?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
angsty smut is a plague upon the land or something
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
I could spend my time doing something productive and useful, but I see no reason why I can't just loaf and stare vaguely at my friendslist and be so damned lazy that someone, somewhere, SHOULD be chastizing me.

But. Today I'm zoning in my pet obsession, writing, or How You, Too, Can Have Sixteen WiPs That Won't Do a Damn Thing! Act Fast! Limited Time Offer!

Or not. Really, it's not hard. Just get frustrated and throw it into the WiP folder and pretend it doesn't exist.



This could be the music problem I'm having--the humor going out, that is, not the writing, though I can't think it's healthy when my current writing inspriation is STILL Matchbox 20's Unwell. Seriously, I have no idea what it says that I can write sex to that.

There was this thing Captain Jinx said--and you who wandered through Voyager's heterosexual fields and read Paris/Torres know what I mean when I say, bar none, the Cap'n was the single hottest het writer ever to put his feet on the dirt of the planet. Jesus. Beats everyone else with a very damned big stick, but okay, off topic.

He was musing that writers were all into the angst-sex, in which Issues are carried out pre-, during-, and post-coitus, which is, I admit, my favorite kind of written sex ever. And he says, you know, you can angst all you want, but once you're hitting the sheets, orgasms are gonna take over for the time being.

I'm paraphrasing there. But that's the gist.

Now, I LIKE that philosophy. Not that I can follow it worth a shit--if someone isn't in some kind of emotional turmoil, I just can't manage to get it going. People shouldn't think during sex, I know this intellectually, but bar none (or one, actually), unless I'm high, my characters are engaged in all kinds of esoteric discourse, interior or exterior, and it all comes back to the fact that I cannot manage to write it without believing, somewhere in me, that it's significant.

That every and all acts of sex are hugely a big deal, at least in fanfic world, where people can fall in love or fuck casually as easily as the rest of us get a snack from the refrigerator. Sometimes WHILE getting a snack from the refrigerator, and I'll say right up front, wow, great sense of compartmentalization going on there. Yes, you just keep up with the sucking while I get some cookies. Shuffle along now. *shakes head*

Hmm. I'm really rambling. Pru does this to me.

We were sort of writing on something, and there was this second where it flipped--I can't even figure out which of us did it, or how, or why, but there it was. One second one way, then a total one eighty and it changed and I think it was me, since Pru's too disciplined to let herself slip like that. It happens every DAMN time, which is why if I PWP, it sure as hell better be short or someone's going to start thinking far, far too much. It's a weakness, I know it. Casual or committed, a quick fuck in the alley or slow in the penthouse, it doesn't matter, somehow between the first touch and the second they come, someone is going through some mental gymnastics and for some reason, and really, I should ask a therapist about that one day, sex always means change.

Every. Damn. Time.

It's frustrating, and part of it is my romanticism--it's not that I don't believe casual sex exists, the kind where you can walk away after and have a few good memories and all, just that I can't manage to write a character that can do it. It always seems--not there. Yay, they fucked, whoo-hoo, now what? There's always an after, even if you're doing Character/OF(M)C, even if it's just waking up alone, and I figured out it's not just the sex itself that I want to write the most, but how the hell you go on from there.

In the real world, you might be okay with being really casual to the guy you were yelling the name of the night before, but man, I've never been able to get a character to that point.

Huge weakness, when it comes right down to it.

There's several stories I've written I still wince when I read, because it's just THERE. Like, everyone's okay, then nudity ensues, and man, issues flow like water and I want to bang my head into the keyboard and ask it why, why, WHY can't I get Chloe laid without dragging her past with Clark into it, or Lex without him flashing on Clark or trauma or Victoria or you know, apocalypses, or poor, poor Clark, who God knows, deserves to have one mindlessly simple, fun thing in his life but oh, no, not in jennfic world. Even if he's doing it all alone, it's got to be Issued. Capital "I".

Of course, do remember, I was cowriting a story where they dry hump in an alley and move in together after. My perspective is WAY off of the norm.

It's got to be the romanticism. It's not just my OTPs that find revelation through sex, either--oh, no, if any character's silly enough to catch me in the right mood, he's going to be reliving some trauma while he's getting blown or laid (she, it, whatever). Poor Toad didnt' even get to HAVE sex while reliving a painful memory--he got to relive a painful sexual memory. Geez.

