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Old 08-29-2017, 05:51 PM   #1
weekend_writer
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Request - Looking for feedback

I just had the 1st Chapter of my story, Emily's Weekend published.

The subject is around self bondage and self exploration as a result of that realization. There is some Non-Consent sex involved, but the character comes to terms with it. However, the Non-Con is very low key and is not at all core undercurrent. The entire story spans 5-6 years of the life of a recent college graduate. At this time, Chapter 2 & 3 are written, I am going to wait to see the feedback before submitting those chapters for publication.

I'd dearly love to have some feedback, both good and bad. If you didn't like it, please elaborate as to why so I know. What do you think of the characters? Is the story going too slow ? Perhaps mind-numbingly boring ? Other than grammar & prose areas, what else can be improved ?

Last but not the least, I am very VERY open to reader collaboration, ideas and thoughts on progress of the story including sub-plots. As you read through, you will see that I have left "Doors" open to subplots.

Last edited by weekend_writer : 08-29-2017 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weekend_writer View Post
...The entire story spans 5-6 years of the life of a recent collage graduate...
Other than grammar & prose areas, what else can be improved ?
*college
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by EquinoxRising View Post
*college
corrected.

Haste maketh waste and all that.
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:05 PM   #4
Bramblethorn
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I couldn't get inside Emily's head. She goes to an isolated building, and when the store owner who she's never met before offers to handcuff her she just blithely accepts instead of thinking "whoah, fuck, this guy might be a serial killer". Then he offers to chain her up for the weekend and she's like, sure, let's just do that! Even when she hears another girl screaming it doesn't seem to bother her much. AFAICT nobody knows where she is.

Even from somebody who's got a strong submissive streak - which you say Emily isn't - this would be hard to believe. I don't know whether she's meant to be seen as suicidally reckless (if so, that needs to be established better) or if you just didn't consider how a woman would react to this kind of offer.

As a side note, this comment:

Quote:
I had engaged one of the Free Volunteer Editors. What you see is as a result of the same. I do not wish to name to editor but I can if you care to PM.
IMHO offering to name the editor, even via PM, is a tacky and graceless thing to do.

Editors are hard to come by. Writing a story is something you do for yourself; unpaid editing is something you do as a favour to somebody else, and if you're not paying an editor for their services you shouldn't expect professional-grade work. The ultimate responsibility for story quality rests with the author.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
I couldn't get inside Emily's head. She goes to an isolated building, and when the store owner who she's never met before offers to handcuff her she just blithely accepts instead of thinking "whoah, fuck, this guy might be a serial killer". Then he offers to chain her up for the weekend and she's like, sure, let's just do that! Even when she hears another girl screaming it doesn't seem to bother her much. AFAICT nobody knows where she is.

Even from somebody who's got a strong submissive streak - which you say Emily isn't - this would be hard to believe. I don't know whether she's meant to be seen as suicidally reckless (if so, that needs to be established better) or if you just didn't consider how a woman would react to this kind of offer.
Apologies for the delay in the response. RL got in the way for last few days. I wish to thank you for taking the time to read and provide your feedback. I appreciate it.

Emily is a complex psychological person. She's not a straightforward person that you'd see /slot/cast into a specific category. She does have a adventurous streak that tends to borderline self destructive. You're absolutely right in the way you characterized her reactions. For a normal girl, 6th sense/gut feeling/Alarm Bells would go off in a place such as that store. Although they do as well for Emily, the sudden realizations stroke her adventurous spirit ignoring caution advocated by the pragmatic side of the mind. She ends up paying for that later. But now, having walked away from that place, the pragmatic side has a firmer hold and forces an introspection of sorts at the beginning of Chapter 2.

Now having said that, may be I didn't flesh out the loner part. I could/should have dwell upon the fact that no-one knows where she is. I agree with that point and will take that as a constructive critique. Do please read the 2nd chapter after it publishes (Not submitted as of this post.) and let me know if I shored up this aspect.

