Smut Marathon – Thoughts on rounds 1 and 2

The results for round 2 of the Smut Marathon are in and I am happy to report I made it through. There have been several times over the past few weeks that I have had cause to question my motives for entering the competition.

It isn’t as if I am a prolific writer of fiction, erotic, smutty or not. I lead a busy life and have enough deadlines to meet without putting myself under pressure in this way. I am not entirely keen on my work being critiqued and criticised, well certainly not at work. While as part of this competition your work is voted on and people provide feedback. However, the thing that makes this different is that entries are anonymous until each round ends.

Round 1

As soon as the first assignment arrived I considered withdrawing. While I was fully aware of what a metaphor is, I don’t use them in my writing. Having pulled myself together though, I did some research on the internet and had a look at a few examples. I decided that my focus would be about a person who lures their prey into their nest or den. Then wrote something, found it to be far too long and so began editing. Happy enough with my completed entry, I prepared to hit ‘send’. Only to re-read (or probably read) the rules and realise I had 2 sentences rather than 1.

“Leonie wondered why she decided to have sex with a man that was definitely not her type; pursuing her prey had been much more fun than capturing him.”

I was amused then, to be criticised by one of the judges for my use of a semi colon. There were a few other comments, one or two complementary but I didn’t score particularly well. I needed to up my game.

Round 2

In this round we were asked to write a piece of flash fiction incorporating one of the metaphor sentences. This was to be no more than 100 words plus that of the chosen entry. 

I spent a few days deciding on the entry to use, and then went with my initial gut instinct – Libido by Nero J Black. I wrote my story in long hand while eating noodles in a café one lunch time, then typed it onto my work iPad. It was 250 words long, but was a start.

A few days later I went back to it and started to edit it down. By the time it was 150 it looked different, though was essentially the same story. Word by word I paired it back further until it was exactly 113 words long. Mine was called ‘The Risk’

When voting began I was pleasantly surprised to find that my metaphor from round 1 had been used by 2 people.

Comments and voting

This time I received a greater number of  comments most of them positive. What is more, I also received votes from 2 of the judges and some public vote too. Maybe then I am not so bad at this kind of thing after all. In the next round, which I can’t discuss yet, I will have to write something I have never before attempted.

Final thoughts

Fewer people voted this time than last and that may have affected who went through and who didn’t. I gather from reading twitter that some of the entrants didn’t vote and since you can vote for yourself that might not have been the best thing. Some of the well established and talented sex bloggers haven’t made it through which is a great shame. Anonymity may have played a part, but also that this required most if not all of us to write in a way that we don’t usually.

I don’t know if this will be my last round; as I said, I am well and truly out of my comfort zone now. But I am really glad I entered the Smut Marathon. I have learnt much about writing, but also about myself.

5 Replies to “Smut Marathon – Thoughts on rounds 1 and 2”

  1. Hey, Julie, I am glad you went through – I read something you wrote recently – you said you are a direct kinda writer, and i think I said there is room for all different types of writing in this world. I am a “dirty” writer rather than “romantic” – luckily i got through too – so many good writers didn’t that i feel a little humbled but you and i have got to go forward with the knowledge that direct and dirty writing – as long as it is creative – is needed too 😉 😉 😉 x

  2. Normally, I feel similar. I write what I feel is more “literary” erotica, rather than smut or, how you phrase it, dirty and direct. I think there is a place and an audience for all types of writing.

    I got knocked for my use of semi-colon, too, with a sideways accusation that it was “cheating.” To me, a semi-colon is a valid and correct way to merge two connected ideas. Grammar back me (and you) on this…so screw the criticism on this.

    I’m shocked and amazed to still be in the competition. But, as you point out, with any competition, we are at the mercy of our judges and the voters. In a way, it might be a matter of figuring out what they want and playing along, or getting out and standing behind our own style. Or it’s just fucking luck.

    Nonetheless, it IS an interesting way to stretch our writing. I always find when I am forced to conform to a rule or form, I am pushed to risk and try new things that I might otherwise avoid. Using someone else’s metaphor was hard. And many people thought my writing was sad, rather than sexy.

    Like you, I stand behind my style. Erotica is a collection of qualities, from dirty to sensual, from subtle to raunchy. And if nothing else, I feel blessed to swim in a sea of creative water from other writers like yourself.

    1. Thank you and I wholeheartedly agree. I am looking forward to writing about the next round, because as I say this will be new territory for me. Meantime, lets keep our punctuation and grammar reasonable and our work interesting and worth sharing.

  3. You definitely are not as bad at this kind of thing than you thought. This is the beauty of the Smut Marathon, that people learn more about their own writing and suddenly discover that they can actually write!

    Good luck on the first assignment 🙂

    Rebel xox

    PS: It was good to meet you at Eroticon and next year we will make more time to talk!

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