*sighs* I could work harder to change it, too---you know, recognize your weakness, work against it? Like that massive problem I have with teh/the (hee, my definining online characteristic if you ask Isilya) or that entire sentence fragment and italics thing I have going that scares RivkaT so badly or the 'something like' phrase Rhiannon caught and I have embargoed from my active writing vocabulary whenever I see it (by the way, chica, how am I doing on that one?). I work on those things. Okay, the 'teh' thing I can't help--I don't pay that much attention when I type. *I* know what I mean. *g* But I don't, because half the attraction of writing sex outside the 'mmm hot' thing is the dealing after.

And considering the characters I work with, I can't get away from that.

*sighs* Need to change music already or I'll be talking to shadows. Well, loudly, anyway. If I keep it whispered, it'll all be okay.

So this did bother me when editing today, especially because I have a feeling that the story isn't close to over. It's not just that there's not resolution--it hurts, but I can deal with that. It's that they're not done being this intensely sexually destructive and I've written some seriously dark sex, but you know, after, I usually have the option of well, you know, destroying them forever.

Writing in current canon is a BITCH.

This particular train of thought started I think Thursday or Friday night, when I was working on something for dammitcarl and the light fluffy idea dissipated at the first line. No, really, I got this uberfun idea and thought, oh, Jessica will LIKE this! Yay! No pain or angst or, well, you know, scary stuff, but then I got five pages in and thought, well, that didn't go like I planned. Or sane. Not sane at all.

Right, I know, I need a nap. It's got to be hormones that are kicking the smut muse into overtime or something.

So, what is everyone else up to? *brightly*


  • 1
So, first off, I can't comment on the smut thing. The orgasm thing. Like, I know they exist, but dude, I'm leaving the getting off to other people better suited. *g*

That being said, I hate looking through the list of things I've written because I know -- just by looking at the titles and/or descriptions included -- that I pretty much write the same thing over and over again. Friendship, love of some kind, etc. coming from a place unexpected, but actually very close to home. I reuse phrases, situations, *everything*.

While you're all about the Issues I know I'm all about The Turning Point. Why someone or something goes from point A to point B, etc. Now in the five years or so that I've been writing, there have been subtle shifts and hell the story I wrote a week ago has almost no resemblence to the one I wrote a year and a half ago -- but again, the same things are present.

Anyway, what I think I'm trying to say is that if you recognize your so-called weakness and try to improve upon them, go you. But really, every person gives something slightly different to the world and to the world of fic. You've got IssueSmut down pat and everything you've said here (outside of the alley sex to living living together) sounds perfectly resonable to me -- which might be a bad sign, dunno -- but filling a niche is okay in my world. If you want to change your niche, go ahead and do it. Excersize that free will baby!

And since I've probably completely missed your point, I'm going to beg off now. *g*

Nope, you got the point better than I did. *sighs* one day, I'm going to be able to express something without it being so damned--circlish.

That being said, I hate looking through the list of things I've written because I know -- just by looking at the titles and/or descriptions included -- that I pretty much write the same thing over and over again. Friendship, love of some kind, etc. coming from a place unexpected, but actually very close to home. I reuse phrases, situations, *everything*.

While you're all about the Issues I know I'm all about The Turning Point. Why someone or something goes from point A to point B, etc. Now in the five years or so that I've been writing, there have been subtle shifts and hell the story I wrote a week ago has almost no resemblence to the one I wrote a year and a half ago -- but again, the same things are present.


*nod* And I don't consider this a Bad Thing, chica. At all. Yo'ure completley right, it's the take on the world the writer has that lets them write the stories they do. Considering what i have read of your work, this is Not a Problem At All. It's GOOD. Wonderful, even.

You're WAY tooo reasonable here. I barely had time to work myself into a fit. Darn it. *hugs*

Heh, I think our circular thinking cancels each other's out actually.

You're WAY tooo reasonable here. I barely had time to work myself into a fit. Darn it. *hugs*

*snort* I must be having an off day or something. In my current nirvana like state (that will last until, oh, about nine tonight) I'm all grooving to the idea that dude, we've all got our strengths and weakenss and ways of seeing the world. Does your view totally jive with mine? No, but then again, it shouldn't.

I'm feeling that whole We Are the World vibe and am just about working things out for yourself -- be true to #1 and everything else should fall into place. This invloves porn and angst and everything under the sun.

