The results are in for Round 2 of the Smut Marathon, and the feedback is now available on the blog post containing our entries. I have not made it through to Round 3. While I am obviously disappointed, my feeling are overwhelmingly positive. Before I go on I will start with the entry I submitted. The original metaphor I used from the first round is in Italics.
The hot water cascades over his body, cleansing him as his ritual begins. Once dry he adorns himself with his symbols of submission. Reciting his mantra with every buckle he fastens. ‘I am bound to only you, I serve you with reverence and devotion.’ He is like the High Priest, called to worship at the temple of her body. I am their disciple. I bear witness to their passion, as I am baptised by the glory of their love.
When all the entries were released I knew as soon as I read them that I wouldn’t make it through to Round 3. From the way the judging went in Round 1, I had a feeling that there were others there that would draw people in more. Not because I don’t think my entry was good though. I am proud of what I wrote and to be honest I really love what I came up with.
When I first read through the feedback my initial reaction was ‘well clearly I know nothing about writing’, and believe it or not that was not solely based on the feedback for my own piece, but on many of the other entries too. People who are in a place to offer useful criticisms to those of us in this contest, not only didn’t respond overly well to what I had written, but also did not favour the pieces I especially liked and pieces that I thought had glaring flaws or just to my mind weren’t as good as others were given higher praise than I would have guessed.
The feedback I received was a mixed bag.
- Halfway you change perspectives from ‘he’ to ‘I’. I am missing a story here.
- Words have depicted great anticipation and ritualistic preparation for the sexy scenario which is likely to follow, but I feel this prologue itself isn’t erotic.
- This one was missing something, I thought. It’s good and it’s well-written, and it seems to extend the metaphor versus tell its own tale using it, both of which are good ways of doing similar things. I think it was because this one was almost too short, too succinct. That said, I liked it!
- This is beautiful and intense. At first I thought that you should have used more words, as you had quite some to spare, but this just works so well that I see why you have left it this short. More words might have taken away the strength of the ones you have used.
I think all the feedback is fair and accurate, except the first piece. I think the context of the words and the title of the piece should lead most people to understand why there is a change in perspectives. The Disciple, the ‘I’ is telling the story, he bearing witness so is he watching the ‘he’. Perhaps a line break before the last sentence would have made that clearer. Had the feedback been, ‘I had to read this a couple of times before I understood the change in perspective’ then my feathers would be a little less ruffled. That said I disagreed with all of the feedback that particular judge left for all the pieces, so clearly we do not view things in the same way.
I wrote the above paragraphs on the day the Round 2 results came out and have been pondering the past few days whether I should start this blog post over. I’m worried I sound bitter at my leaving the contest and as that really isn’t the case. The reason I’ve chosen to leave it is because I think it’s valid.
The judges are entirely within their rights to judge on whatever aspects of writing they choose too. However some feedback was far more helpful than others in assisting the writers to not only act upon the feedback but also accept it as useful critique as opposed to lowering their morale.
I feel hugely positive about the experience I had in the first two rounds of the Smut Marathon. In only two rounds I discovered ways to improve my writing and also new ways to approach my writing overall. I identified where my strengths lay and to be honest, what I do well is what I have always wanted to do with my writing; convey feeling and create emotion.
Is it important to me that my punctuation and grammar is good? Of course it is, and I will continue to improve my knowledge and execution of the technical side of my pieces. However, I suspect that isn’t why people read what I write. You don’t come here for the perfect use of commas, or the the well chosen placement of a semi-colon. With any luck you’re here because you enjoy what I have to say, either because it resonates with you or offers some glimmer of advice. Perhaps you only come for the erotica because it turns you on and makes you want to touch yourself. On every level I am okay with all those reasons for you being here.
Many of my favourite entrants of the Smut Marathon have left alongside me. I am as sad to see their journey come to end as. However I will be swinging by their blogs to see what wonderful works they come up with and you should too.
Of course 40 brilliant writers still remain and I am so excited to see what the future rounds bring. I have no doubt that we will see some wonderful assignments be presented to them and they will rise to the challenges set with gloriously delicious smut.
I will be voting and blogging about future rounds of the Smut Marathon and I urge you all to place your votes too. I appreciate it is a lot to read, but too many people said they were sad to see their favourites leave but hadn’t actually voted for them. I appreciate we all lead busy lives but those votes might have made the difference to your favourite staying or going.
The most unexpected but also the most enjoyable thing to come out of my entering the Smut Marathon is new friends. I have discovered so many new bloggers and Twitter friends and that has made every moment of entering worthwhile.
Life and time permitting I fully intend to enter the Smut Marathon next year and I hope that entrants who have both left the contest already and those that still remain will be back too.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post I actually wrote three potential pieces of micro-fiction for the second round and I will now share the other two pieces with you.
When he came home to her, she would lose herself in him as his presence engulfed her and their bodies entwined. She examined and filed away every sight, sound, touch, taste and scent; her mind becoming an ever-expanding catalogue of sensual experiences to be re-experienced at will. She loved to delve into those memories when he was out of reach. When she ached for him and longed to feel his touch. Her hands moving deftly across her soft flesh, as desire flushed upon her skin and her wet, aching cunt called her fingers to action. Her fingers would beckon him, memories and orgasm growing stronger together. Until mind and body exploded in tandem satiating for the briefest of moments her long for him.
His cock twitched and ached at the sight before him. The three lovers twisted into a knot of flesh, bearing no identifiable shape to the witness in the chair. He longed to be amongst them, to feel their soft, supple bodies against his own. Mouths lapped at nipples and cunts, causing a melody of pleasure at odds with the involuntary grunts that escaped his gagged mouth. Limbs bound to the sturdy chair beneath him, his only protest at his lack of attention was to strain with futility against his bindings. His body betrayed his enjoyment though. Cock erect, tip glistening with excitement. They had him right where they wanted him, and he was exactly where he loved to be.
Good luck to all the remaining entrants, I will be cheering you all on and sending positive vibes your way throughout.