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Flappers, Jazz and Valentino

The Sin in Syncopation - Flappers, Jazz and Valentino

♦ As you may already have heard if you follow me on Twitter, I’ve been published again! Hurrah! This marks the sixth time that’s happened, which I’m pretty certain makes me officially addicted.

The book in question is Flappers, Jazz and Valentino, edited by my friend Jillian Boyd who is amazing. It’s an anthology of erotica set in and inspired by the 1920s, which is one of my favourite decades. Here’s the blurb:

Step back in time to a decade full of glamour, glitz and decadent sin with this collection of erotica set in the Roaring Twenties. With twelve stories, in all shades from romantic and sensual to burning hot, this collection is the perfect appetizer for a night out at the speakeasy. A journalist gets a sexy introduction to the sinful syncopation of jazz music. A three-way tango performance becomes the steamiest ticket in town. The owners of a speakeasy set up a very special audition for their new trumpet boy. All this jazz and more in Flappers, Jazz and Valentino, edited by Jillian Boyd.

See that bit about the journalist getting an introduction to jazz? That’s me! That’s my story! Without giving too much away, The Sin in Syncopation is the story of a challenge between self-professed flapper Mae Porter and Calvin Locke, a journalist who has written an article decrying “immoral” jazz. I think I’ll give you a little snippet from it at the bottom of this post, but until then, why not hear more about the story and how and why I wrote it?

Whilst I’m by no means a massive history buff, I really like the Twenties. The music, the style, the intrigue of a decade whose mythology is filled with speakeasies, flappers and gangsters. Elegant women with androgynous hair and fringed dresses, handsome men in braces and shirt sleeves. All this made me want to write for Flappers, Jazz and Valentino. Besides which, I’d never written historical erotica before and so there was an element of adding another challenge to my publication history, like I had with my zombie tale and my micro-fiction.

It turned out to be quite tricky! Whilst I knew the era in broad brushstrokes, I had to do a lot of research for the story. At one point near the beginning of it, I could barely go a sentence without having to look something up! Did they say that phrase back then (the Internet often mashes 20s and 30s/40s slang together horribly)? Is that right for the time? I notably spent half an hour researching whether ladies’ clothes shops had changing rooms and then changed my mind and decided not to even use that bit. Sigh.

What inspired my story was actually an article I came across during the broad research and brainstorming of the era. I’d of course heard of the idea of jazz as the “devil’s music” and all of the protective, disapproving mumbling about it during the era, but I stumbled on a piece written in 1921 for the Ladies Home Journal entitled “Does Jazz Put the Sin in Syncopation?”. Suddenly the idea for almost fictionalising that came to me. I’d write about a stuffy journalist who authored a similar article condemning jazz and about a willful young flapper who tried to change her mind through charm, knowledge and seduction.

Her mind? Indeed. I started out writing the tale as a lesbian love story with a female journalist, as in the real-world article. I love lesbian erotica, done right, best of all. But I quickly realised it wasn’t working out for me. Lilian “Lil” Locke didn’t fit under the skin of the character I’d created, but, for some reason, Calvin “Cal” Locke did. I try not to give all that much attention to gender, so that’s a weird one to explain to myself.

One of the questions Jillian asked in her little author questionnaire to promote the anthology was “Do you have a favourite jazz tune?” Well, though I love jazz, as well as its later swing and big band counterpart (I’m a big Glenn Miller fan), I have to say that it was one song in particular that was the soundtrack to The Sin in Syncopation. I wrote the entirety (yes, all of it) of the story to the sound of Duke Ellington’s East St. Louis Toodle-Oo.

I don’t work at all well in silence nor do I work well with anything too needy for my attention. What I need, as I mentioned in my blog post about my writing process, is either the fake sound of rain or one piece of instrumental music that isn’t too intrusive but which does fit the mood of what I’m trying to write. On repeat. Forever. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo was just upbeat enough to suit a speakeasy or a rent party, but didn’t have any musical equivalents of “sudden movements”, so it didn’t break my concentration. Plus, it’s a fantastic bit of music.

