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29 September 2007 @ 03:37 pm
Taking ficlet requests  
This week was rather eventful. I managed to crank out my first fic in a month in only two days. That's something special since I write rather slowly, and I've been so busy with school. I feel very proud of myself. Because only_passenger's prompt was so awesome and got my muse going, I'm willing to take on two or three drabble/ficlet requests from my flist. It can't be anything too plotty, so name your het pairing, a scenerio, a kink, etc. that you would like to see me take on. I'll see how many I receive and choose whichever ones strike my fancy the most. I'd also like to say thanks to whomever nominated Window-Dressing at the Shades of Grey Awards. You rock.

On Thursday, I went down to St. Paul's again for my fieldwork to interview the priest there. What an incredible guy. Such hardship, such pain. I'm really excited about my 9-11 project, but it's so emotionally draining. You just want to cry for all the terrible things that happened to these people, and then smile because they survived it. The human spirit really just astounds me. I stand in awe every single time. Many members at his parish contracted various forms of cancer as a result of the toxins in the air at Ground Zero. His secretary, who could not have been more than 35, if that, had a double masechtomy. He contracted the worst form of prostate cancer. Un-fucking real. 

Later that evening I also saw Jersey Boys with my folks, which was a lot of fun. Frankie Valli has the voice of an alien, but I deem the falsetto cool. It was fun singing along. "Sherry," "Walk Like A Man," and "Big Girls Don't Cry" are still wonderful songs. 

I just read ash_carpenter's new het fic Rare Delights, which features a evil!Spike and WishVerse!Willow. Hee, it was a lot of fun. I aways like her prompt fics. Anywho, she mentioned that writing het makes her sort of squicky, to which someone commented that maybe it was because whatever you write seems to be reflective of your own sex life. I thought this was an interesting observation. I can't get on board slash as easily as het for that very reason - it's outside of my realm of physical experience (completely disregarding any other feelings I might have about the characters paired together). So much of my writing relies on the emotional connection found in sexuality that I feel I would lose a lot of that if I were to write slash. I also freely admit that I do draw from personal experience in my stories. 

I suppose my question to you is this: Do you feel the same about slash vs. het? Does it have something to do with the relatability of the content, or none at all? For the writers on my flist, do you draw from your own life to add more detail and color to your sex scenes? I'm a bit curious about this issue.
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on September 29th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
I've actually wondered that myself. In terms of slash fic - as a woman, I can pretty easily imagine girl on girl stuff; but for the guys... I do know some writers have gay friends who feed them some important information, but a lot of the slash fic I've read seems to me to be written from a very feminine perspective. In other words, remove the anatomical extras, and the scenes often seem as though one of the characters could be called "Mabel" without changing much of anything. And I wonder if that is reflecting the author's feminine perspective or if it is really how two men could/would relate to each other.

I'll be curious to follow the discussion and see what the rest of your flist thinks.

As far as when I write sex scenes...alas, at my age I'm operating mostly from memory and imagination. ROFL. And that's pretty much all I'm saying there. *g*
ClawofCat: pondersclawofcat on September 30th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
Very interesting insight. Thanks for your contribution, Patti! If you haven't looked already, you might want to check out Pass's response. I think she states her perspective really well. As for a feminized male figure, I'd say Spike is almost always relegated to the "Mabel" in slash, whereas in het he gets to be this uber sexy androgenous type that generally leads the sexual activity due to experience, etc. How very curious.
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on September 30th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
So true - about Spike being so often feminized in slash fic. I think it happens less often in Spander fics - he seems to be allowed to be more masculine there - but certainly anything involving Angel/Angelus or even Giles he is treated more as a feminine figure. Even in many manips, the body used is very often one that is much too feminine to belong to the "real" Spike.

shawty got flava like a peach lifesaveronly_passenger on September 30th, 2007 03:32 am (UTC)
you and i have discussed this before, but you know that the #1 reason i don't typically write slash is because i don't want to deal with the pronouns. it's an issue of technical writing: i'm too lazy to do it well, so usually i don't.

