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