tagReviews & EssaysBehind the Scenes With Barnaby

Behind the Scenes With Barnaby

byBarnaby©

Hello. My name is Barnaby Crockett. Some of you know me from my stories on LIT. For those of you that do, consider this as a DVD-style “Behind the Scenes” companion to my writing. For those that haven’t yet read my work, I hope you’ll want to give it a try after reading this crass infomercial.

It’s a cliché but it’s also true. Your stories are like children that you’ve nurtured to the point where they’re ready to make their own way in the world. When you write a story and put it out there for public consumption, you want it to do well. To date, I have published 19 pieces on Literotica. What follows is a story by story look at my “children.”

I started writing fiction in grade school. In my closet, I have a large box of outlines, very short stories and unfinished novels written between the ages of ten and twenty-four. Most of my archive consists of mysteries and sword and sorcery type fantasy stories. My first erotica was in my early twenties.

I published my first non-fiction article in AMAZING HEROES magazine a few years later and pretty much abandoned fiction for a time in favor of more non-fiction pop culture pieces. Over the years, I published enough to be pretty impressive for a non-professional. I also wrote a few radio commercials and some comedy sketches for a local performance troupe.

About six years ago, I came up with an idea for an erotic short story that would play with the clichés of the genre. I told my wife about it and she thought it was a great idea and encouraged me to write it. I tried…several times. I told a young female employee of mine named Liz about it and she also encouraged me to finish it. I did the opening about three different times but always abandoned it. I just didn’t feel comfortable with writing fiction.

Around this time, I went through a traditional mid-life crisis that ultimately screwed with my work, my marriage, my health and my finances. I found myself working with another young lady named Dru. One day, Dru noted that a certain adult magazine was offering a thousand-dollar prize for best erotic short story. She told me she planned on winning. I had read some of her fiction and she was good. I challenged her by telling her about my unfinished piece and how I was going to win the prize myself! Time went by and neither of us finished our stories. Then I discovered LIT!

I don’t recall exactly how I found out about LITEROTICA but I explored the site for a few months before deciding to join. It was a fascinating, complex combination of sleaze and class that seemed amazingly supportive to writers. Around this time, yet another young lady at work had shown me her writing. Her name was Meg and I was so impressed that I decided to give it a try yet again. I considered submitting several erotic pieces that dated back years but I wanted to finish my long-delayed story. I found my original attempts, read them, tore them up and started from scratch, eventually, finally, finishing BUZZWORDS.

I was still not satisfied with it. Apparently, I’m one of those writers that must constantly tweak. Who knew? I took the “fiction” portions of the narrative from an earlier partially non-fiction piece entitled ALMOST ANAL. My wife loved the final version but I assumed she would be prejudiced in my favor. Since she had inspired me to ultimately finish it, I showed the story to Meg. I sat with her as she read it. Let’s just say there was very little doubt that she was enjoying it. She made a couple of suggestions that I took. Then I sent it in. When it was posted, reaction was good but not overwhelming. One writer called it “a little gem” and several praised it for its uniqueness and quirky sense of humor. One marvelous letter came from a lady who didn’t even have a computer. She had been shown BUZZWORDS by a friend and found it so hot she was going to print it out to take home for her husband to read. I emailed the piece to Liz who barely remembered me describing it to her years before but was happy to hear from me. Eventually, I showed the printed piece to Dru, who immediately called my wife and said “Your husband is a dirty, dirty man and I can never look at him the same way again!” My wife asked if she liked it though. Dru just giggled uncontrollably.

Delighted with my reception, I sat down and wrote a second erotic story, SUMMER MAGIC, in about an hour. Five years for BUZZWORDS, one hour for SUMMER MAGIC. This second piece was vaguely inspired by the relationship between William Holden and Kay Lenz in the movie BREEZY that I had seen on TV the day before. On another level, though, I was a middle-aged man with a lot of young female friends with a leaning towards witchcraft. It’s not much of a stretch. I based the female character on Meg (who suggested her name) and the male, in retrospect, is just kind of there. This was a quickie in every sense of the word. For awhile, it was my most successful piece and I began referring to it as “the little story that could.”

My incredibly understanding and supportive wife helped me with the next story, CAN I HAVE YOUR AUTOGRAPH (Hey, LIT, whatever happened to my question mark in that title?). We worked out the basic plot together but I did the actual writing. Years of experience working in bookstores gave me the background and I again tried to incorporate humor and real characterization as well as satirizing porn cliches. My wife naturally loved it. It’s still her favorite piece. Meg laughed but felt it needed kinkier scenes where the female character was tied up! I was beginning to learn a lot about that girl.