Hell, when did I get so fucking mellow? Huh, the ranting this morning must've gotten it out of my system for the time being.

Anyway, I was re-reading the first bit of L&L this week and you know what, I could tell it was Jenn writing it, but dude, there's growth there too. Emotion and other meaty subjects have always been there in your writing and dammit, there can be sex without The Big Uber Brain Involvement and dammit, there can be sex where it's like some sort of Kung-Fu-esque revelation along with the sweat, the blood and the post-coital cig.

That's what makes the world go round.

And this is what proves I should never be a comencement speaker. Good lord. *g*

Oh, Jenn...Jenn, Jenn, Jenn

I think to some extent you're seriously overthinking it. Or, if you look at it from a different angle, underthinking it.

There's always the morning after, and I'm glad that sex always means change in your universes, Jenn. The entire function of a PWP as a jackoff fic (er, sorry for the indelicate wording) is highly overrated, and the best PWPs rarely are: the plots are hidden in the mazelike thoughts before, after, during, or the intentions that propell the act forward. In a truly hot piece of smut, the fucking itself is only a part of it; the mindfuck is what brings a reader to a seriously, seriously shaking climax.

And if we're purely referencing the current project: So what? It started off fun and fluffy and sweet with marijuana smoke, but you've got to admit that the change started before anybody got any at all. The change in tone is organic and that's important. You remain true to the characters, and in my opinion? There's no way that write for "Smallville" and have the alt.pairings (those outside of Martha/Jonathan, Lana/Whitney) without having massive amounts of angst, and go you for it. That means you're not simply glossing over the fact.

Look at the subject matter that you're working with here: (And I'm gonna spoil the hell outta this thing for everyone and I don't care) There's Lex, there's narcotic substances, and the siren song of no responsibility. Those aren't light and fluffy subject matters. The first is a large, broad invitation for conflict; the second is a catalyst; the third is sweet and deadly and never, never comes to pass. So you're dealing with two characters who either by accident or by willful desperation have reached a pass where they've done something that they cannot take back.

And for the record: this is NOTHING ABNORMAL about dry-humping in an alley and then moving in. The end.

Re: Oh, Jenn...Jenn, Jenn, Jenn

I think to some extent you're seriously overthinking it. Or, if you look at it from a different angle, underthinking it.

I have rarely heard that one! *grins* Do go on.

And if we're purely referencing the current project: So what? It started off fun and fluffy and sweet with marijuana smoke, but you've got to admit that the change started before anybody got any at all. The change in tone is organic and that's important. You remain true to the characters, and in my opinion? There's no way that write for "Smallville" and have the alt.pairings (those outside of Martha/Jonathan, Lana/Whitney) without having massive amounts of angst, and go you for it. That means you're not simply glossing over the fact

See, it wouldn't bother me at all if I didn't enjoy it so much, and God knows, I seriously do. With a serious kind of glee--yu did NOT hear me cackling this morning while reading. And yes, I know how insane that sounds, but bear with me. I can't figure out now if it's because, yes, that's the characters, or whoa, jenn has just slipped in some of her specific kinks. Usually I think I can see the line, but looking over my entire body of work, there IS that pattern going on there that makes me wonder.

And for the record: this is NOTHING ABNORMAL about dry-humping in an alley and then moving in. The end.

I thought Lex should propose marriage sometime soon, but I'm weirdly commital like that. Maybe we should sequel? *grins*

Reasonable people, darn them. Reasonable. Gah.

Jenn: "No matter how I try, I can't help giving the sex in my stories more drama and emotion, and making it part of a character arc in that story."

Koi: "Yeah, drama and emotion turn me off every time. I hate when stories engage me on several levels of intensity. Stop that this instant."

I dunno, Jenn, I suppose if you worked at you could make yourself a less interesting writer, but you wouldn't be satisfying *this* member of your audience.

Also -- literature and drama are not documentaries. There are times when you can push realism, or to put it another way, it's more important to be *believable* than to be some kind of cinema veritie. There was an old TV series called "Playing Shakespeare," in which a whole herd of famous British actors like Ben Kingsley and Patrick Stewart were directed through various scenes (as I recall, by a well-known drama instructor at the Royal Academy, but don't trust my memory).

One telling little demonstration came when a couple of actors were asked to play a very emotional scene. One played it realistically, with tears and choked voice. You could barely hear what he was saying. The other played it with less obvious emotion, delivering every line of the dialogue -- and though *he* didn't cry, the viewer cried.

