autobiographical,  on writing,  Smut Marathon 2018,  Thoughts

Smut Marathon 2018: surviving round 1

For those of you following along at home, Smut Marathon 2018 is an epic writing competition hosted by Marie Rebel of Rebel’s Notes. She has built an intricate and exciting series of challenges for erotica writers from around the globe to participate in and let me tell you, it is off to a rip roaring start.  Seventy five writers posted erotic metaphors, and luckily no one was eliminated in this round, but what a fascinating spectrum of entries. My entry was the first one listed, “Ripe”. Here it is:
The honey bee knows her sweetest nectar is from the ripest figs, fulsome and sticky, bleeding milk from their stems, their dusky skins nearly splitting in the summer heat.

The feedback on my metaphor was decidedly mixed, but over all I have taken from it that my phrase was too ornate, too abstract and not erotic enough. Interestingly enough, those are my greatest insecurities about my writing and things I anxiously try to manage, but as we all know, finding the balance between intriguing prose and just describing something sexual is a very fine line. Although it was a mixed bag I’m really happy with the amount of feedback mine received. It appears that for some it really landed and for others it just wasn’t enough to get their engines revving.

If it wasn’t for the context of the assignment, I couldn’t have told that this was a metaphor.

I had to read it a couple of times to let it sink in. It is beautiful, but not erotic.

While I love the imagery presented, and the sentence overall, it just didn’t make me picture anything erotic.

This was a purple prose metaphor, but it oozed sexiness.

Not a single sexy word and yet we all know what it means. That is art. It lacked a rhythm in the sentence though.

I admire the prose in #1 “Ripe”. The lyricism fits the topic. So with each phrase, the line itself grows more ripe. First we have adjectives, but they give way to verbs—bleeding and nearly splitting. This is gorgeous.

I’m reading that a lot of contestants are appreciating the feedback, some more welcoming of it than others. My education is in fine art so I have spent years exposing very personal work, visual and written, to peers and panels of experts, for critique. I love it, I crave it. In fact, overall, the one thing I hope we collectively garner from Smutathon is that critique, when given clearly and constructively, is a hugely valuable tool for any artist. Most of the erotica memes we all participate in regularly are celebratory v. critical. There is room for both in this community and I know that all of us want to learn and grow and hone our craft, and we can’t do that with only compliments.

I haven’t contributed feedback to Round One, I wanted to get the lay of the land and understand how and if the judges would be using the comments section for feedback. I will absolutely be contributing thoughts to the next rounds and if you are reading or writing in Round Two and beyond, I’d encourage you to add thoughtful comments and critique to the writers.

If you write about Smut Marathon 2018, be sure to link it here.

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