Do please note, I tend to create a sort of Erotic utopia/fantasy where psychotic sociopaths or murderers do not exist. Hence danger to her life is not a factor brought in. I am building the story in a way as not to entail direct physical violence which may hurt the protagonist. Having said that, "That Guy" is another highly complex character who does suffer from undiagnosed Bipolar disorder or potential schizophrenia.

Now, as to the other girl's voice Emily heard, no they were not screams emanating from physical abuse or being hurt. They were possibly attempts at struggle against Non-Con sex or arousal. I attempted to leave it to the reader's imagination. Alas that didn't work out. Do kindly note, this is my first time writing Erotic fiction. I have written Non-fiction before this, under different pen name.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
As a side note, this comment:

IMHO offering to name the editor, even via PM, is a tacky and graceless thing to do.

Editors are hard to come by. Writing a story is something you do for yourself; unpaid editing is something you do as a favour to somebody else, and if you're not paying an editor for their services you shouldn't expect professional-grade work. The ultimate responsibility for story quality rests with the author.
I apologize, I wasn't aware. My only intent was to tell the Anonymous that I did indeed go through a review before publishing.

Last edited by weekend_writer : 09-05-2017 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 09-06-2017, 01:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weekend_writer View Post
Apologies for the delay in the response. RL got in the way for last few days. I wish to thank you for taking the time to read and provide your feedback. I appreciate it.

Emily is a complex psychological person. She's not a straightforward person that you'd see /slot/cast into a specific category. She does have a adventurous streak that tends to borderline self destructive. You're absolutely right in the way you characterized her reactions. For a normal girl, 6th sense/gut feeling/Alarm Bells would go off in a place such as that store. Although they do as well for Emily, the sudden realizations stroke her adventurous spirit ignoring caution advocated by the pragmatic side of the mind. She ends up paying for that later. But now, having walked away from that place, the pragmatic side has a firmer hold and forces an introspection of sorts at the beginning of Chapter 2.
Ah, OK. That makes sense; the problem for me was that I couldn't tell whether you were intentionally writing her that way, or just hadn't thought about it. I think it would have worked better for me if Chapter 1 had made it a bit clearer that she was intended to be reckless, and not just accidentally so.

Quote:
Now having said that, may be I didn't flesh out the loner part. I could/should have dwell upon the fact that no-one knows where she is. I agree with that point and will take that as a constructive critique. Do please read the 2nd chapter after it publishes (Not submitted as of this post.) and let me know if I shored up this aspect.
LMK when it goes up, and I'll take a look then.

Quote:
Do please note, I tend to create a sort of Erotic utopia/fantasy where psychotic sociopaths or murderers do not exist. Hence danger to her life is not a factor brought in.
Hmm. This is a tough one - I can totally understand wanting to write a world where people don't have to worry about such stuff. Again, the hard part is signalling to the reader that this is how that world's meant to work, and not just Author Didn't Think About It.

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I apologize, I wasn't aware. My only intent was to tell the Anonymous that I did indeed go through a review before publishing.
Yeah, looking at that one again, I can see that your intent was "let me prove that I used an editor" and not "I will shame the editor" but I missed that first time I read it.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
Again, the hard part is signalling to the reader that this is how that world's meant to work, and not just Author Didn't Think About It.
See, here's my challenge. Its a first person narrative. So your freedom of dropping clues and hints to the reader are rather limited as anecdotal /environmental descriptions tend to be fewer. Originally I had plans to put a Author's Note at the bottom of the published post, not realizing that I don't have any control whatsoever after the story is published. Hence lost that opportunity.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weekend_writer View Post
See, here's my challenge. Its a first person narrative. So your freedom of dropping clues and hints to the reader are rather limited as anecdotal /environmental descriptions tend to be fewer. Originally I had plans to put a Author's Note at the bottom of the published post, not realizing that I don't have any control whatsoever after the story is published. Hence lost that opportunity.
You can edit a story after it's been posted, although most of the exposure comes while it's on the New Stories list so most people won't see later edits. That said, definitely better to convey this sort of stuff within the story than through a note where possible.