So, if you need an accompaniment to the following (finally!) extract, just hit play up above. After an evening of getting nothing but the cold shoulder from Cal, and a little straight-talking from a Harlem jazz singer friend, Mae finally snaps:

Elbowing my way through the throng, I strode towards Calvin Locke, face burning, fuming. No more futzing around.

I found a small gap in the crowd just in front of him and planted myself firmly, feet apart, right where he could see me. He looked either puzzled or intrigued, I couldn’t tell. His lips moved, but I couldn’t hear him over the blare of the trumpet. It didn’t matter.

Lunging, I took his collar in one hand and pulled, bringing his head down and levering myself up to almost his height. My other hand tangled in his hair at the neck and I brought my lips to bear on his, pressing into a kiss, giving him the best damn smooch I’m sure I ever managed.

He was stiff as a stone. I thought it was all over.

But then, before I had time to break away or even know what was happening, he melted. He softened. I found his lips starting to move against mine. I found his hands at my hips, nestling among the beads of my shift dress. I found a murmur of pleasure that I felt against my mouth more than heard, because all I could hear, still, was the wail of the band and the stomp of feet.

His hands brought my body in closer and now there was no mistaking what I was unsure of earlier: a stiffness below his belt prodded my belly. I purred into him and swayed my hips.

I’m sure if this had been the pictures – had a kiss like this even been allowed in the pictures – we’d have pulled apart to find an awed hush, an audience and a general fuss about our “licentious” behaviour. This being The Chapel at the top of the night, we separated at last to find, as expected, that no-one had even paid us any heed. The band played on, the dancers got hot and, all in all, the Twenties continued to roar all around us.

I exhaled and looked Cal in the eyes. Now they were finally meeting mine, I didn’t want to look anywhere else. He was grinning like a panther, though panthers didn’t usually wind up smeared with ruby lipstick.

“Come on,” he said. “I know somewhere we can go.”

If that tickled your fancy, or if the thought of oodles of jazz-era erotica does it for you in general, head over to get your copy of Flappers, Jazz and Valentino right now in eBook (US here) or in paperback (US here)!

Very Short Stories – Take Me

♦ It’s time for another of my Very Short Stories! If you haven’t read any of mine yet, I encourage you to go and check out Covered in Cream, Prometheus, If We Hadn’t Had Sex and The Quoit, if you have time. And they each fit on a single Post-It note, so I’m thinking you definitely have time.

And since we’ve established that time is a thing you have, here’s another one!

Very Short Stories - Take Me

Just in case you can’t (or don’t want to) read my handwriting:

I’m too wise to give myself away. Take me. Possess me. Grab your compass and carve your initials into me. Invade me; let me be your spoils of war. I am not a gift for you. I want to be stolen. Snatch fistfuls of me and stuff me into your pockets. You just can’t have me. But take me all the same.

The prompt for this one was very strange indeed. It’s not the title phrase. It’s not even mentioned in the “story”. Heck, it hasn’t even got anything to do with the story! I tried to get inspiration by hitting “Random Card” on Magic: the Gathering card database Gatherer and this is what I found: Master Transmuter.

And inspire me it did! The beautiful hair, the cool blues, the filigree body… Filigree, is there a way I could use that? Perhaps writing on skin? Or the filigree look of fine hair? No, wait go back to that last thing. Suddenly I had the idea of writing on skin, which lead to possession, which lead to… this.

Which is one reason it irks me to see people saying that the form for Very Short Stories is to take a one-word prompt which then becomes your title, or things like that. Not so! In fact, I don’t give a fuck what inspires you. One word, two, ten, a picture, a mood, a smell… Just get inspired! And when you do, write what you’re inspired to write on just one side of a Post-It note. That’s all.

Give it a title. Or don’t. It doesn’t matter. This “meme” (I never quite intended a meme, but people seem to be calling it such, which is awfully flattering) is just about getting writing onto the (very tiny) page. About the challenge of a tiny creative space juxtaposed with the ease of fitting the short writing time into your schedule.

Time that, hey, we’ve established you’ve got when it comes to reading a couple of these. So maybe read some more? Since my last one of these, there have been new Very Short Stories posted on Cammies on the Floor, as well as by Valery North and by F Leonora Solomon. Check them out.

