Now the polls are open: Smut aweigh!

The first round of writing has now closed and voting is available at this link here. Between Sunday, Feb 11th and Saturday, Feb 17th, you can read all 75 entries for Round 1 of Smut Marathon 2018. All the entries are anonymous — mine included — and your task as a voter, is to choose the top three that best meets the assignment. Please consider leaving feedback for the authors, your comments will be posted after the polls close.

Writer’s Assignment Round 1: Write an Erotic Metaphor
Specific requirements:
– only one sentence
– give your text a one-word title
– your text with the metaphor is a maximum of 30 words (excluding title)

Writers are not allowed to tell anyone which entry they have written!
You can only vote once.
The voting round closes on 17 February 2018 at 23.00 CET
Results of the voting round will be published on this site on 18 February 2018 and then will announce the author of each metaphor.

A “FREE” spanking? Cool.

For a very limited time, a few days only, you can download The Case of the Disciplined Valentine to any ereader device for FREE. If you love vampires, sex, Victorian-era romance, steampunk, spanking and other forms of delicious discipline, then take this opportunity to grab some alone time and read your way to…. err, bliss.

Take a sensual journey on over to Amazon by clicking this link, and be transported to steampunk London, where it is early February in the year 1854 and a certain vampire is about to come face-to-face with a most exasperating and intriguing female. And then he meets his Valentine.

A comedy of Victorian manners mixed with delicious spankings and sexual encounters guaranteed to raise even a vampire’s blood pressure, Byron Cane sets a torrid pace in his historical paranormal erotic novella.

It is 1854 in steampunk London, and Sir Nachton MacRath is warily returning to his home isle after decades abroad. He has good reasons to steer clear of the Royal Family, but is immediately snared by the Queen herself, who anoints him, Her Chastiser of Loose Morals, complete with elevation to the upper reaches of the aristocracy. Rather than a quiet existence as a vampire, he is now a Peer uneasily rubbing shoulders with the most powerful men in the Empire.

Phoebe Hayward is a lady of good breeding, but like all her contemporaries, longs for some excitement and romance. Valentine’s Day is only weeks away, when their paths cross with a bump. Despite later discovering the man ordered to discipline her is actually a vampire, she can’t help falling in love. The more encounters with Sir MacRath she makes, the more her body yearns to know what it is to submit to his vampiric touch. When he reluctantly agrees to be her Valentine, thus begins a Domination and discipline the likes she’s never dreamed.

MacRath doesn’t feel he deserves Phoebe’s love, and attempts to push her away by taking her deeper into sexual submission. She surprises him — and herself — by eagerly submitting to his every desire.Together, they explore the sensual heights that a woman and a man — a vampire — can reach. But politics and conflict are never far away, and the Valentine’s Day deadline comes all too soon.

The Case of the Disciplined Valentine
The Case of the Disciplined Valentine

Disclaimer: The Case of the Disciplined Valentine, with minor changes, is the same novella as previously published in the Lust in Lace anthology, as Sir MacRath Thrashes his Valentine. If you have already purchased the anthology in ebook or audio book, then there is no need to purchase it again… unless you want to financially support me. 🙂

 

The truth about editing

It sucks.

I mean; it really sucks.

You work really hard on a story, send it to someone, and they go; “Meh”.

I write a variety of things; poetry, essays, flash fiction, short stories and long-format novellas and novels. But no matter how meticulous I craft my narrative and characters, there is always room for improvement. The key is finding the right editor.

For me, it’s Ina Morata of Clarian Press. She has a keen intellect and an extensive depth to both grammar and vocabulary [albeit of the English-English language variety, which leads to interesting discussions when Americanisms crop up] along with a historical literary provenance, that creates a template for how a story should read.

The most important lesson I’ve learned from having my work edited by numerous people, is that the only goal an author should have, is to seek the best possible result. If an edit makes for a better book, then make the change and don’t mourn your original efforts.

Nearly as important though as a writer, is to find your ‘voice’; the style in which you are most proficient. That voice needs to be a solid base so that no matter how much editing is done, it is still recognizable as your own. A good editor trims the excess, prunes back the prose so that new growth and grafts make the finished product even more fruitful. Writing is not about word count, it is about making each word important and integral to the story.

I always start my long-format fiction in flash style. I think of it as splashing paint on a canvas. It’s not meant to be perfect, or even coherent. It’s an experiment to see if the characters and plot have potential. The more you write, the more you cast off. There’s nothing wrong with that. Always seeking the perfect first draft is guaranteed to make it impossible to ever finish anything. Imperfection is not only inevitable, but essential to editing.

What I call a first draft is a misnomer. Before I submit a piece of fiction, long or short, the manuscript has normally been ‘edited’ by myself at least a dozen times. I swap chapters, change tenses, substitute narrative for dialog and vice-versa. My style, my voice, has developed into exploring the emotional bonds we create and the consequences of our actions. I don’t fill in the background normally; the physical aspects of the characters, the detailed clothing or places they inhabit. I enjoy reading books that do so, but for me, as a writer, I don’t think in those terms when creating.

