Merry Christmas and happy holidays! I guess we can say that my new chapter of Consequences is my holiday season gift to you all. I hope that it brings you joy.
So, there are a few things that were done in Being More Social that I want to avoid in Consequences, of course – I think a good sequel needs to assess the original and make a commentary on it. Plus, I’ve changed as a writer since, so even if I tried, I doubt I could make Consequences more of the same. I’m even finding one particular issue with my writing that I’m trying to remedy – too many stationary conversations, not enough events with actions and movement. If you’ve noticed this too, I can only apologize. I guess I’ve gotten so comfy with dialogue that I’ve let it grow too unrestricted. I’m working on fixing it.
One thing I’m trying to do is to understand the story’s relationship to stakes. Being More Social had a lot of high-stakes events – grief, assault, drama, etc. Some readers have pointed out how much lower the stakes in Mutual Benefits are even if the emotions can be just as high. Some have speculated that was just me growing and maturing as a writer. I can’t say whether that’s true or not, since I can’t tell my readers how they perceive me, so as always, come to your own conclusions. However, I feel like a sequel to Being More Social can’t just abandon its higher-stakes roots. Although the first five chapters were tamer than, say, the first five of BMS, we all know that crazy events will be happening, right? I feel like each chapter shows more and more the tension bubbling below the surface, and plus, high-stakes events can come out of nowhere. You, and I, will be surprised at what happens in future chapters.
I try to pride myself on my commitment to reality, but as well, I do just want to tell a story at the end of the day. Not every facet of my stories have to be real. Indeed, the pursuit of being realistic about everything might actually turn off a lot of readers. I feel like I should be playing around more with what I want and not believing in this rigidity, this expectation. I can’t imagine everyone has been perfectly happy with every chapter of Consequences, and perhaps I should embrace this and “write for me.” I’d like to say I do write for me, but I know I can’t escape the worry of, “oh, did this sexual tension come out of nowhere? Maybe I should rewrite it…”
Along with that, I’d like to say sorry for the lack of blog posts. I’ve gone down to consistently doing 2 a month, down from 4. I should be better than that. Even if the stories are more complicated, consistent blog posts aren’t. I’ll make it my New Years Resolution to see how long I can last consistently doing a blog post a week. As well, I really do need to set aside more time and get these darned commissions done. Not enough hours in the day. It’s slowly killing me, but hey, it’s affecting all of us.
Despite the dour tone of this particular blog, I’m doing alright. I’m going to take a few days off from work entirely and just relax for a few days after posting this. Between writing this, other creative projects and my job, I haven’t had much time to have a life away from writing and work, so that should be nice. I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the holiday season. I might post once more before the end of 2022, and I might not, but I will talk to you all next week.
3 thoughts on “[New Chapter Posted!] The Return of High Emotions”
Balance of conversations, events and actions is important. Be aware of risk of overcompensation. Erotic stories are more about relations than actions. The opposite is rather a written porn or mindless action movie. Relations are about communication. Many real relations have died due lack of it.
Too many actions lose their effects. That was known by Alfred Hitchcock, the father of horror movies, who was master of proper action dosing, interrupted by not less fearful but more static situations.
But I believe you will do well. Conversations not being static, but triggering events and actions. And vice versa, events and actions leading to “We need to talk…”
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I agree that your chapters for the past year or so have been much more static, but it’s really hard to put my finger on exactly what it is different. You’re more polished and consistent now, but that’s somehow got rid of the excitement of the ‘what the actual fuck?’ moments. Like when Megan gave Adam a blowjob for the first time, that was so sudden and out of character (at the time) that it was fun to read.
The anticipation style you’ve developed can sometimes get rid of the shock and surprise of spontaneous moments. Also! I think you describe movement less than in BMS, scenes now start immediately in the new location. Whereas before, for example, the scene would start in the car outside of Nicole’s room. There would be a description of the walk inside, a hello to parents and an interaction with Nicole and the parents to see a different side of her to flesh out the character, THEN the room where the plot stuff happens. With the exception of chapter 4, there has been minimal build up to any of Nicole’s sex scenes. They also don’t seem to serve a larger purpose like they did in BMS.
I don’t want this to come across like these are blanket criticisms, your new style means there is less faff now and it is more realistic, not to mention professional. You can fit more dialogue in too, I like that. It’s just different, and I’d like to hear your analysis on how your style has changed since you were 18
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This is a really good piece of criticism/feedback. I do want Nicole’s scenes to feel more purposeful and contextualized, and I’ll work to remedy that in future chapters. I’ll hmm and haw over the ‘spontaneity’ theme a bit more.