March 2nd, 2007

my fancy foot

The Tale of an Erotica Writer, Book Six

Book One.
Book Two.
Book Three.
Book Four.
Book Five.

I'm Too Sexy for This Story

Another way to make stories stand out from the slush is style. The problem is identifying which style will work in a given story and for a given editor; there's no absolute method of quantifying style factors. I can talk about style, though, as a method of making stories different.

In Book Three, I described using second person present for "Camera" and how well that pov served my purpose. I experimented further with that pov in two other stories. One of them, "My Grandmother's Love Letters," remains unfinished. The other was "Worship." In "Worship," I wasn't trying to distance the reader from the point of view character, I was trying to indicate the character's distance from her own crippled body and from her own life. If there was ever a sequel, it wouldn't be in that pov, because by the end of the story, she and her husband have adapted to the changes in their lives and begun thinking about themselves and their relationship in a different way. I think the presentation of the story was at least or even more important than the events of the story.

I've tried first person several times. "Free Falling" was the first. Since I wanted a lighthearted, breezy story, that's the voice I used. Also, the narrator could use sfnal slang to aid in the worldbuilding. In "Poppies Are Not the Only Flower," first person enabled me to mimic early twentieth century formality, integral to the story's setting during World War One. In "Mo'o and the Woman," [Link] first person was a way of making a truly wacky premise seem believable by easing the reader through stages of belief: "There's a story the people tell on Maui, about a creature called Mo’o....Some people say they've really seen her, the Mo'o....At least, that's what a friend at the Senior Center told me one time."

"17 Short Films About Hades and Persephone"> [Link] is laid out in small sections partly because of the disparate nature of the myths about Hades and Persephone. There's not much continuity involved in the original sources, so writing an uninterrupted narrative would've been difficult and involved transitions that I didn't really think were necessary. Some of the sections are only a couple of sentences long, adding rhythm to the narrative and serving as summaries of intervening time, for instance showing that things hadn't changed in the relationship, or briefly recounting a failed attempt at change for humorous effect.

I'll ponder future subjects, or if anybody has any suggestions for things they'd like to read, please let me know, and stay tuned to this LJ for the next installment of The Tale of an Erotica Writer.