Smut Marathon review Round 4

The Smut Marathon has moved onto round 5 and I am still in the competition. If anyone had told me at the beginning I would make it to round 4 and beyond, I would have been happy and proud. But on Sunday when the results were published I felt despondent. Not because I had made it through but because I saw that I came last for round 4.

This round we were asked to write a masturbation scene, involving one person and one toy. I took this literally and so didn’t ask for guidance. Consequently I edited out most of the references to another person. This made it a standard masturbation piece, that didn’t really include any context. But my original story of 500 words was much better. It included clear reference to the person who had turned her on all day and who she was due to meet later.  See 8, A Hot Day for the final entry.

Worse, in my editing I failed to recognise that I had mixed my tenses, something I was critical of others for. The key message here, is to check editing and perhaps get another person to proof read.

Voting

Marie does an amazing job. Not only has she created this whole competition which she manages day to day. But she sends the prompts, updates and reminders to all of those involved and also analyses the results. The analysis is testament to her love of statistics. Comments can be left following voting, and are posted once this has closed and results are imminent. The voting system is complex but means that while the judges have 9 votes on a sliding scale everyone else can only vote for 3. For those of us in the competition, this feels unfair. We are allowed to vote for ourselves and if you do, then you can choose only two other entries.

We are all looking for different things when judging the writing of others and unless I have missed something until today I was unclear of any judging guidelines. But having read the blog of one of the judges I can see that he is following some clear criteria. 

This includes whether the entry is original. This made me think about other comments from the judges. All of whom have commented have mentioned originality.

My writing

I am not a writer of erotica per say. That is not what my blog is about or for, though I have made a few fictional attempts. I am not even very good at writing about my own experiences creatively. Mainly because, once in sub space I struggle to remember and later to express the deeper meaning of what has happened.

I am a slave and one of the things I can’t do in my relationship is to orgasm without permission. I am also a 55 year old woman who doesn’t really need to orgasm every day. Put those 2 things together with the fact that we don’t live together then this provides the context. I don’t masturbate alone and am not all that good at expressing experiences.

So writing for this assignment meant I was in the main working from memory. My story wasn’t original, wasn’t well edited and contained poor grammar.

But I do take some comfort in Marie’s comments:

There is nothing wrong with this scene. It’s a masturbation scene that works. However, it might just be a bit too standard. Maybe the shower would have been a better setting, with her on her knees fucking a dildo?

Thoughts about how to be more original and start to think outside of my comfort zone. Whether I can do that remains to be seen, but I will give it my best shot.

Thoughts going forward

It isn’t just judges who put a lot of effort in to this. We are spending time as contestants with our entries. I urge others to comment too. That includes the judges. I know we are all busy people that have plenty else to do but comments matter.

I urge Marie to publish criteria that the judges are working to, so we all know. If this is already out there, then please let us know. If judges are working to different criteria then I urge this to be corrected.

I urge those not involved and those who are out of the competition to vote and to comment. Your thoughts are necessary and welcome, even if they feel difficult to manage.

Finally, I urge those who are doing well to recognise the fact and to perhaps support the rest of us and help build confidence. After all, a competition is nothing without participants.

 

 

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.