If you have time left over when you’re done, why not write your own? All it needs is you, a writing implement, a Post-It note and whatever your imagination gives you. And if your imagination is too wise to give things away? Take them all the same. ♦

My Writing Process

I’ve been tagged in a meme-style thing that’s going around at the moment by SheBoppin. And it was really fun to do! I definitely enjoyed writing about writing, even if my writing at the moment is a bit different to how it might be normally.

I believe I’m supposed to tag people at the end to carry on the meme, but frankly I’ve no idea who hasn’t already done one and I’ve also always hated singling people out for stuff like this in case I leave someone out and upset them. So, if you’re reading this blog post and you haven’t done it yourself yet, consider yourself tagged!

Without further ado…

First Off: What am I working on?

I’m not! Or rather I’ve just finished something, so I’m actually between writing projects at the moment. The future, of course, holds more reviews, more Very Short Stories, more posts in general and more submissions to erotica anthologies. In fact, that’s what I’ve just finished. I’ve been a busy bee over the last week or so doing research, plotting, writing and self-editing for an anthology of historical erotica, specifically set in the 1920s.

It was hard! Not only has it been a little while since I’ve written erotic fiction of any real length but I’ve never done historical before. And I may never do so again! I very much enjoyed all my initial research (I’m quite a fan of the ’20s already, which helps), but I found myself researching a lot more during the actual story itself than I’d expected. At some points nearly every sentence required a Google search! Notably, I wasted at least half an hour trying to work out what 1920s department store changing rooms, if any, were like. Then I scrapped that bit entirely anyway. Yay.

In any case, the story’s been accepted, so watch this space for news on the anthology!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, that depends which of “my work” we’re talking about. when it comes to reviews, I think I probably go into a little more detail than most, which leaves my reviews thorough but perhaps a little lengthy. I’d love to be snappier and punchier with them, like some of my favourite reviewers, but I just can’t bring myself to leave anything out, just in case someone finds it helpful. I also don’t sugar the pill. I’ve seen some reviewers reviewing products that I just can’t believe they’ve actually enjoyed. Sure, people are different, but I sometimes wonder if they’re just much less critical than me.

When it comes to general sex blogging, I think I’m still a rambly but it’s more because of a sort of conversational tone than any thoroughness. Clearly I just can’t shut up. I also like to spatter the blog with geeky references, but, hey, that’s just my life. Full of nerd.

As for erotica, I actually don’t feel I’m really qualified to answer! I’d love to know! And, heck, if you think you know any distinctive features of my erotica, I’d love to know what you think they are. I won’t bite. For some of my erotica, especially my flash fiction, I’ve noticed a bit of a tendency to try to evoke and use nostalgia. I like that and I hope it works well.

Why do I like what I do?

Again, it depends. I’m not actually sure why I like reviews except that I love sex toys, I love having Very Important Opinions and I think I don’t actually suck at reviewing, which is nice. Plus, I enjoy setting up the photos of the toys too.

For writing about my actual sex life, well… I’m not actually sure I do any more. Yeah. Awkward. It’s not that Crush and I don’t have good sex any more, we totally do (and we also have sex which is just “fine”, because that’s relationships), it’s just that I don’t really think I’m interested in blogging about it any more. And I have no idea why. It’s something I’ve not really come to any decision on yet, sort of hoping to avoid it, but it shouldn’t stop me writing the blog.

At “worst”, the focus will shift even more onto reviews, erotica and stuff about sex rather than me going on about me having sex. Because I’m not actually sure what the point of that is any more. I started the blog to be sexual when I felt “real life” wasn’t fit for that. These days, well, I’m a fucking adult, I can talk about sex all I like in real life and anyone who doesn’t like it can go to hell. Not so much need for a specific space for it any more.

As for erotica, well, I’ve always loved to write creatively. I wanted to be an author for quite a chunk of my childhood. And now, whilst I’m not making a living off it (or really trying to at the moment), I guess an author is what I am. Which… still feels a bit fraudulent to say, but, hey, Amazon agrees with me. Writing creatively about sex, incidentally, still absolutely grabs me. I think I might be channelling all my energy for writing erotically about sex into fiction rather than fact, perhaps.

