Well those of you who read regularly, will know I’ve been begging and pleading with as many people as I can, to read my story, Piquant Bass and give me feedback.
:sigh: Jayhawk4ever gave me some great comments, but promised he’d tell me some more, and then got sick with his back, so I haven’t heard from him in a while. syciano promised but doesn’t seem to have gotten around to it, but her life is a storm in a iron pot, so I don’t feel too funny about it.
By chance, I was roaming around the EROS Workshop’s archives, and came across a brilliant critique of a short story and wrote the person who had written it. As the conversation developed, I mentioned Piquant Bass, and he downloaded and read it, and wrote this critique:
Para 4, ‘out of my house out of my house’. I suspect you don’t intend the repetition. If you do you might want to signal it somehow, perhaps with punctuation: ‘out of my house – *out* of my house!’
Para 5, the band are ‘tearing through’ twice. You might want to reword that.
I think you struggled with getting started. After the first page I didn’t notice any more nits (perhaps because I was too involved with the story)
Just once or twice the dialogue doesn’t work for me. Part of the problem is I don’t know the context of these people (lthough you give me a very good feeling that I know it. But the sentence that starts
‘This is intense Dayo…’
seems to stilted, to formal, for the situation they’re in. It would seem more natural to be more coloquial, I think. Apart from that your POV character is immensely believable and immensely likeable – and, for me, fanciable.
I’m not sure about the mechanics of the fuck in the car. ‘He kept the skirt out of the way so we could both watch his progress… his arm, vice hard around my waist kept me from pulling him into me’. I would have thought in a car seat, if he’s holding her so that they can both see, he can’t do much to stop her moving, so either one or the other I can believe but not both. Also, what’s happened to the steering wheel? Part of the force of this sceen is that she’s pushing the pace. but if she’s climbing onto him while he’s in the driving seat the steering wheel has got to get in the way. It’s probably better if you don’t have him get out of the car and come round to her side, but could you have her do something to recline his seat right back? (Yes, I know he does later, but…)
Your use of English is beautiful; it’s – just technically as writing – very nice writiing. Big and varied vocabularies are indeed an aphrodisiac. So are the little literary allusions.
In short and in summary it’s a gorgeous story, both at an intellectual and at a visceral level. You make me understand and believe in and be engaged with these people; _and_ you turn me on.
What more can you ask of a sexy short story?
And no, it’s no ways too long.
So of course, I went back in, edited and reworded a few areas of the story…. eventually adding another five hundred words to it. So the story has been updated, and if you’d like to download and offer any further commentary, you are invited and encouraged to do so.
Piquant Bass is the first short story I’ve every really, really, really worked on; I started writing Piquant Bass in 1998, back when Eve’s Erotic Archive was still around, and EROS Workshop was still a Listserv. It’s also the longest and most emotionally involved stories I’ve ever written. I guess this is why the story will not just go to sleep for me. So, I have decided I am going to continue to work on this story. For a while the lives of these two characters seems to have stretched far beyond what I have written; because I see them in the world, in their relationship, in love, fighting, separated, fighting all kinds of drama personal and manufactured. So I am going to write it. I have a sneaky suspicion this is turning into a book.
Continuing feedback is important for writers at this stage, personally at any stage. We write for ourselves, maybe, but ultimately, if no one reads, there is no sense of having gotten across the ideas in the story.
Everyone tells me the sex scenes are hot in this story, and well… that was purposely done, and I must admit I was inspired by the incomparable Susan Johnson to be as intellectually erotic and incendiary as I could be; if only because that’s the combination that works for me. However, the underlying emotional connections being made between the characters is what fascinates me. It’s built out of their sexual attraction, but there’s a purely ‘spirit take spirit’ kind of thing happening, and I want to explore that some more.
I’m going to see if I can get the story up to novel length, by the end of the summer.
Anyway, all this is to say, the story has been updated, I am still seeking feedback and I am working on the fourth stage of the story.
Download: Piquant Bass