beyond that, though, i don't know. as a woman, i've slpet with far more women than men, and yet i read very little femslash, and to the best of my recollection haven't ever written it.

however, a different issue for me is that i'm more into writing (and reading) canon pairings (or at least might-have-been canon pairings, like angel/gwen, angel/kate, etc.) and there are more het pairings available that slash. (i do, for the record, consider both spangel and fuffy to be, at the very least, might-have-been canon pairings. more on them in a minute.)

as i get further into reading/writing fic, i'm less and less interested in the sex acts themselves and way more interested in the feelings about/motivations behind/emotional responses to/consequnces of the sex. buffy blowing spike makes me yawn much of the time. buffy's process around blowing spike, her feelings about blow jobs, being on her knees, being a woman, pleasuring a vampire, feeling dirty--that intrests me. when he gorans, i want to know if it turns her on or repulses her, and why, and how the reaction makes her body feel, and if it has to be reconsiled with her logical thoughts about it. i want to know if she swallows, or spits, or avoids the entire issue by finishing him off otherwise, or if she doesn't finish him off at all, and again, whatever happens, i want to know why.

because i put so much stock into the (i guess maybe) meta-ish aspects of the porny scenes, i have a hard time with slash that doesn't cover the reality that gay people are oppressed, sub-cultured, targeted, and under-represented. it's not an issue of politics. it's an issue of realism. if angel and spike are going at it, there's gotta be some representation of the fact that it's hard to be a tough guy masculine fighting machine with fangs and be sleeping with another man. yes, they're vampires, but they still live in the here and now, and they were both men at one time in probably pretty intolerant cultures and must have some leftover baggage. they sleep with women and live, mainly, as hetersexuals. i'm not gonna buy that they just bone for the hell of it with no slash-strings attached. i see slash-strings everywhere, and i don't want to read a spangel fic without them included.

i'm even more on this groove with fuffy. omg, coming out in high school is a headtrip. and that headtrip has to be addressed in my fuffy, or it's pretty much a no-go for me. seriously.

shawty got flava like a peach lifesaveronly_passenger on September 30th, 2007 03:50 am (UTC)
(cont'd from last comment)

so. maybe my main problem with slash is that it isn't slashy enough? (my head is exploding as i type.)

as far as drawing from my own life for fic, not usually specific sexual acts, which we've also talked about before. (i save that for the porn i write about myself and my lovers, which is, y'know. friends-locked. *wink*)

i do draw from my life for emotional content, and also for what i will term the grit. i'll try to catch details and sock them away when i'm fucking someone. i'll mine for adjectives sometimes, or metaphors. anything to anchor a scene, make it more real. like, what is the sound of a fitted sheet pulling free from the corner of the matress, and what does it feel like when it lands against your ankle, and does your foot get tangled in it then, or does it just fall away, or does it bother you to the point of having to stop for a second to untangle from the damn thing? how does the water feel on your thoat when you've been at it so long that your lips are sticky and the roof of your mouth feeled like molded cardboard, and are the mechanics of swallowing different when you're that droughted, and when she's pulling you back down before you're through drinking, how does your flesh react to the drops of water that splash against your upper thigh, your belly?

i pay attention the the moment he twists my nose ring back into place during the afterglow. to how much more satisfying it is for me to scratch if i'm wearing nail polish. to the way her leg twitches as she's falling asleep. i use all of that. all of it.

if i'm going to write a sex act i haven't myself participated in, i research. i have several sex how-to books, and i go there first, because the internet is sketchy. i ask around, and try to wring the grit out of other people too.

finally, i send it to my beta. right? (hee.)

ClawofCat: ClawSpikeclawofcat on September 30th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
Yes, your explanation of the grit makes total sense. Those little things. That Bangel drabble you wrote was so effective because it was all grit. I'm super descriptive in my sex scenes, but maybe I leave out the grit. Hmm, next time I write something I should consider that.