How does my writing process work?

Reviews are easy. During periodic testing, I first jot down anything that leaps out at me about the toy. It all goes into a draft post as it comes out of my head. I rearrange that to suit the flow of a review and then see what else I can mention about the toy when I sit and think about it. I then look back at a previous review of mine and follow that same rough structure, using my notes and adding more details where necessary. Then it’s a quick proofread and post. Done.

For fiction, it’s harder. Er, panic? If the theme of the story needs research (like my latest ’20s one), I research. I think over hooks and ideas for what the plot could be or what my angle on the theme might be. I make notes of snippets or inspirations that appeal to me. I try to find a story that grabs me. I can usually feel whether or not I can make an idea work.

Once I’ve got an idea, I try to hash out a vague order of events or scenes and then I just start writing, beginning to end. Rainy Mood is essential, because silence cripples my creative thought process (but not my other ones). If I’m on a topic that suits music (jazz for the ’20s or tango for Take Your Partner), I can work with one non-intrusive instrumental piece on repeat. No new stimuli.

When I’ve finally finished (I get quicker the further in I go), I get Crush to read over it for typos and inconsistencies. Then I send it to a beta-reader (or two) who is usually the divine and intensely skilled Lady Pandorah. If she likes it, I know it’s not crap. I work on any feedback or clarifications needed and then send it off!

Very Short Stories – The Quoit

♦ It’s been a little while since we’ve had any Very Short Stories. Not content with the three linked just there, I’ve written another. And I’m not the only one! Please do check out these Very Short Stories by F Leonora Solomon, Cammies on the Floor and Adriana. They’re great!

If you’re still not sure how to get involved yourself, it’s easy: find a word or two (or really anything) to use as a prompt, get inspired, then write a teeny-tiny story on only one side of a post-it note. Hotel stationery works well too! When you’re done, let me know where it is so I can link to you. A link back would be nice too.

And write as many as you like! I find these a great little exercise to get your creative juices dripping or to just let out some writing in a way you perhaps don’t always have time for. I’ve even written one of these on public transport.

Anyway, here’s my latest:

Very Short Stories - The Quoit

“Down by the quoit we met and fucked. Your eyes, pricked by pollen, streamed as you came. Shallow white scrapes furrowed my shoulder blades; the granite had held me as hard as you had. That Indian summer couldn’t last. But I still carry the sound of still air peppered by your grunts, the thrill of something so vital perched panting on the dry rocks of the dead, the pressed gorse in my wallet from your hastily gathered bouquet.”

For those of you who don’t know what a quoit is, you may know them better by the name dolmen. Where I’m from, we call them quoits. In any case, they’re (mostly) neolithic tombs made from big-ass rocks. They’re pretty cool and we have quite a few notable ones in Cornwall.

Today’s Very Short Story is, I have to say, rather Cornish-tinged. Quoits, granite in general, gorse, all are vivid parts of my background, though I sadly never had sex up against one. I suppose there’s still time?

In any case, given that today is the day that we the Cornish have finally been recognised as a national minority group (for which I’m ecstatic) with the same rights and protections as the Welsh, Irish and Scots, I thought a bit of nostalgia for the land of my fathers (bro goth agan tasow) was apt. I hope you enjoyed it!

What would a Very Short Story tinged with your cultural heritage be like? I’d love to see some! ♦

Very Short Stories – If We Hadn’t Had Sex

♦ It seems my Very Short Stories idea has been catching on! When I last told you about them, one other, the lovely Innocent Loverboy, had joined in. Since then, four more have cropped up! So please go and read the wonderful posts by Jilly Boyd, Girl on the Net, Lady Pandorah and Ruby Goodnight.

I am, I have to say, absolutely thrilled and humbled that so many lovely people are joining in! Thank you, all!

