et alia: So you want to write RAcy fanfiction? Sexy vs Plotty…

As I was fighting my way through the latest chapters of my first long fan fiction, Recovery I realized that it is much harder to write a coherent, interesting plot, than it is to piece together a series of sexy vignettes.

Just look at all the diagrams and schematics that go into plot writing..

Just look at all the diagrams and schematics that go into plot writing..

When I first started thinking about how to write a fan fiction that would incorporate elements of John Porter’s life as an SAS operative with the life that I had created for him, it was actually my husband who gave me a number of interesting avenues to follow about mercenaries and proprietary military technology.  I really enjoyed laying out this plot, unfolding it slowly, introducing twists here and there to keep it interesting, but it takes a lot more time and mental energy to keep it all straight, not to mention research.  A look at my browser history will find info on Blackwater operations, automatic weapons, fiber optic cabling, Syrian insurgents, British fleet movements, fatal knife wounds, etc….an uninformed eye might seriously question what type of mischief I’m up to!  In a summer when I had difficulty carving out an hour or two here and there to write at all, it often took me two or more weeks to piece together a 2000-3000 word chapter.  One RA friend and reader remarked that the majority of people reading on DreamerFiction probably don’t care all that much about plot…although I doubt I’m completely alone in enjoying a number of longer fics with developed plot lines, looking at the readership of the story, it’s pretty clear that the chapters with “sexy times” are read (or re-read) a lot more often.

Recovery is now at a point where much of the plot has been resolved (I still have a few surprises up my sleeve though), and some RAcy chapters have resumed.   What kind of research do I need to do to write these?  Well…there’s this

John Porter (Richard Armitage) in a moment of rest Source:  www.richardarmitagenet.com

John Porter (Richard Armitage) Strikback S1E4
Source: http://www.richardarmitagenet.com

Or this…

A rare-ish John Porter smile..Strikeback S1E4 Source:  www.richardarmitagenet.com (my crop)

A rare-ish John Porter smile..Strikeback S1E4
Source: http://www.richardarmitagenet.com (my crop)

A quick double check of this for variety…

cosmosutra

and then a little more of this…or maybe a lot of this…

and most definitely this…

John Porter and Katie Dartmouth...S1 E2 Source:  www.richardarmitagenet.com

John Porter and Katie Dartmouth…S1 E2
Source: http://www.richardarmitagenet.com

A little John Porter-style inspiRAtion and I am off and running…2000 word of steamy scene written, edited and posted in less time than it took to figure out the difference between a Tech-9 and a 45.

I wouldn’t have written this story any differently, but I have to admit, sexy does win out over plotty in certain instances.  🙂

et alia: So you want to write RAcy fan fiction? Caveat scriptor or “Don’t try this at home!”

Pompeii writer

As a fiction reader, I have always been drawn to authors who pay attention to details.  One of those details is plausibility of situations.  Obviously, the range of what is believable varies by genre.  Science and fantasy fiction push the boundaries of believability deliberately, challenging people to open their minds to new possibilities.  In more straight forward contemporary fiction, and especially historical fiction, it seems to me that at least basic plausibility is necessary.  If I can’t understand why a character would do something or if I can’t believe that the action is even possible, I generally lose interest in the story.  “Death is in the details…”

Since they inhabit the same general corner of my brain, my reading preferences were close by when I began writing.  Over the years, I’ve probably read more than my fair share of erotic fiction.  Looking back, I realize now that the bulk of what I’ve read falls into the “Romance Novel” category, with fairly euphemistic descriptions of sex.  I did take a foray into BDSM fiction in college.  I was a huge fan of Anne Rice at the time, reading everything of hers I could get my hands on including the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy written under the pseudonym of A. N. Roquelaure.  At that point in life, I was aghast, titillated, but aghast.  I’ve since learned that what was so shocking to me at 21 is pretty vanilla in comparison to the variety of erotica that is out there.  Erotica is a rapidly growing literary genre today – the enormous mainstream popularity of the Fifty Shades series illustrates how far it has come.

But I digress…I was talking about basic veracity in fiction writing wasn’t I?  When I started to read RAcy fan fiction, I often found myself wondering if particularly acrobatic positions were humanly possibly without double joints and a spotter.  (I’ve long wondered the same thing about some of the positions in the Kama Sutra.)  When I started writing my own stories I decided that in addition to believable basic elements of the story, I’d like to know if the intimate positions I was about to put my characters into were actually possible.  Enter the caveat scriptor:

Some of you may remember me complaining about an injured knee a few months ago.  The official story, the one I told my doctor and everyone else with the exception of my RA (Research Assistant that is – that’s my husband for writing research purposes 🙂 ) and my BFF, was that I slipped on some ice in my driveway.  I did slip on some ice, but that only aggravated an already injured joint.  The real story was that I was testing out a prospective “storytelling device” and sprained my knee.  The moral of my story is that before you try to test out “veracity” of this variety, make sure you stretch!

PS…I determined that this “device” was imminently believable for my characters since they are in much better physical condition than me 😀

PPS…if you’re considering a foray into erotic writing of your own, you may find Cosmopolitan magazine’s take on the Kama Sutra:  The Cosmo Sutra, quite useful!