Well I'll Be DamnedbySlirpuff©
This one is dedicated to my wife and my editor Wolf Vixen who put up with all my mistakes and keep me on the right path. Thank You both.
I had been thinking about writing a story for almost two years before I actually decided to attempt one and have it posted on one of the dozen or so adult websites out there. I felt like I had a good imagination, could always spin a good story and with my life's experiences I figured I was more than qualified to give it a shot.
My biggest problem was that I knew my grammar and spelling were awful at best. When I say that my composition skills suck I'm not lying. In my freshman year in college I got a 'D' in English Comp and considered myself fortunate to have gotten a grade that high. But that was in the distant past. Hell, I was now older and wiser, or so I thought, how hard could it be?
So I sat down with my Apple laptop at lunch one day and typed out a story, all twelve pages in Microsoft Word. The following day I went back to page number one and started to clean it up.
The first thing that surprised me was that Microsoft Word didn't catch all my grammar and spelling errors. 'Too' and 'to' were both actual words, and 'your' and 'you're' both looked good to me while I was typing it. I wasn't about to show anyone what I was doing, this was my little secret, and so I just aimlessly plowed ahead.
I guess maybe I should have made an outline or at least jotted down a few ideas but I knew better; I was a budding author or so I thought to myself. This wasn't going to be a Pulitzer winning novel, only a sexy short story; something that had just enough sucking and fucking to hold any reader's attention but not so much as to be labeled porn.
It took me the better part of two days to go through it a couple more times and iron out all the bugs. The story had a beginning, middle and an end but had grown to from twelve to fourteen pages when I expanded the sex scenes. I thought the plot of a wife cheating, with one of her coworkers, feasible and at the end of the story the husband tossed her ass to the curb, just like what I would have done. After reading it front to back and being satisfied, I was ready for the next step, finding an outlet.
I decided on the Dark Wanderer website. All I had to do was get setup, which took all of two minutes, and to pick a screen name. I downloaded my story on Monday afternoon and that was it, easy and painless. I then nervously waited to see if they would actually post it.
To my utter surprise, when I looked late Thursday afternoon, there it was in all its glory. "Yes, yes," I said pumping my arm, it must have been pretty good or they wouldn't have posted it.
My newfound fame went right to my head as I pumped out story after story. My stories' ratings were pretty decent, well everyone was reading them anyway, and I was riding high. When someone gave me feedback and suggested I submit to Literotica, I thought why the hell not. They were just another adult website I thought.
You know the phrase, 'cut off at the knees?' Well that's how I felt when I submitted my first story.
What did they mean, 'separate the paragraphs when going from one person speaking to another?' that was pretty petty I thought. Well if that's what they want, no big deal, so I made the necessary revisions and resubmitted.
What do you mean rejected again?
I guess I forgot to use parenthesis when a person talked. Their editors were starting to piss me off. Changing page after page was getting to be a lot of work and a royal pain in the ass. So for the third time I went through my story, line by line, until I thought it was perfect and submitted it.
What do they say, third times a charm? Well it was for me. A week later it appeared on the website under Loving Wife's.
"Am I good or what?" I said to myself as I basked in the glow of finally getting my first one posted.
I didn't think ratings could get that low as I read the reviews of my first story.
"Spelling errors, no way, I checked it almost word by word," I said to myself until I realized that they were right. "How in the hell could I have missed all those words, and what the hell was P.O.V.?"
I reread the story again but the back porch light was still off.
"Maybe I should start over with a new story and try again," I thought to myself. This time I wasn't nearly so cocky.
Even though some of the people thought my story lines were was good, most found them hard to follow because of all my issues and problems. So I went back to square one, again.
"Babes, what's point of view?" I asked my wife who used to be a teacher. She proceeded to tell me about first and third person and how it was a no no to mix the two. All right it took me about seven more stories before I finally got the hang of it but I was still getting butchered and some of the reviewers were brutal to say the least.
The one thing that did take me down, more then a peg or two, was when I realized that the Dark Wanderer would print anything as long as it has sex in it, especially if it was interracial sex. I went back and looked at my first few stories and realized they were pitiful at best, so now I could pretty much see where everyone was coming from.