For those who’ve missed what this is all about, it’s very simple. I started writing teeny-tiny flash fiction on Post-it notes. First, Covered in Cream, then Prometheus. Want to join in? Here’s how it works: Take a Post-it note, find a prompt word from anywhere you like, write a story no bigger than your sticky note. Then share it with the world and let me know! A link back would be lovely.

In fact, I wrote another, so here’s another example…

image

“Maybe if we hadn’t had sex, I wouldn’t have damp jeans on from not giving the dryer enough time to run. Maybe if we hadn’t had sex, I wouldn’t be out of breath from having to run for the train.

Perhaps, if we hadn’t had sex, I’d have an extra £1.60 in my pocket because I’d have waited for change. Maybe if we hadn’t had sex, my damp jeans and my damp knickers (nothing to do with laundry) wouldn’t be combining unsettlingly. Maybe if we hadn’t had sex, I wouldn’t be grinning. ”

I’m cheating a little, as it’s a sort of literary-ised (totally a word) version of a few real events from my mad dash to my train to get to Eroticon 2014 for the Friday.  But I think it still counts. If not fiction, then fiction-ish.

I managed with smaller writing (made more troublesome by the train I was writing it on, sorry) to make a grand 92 words this time, but it looks like I’d have to write very cramped to manage many more. But that’s fine by me. It’s the dinky aspect of this that appeals to me and I’ll likely try to write bigger next time.

Next time? Oh, yes, I’m certainly keeping these going. In fact, Eroticon gave me several ideas! What about you? Can you write a story on a Post-It? When will the inspiration for your next Very Short Stories hit? ♦

Very Short Stories – Prometheus

♦ You may remember I posted something recently about Very Short Stories, the idea of writing flash fiction that fits on one side of an ordinary Post-It note. I shared my first attempt, too, a bit of a silly-but-sexy piece inspired by coffee (but not written whilst drinking it).

Heck, it’s even caught on a little bit, with bloggers keen to try their own versions and with some, like my friend Innocent Loverboy, having finished their Very Short Stories already. If anyone else has done one, just let me know! I’d love to read it and to let people know about it here.

In any case, I thought it was high time I did another. Again, I’m showing you both the actual Post-It and then giving a transcription for accessibility purposes…

image

“You stumbled into my Friday night a repentant Prometheus, bringing fire back to my belly. You left the bar with my number and a taxi fare. By Monday you could mould me like clay, breathing life into my cock at a whisper from your lips. Thursday evening saw the perfect retribution, as I chained you spread-eagled to my bed. Your liver untouched, I gorged myself on your cunt.”

Again, not a perfect tale, but again un-edited (except a word or two as I was still writing) and teeny-tiny. This one is a mere 55 words compared to the previous 62. My prompt, if you hadn’t already guessed, was the name Prometheus. Although I was inspired by finding the name out of context, I love the myth and soon ideas and analogies came racing to mind.

I’m quite pleased, though I wonder if I might be trying to do too much in too small a space (that may sort of be the concept, I suppose) and it’s certainly good to try some straight-up erotica rather than last time’s playful pretend porn.

What do you think of it? ♦

Very Short Stories

♦ I popped into WH Smith’s recently to pick up a much needed new pencil case (my old one smells awfully of old curry, don’t ask) and some other stationery things. After all, with Eroticon 2014 coming up, I need to be kitted out to write, write, write (and not smell like old curry).

While there, I found a notebook that’s perfect for taking with me, as well as this interesting little thing…

Very Short Stories - Cover

It’s not, as it first appears, a notebook. It’s a tiny, adorable little pad of post-it notes. I just don’t need post-it notes in any way, but the cover of the pad caught my attention. “Very short stories,” it says. Sure, it goes on to say “about milk, cheese and bread”, but the idea of very short stories wouldn’t let go.

I didn’t need to actually write my shopping list, after all. And the pad was small enough to keep inside my new pencil case, meaning I could write any time. And the longer I stood there, the more I saw the little pad of “very short stories” as a challenge.

Dammit, I could write very short stories in it! I could! And they’d be sexy and tiny and I could make it work. And even if I couldn’t, the exercise was bound to be interesting, worth blogging and undoubtedly very useful for honing my skills at writing bigger, longer stories.