And, yes, betas are wonderful. Everyone should value a good beta, and if they don't have one, get one.
ClawofCat: sister gazeclawofcat on September 30th, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
as i get further into reading/writing fic, i'm less and less interested in the sex acts themselves and way more interested in the feelings about/motivations behind/emotional responses to/consequnces of the sex.
We are totally on the same page with this. I'm all about the why, and the emotions, and the backstory that plays through the characters heads as they do what they do. It's what makes it interesting. If we learn nothing about the character during a sex act, than what's the point?

i have a hard time with slash that doesn't cover the reality that gay people are oppressed
That entire paragraph is brilliant. I never thought about it that way before. Where is the reality of slash in spangel, etc? Are there any stories you've read that you feel cover those real-world issues? I'd love to read something that dealt with the gay issue honestly.

Thanks for participating in the convo. You're wonderful, and I love your brain.

slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on September 30th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
Some excellent points about how much slash fic is presented. I think authors avoid that sort of realistic presentation by following the common wisdom that vampires are amoral and totally bisexual (or more, lol) and that takes precedence over any residual issues they might have left over from their human days. It would be interesting to see more fuffy that dealt with any reservations or reluctance that Buffy might have with the relationship. Most of it seems to assume that they will eventually fall into each other's arms without any build-up or discussion.
fyreburnedfyreburned on September 30th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC)
Frankie Valli
Hey Claw,
Had to go thru BSV to get yer LJ link, rather than TSR (after chattin' in feedback after reading Spectator Sport at O-dark-thirty).
Thought I'd say, that as a late teen, or early (pre-22) 20's I met Frankie Valli after a concert in Jacksonville, FL. As a former theater/music/etc geek in HS, we actually knew all the "secret" (literally hidden) walkways/passageways in the theater in which he performed. So, was able to run quick to the exit where the stage door exit was, while others had no clue where to go, caught him, chatted, got his and some bandmates autographs. Don't actually know if that autograph bk. made it out of my housefire five yrs ago...won't know til later hopefully this yr when I move into the DWMH we're fixing up on the same property...I hope it was a smoke damaged only item repacked away, as it would also house my Leonard Nimoy 'graph as well. Frankie V's voice was incredible, BTW, back then, in the late 70's/early 80's...I saw a PBS or somesuch/or infomercial recently with him singing and it was kinda sad...he still was better than so many, but was shrivelled and did not seem to have any of the extremes of his voice, bandmates filling those in for him.
Keeping up with a lot of your fic, enjoying!
Will prolly explore more now...
Hope you don't mind me jumping in here. I don't understand LOTS of the LJ processes, and don't even know how to "friend" people, or get friended.
ClawofCat: 1977 Spikeclawofcat on September 30th, 2007 05:41 am (UTC)
Re: Frankie Valli
Wow! Awesome story about getting his autograph. I hope it survived the fire. I'm sure it will bring back lots of found memories of your youth. The guy that played Frankie in the show was incredible. They really got him down pat. Everyone was clapping, singing, and bobbing along in the audience. The actor actually had to work with a singing coach in order to learn how to get his voice to sound like that. It was definately a unique sound, even today.

Have fun with the fics. I'm glad that you're reading and enjoying them. As for friending, if you go to my user page, you can click on the little icon that looks like a plus sign. That will "friend" me and then when you go to the link up top that says "view my friends page" any updates that I've made to my journal will automatically pop up. If you have any LJ questions, feel free to ask!
willow_25willow_25 on September 30th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC)
I think the big issue for me with porn is that it has to evoke a mental picture, or it's just a string of silly words, which I eventually skim to get back to the plot. That said, I'm more likely to read canon-based pairings.

Drabble/ficlet request: Spuffy or Tara-Willow; One partner discovers a fetish/kink their partner has not told them about.
ClawofCat: basement spuffyclawofcat on September 30th, 2007 05:34 am (UTC)
Thanks for your two cents! Canon-based pairings certainly leave a lot more material to work with when shaping the emotional progression of characters, their history, and how they interact. However, the best non-canon stories, IMO, are the ones that sell the pairing and make you believe that it could work based on what we know of the characters. I have incredible respect for an author who can do that.

