With the release of Smut Marathon round 4 coming up soon, I thought I’d do a bit of a run-down of what I’ve accomplished so far.

The first prompt was tough: 30 words – an erotic metaphor – 1 word title.

I went with:

Unfurled

He opened the dusty covers of his soul, exposing weather-beaten pages and fading ink; the hidden text of his tentative desires unfurled beneath the light of her receptive gaze.

It seriously took me days, and I completely overthought it. It was too wordy…a bit purple…and I know there was some angst over the use of the semi-colon (my favorite punctuation mark, by the way). But, as a poet, I can admit that I agonized over every word choice.

Luckily, I took the public vote on this, because the judges didn’t love it (I came in 8th). I learned from that. There were some things I needed to change, and some things I needed to stay true to, in order to make both audiences happy. Obviously, straightforwardness was a requirement. I was going to have to use less flowery language…less poetic. My erotica tends to run on the subtle side most of the time, but I learned from the comments and the twitter buzz that this likely was not going to work for this competition. However, going for straight, dirty smut with no story was also not the way to go…I had to find a happy medium.

Round two was even tougher: to use someone else’s metaphor in a 100 words (plus the metaphor used) and to give it a two-word title.

I went with this:

The End

The man entered the booth, closed the dusty curtain, and sunk into the stained, velvet chair. He pressed the button beneath the viewing window, which opened to a naked bulb spilling light, dusty and low, over the figures of two men writhing like eels against a young woman whose skin was bruised from over use. Her hollow, shameless eyes followed their undulating shadows.

The three lovers twisted into a knot of flesh, bearing no identifiable shape to the witness in the chair.

The man’s tears flowed silently as he took the gold band from his finger and placed it beside the box of unused tissues.

As he exited, the curtain waved a somber goodbye.

I basically came in 4th-ish by public vote, which was good, and 5th-ish by jury vote. I’m not sure exactly how the rankings work (I’m not good with numbers…I’m a “words” kinda girl), but the two rounds somehow had me ranked first. I’m confused by this, but…hell…I’m not gonna complain.

I read everyone’s entry for this and realized that what I felt was the best writing was capable of truly doing what I always try to accomplish…story plus sex = sizzle. So, I am going to continue to strive for this. I also love the unexpected twist. The people who are scoring highest are doing “something different” to stand out. So I feel it is important to continue this trend. Doing the expected thing isn’t going to set me apart from the crowd. However, setting myself apart from the crowd also increases the chances that what I write will either be misunderstood, misinterpreted, or simply disliked.

Like most things, I also overthought round 3’s prompt: write a character sketch – 200 words – 2 word title. I actually had to write three different sketches before I decided on this one:

The Wolf

Michael brushed the young woman’s nipples lightly as she slept.

He caught his reflection in the closet mirror. In the blush of sunrise, the white and silver strands in his rumpled blond hair appeared as highlights rather than age, and the creases around his eyes and mouth added depth and expression instead of years.

It wasn’t fair, he knew, to leave her like this. But the perfect scent of her youth was already fading. He’d done his damage — the imprint of his hand on her round backside, the spreading of her tight cunt, the tears she’d cry when she woke alone.

His weakness for virginity was pronounced, and his tastes were specific: eighteen to twenty, slim hips, red hair.

He loved to lure them, seduce them, and then plunge his cock through the veil of their morality, making them beg for things that shamed them.

Knowing he was the first to dampen their thighs, the first to bruise their breasts with his hungry grip…intoxicated him.

And as much as he hated to admit it, he loved to abandon them, knowing they’d never be the same.

These are the ones that didn’t make it:

#1 –

Katie stared at the blank screen, urging words to come. But they were as uninspired as she was.

Long ago, the words had danced and spread themselves open, inviting life to become story.

But now, here she sat, in a frayed pink bathrobe, three kids and thirty pounds later, hair in a messy, brown pile on her head, wondering where the fuck her life had gotten to.

The robe spread open, exposing her thigh. Cool morning air breezed across her skin, summoning goosebumps. She found herself twitching to life, drawn to reach into her crease, spread her legs, and circle the little nub as it grew and hardened.

Propping her feet up on the desk, knees spread wide, she placed her finger inside her cunt, surprised by the wetness. Squirming and writhing against her own digits, the palm of her hand rubbing her clit, she tightened the muscles from her glutes to her toes, feeling the edge of an orgasm approaching.

She heard the front door open as the flood let loose. Biting her tongue, she let it wash over her. She heard Jim’s voice, “Hello…anyone home?” and felt words screaming to be typed.

#2 –

Katie stared at the blank screen, urging words to come. But they were as uninspired as she was.

Long ago, the words had danced and spread themselves open, inviting life to become story.

But now, here she sat, in a frayed pink bathrobe, three kids and thirty pounds later, hair in a messy, brown pile on her head, wondering where the fuck her life had gotten to.

The robe spread open, exposing her thigh. Cool morning air breezed across her skin, summoning goosebumps. She found herself twitching to life, drawn to reach into her crease, spread her legs, and circle the little nub as it grew and hardened.

Propping her feet up on the desk, knees spread wide, she placed her finger inside her cunt, surprised by the wetness. Squirming and writhing against her own digits, the palm of her hand rubbing her clit, she tightened the muscles from her glutes to her toes, feeling the edge of an orgasm approaching.

She heard the front door open as the flood let loose. Biting her tongue, she let it wash over her. She heard Jim’s voice, “Hello…anyone home?” and felt words screaming to be typed.

*****

(I obviously started something with the “3 drafts to choose from” strategy, because I did that again for the 4th prompt.)

*****

I came in as the first runner up with the public vote. And the jury seemed to like this piece better (I came in second). I kept my first place ranking (still don’t understand), so I am going into the fourth round in pretty good standing. I’m not arrogant enough to think I’m safe there, however.

Going into round 4, I’m confident in my writing ability, but I realize I am at the mercy of two very different audiences. It will be interesting to see what they think of my interpretation of the prompt. It really could go two very different ways for me this weekend. As our pieces get longer, I’m not sure if the public voting will increase or decrease. It takes time and dedication to read all of the entries. And providing helpful feedback is even more time-consuming. I personally feel more dedicated to that the deeper we go, and I feel a camaraderie with the other writers. It’s not easy to put one’s self out there for public criticism, but there is much to learn in the act of doing so.

Here’s wishing luck to everyone involved. The 39 writers who remain in the competition are formidable competition, indeed, and I look forward to reading everyone’s 4th-round stories.

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https://brigitdelaney.com/2018/04/smut-marathon-1-3/

4 Replies to ““Smut Marathon” rounds #1-3”

    1. Yes, please, Marie! Explain the points, because I’d like to make them clear to others who seem to be struggling to understand them.

  1. “The people who are scoring highest are doing “something different” to stand out.” I think this is key to doing well actually. What ‘different’ means is obviously tricky and as you say also leaves you open to ‘making mistakes’ but I think being bold and trying to write something that is exciting will get you far…. and you seem to have proved that with your scores (which yes I found tricky to understand too)

    Mollyx

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