So I bought it. Today, a few days later, I decided to give it a go. I logged on to Twitter, determined to take the first word of inspiration that hit me. What follows is the result (in picture form for authenticity, then transcribed for accessibility). It took me about three minutes, from that first word I used as my muse to drawing the little diamond signature in the bottom.

Very Short Stories - The Coffee Story

“Alone together at last. The long day had led to aching anticipation for this moment. I licked my lips, savouring the view. Strong, dark, patiently waiting for me and covered in cream… I had fantasised about you, but now I worried you were too hot to handle. Taking the plunge, I took you in my hand… And drank you. Thank Christ for coffee.”

And there you have it. Perfect? No. Fantastic? No. But at a mere 62 words and in a mere 3 minutes or less on a theme chosen at random from a word found on Twitter and essentially unedited, I’m quite pleased with it. I’m certainly going to write more of these. It was a nice challenge to keep it ambiguous until the last (calling coffee “he” or “she” seemed disingenuous) and I like the playful idea.

Maybe the Very Short Story (flash fiction on teeny-tiny post-its) will catch on and bloggers and writers everywhere will join in! What do you think, could you write a story on a post-it note? And what are your thoughts on mine? ♦

Want to see the next Very Short Story of mine? It’s called Prometheus.

Micro-Fiction #1 – The Resistance

♦ Whilst I don’t have all the time in the world, sadly, to write normal fiction at the moment, I think I can still find time here and there to write a little micro-fiction themed around sex, love and all the other things this blog is for. I’m hoping to capture something strong in just a few words, ideally a dozen or fewer.

I’d love to know what impression this gives you. What’s the story here? 

“I don’t trust you,” she said.

“But I love you.”

Trust in Me by AbstractNeko

Felt Tips

Of Silver, Sin and School Desks in Felt Tips

♦ I probably should have written this post when Felt Tips originally came out in December, but I really wanted to wait for the paperback version so I could have something to hold in my hands and take slightly self-important pictures of. But nonetheless, hey, look! A book! And that’s my name in it!

So, you’ll hopefully know I’ve been published before (in Hungry for Love and Take Your Partner) and now I’ve gone and done it again! Hooray!

The book is Felt Tips by the wonderful Tiffany Reisz and, as I say, it was originally out at the end of last year in eBook format. And now the paperback has been released and my copy just arrived in the post, which makes me feel all shiny. Felt Tips is the world’s first and only collection of “Office-supply Erotica”. Porn with pens. Erotica about erasers. Sex with… staplers? Ouch.

Here’s a teeny snippet:

“Please,” I said and before I knew it I could feel the pencil-clamps pinching down, first on my left nipple, then my right. They were astonishingly tight for something so… Blue Peter. I felt electrified.

To come up with the story, I played around with some stationery ideas in my head to see what sparked and when I’d settled on the main items used in my story, the idea of a teacher and taking the office out of office supplies really grabbed me. As I told Tiffany, “I know a teacher or two and so I have a bit of an insight into that sort of strange professional repression that can come with it that might beg to be released”. I found it quite compelling and, lo and behold, my first acceptance email came out of it. A little later Felt Tips hit the scene.

Felt Tips book

With over 40 authors contributing and with Tiffany donating a new Original Sinners story, there’s bound to be something for everyone. And since all proceeds go to an organisation that helps struggling schools supply their classrooms, you’ll be doing your heart good as well as your bits! Brits, you can pick up Felt Tips on Amazon UK in eBook here and paperback here. For everyone else, the Amazon US links are here for the eBook and here for the paperback.

Although life has slowed down my fiction writing a little, I’m determined to take the very good advice of several friends and professional acquaintances and just not stop writing. In fact, I’m hoping to have another story published soon, so watch this space! ♦

Finessing Sex – Eroticon 2013

♦ In my last post, I wrote about the Eroticon 2013 poetry workshop run by Ashley Lister and showed you the poems I wrote in a panic during the session. Now there’s more where that came from, but from a different, equally fabulous session: KD Grace‘s Finessing Sex creative writing workshop.