And the lesson, as the director said, was that behaving naturalistically on stage may not get you where you need to go -- the object was to have the *audience* respond with the real emotion, not to depict that emotion in documentary fashion.

It's the same with sex. When I first started writing sex scenes, they were *incredibly* talky, because there was a lot going on, character-wise. But people responded to them, and I've never felt any impulse to go back and make them less verbal. They did what I wanted them to do (and besides, those characters had a lot of issues *g*).

I really do think that sex scenes are one of those areas in writing where there's a certain amount of "give" in how you depict things. And I think it's way more important to be true to the character whose pov you're in than to go for documentary realism. As long as the sexual experience is believable, and the audience is there with you, you're okay.

Besides, I'm hardly going to object if character issues come out of sex. I go to fan fictional erotica, rather than commercial erotica, because I *want* the character stuff; the character stuff makes it more hot and more intense and just more interesting.

Jeez, girl. I hate it when writers start questioning the things they do that I *like.*


*snickers* I like how you cut down to the bone REAL fast. No prelims here!

And the lesson, as the director said, was that behaving naturalistically on stage may not get you where you need to go -- the object was to have the *audience* respond with the real emotion, not to depict that emotion in documentary fashion.

It's the same with sex. When I first started writing sex scenes, they were *incredibly* talky, because there was a lot going on, character-wise. But people responded to them, and I've never felt any impulse to go back and make them less verbal. They did what I wanted them to do (and besides, those characters had a lot of issues *g*).

I really do think that sex scenes are one of those areas in writing where there's a certain amount of "give" in how you depict things. And I think it's way more important to be true to the character whose pov you're in than to go for documentary realism. As long as the sexual experience is believable, and the audience is there with you, you're okay.


No, I'm all for keeping in the general realm of believability and then carting off if reality is just going to kill the moment. I don't want the audience to go ewwww and I'm not going for clinical precision, so that's okay.

The problem is in me in this one - I don't trust myself because I love doing it too much. I really, really, really love doing this, and looking back, it's fingerprinted on everything I write, even when the sex isn't there. I'm all for Big Huge Revelatory Moment and my favorite way is to do it with sex--sexual obsession, sexual violence, sexual whatever, it bleeds over. And so I don't trust myself anymore when I write those, because I can't tell if it works outside my own extremely limited head.

Does that make better sense? I tend to circle the point like a damn wagon train. Sheesh, must take classes in precision one day.

Besides, I'm hardly going to object if character issues come out of sex. I go to fan fictional erotica, rather than commercial erotica, because I *want* the character stuff; the character stuff makes it more hot and more intense and just more interesting.

Absolutely no argument. I don't like commerical erotica anymore, with a few exceptions. Strangely, it's just not as satisfying or as good or as real (okay, that was odd), which is hte one place I think fanfic writers tend to leave everyone else in the dust, no matter how else we tend to fall short, when that is, we do. *grins*

Jeez, girl. I hate it when writers start questioning the things they do that I *like.*

*laughs* Without questioning, there will never be growth. Or at least, some good discussion. I'm all for both.

I was going to get all snarky and say something like, 'hey, why you wanna mess with success?' But look, Koi said it first. And she's right. *g*

*snickers* Succinct as ever. And hey, I like snark!

*pokes, but very, very gently*

The problem is in me in this one - I don't trust myself because I love doing it too much. I really, really, really love doing this, and looking back, it's fingerprinted on everything I write, even when the sex isn't there. I'm all for Big Huge Revelatory Moment and my favorite way is to do it with sex--sexual obsession, sexual violence, sexual whatever, it bleeds over. And so I don't trust myself anymore when I write those, because I can't tell if it works outside my own extremely limited head.

Sounds to me like you're worrying about the obscure kink / limited fandom thing -- where people are so desperate to read anything with their particular kick in it that they're grateful even for trashy writing so long as it gives them their fix. Or rather, you're worried about becoming that kind of a writer without noticing.

From the other comments posted, I think you're okay. But it's a good sign that you're worrying about the issue, trying to alert yourself to potential problems.

Come play! Stop ansgting!

*blinks* Stop angsting? Is that even POSSIBLE?

