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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Writing Wibbles

The more sharp-eyed readers (and I love you all, sharp-eyed or not) noticed that I changed the usual title of Wednesday Wibbles to Writing Wibbles. I’m doing this for two reasons:
  • They don't always end up getting posted on Wednesdays.
  • Much of the content of these posts is about writing in general, and how my writing in particular is going, anyway. May as well make it official, and talk about the free-range insane asylum during the rest of the week.
  • As I get closer to releasing White Pickups, and slowly drop my light coat of anonymity, TFM will of necessity focus more on writing until I move that to its own blog or website.

Earlier this week, Tony Noland wrote a blog post about The risks and rewards of posting NSFW content, after an unusually erotic (for him) #FridayFlash story created some blowback. He hesitated about posting it at first, and asked for opinions on Friday morning. I obliged, and thought it erotic but well-written and not as “bad” as some other erotica I’ve seen on Blogger. I said go for it, just add the NSFW (Not Safe For Work) tag, and he did. Sure, it was an easy call on my part — I didn’t get the blowback — but I think any blowback was unwarranted. I haven’t posted flat-out erotica myself, but there are sex scenes in White Pickups that still move me more than a story about hot wax, even after repeated readings. I didn’t exactly gloss over the nature of Cody’s Christmas present to Sondra in Episode 57, for example.

Tony has this, in part, to say about posting stories that concern matters of the heart (actually, a couple feet below the heart):
I have a nasty tendency to overthink things. This, I believe, has the potential to be a problem for the quality of my writing. I've decided that a writer who is perfectly unobjectionable is far too close to one who is perfectly acceptable, perfectly unexceptionable, perfectly bland.

Perfectly forgettable.

As a writer, can you see yourself striving to be acceptable? That's setting the bar a little low, don't you think?
Indeed it is. I’ve had a couple deep thinks about the sex scenes in White Pickups, and decided they do add to the story. Writing White Pickups has pushed my personal writing envelope for me in several ways — there’s plenty of R-rated language to go with the juicy parts, and I hadn't written much of either previously — but while it would work as a YA novel without those elements, that was never my intent. Even with a youthful main character, it was meant to be an adult novel. Tina at first, then Cody and Sondra later on, made sure of that. But that’s not so important. The important thing is, as I said in my comment on Tony’s post, is there’s no good reason that it’s okay to show people getting beaten, shot, stabbed, or tortured on prime-time TV, but a little nookie gives people the Shivering Collywobbles.

The closest thing I’ve ever written to erotica is a short called Hunter and Trapp. I haven’t posted it on #FridayFlash partly because I can’t get it below 1400 words without marring the story, but mostly because it’s centered around a rape scene. The tables are turned in the end, but I know several of my female friends online have emotional issues centering on either rape or a near-miss. It would disturb them if they stumbled across the story, so I respect that and may find some other venue for the story sooner or later. But even if it only sits on my hard drive or sees an occasional private reading (Maria Kelly thought it was well-written and not at all over the top), it wasn’t wasted effort. The “Trapp” character turns out to be an important part of a half-baked urban fantasy novel that may get some attention before 2015, God willing.

I’m going to change the blog skin soon. Tony pointed out that the “Contact Me” link is broken, and it doesn’t support the “share” tools available on standard Blogger templates. I need a cleaner look anyway. Fair warning, and all that!


  1. You know I didn't think Tony's piece was too erotic, I read far worse. I think if the sex is part of the story, useful and illustrates something about the character/s that add it in - if its just gratuitous sex, and serves in no real way to enhance the story - then leave it out.


  2. I have to get over and read Tony's post. Nothing like a little controversy to heat the blood!
    A new look for you, FAR?
    I do like the one you have but look forward to any new Wibbles, writing or otherwise, you have to share.

  3. Hi all!

    Helen, that's pretty much my thoughts. Except sometimes a little gratuitous sex is just what Doctor Feelgood ordered. ;-)

    Cathy, it's definitely worth a read — Tony's story and his post-story commentary. If Deluxe Templates has updated this one (it's called Abrasive), I'll just apply the update if it fixes my problems. Otherwise, there are missing features I want or need (one of each).

  4. Ah… I got the "Contact Me" link fixed and found some info for adding the share buttons, so I'm all set. I guess I'll keep this template a while!


Comments are welcome, and they don't have to be complimentary. I delete spam on sight, but that's pretty much it for moderation. Long off-topic rants or unconstructive flamage are also candidates for deletion but I haven’t seen any of that so far.

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