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Anonymous beginnings of stories in undefined space and time... Options · View
Paddler
Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2011 1:37:49 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 12/22/2010
Posts: 41
director {rant} I don't understand the proclivity of many writers of erotic fiction to have stories begin with the protagonist in some situation that's undefined. The reader doesn't know who the narrator or subject is, doesn't know where they are or how they got there, only that they're being kissed, or hung from the ceiling or have their cock in a vise grip. I think writers who use this "device" feel that it gives an air of mystery and is intriguing. It isn't. It's disorienting and confusing. I think it's just plain sloppy writing, frankly. It may be that a writer overcomes "writer's block" by such a beginning, but then the writer should return and fix the beginning. {/rant}

Occasionally, a device like this works, typically in a noir detective novel in which our hero gets brained at the end of one chapter and wakes up who knows where in the next, but in those circumstances we at least know who he is and that he got coshed.

I frequently stop reading in the first sentence with a beginning like that.

This topic was inspired by a new writer for Lush, puckbunii, whose story, Keep the noise down, had such a beginning. The opening sentence was otherwise brilliant, imo, so I kept reading and I'm glad I did. The story as a whole works very well.

What do others think of anonymous beginnings in unknown space and time?

Paddling works three ways:

* Me on top
* You on top
* On the water
DirtyMartini
Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2011 1:58:29 AM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,900
Location: Right here on Lush Stories..., United States
Just read it...not sure what you mean...
You mean because you couldn't tell they were in a plane at first?


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Lush Erotica, an Anthology of Award Winning Sex Stories

Guest
Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2011 5:21:13 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 779,337
Paddler wrote:
director {rant} I don't understand the proclivity of many writers of erotic fiction to have stories begin with the protagonist in some situation that's undefined. The reader doesn't know who the narrator or subject is, doesn't know where they are or how they got there, only that they're being kissed, or hung from the ceiling or have their cock in a vise grip. I think writers who use this "device" feel that it gives an air of mystery and is intriguing. It isn't. It's disorienting and confusing. I think it's just plain sloppy writing, frankly. It may be that a writer overcomes "writer's block" by such a beginning, but then the writer should return and fix the beginning. {/rant}

Occasionally, a device like this works, typically in a noir detective novel in which our hero gets brained at the end of one chapter and wakes up who knows where in the next, but in those circumstances we at least know who he is and that he got coshed.

I frequently stop reading in the first sentence with a beginning like that.

This topic was inspired by a new writer for Lush, puckbunii, whose story, Keep the noise down, had such a beginning. The opening sentence was otherwise brilliant, imo, so I kept reading and I'm glad I did. The story as a whole works very well.

What do others think of anonymous beginnings in unknown space and time?


I assume your remarks are based on stories published here at Lush, and directed to the writers here. My answer is based on that; namely, stories written by Lush writers.

I haven't given it any thought at all, nor have I been sufficiently aware of it for it to bother me.

There are other things that many writers do which irritate me, but I remind myself constantly that the writers who submit their stories here are, for the most part, amateurs. The degree of competence in both the ability to write coherently and tell a story varies immensely, as I'm sure you have seen for yourself.

The author of the story you refer to states at the top of her text that it is her first story, and she asks for criticism. That is very brave of her, in my opinion. Why don't you send her a PM with a private, carefully worded critique of the things that bothered you, explaining at the same time that you were drawn in sufficiently by her first sentence to continue reading. If she is indeed a first time author, then she might be very happy to have some constructive analysis of her work, in an effort to learn and improve.

Many Lush authors have started out with similar structural problems in their writing, and through feedback and help have improved greatly.
Jillicious
Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2011 7:48:23 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/28/2009
Posts: 1,293
gypsymoth wrote:
...I remind myself constantly that the writers who submit their stories here are, for the most part, amateurs...Many Lush authors have started out with similar structural problems in their writing, and through feedback and help have improved greatly.


This is very true. Most of us are amateurs. I've recently discovered how wordy my writing is. I could be much more to the point. I also used to use 'very' all the time. Instead I started writing bullshit instead of very and now i just delete the bullshit when i'm done. It makes for cleaner sentences. It is the little things that begin to add up. My writing has improved but I've got a long way to go.

Instead of publicly berating an author, especially a new one, it is usually best to just send them a message.

Thousands of user submitted stories removed from the site. You are nothing without your users or their freely submitted stories.
Paddler
Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2011 9:05:26 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 12/22/2010
Posts: 41
I did send the author a message with compliments about specific aspects of the story at the beginning. I also told her that the overall quality of the story far overshadowed the suggestions I had. I included some suggestions to improve the story.

I have not heard back from her yet, but it's only been a few hours.

I guess others aren't as bothered as I by this kind of writing. Hmmmm.....

coffee




Paddling works three ways:

* Me on top
* You on top
* On the water
Magical_felix
Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2011 12:14:46 PM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 7,632
Location: California
Maybe giving you every little detail at the beginning isn't her style? It would be redundant if everyone wrote in the same way. Maybe her fantasies are more focused on making a passionate connection with someone and it comes through in the way she writes.

Paddler
Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2011 8:14:32 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 12/22/2010
Posts: 41
First, I thank you all for taking the time to respond.

I'm glad to report that puckbunii received my compliments and suggestions as such and tried some of them and found them helpful. She sent me a thank you note. I feel we'll hear more from her in the future.

The responses here show me that I'm bothered more by anonymous, spaceless beginnings than others. Guess I should try to get over it.

Thanks again, all.




Paddling works three ways:

* Me on top
* You on top
* On the water
SweetPenny
Posted: Sunday, January 16, 2011 6:36:52 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/15/2010
Posts: 1,274
Location: State of Confusion
I get frustrated when I read a Lush story written in the first person view, and I can't tell until halfway through the story if the narrator is male or female.
Paddler
Posted: Sunday, January 16, 2011 9:20:53 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 12/22/2010
Posts: 41
Right, I know what you mean. And sometimes, as a screener, you have to read the story whether you like it or not, I suppose. Thanks for the "sacrifice."

I recently read as story that had a good basic situation. The two main characters, a man and a woman, were described as "she" and "you," but the story was told from her point of view. I read the story mainly to figure out what person it was written in. Never did figure it out. Omniscent 2nd person? Doesn't make sense. The best I came up with was "choose the other person's own adventure."

That having been said, I've made numerous mistakes, such as shifting point of view in a story for children. If I'd carefully read several successful stories for kids, I would have picked up that changing points of view isn't done in that genre 'cause it confuses the kids.

I know what I know, and one thing I know is that I have a lot to learn.


Paddling works three ways:

* Me on top
* You on top
* On the water
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