[Smut Marathon] The Adventure Begins


Community, Smut Marathon / Saturday, February 16th, 2019

The first round of voting for the Smut Marathon 2019 opened yesterday. As was true this time last year I have an entry in this round. Yes, despite my abissmal performance last year I am giving the Smut Marathon another shot and I discussed why in You Say ‘Goodbye’ and I Say ‘Hello, hello, hello’. I didn’t expect to be writing another Smut Marathon related blog post quite this soon after the voting had begun, but as I read through the entries to cast my votes many thoughts were had and thoughts mean posts in my world. Let’s begin with what the assignment was and how my thoughts progressed as I read through the entries.

Write about the moment when two people first see each other.

Specific requirements

– No dialogue

– your story is between 30-50 words. No less, no more.

– give your story a title of maximum 2 words

See Versus Meet

When I read the assignment for the first round my thoughts focused on the word ‘see’, which meant the stories I began to formulate in my mind all focused upon two people physically seeing each other for the first time. As in that moment when their eyes first saw each other. I also interpreted this as the first moment ever. It never occurred to me to write about the moment two people known to each other see each other. It also never occurred to me to interpret ‘see’ as ‘meet’. I think had the assignment read ‘write about the moment when two people first meet each other’ I would have written something different.

As I’ll explain as the end of the post I have purposely written this before the results and feedback have been released, so I have no idea if I’ve interpreted right or if anyone else feels the same as me. When voting though I veered towards stories that seemed to follow the same line of thinking as me and pondering whether the stories where writers interpreted things differently had fulfilled the assignment brief or not.

Tantilising Themes

One of the things I found myself hoping for when I was reading through the entries was something a little different. There were many tales that presented similar ideas, but the ones I loved either offered me something totally different or perfectly presented a familiar theme. I took one of these paths myself, at least I attempted to. You will have to wait until Sunday to discover whether I tried to offer a more distinctive tale or whether I attempted to perfect a scenario within a more familiar theme.

I think both approaches are valid but they each present their own dangers too. Embracing a more taboo or unique topic I think offers the chance for your piece to be more memorable, but it also stands the chance of alienating some readers and losing you votes that way. Whereas playing it safe with themes you know people enjoy perhaps affords you less room for error.

Structure

Again there seemed to be two approaches throughout all the entries when it came to structure. All sentences combined into one paragraph, and those that chose to break down their sentences with lines breaks, forming what I think of in my mind as weeny paragraphs, which I am sure is a techincal term found in all the books on writing.

Even at this point, despite the voting now being close I am not going to tell you with option I went with. I will tell you though that I agonised over it. Even researching if there was a defnitive way to actually present ficiton as short as the assignment required. The internet was not forthcoming with an answer, so I had to go with what felt right to me and having seen all the entries I’m glad I made the choice I did, but I may feel differently once the votes and feedback is released!

Grammar, Spelling and Errors

I don’t think there will ever be a Smut Marathon where these topics aren’t debated. It matters more to some people and less to others and I sit somewhere on the fence between the two.

I am the first to admit that I am not perfect when it comes to grammar and errors, my spelling is far better than my errant typing and missed typos sometimes shows. However, these things do matter to some degree and I found myself being far more pernickety about them this year than I was last year.

I am wondering if perhaps I will get pulled up on one of these things myself. I don’t think confessing that it is in relation to grammar gives much away. I thought long and hard over the comments surrounding grammar from last year and again took to the internet to see what was a good approach for punctuation.

There was also a lot of consideration for me over words like ‘but’, ‘and’, ‘however’ and my sentences were broken down and reconstructed more than once. The piece I finally submitted was the first idea I thought of, but it went through many incarnations to end up where it did.

Thoughts On My Entry

Being the big tease that I am I’m going to include some thoughts on my entry even thought you currenly don’t know which one it was or how it fared in the judging, then I’ll move on to why I’m sharing this now.

I am 100% happy with my entry. I don’t wish I’d changed anything and it is as good as I could make it. I tried exceptionally hard to make this entry count and unlike last year I revised my entry and didn’t just type out a few options and then submit the piece I thought was best.

If it gets no votes and performs poorly I won’t reget submitting it, I don’t think my alternative option was anywhere near as polished and had I submitted that I’d be panicking now that I’d made the wrong decision.

As it is I’m proud of my entry and win or lose I don’t think that will change.

Why Now?

Last year I went into the Smut Marathon feeling far too confident. I honestly thought I stood a decent chance of getting to halfway mark and leaving in round two gave me a lot to consider, as did receiving feedback on the two entries I did get to submit. While I did receive some nice comments, I also receive some constructive feedback that shone a light on where I was going wrong, while that allowed for personal growth it didn’t feel great at the time and I am have no reason to think the same won’t happen this time round.

I want to share my thoughts now, before any results have landed to show an honest portrayal of my Smut Marathon journey. I did similar last year and if you’d like to read my thoughts on last years round one you can do so in my posts The First Assignment Has Landed and Round 1 The Results.

While it is too late to vote in the first round of the Smut Marathon there are many more opportunities ahead for you to read, vote and support all the writers in the competition. You can follow the Smut Marathon on Twitter and you can sign up to email updates on the Smut Marathon website, that way you’ll never miss your chance to vote.

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3 Replies to “[Smut Marathon] The Adventure Begins”

  1. Oh, thank you for your thoughts on this. I interpreted the assignment as “meeting for the first time ever.” I think my writing would have changed if I interpreted it differently, and I think I would have found it more challenging.

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