It would be possible to establish her recklessness through other choices as part of the story - "life's too short for helmets", etc. But the absence of serial killers etc. would be harder; I'm not sure how one would do that other than via a note.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:04 AM   #9
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Removing serial killers and consequences undermines your attempt to make a character reckless. It's meaningless to say she has a devil may care attitude when the sharp edges of reality have pillows duct taped over them so no one gets hurt.

Recklessness is attention-grabbing, as a storytelling technique, because the reckless character WILL get hurt and human beings will always rubberneck at accidents. We can't look away.

If you want to write somrthing edgy, or have an edgy character, you have to take the good with the bad or you're just spitting in the wind.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwkwardMD View Post
Removing serial killers and consequences undermines your attempt to make a character reckless. It's meaningless to say she has a devil may care attitude when the sharp edges of reality have pillows duct taped over them so no one gets hurt.

Recklessness is attention-grabbing, as a storytelling technique, because the reckless character WILL get hurt and human beings will always rubberneck at accidents. We can't look away.

If you want to write somrthing edgy, or have an edgy character, you have to take the good with the bad or you're just spitting in the wind.
Yes this is a very valid analogy and you're right. Although I wish to remove extreme elements involving physical violence, I do want to portray the reckless behavior. More importantly, I also want to give the sense that she lives a little bit of her own fantasy world. For example, Emily heard cries of other girls. She rationalized that as possibly arousal related. This is why as yet there are no other characters introduced at her Day job, YET.

Now having said that, there's going to be a time when she's going to face a kobayashi maru type choice. (My Nerdiness is showing ). That's going to lead to the rubber necking you are describing. If you care to share some plot ideas to build up to that, I am all ears. Of Course I can't very well reveal the details.

On an alternate note, The cries /sounds of the other girl, that Emily heard, what were they really ? What was their story ? I am keeping that open ended. Yes that's going to come to a head at some point. But to find out details, you are going to see recklessness on Emily's part. It'd be nice if she admits to being reckless, but of course she can't.

Five years later from this timeline in the story, there is going to be a temperate influence in Emily's life, one that's going to moderate in her "Devil may care" attitude. The story is left open ended at that point. I can either end it there, or continue it further. I am debating right now.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:45 PM   #11
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You are throwing the kitchen sink at this idea. Unreliable narrators are difficult to pull off for experienced writers, and that's before you start adding in alternate realities. This is the metaphorical equivalent of trying to learn arpeggios and tapping without knowing your scales.

The best advice you're going to get is to stop now and sit on Emily's story. Write some shorter stories while you figure out your voice as an author, and while you learn the basics of narrative structure. How to create and maintain tension. How to create a layered protagonists, and how to get readers to care about them.

Don't stop writing, ever, but build up to longer stuff.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:47 PM   #12
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This is coming from someone whose first story was a 100k word behemoth that I look back on and cringe. I have great love for the characters and the story, but I didn't execute it with nearly the finesse it deserved.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwkwardMD View Post
The best advice you're going to get is to stop now and sit on Emily's story. Write some shorter stories while you figure out your voice as an author, and while you learn the basics of narrative structure. How to create and maintain tension. How to create a layered protagonists, and how to get readers to care about them.

Don't stop writing, ever, but build up to longer stuff.
Agree that ^^^^

I gave WW similar advice in PM dialogue - I commented that I couldn't see Emily's psychological motivation because I was swamped with dull back story and constant exposition, but no motivation (all tell and no show). I invited WW to accept a little challenge, to go read one of mine (which as you know represents a polar opposite style) and write their response - that little exercise gave me (and hopefully WW) more insight into the narrator than the whole Emily story.

I noted this:

Quote:
And that's my point, for a story to really grip readers, I reckon it must have a touch of reality to make it convincing. You've given me a touch of reality; now, show me Emily's reality.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:42 PM   #14
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Delete. Probably way too harsh. My bad

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