Picture-painting is certainly key to writing porn. A lot of it is in the wording, and where people sometimes fall flat is relying on incredibly stereotypical or overly fluffy words, like ecstasy or amrosia or somesuch. Sex should be realistic, and I think the best porn touches on the whys of the act and not just the act itself.

I thought a bit about your request, and I believe I've got an idea for a Spuffy ficlet. I'll let you know when it's ready!
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on September 30th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
However, the best non-canon stories, IMO, are the ones that sell the pairing and make you believe that it could work based on what we know of the characters. I have incredible respect for an author who can do that.
Absolutely true. A really good author can sell just about any pairing - even one that no one else has thought of. If it isn't sold well, then, I think, the lack of canonness (new word -lol) becomes a big issue. It's easier to get away with poorly drawn characters and poorly presented motivations if/when it is a canon pairing. amybnnyc has an excellent Spaith series (All The Sinners/Saints) that demonstrates really well how a non-canon pairing can be made real and believable.
Ditto for shadowscast's Sock Puppet Spander story. Give us the emotional reasons for the pairing, and it usually works.
ClawofCat: Spaith CoC2clawofcat on October 1st, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
You've recced Amy's Spaith before. I read through a few of the shots a couple of months ago, and they are indeed excellent. I love Spike/Faith. In my mind, that's a pairing that should have happened, and would have had the series gone on longer. I really want to do another shot in the verse I started in Window-Dressing. Just gotta wait for the inspiration.

I'm not a big fan of Spander, but I have heard really good things about Sock Puppet. I'll check it out!
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on October 1st, 2007 11:04 am (UTC)
Yes, the Spike/Faith thing can easily seem almost inevitable. Several very good authors have dipped into it, and it's hard to argue with their conclusion that those two wounded, passionate people could easily be each other's salvation.

Sock Puppet is Spander only in passing, really. It's all about the damage that's been done to them (separately) and the healing that they can offer each other. Spander usually only works for me if/when acknowledgement is made of their previous relationships and loyalties. If that makes sense. It's a (grim) future fic with a surprising ending.
ClawofCat: ClawSpikeclawofcat on October 1st, 2007 11:21 pm (UTC)
Wow! Spent the last few hours reading Sock Puppets. What a great, interesting fic. I really enjoyed it. And it was pretty light on the Spander. I like them in these post-NFA scenerios. Excellent read and deserves the awards its received.
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on October 2nd, 2007 01:37 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it. I always worry when I'm reccing fics that they won't hit other readers quite the way they did me. :)
ash_carpenterash_carpenter on September 30th, 2007 09:12 am (UTC)
Ooh, don't tell me that anything I have written may have helped to inspire an actual intellectual discussion?! Cool. ;-)

I'm not going to comment because I'll blatantly ruin it by saying something like "I like pretty boys shagging", so I'll just say thanks and run!

ClawofCat: buffy poutclawofcat on September 30th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
*stares at comments* Erm, I'd say minimal intellectual discussion by the looks of it. How very disappointing =( But thanks for stopping in to say hi. I guess people also aren't too interested in giving me prompts for fics. I am so unloved!
ash_carpenterash_carpenter on October 1st, 2007 01:34 am (UTC)
Naw, don't be silly, honey! I love you!

In fact, if you have time, I'll give you a prompt! The only het pairings that really work for me are Spike/Faith and Fred/Angel. (I also like Fred/Wes, but not for the dirty stuff - just for love and sensuality, which is not what I'm looking for right now).

So, if you wanna write something for me, take one of those two pairings, throw in some being turned on at inappropriate times (e.g. they're supposed to be concentrating on something important but can't thanks to the other person) or some spanking, and I'll be totally happy! *g*

ClawofCat: Spaith Make Meclawofcat on October 1st, 2007 05:02 am (UTC)
Hm...I do love Spike and Faith, and have wanted to do something more with them after Window-Dressing. I think a s7 inappropriate time thing could work. Maybe sometime after he punches her and leaves. She plots her revenge...mwahaha

I have this thing where I believe I can't write Angel. Angelus seems fine, but Angel. I dunno. I can't hear Angel's voice in my head. Maybe one day when I'm all grown up I'll try to do something with him.