, you might like it. If you prefer more buildup and dialogue, you may not like this story, and that’s okay – I’m me, so odds are a more dialogue-heavy piece is always going to be in the works.

I may have more words about the new piece at some point, but for now, I still want to talk about Mutual Benefits. I’ve also been writing some of chapter nine as well as this commission piece lately, and a lot of its themes are on my mind. I remember that when chapter 8 dropped, I got two comments really early on, both noting the building drama in the story – one read, “Ooh, I can feel the drama rising, I love this shit” or something like that, and the other going, “I liked this story because it was more tame and had less teenage drama than Being More Social. I hope you keep it that way.”

The sucky thing is, I can’t please both of these people. Not after leaning so heavily into the story as I did. I feel like if it were early on enough and all of the comments across the board called for less drama, I’d be a bit silly to not respect that. Granted, this is my story, I can write it how I wish, and all of that “I’m writing it for me” feelgood garbage, but, reality check (for myself more than anyone else), writers write for readers. I beat this drum a lot, but I’ll say it loud and clear:

Any writer that posts their writing online and yet claims “I’m doing this only for me” is lying. If they were only doing it for themselves, they wouldn’t have posted it online. They want the attention from posting it, but don’t want to react to others’ opinions. They basically want an army of yes-men praising their every move, without ever having to think critically about their work.

As you can probably tell, this is one of my stronger and less popular opinions. I mainly hate the dishonesty – saying “I’m doing this for me” as if it’s some noble self-love endeavor while also conveniently leaving out the part where they’re writing that exact statement for someone else to read. If you’ve ever spotted an author saying this, note that they’re never saying it in response to praise – there’s never a comment that says “Um, thanks for the kind words, but no need, I’m doing this for me” – it’s always in response to criticism.

I have no delusions (about this in particular). I write to please others. I want to give people joy with my characters, and the support and praise I get in return makes me feel good. But a big part of this contract is pleasing people, and… it never really gets easier, realizing that you can’t please everyone. It gets bitterly discouraging at times. I know that chapter nine is going to disappoint people. There’s going to be at least one reader who reads it, scoffs, and goes, “It started out so good, what a shame.”

That’s likely already happened for a past chapter of mine. I know that someone emailed me lamenting that my story was so good until the story had a trans character in it, but that person’s a transphobe. Boo hoo. That, I don’t care about. But when someone emails me saying, “Your first chapters were so good, but then you wrote X in chapter Y…” …it hurts.

Most of the time, it hurts because it’s like they’re peering into my soul. A lot of their criticisms, I entirely agree with. Yes, this scene was rushed, I just couldn’t think of a way to word it better. Yes, the sex in this chapter was out-of-nowhere and this scene was just shallow and this character is underdeveloped. And knowing that if I took my sweet time, someone else would be just as upset, just as disappointed in the story… it can make writing frustrating at times.

Never lose sight of your preferences, of course. If you don’t like drama or want more drama, either way, know what makes you interested in a story. Just know that a story may not go in the direction you were expecting, or even want. I hope that, either because of that fact or despite it, I can still make an entertaining story for you. I’ll talk to you all next week.

5 thoughts on “[New Piece Posted!] Pleasing Everyone

  1. Since I was the one who left a comment saying that I thought Being More Social had a bit too much drama towards the end, I thought I would elaborate. First, in Mutual Benefits, I think you still have a wide margin before the drama becomes “too much” :p

    After thinking about it, in Being More Social, what I considered too much drama was mainly what I would call “negative drama”. Things like the relationship between Phil and Nicole, the note from her dead brother, the suicide talk, etc. It’s the type of drama that make you feel negative emotions. And as you can imagine, I don’t read erotica to feel sad. I think that’s why I felt it was a bit too much.

    For now, most of the drama in Mutual Benefits is actually kinda cute. It makes me smile, sometimes even laugh. So I’m loving it 😀

    As I said in my previous comment, the drama is part of your style, and is what makes your stories so good. Don’t forget that 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Duly noted! And you were one of many, so that feedback (along with the piece here explaining what exactly made you dislike it) helps a lot. I hope this blog post didn’t come across as dismissive of you.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. And since I was the one who left comments saying that I liked drama, I thought I would clarify.

    (Next paragraph’s me rambling about myself and my history, just skip it)
    First of all, I knew this post was talking about me, I just didn’t know which version of me in the timeline it was. 😂😂 So, yeah, I spent around an hour digging though the whole blog to see what weird shit I exactly said that got to you.😂
    Was it
    1. https://bashfulscribewriting.wordpress.com/2021/04/26/new-chapter-posted-transitions/
    Or
    2. https://bashfulscribewriting.wordpress.com/2021/07/02/subtlety-vs-confusion/
    Or
    3. https://bashfulscribewriting.wordpress.com/2021/07/24/new-chapter-posted-coming-across/

    Anyway, when I mentioned that I liked drama, I think I meant dialogue, and actual plot. I don’t agree with every move taken by everyone, (sometimes not even myself), but when I like somebody, I still enjoy/agree with the moves they do in general. Obviously everyone has different opinions, but one thing in common with most of the people on this site, is that we like your work in general, irrespective of whether a few chapters are in our taste or not.

    Ego Boost Alert (cause I know that you tell us that you don’t want to get a big head)

    For example, this recent comission had little non sexual dialogue, but I still enjoyed it because it was well written (aka decent English skills, and nicely sets off my imagination).
    I mean, ever since Being More Social, I’ve seen you as a legendary writer, and once I see such a great story, I still feel excited to read other stories even if they are of lesser quality. (Like how I listen to many songs of singers even if only 2 of the songs are actually great) . The dialogue in your stories are really good, and the setting and conflicts of the stories are already enjoyable. And I’ve already told you before, I think I’ve idolized you to the point that I’d read anything written by you. 😂😂😅

    Anything, as long as it isn’t something as poorly written as:
    I am David. I went outside today. I met a girl. I knew right from the start thay she had the hots for me. We instantly had sex. I enjoyed it. I left her and went back home. The end.

    Yeah, TL;DR I’m betting I’ll enjoy chapter 9, whether it has drama or not, cause as long as something happens in the chapter, if it’s written by BashfulScribe, I will like reading it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “””legendary”””

      Truth be told, it was a recent email I think that specifically highlighted how they wanted me to keep piling on the drama. I remember the exact wording, “I like that shit” or something similar. That said, your comments absolutely occupy my thoughts as well. I want all feedback and thoughts on my stories to take up space in my head, because my viewers are people that deserve to be cared about. You, as well as others, put time and energy into reading and keeping up with the stories. I, the author, at least owe you the same.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh also, I planned out the previous gigantic comment, but in the course of writing it, (during which my phone died but the text miraculously stayed intact), I forgot this little bit:

    As I said, I saw you as a legendary writer, around 3 years ago on sexstories.com, after BashfulScribe. Like, a J K Rowling or whatever. BMS was a very fun complicated story to read. Then last year, I randomly googled your name and ended up here. 😂😂😂
    Then it was crazy when I got to interact with you.
    And now what I say, actually bounces around in your head and affects what you write. Damn, that:s crazy. 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

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