'Get a fucking editor,' most of my reviewers screamed at me, so that's what I set out to do, but it wasn't as easy as everyone thought. There were a million editors listed, so I picked out three or four and sent them e-mails, none replied. Two weeks later I tried again but this time I upped the number and sent out e-mails to eight. Surely someone would get back to me, and one did.
I sent him one of my stories but never heard back from him. I waited two weeks and followed up with another e-mail, still no response. I was still posting my stories and everyone kept telling me to get an editor.
"I'm trying God damn it," I said to myself as I read their reviews.
This time I was more selective and picked out three more and as luck have it, I got another reply. I submitted my story to him and got a huge surprise. I think there were more red marks on it than the black letters I'd submitted. He changed punctionation, grammar, spelling and even the flow of the story. I made all the corrections, sent it back to him for review and got back the final draft that was supposedly ready for submittal.
I was beaming. "I'll show those nay sayers," I said to myself as I waited for it to be posted.
"You've got to be shitting me? What do you mean get a fucking editor? I got a God damn editor for Christ's sake," I yelled as I read the reviews.
'Good story but writes likes a five year old," was one of the nicer comments. The others tar and feathered me, shot me in the head and buried me behind the shed.
"Well, back to the drawing board," I said to myself as I was bound and determined to get at least one story posted that would get a good review.
I finally found two more editors that would look at my work. The first said I didn't have enough sex in my stories and would never get one posted. He suggested I send them to Red Book. The other seemed to like my work but had suggestions. I could live with suggestions, just not total rewrites. So I sent her my next story that I thought was pretty decent.
She liked it and there were only fifteen corrections to make this time. Yes, only fifteen, I was making progress. I made the corrections and submitted my work of art that very night. For the first time, in a long time, I felt pretty good about what I'd done. When it was posted and I read the reviews and e-mails I had an epiphany.
There is no way on this fucking earth that I was going to please everyone.
Spelling and grammar were no longer the issue. If I was writing about a cheating wife and the husband reconciled with her, I was an idiot for letting the husband take her back, even though in real life that happens in about sixty five percent of the cases.
"She's just going to cheat on him again," were fifty percent of the comments. "Toss the bitch to the curb," became the only real solution that mattered.
When I did, as they say, 'toss the bitch to the curb and got my revenge,' I was a hero but only to a point. In a few of my stories the husband or boy friend took it to the next level and got way more than his pound of flesh. I was then an asshole or demented for making the husband unlikeable, he was supposed to be the victim. I couldn't win so I stopped trying.
I was drawing in the readers, keeping their attention but was being chastised because they now didn't like the story lines. "I hate it when a guy cheats on his wife, I'd never do that," one guy wrote me.
"You don't have to, let me do it for you, at least in my mind," I said to everyone who now hated my victims.
Stories, that's what I write. I write fiction, sometimes based on real life that comes out of the left side of my brain, somewhere towards the back. I write stories that I think are believable and use both my wife and editor to make sure there aren't too many errors, even though I'm constantly reminded that I'm still using 'your' and 'you're' incorrectly.
Both my editor and my wife say that I should branch out to other categories and I'm working on that but it's hard. I've been married three times and my first two wives cheated on me so I know what it feels like. I did a tour of Nam, lived overseas for a while and even graduated from a black Baptist College, I'm white, and so I didn't just fall off the turnip truck.
I write the best stories I can and usually haven't a clue how I'm going to end them until I'm at least half way through, even then I've been known to go back and change an ending or two. I guess I could uncheck the feedback modes and save myself the grief of reading all the horrible reviews, but I still believe I've got a ways to go and usually there are a few constructive critism mixed in with the others that say I should shoot myself in the head and stop posting.
So I sit back and smile as I read the latest set of reviews. I then go back and tweak the story I'm currently working on, making sure 'you're' and 'your' are at least spelled correctly.
Am I going to stop posting? No. I will continue writing stories because it's something I enjoy doing and as I said at the start of this piece, I'm not looking to get the Pulitzer for English anytime soon. I admire a lot of the good writers that have posted to this site and after reading their work, I see that they also get negative feedback on the stories they submit, go figure; I thought it was just me.
So I go to the refrigerator, grab a cold one and sit down at my computer and read the latest round of new stories.
Like them or hate them, I still read them.