A little while back the wonderful Posy Churchgate tagged me in a Erotica competition on Twitter and I didn’t enter. Then she tagged me again because the deadline had been extended for entries and I did enter. The finalist have been announced for that competition and I am one of them. Which means I owe Posy a massive thank you for tagging me not once, but twice, because without that I would not have entered.
‘Would you like some cake? I made it myself.’ Her eyes light up, and she accepts gratefully. I watch as cake crumbs fall onto her pert breasts and my mind wanders to touching and tasting, and I don’t for one minute mean the cake. – Excerpt from Beauty and the Babe
When I entered the Smut Marathon I declared that not matter how long I stayed, or more appropriately how soon I left, I would continue to support the other entrants and blog about the contest and I am determined to stick to that.
Part of this is because I believe in supporting and encouraging other writers. However there is a more selfish reason for my continued support and that is personal growth.
I often read through writing memes like Masturbation Monday and Wicked Wednesday when time permits, and I will leave comments where possible on the ones I enjoy most. These are never critiques though, because I don’t believe in offering criticism however constructive, unless it’s asked for.
As I learnt from my two short rounds of the Smut Marathon, feedback is mighty useful, but sometimes hard to take. The usefulness of it far outweighed my discomfort at receiving it though, so I endeavoured to leave as much feedback as possible for the writers that remained in the competition.
My feedback does not come from a place of writing knowledge. I don’t talk about semi colons, line breaks, sentence structure or anything that remotely relates to the actual technical aspects of writing. I will leave that to the Judge(s).
All I can offer in terms of feedback is how I felt, personally, on a completely subjective level about what some wrote. I wondered at first if this would be helpful, and maybe to some people it won’t be, but I know for me it would be, and that is why I decided to offer my honest thoughts on every piece submitted to the last round.
For me, the whole reason I write, especially erotica, is to make people feel something. Sexy is mostly what I’m aiming for, but erotica can do so much more than make someone feel sexy. It can help people accept their kinks and encourage them to explore new-found desires. It can create dialogue between friends, couples and bloggers alike and as this recent round of Smut Marathon has shown it can educate and inform.
In terms of how offering this feedback help my personal growth, well that’s easy. Like most people, I want to be liked, I do not admit that very often though and I try to take a very ‘those who mind don’t matter, and those that matter don’t mind’ approach to life. The interesting part of Smut Marathon though is I am offering feedback to people who do matter, at least they matter to me.
There are many bloggers I have connected with on Twitter, both prior to and because of the Smut Marathon. Many of them I would consider friends. I know lots of people don’t ‘get’ online friendships, but I do and those connections mean a lot to me. When the reveal is made and we find out who wrote which piece in the Smut Marathon it can be hard to see you didn’t exactly champion the work of someone you think a lot of.
That is why I think the initial anonymity of each round is such a good idea. If I knew whose work I was commented on I don’t know if I could be as honest. In part because I think I would be swayed by knowledge of the person and their previous writing.
I’ve since read the some of the entrants thoughts on the feedback they’ve received and in some cases it has been hard because I’ve offered less than glowing feedback to people who are struggling with confidence in their writing or the Smut Marathon process or both, or an alternate issue. I hope though that none of my feedback ever comes off as ‘hey I’m right and that’s shit’. My thought process is more along the lines of ‘I have no idea what you were trying to portray when you wrote this (because I’m not you), but here is where I, as a reader, am at with it.’
Whether I voted for your Round 3 piece, or whether it didn’t resonate with in quite the way you might have hoped, I still think everyone did so well. That was a tricky assignment and I was honestly a little bit relieved I didn’t have to tackle it. I did have a little think as to where I might have gone with it and I decided that it was nowhere good. I’m very forgiving of imperfections, unless they are my own, so you probably would have got a character sketch of what I perceive to be my worst flaws and that is certainly not going to be erotic.
Voting for the next round of Smut Marathon doesn’t open until 29th April. As always those of following do not know what the next assignment is, but I cannot wait to find out and give the entries a thorough read. Please keep your eyes peeled for social media announcements that the voting has opened, and even if you can’t leave lots of feedback, I know that all the writers appreciate every vote they are given.
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In my last Smut Marathon blog post I mentioned that I had discovered lots of new blogs to enjoy through entering the contest. In response to that post someone asked if I would point my readers in the direction of these wonderful bloggers I’ve discovered so that they could visit their sites and enjoy them too.
#SoSS Saturday seems a brilliant time to champion some of my Smut Marathon favourites, both those that are still active in the contest and those who are no longer competing. I have included their ‘about me’ from the Smut Marathon website, so you can read in their own words what they are all about.
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.
In Round 1 of the Smut Marathon we each wrote our own metaphor. In Round 2 we were challenged to take one of those metaphors and turn it into a piece of micro-fiction. The voting has now opened for the 62 micro-fiction pieces that were submitted. Please do give them all a read and place your votes. Only 40 of us will make it through to Round 3, so getting the votes from as many people as possible is so important to all the writers.
I was so eager on Sunday evening to read through all the entries and place my own votes. At the time of writing this it is Wednesday and I have only just done it. Partly because I had a little bit of post-kink recovery going on, but also because it was so hard to choose my favourite three. I managed to get down to my six favourites, but from there it was tricky to favour only half of them.
As the voting ended for the first round of Smut Marathon and the results were revealed, I don’t think I was alone in having the following thoughts: 1. How have I done?, 2. What feedback will I get? And 3. What is the next assignment going to be? You can read my thoughts on points one and two in Smut Marathon Round 1: The Votes Are In. This post will cover my thoughts so far on point three and the assignment we have now received.
Once again as per the rules I can’t share with you what the assignment is. I can tell you though that when I open the email containing our instructions I was genuinely excited. I think it is a great assignment. It is one that my brain feels ready to attack due to some previous writing tasks I have engaged in. If the last round taught me anything though it’s that being prepared and feeling proud of your entry doesn’t actually mean you will do well. I’m also pleased with the creativity it allows for. While still challenging us to hone skills that we may not have perfected, or even to gain skills we don’t yet have.
The writers of each of the 75 metaphors entered for the first round of Smut Marathon have been revealed. The results of the voting have also been announced, which means we know now who got the coveted first place and where we ranked personally.
For those who are curious, but haven’t read the results yet, my submission is below. I originally penned the title as ‘Melt’ but opted to change it in light of there being another piece with that title. Not that the title remotely reflects, how well it did or didn’t do.