Yes. *g*

*gets you high*

*cracks up*

Te, that icon makes me laugh really hard. *g*

*heee* I'm all for truth in advertising. ;-)

I *want* my characters to be thinking during sex scenes. I want their individuality to show through, and unless you have a charater that has an *extremely* strange fetish, the charater isn't going to come through in the sex act itself, as much as it would in their thoughts, feelings, and words. There are only so many ways to screw, after all. Once the titillation of reading about my favorite characters having sex passes, I want stories in which I know what they are thinking. *That's* what makes it fun. Granted, it doesn't have to be angst-filled for me to be happy with it, but unless the author is very gifted, just sex and nothing but is boring for me to read. That's why I think PWP's are much harder to write than most people think. JMO

unless you have a charater that has an *extremely* strange fetish, the charater isn't going to come through in the sex act itself, as much as it would in their thoughts, feelings, and words.

Okay, why am I now seeing lex with a fetish for being paddled with wooden spoons?

*shudders*

Right, sorry. That just--popped in my head. *blinks* I have no idea where that came from.

Granted, it doesn't have to be angst-filled for me to be happy with it, but unless the author is very gifted, just sex and nothing but is boring for me to read. That's why I think PWP's are much harder to write than most people think. JMO

True, which is why whoever (Rana?) who wanted the change the three letters to CTC appeals to me as a category. Good sex should have the character in it, definitely, or it's just two people fucking. I'm just thinking now I'm not doing it the right way. Or doing it thsi way too much.

I am overthinking. Dammit.

I'm just thinking now I'm not doing it the right way. Or doing it thsi way too much.

I don't find that true in your fics at all. Now if you truely want to write happy smut, and it keeps on coming out angstsy, I can see being frustrated about that, but I don't think your characters overcerebralize (is that even a word?) sex.

Eliza and Tara and me, we all want to change it. *g* I don't know that it would change anything, the authors who currently write CTC would continue to do so, and the authors who write ATG fucking will continue to do so, but PWP still seems to carry such negative connotations for so many people, and I'm all about re-labelling to highlight what that type of story has, rather than what it hasn't.

Since Eliza originated the phrase, and since I know for a fact she adores your writing, I think it's safe to say you've got CTC down, and it's because of that tendency to get inside the character's head and heart during sex. Because it's not about the sex, it's about how the sex impacts the characters and the relationships, which is something that we the readers will only be able to see if you the writer explore it. So don't even think about tossing that mental spelunking equipment, chica. What you find in those dark, twisting character caves is what makes the trip worthwhile.

oh, no, not in jennfic world

Thank God! I adore your angst! More, I say. More, more. *g*

*blinks*

I have niched myself, haven't I? *G* You know, like, go to Jessica! She gives good domestic! Go to Te! She does crazy Clark! Oh yeah, that's jenn, and she gives disturbing sex!

This is so written on a bathroom wall, I swear. *grins and hugs* Thanks.

I wouldn't say disturbing, but I personally love it when your Clark and Lex talk during during sex; when they reveal things about other. When they confess their feelings and their shortcomings. It gives me a really good heart clench and I *love* that.

Voice from the newbie end of the fanfic rabbit hole:

My sillyfic boys refuse to go all the way for me, and I don't fight them particularly hard on it. Because meaningful, dramatic sex is one of the main reasons I hang around fandom. Now, that's not to say it can't be positive (or even - God forbid - funny) and still be powerful.

But if I wanted it shallow, I'd go read Harlequin.

I like depth. I'm just wondering if I'm doing it cheaply and for my own particular kink--er, okay, that's not a bad reason, per se. *grins*

Harlequin. Mmm. Vikings and helpless tiny girls with large breasts. Always fun. And kind fo scary when you're fourteen and trying to imagine, okay, how DOES this work?

*shakes head*

Vikings and helpless tiny girls with large breasts.

Those must've been the interesting Harlequins that people kept. The ones donated to northern libraries were largely Mary Sues set 20-40 years ago. Almost entirely devoid of plot, character and setting. And the children's encyclopedia had more imaginative sex scenes. Perhaps the undonated ones are better, but at this point I've got less than no interest in finding out.

I like depth. I'm just wondering if I'm doing it cheaply...

Shallow depth, hmm? Interesting concept. I guess it might depend on whether the characters are just being hurt for comfort's sake - emotional PWP. And even if it is such, hey! Whatever floats your boat! Particularly when it floats other people's boats at the same time. *g*

  • 1