A good editor partners with the author by taking that first draft, reading it, then breaking it down into various components. Keep. Change. Discard. While ultimately the decision remains with the author, by explaining the whys, an editor guides the prose into becoming stronger and better. The mantra, “If it makes a better book, any change is good”, is very helpful in taking personality and emotion out of the process. Which leads back to the title of this post.

The truth about editing, is that it is extremely difficult and fraught with feeling: if you allow yourself to believe your first draft is perfect. It’s not. It’s only a starting point. Having other eyes read your work can be intimidating, but the payoff can be a spectacular result.

Happy writing,

Byron Cane

Looking for a quirky Valentine’s gift?

Why not download your own free copy of the first several thousand words of my novella, The Case of the Disciplined Valentine, at this link to Instafreebie? Did I mention it’s free? When you and your sweetheart fall in love with Sir MacRath and his naughty Valentine, Phoebe, you can then purchase the entire novella at Amazon for only .99 cents on or around the 5th of February.

Forget the chocolates, red roses and itchy lingerie. Give the gift of submission and bring some heat to Valentine’s Day this year.

The Case of the Disciplined Valentine
The Case of the Disciplined Valentine

This is a short excerpt, included in the Instafreebie, when Phoebe bumps into — literally — Sir Fang for the first time. He’s not known by that address, you’ll have to read the entire novella to found out when and where he is tagged with the nickname.

As the youngest of four, and the only girl, she readily admitted to being spoiled. However, it wasn’t as if she was going to elope with the local butcher. Phoebe knew her duty and eagerly looked forward to her second Season. If, that is, her father would allow sufficient allowance for what he called ‘fripperies and nonsense’.

Minor gentry, they lived comfortably but hardly aspired to the lofty heights of the truly noble elite. A second or third son of a Viscount would be more than acceptable to a Baronet’s daughter. She had spent the morning circulating the shops, counting pennies to avoid furthering her father’s ire.

Still fuming about the threatened punishment, she didn’t notice the pedestrian in her path. It seemed the last straw.
Clumsy oaf she was set to retort — most unladylike — when she gazed upon her captor and was enraptured by a face whose masculine beauty took her voice.
Pale silver eyes floated above sharp chiseled cheekbones.
Stark black hair slicked back from a high forehead.
Lips glistened the color of full ripe strawberries.
Oh, my. His skin is ethereal. Her hand lifted of its own accord to caress.
The stranger captured her wayward fingers and repeated his inquiry.
“No,” she gushed in blatant admiration. “I am uninjured, sir. Thank you for saving me. I am indebted to you.”
Set to her feet, she could only watch in helpless adoration as the tall, beautiful stranger walked out of her life without a single backward glance.

 

Oh… bite me

A little over a year ago, I had a novella published in the Lust in Lace anthology. My novella in that publication is called, Sir MacRath Thrashes his Valentine. With only some minor changes [A sidebar, in nearly every book, magazine and newspaper I read, I find typographical and grammatical errors. My story was no exception.] Clarion Press is republishing my novella very soon as a standalone story with both some narrative changes and a brand-new title. Without further ado, may I present the first — hopefully of many — Sir Fang Stories.

“The Case of the Disciplined Valentine”

The Case of the Disciplined Valentine
The Case of the Disciplined Valentine

 

What rhymes with sixty-nine?

Eighty-nine, of course.

*crickets*

Okay, so my puns are terrible. What’s not terrible is eighty-nine; as in, eighty nine writers signed up for Smut Marathon 2018.

89!!!!!!

Marie Rebelle — who is running the Marathon, in charge, not actually lacing up sneakers — posted the submitted bios of all the writers in this very cool post you can find by clicking here.

I briefly touched on the rules in this post here, but an easy way to follow along is to subscribe to the Smut Marathon blog. I will be posting helpful links as well. Below is another brief recap of the rules.

Jan. 28-2018 Start assignment 1
Feb. 10-2018 End assignment 1

Feb. 11-2018 Start voting round 1
Feb. 17-2018 End voting round 1

Round 1 + 2: All participants [89 total]
Round 3 + 4: 55 participants
Round 5 + 6: 45 participants
Round 7: 25 participants
Round 8: 18 participants
Round 9: 12 participants
Round 10: 8 participants

Feb. 18-2018 Start assignment 2
March 3-2018 End assignment 2

March 4-2018 Start voting round 2
March 10-2018 End voting round 2

The absolute most important rule is: you never ever tell anyone which story you have written. If you want to post a story you have written for the Smut Marathon on your blog, you do so only AFTER the results of the voting round have been announced.

The assignment/task is a secret and will be revealed when all stories are posted on the Smut Marathon website at the start of a voting round.

The voting round opens between 12pm and 3pm on the day after the writing round has closed and it lasts a week. Voting is done on the Smut Marathon website and in each round voters have to choose three stories. You are allowed to promote the Smut Marathon and ask people to vote, but you are not allowed to tell anyone which story you have written.