Creative writing 5: Finessing Sex : KD Grace

It was described thusly…

“KD Grace will take writers beyond the slang of the old ‘in and out’ and beyond the biology of coitus to the other levels where sex takes place and will show how well-written sex shapes the story and the characters. The session will involve some writing and some brainstorming and hopefully a whole lot of finessing what we all want to write right. Though the session is designed to help newbies break through to a deeper level of writing sex, it will also help anyone writing sex in fiction do the same.”

KD Grace, a wonderful speaker, furnished us all with a handout and began her presentation on how to make our writing zing, along with some incredibly helpful advice, before getting to the part that made me gulp nervously: actually writing.

Five Minutes: Invent your characters

Using the tips she’d given us, we were to spend five minutes thinking of some characters to work with. I struggled here, indecisively bouncing back and forth between ideas.

At first I considered “cheating” and using the often-helpful method of basing characters off real people. I considered fictionalising my current girl-crush Red. Then I wrote, a step further away from that, of “the girl in the coffee shop with the not-quite-covered-up tatts and the pierced nose” and “the shy student with a thesis to finish and a need to blow off steam”.

Then, a love triangle of characters I’d written for multi-author fantasy story back in my teens popped unbidden into my head. Fuck, where on Earth had they come from? That was never designed to have erotic content, although I’m fairly sure that sex was going to come up as a plot point. But they suddenly SO wanted to be written. I’m now seriously wondering if there’s something I can do with them in future.

By this point, my five minutes was nearly up and I’d decided that those characters needed far too much housekeeping and gentle treatment in my head. So I brushed them aside and hurriedly decided to hang everything on a story hook I’d thought of a few months earlier: a girl who fetishes ancient/old objects. A kink for the past. Rushing like mad before the timer, I invented a quick secondary character: her shy boyfriend, not understanding her kink but eager to please and deeply in love.

Ten Minutes: Write your sex scene

Then, characters still jostling for space in my head and still battling indecision, a longer, harder challenge. Start writing a sex scene in medias res and don’t stop until ten minutes are up. Don’t be too picky, don’t self-edit, just write like the wind.

This is what I came up with…

The door creaked far more than I’d have liked as it closed; the little draft-excluding brush on the bottom – the kind you only get in public buildings like this one – kicked up fine dust from the marble floor. We waited, fixed on these little details while the danger of being discovered passed.

But no-one came.

Hurriedly, he took my hand and led me over to the main exhibit of this room: a fossilised tree trunk calcified millions of years ago. I reached out to touch it reverently, almost feeling an aura around it as I drew near. It was cool to the touch and smooth like onyx.

“Come on,” he hissed. “We don’t have long.”

I turned and hopped up backwards onto the trunk’s broad top, feeling the millennia-old relic on my bare thighs.

I wasn’t wearing panties. And he knew it.

Gingerly he placed a hand on either of my knees and splayed them outwards. I wriggled and eased my skirt up as he did so. The glacier mint sharpness of the trunk made my…

And that’s as far as I got. I noticed that even though I thought I’d started in the middle of the action, I was nowhere near. Very little sex happened in my sex scene, which quite surprised me.

On the whole I can’t say that I’m pleased with it, but I’m pleased with the idea of it. I certainly don’t hate it. I’d never publish it, of course, but there’s some promise, I think. And that’s the idea. KD told us that the important thing is to write, that you’ve got to have something on the page to work with before you can edit anything, improve anything, play with anything.

Write shit down, sort it out later.

It was very refreshing, because I’m perhaps guilty of being a little too precious about the words I actually put down on “paper”. It’s got to be as close to right as I can get it first time. But it can’t be and it never will be and being forced to deal with that was a wonderful exercise.

Will you be seeing this story again? Yes, I hope so. It needs a lot of thought put into the characters and the plot, but the hook is there and there are some bare bones to work with. And, if nothing else, I’ve proved I can do something with it.

Now all I need to do is to find more instances where I have a pen, paper, five minutes and enough brain energy to think with and I’m sorted.

Don’t forget, you can share the results of your ten minute writing exercise over on Irregular Voice with Mia More. ♦