When you read the entries during the voting round, please take the time to leave some feedback. We want the writers to learn something from this experience and therefore feedback is very important. Feedback like ‘nice story’ or ‘I liked them all’ is nice to get, but writers don’t learn anything from that. If you could leave feedback like ‘maybe you could vary the length of your sentences’ or ‘it would be easier to read when you use more punctuation marks’ or other constructive and instructive feedback will be highly appreciated.

All comments on the site are moderated, which means that feedback will only become visible after a voting round has closed. This is to make sure other voters are not influenced in their choices of stories because of the feedback on the site.

Smut Marathon 2018
Smut Marathon 2018

In training for the Smut Marathon

Like elite athletes the world over, I too am focusing my attention on an upcoming gathering of the best. I am pumping iron, downing kale and egg-white shakes and abstaining from sex. All in the hope of going for gold at the Smut Marathon.

I don’t recall that sport being listed in the Olympic program. It’s not, and I’m not in training for anything more strenuous than feeding the cats. Smut Marathon however, is a real event and is taking place at this link.

A brief summation of the rules: [Bold emphasis mine]

There are two kinds of ’rounds’ during the Smut Marathon – a writing round and a voting round.
The writing marathon consists of 10 writing rounds and 10 voting rounds. Each writing round is followed by a voting round.
Before the start of the first writing round, all participants will receive an email containing the rules and schedule of the Smut Marathon. There will be no deviation from the schedule.
At the start of a writing round, participants will be sent an assignment by email. The email will mention the closing date and time for the assignment, as well as the number of words allowed and any other specific requirements.
Participants are not to speak about an assignment until the voting round starts.
Participants are not to tell anyone which story is theirs, until after the voting round has closed.
During a writing round, one or more reminder emails will be sent to participants who have not yet submitted their stories.
If your story is not sent in on time, you will automatically be disqualified from the Smut Marathon.
The day after the closing date of the writing round, the voting round opens.
Voting is done by means of a survey and in all rounds readers have to choose the best three stories.
The voting round lasts one week and the results will be announced the day after the voting round has closed.
When announcing the outcome of a voting round, we also reveal the authors of the stories.
Depending on the number of participants allowed in a round, the participants with the least amount of points will have to leave the Smut Marathon.
The remaining participants will receive the assignment for the next written round.

The most important rule, is to not tell anyone about which story is theirs until after the voting is closed in order to make it fair for everyone. The complete rules are at this link here.

The total maximum number of words increases with each round.

Rounds 1+2: maximum 30-100 words
Rounds 3+4: maximum 150-300 words
Rounds 5+6: maximum 300-650 words
Round 7: maximum 650 – 800 words
Round 8: maximum 800 – 1000 words
Round 9: maximum 1200 – 1750 words
Round 10: maximum 2000-2500 words

Sun, 28 Jan 2018 until Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Writing Round 1

Sun, 11 Feb 2018 until Sat, 17 Feb 2018
Voting Round 1

Subscribe to the Smut Marathon blog here, and when the voting starts, please read the stories and choose the top three you feel completed the assignment the best. Also, please consider providing feedback as all writers like to have their work noticed.

One final note, I will be entering my stories as Bryon Cane, not Lurv Spanking, although, as the rules clearly state, all entries are anonymous until after the voting is completed.

Let me wipe the sweat off my brow, this writing stuff is hard. I need a nap.

Byron Cane

State of Writing

It’s been awhile since I last posted here. Too long, in fact. I could blame the holidays and working full-time, but I won’t. The truth is I got lazy and then decided — in retrospect — that is was a much needed sabbatical.

For me, writing has never been a burning passion. Must. Write. Now. That’s not me. It’s not to say I don’t have ideas and plots whirling around my head, I do, but I prefer to wait until the concepts become clearer; rather than jotting down every scrap that bubbles through the daily chaos. I need serenity in order to create. Calm yields prose.

I have dialed back posting on my other blog, Spank Me Hard… Please?, and am only posting four drabbles a week of The Bumhampton Chronicles and the Wicked Wednesday prompts.

As 2018 gathers steam however, there are several other projects that are in process. The first is a novel, Kismet of Submission, which I have recently finished editing from flash fiction episodes on my blog, into a beta draft as a long-form novel. You can still read the original first two posts by clicking this link, but the other episodes were removed from public viewing. My plan is have a completed draft of 90-100k words by the fall, in order to submit the manuscript for possible publication. If you would like join my group of beta readers, you may comment on this post, or send me an email by using the Contact Form on this blog. I am seeking feedback, comments and critiques on Kismet of Submission and all viewpoints are welcome.

In the meanwhile, the next fiction of mine to be published in ereader format, will be the novella, The Case of the Disciplined Valentine. This has been published before; it was part of the Lust in Lace anthology in January, 2017. In the anthology, the title is Sir MacRath Thrashes his Valentine, but I have changed the title in order to bring the novella into line with other future works. The Case of the Disciplined Valentine will be published in several weeks by Clarian Press. Stay tuned for the cover reveal, excerpts and ordering information. There is a page on Clarian Press, click here, with extra content. The novella itself, is only slightly different from the anthology, but you can purchase either or both for your collection.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, this is Byron Cane.