I was anxious to follow it up quickly and I had several ambitious ideas such as REPEAT, a GROUNDHOG DAY style piece in which a young man loses his virginity over and over and WITH APOLOGIES TO GERSHWIN , about a composer who seduces women with a pre-written song he claims to write just for them. It was around this time that the dreaded Writers’ Block hit. I would sit and stare at the blank computer screen for what seemed like hours never writing more than an unsatisfactory sentence or two.

I delved into my archive and reluctantly submitted a rewrite of ALMOST ANAL as FANTASY GIRL. It was the most personal of my stories as much of it was true. No real plot or characterization, just sex. Let’s just say that both my wife and Meg, my two biggest fans, were less than impressed.

I managed to pull out another new piece. Originally, I called it MOMENTS IN RARE MOONLIGHT but I shortened it to RARE MOONLIGHT. It was a conscious attempt on my part to write a more romantic piece. The early scenes and dialogue had actually occurred with Meg not long before. I took the story much further than happened in real life but still tried to be realistic by including safe sex. Oddly, this became my most controversial piece and inspired one reader to vote it a “one” and complain that condoms weren’t allowed in fantasies. Hey, this was MY fantasy, not his! This didn’t help my Block.

I tried to come up with an entry in the Lit Halloween Contest that year with NAKED SOULS, a fun little piece about ghosts inhabiting human bodies for a little recreation on Samhain. Still beset by “the Block”, I did various rewrites and finally gave up. My planned ending was for the two human characters to turn out to be brother and sister. This idea was universally hated by all that heard it. Halloween came and went and NAKED SOULS ended up in the unfinished pile. I delved deep into my past for my next effort.

FULL MOON FANTASIES was originally written by a virginal Barnaby in early 1982. I had been sort of dating a certain young lady whose regular boyfriend was good for sex but otherwise abusive. She and I had done lunch, dinner, movie and club dates for over a year but she always returned to him at night. For his part, he figured he was saving a fortune and keeping her in his bed by letting me take her out. For my part, I remained ever hopeful that I could eventually convince her to leave the SOB and, despite the lack of carnal pleasure, I was getting to spend a considerable amount of quality time with her.

Perpetually horny, she asked me around this time to write a story with her having sex with her celebrity heroes (these included George Burns and Muppets. She was a tad loony.) I accommodated and then went on to put my own desire for her down on paper as FULL MOON FANTASIES. As much as possible, I included real life references in a not so subtle effort to make her realize that this could happen in real life. The dirty book was one I had loaned her that her little brother stole and got caught with. I really did work cleaning up the office building next door and we really did have an actress friend named Mindy, a buxom twenty four year old brunette that both the young lady in question and I had expressed some desire for in the past so, naturally, she was included. I’ll never know how much, if any, influence this story had on her but that summer, when she finally did give in to my considerable charms, I myself, remembered the part about the office building and she took my virtue on the conference table.

Because of the Block, it was a struggle to polish it up so I decided to split it into two parts. Part One was well received and Part Two soon followed, receiving my first “H” vote. With Part Two, however, I still wasn’t feeling it. I stopped after just a scene and submitted, intending for Part Three to follow soon. It didn’t. It was six months before I returned to writing at all. In the meantime, I asked my muse, Meg, for some insight. She said that the problem was obviously the fact that this story wasn’t me…anymore. As much as it detailed my fantasies of a time long gone, it was not who I am now and no amount of polishing would change that. With her advice in mind, I began again on Part Three, this time abandoning the original version entirely and writing the ending from scratch. My Writer’s Block was broken and I was back to writing new fiction again!

There IS a sequel: FULL MOON FANTASIES-THE SECOND NIGHT was finished in 1982, also. Because it’s “not me” anymore, I don’t plan on publishing it at this time. For the record, though, it deals with Tracy’s attempts to get my character to take her friend’s virginity and our adventures at an all black radio station. If anyone reading this has any interest let me know. I could possibly be persuaded to rewrite that one, too, if my fans demand it!

Before I even got around to finishing FMF, I posted a new piece inspired yet again by Meg. She had run into two ex-boyfriends at the Mall on the same day and another friend said that she led “an interesting life.” She herself suggested that I take it further and tell what might have happened if she had invited them both back to her new apartment. AN INTERESTING LIFE debuted with my highest rating to date, the most votes I’ve ever had and the most readers (over 20,000 to date. Thanks!). I was back!

KELLY AT THE CASHWRAP was actually a fragment of an aborted piece I had begun back in February. It was to be another bookstore story. It was too good to leave unfinished but I couldn’t recall where I had intended to go with it so I polished it up as just a hot little scene. One reader said it was his favorite of my works.

Around this time, I hired a young lady who had actually worked as an editor. She had never read erotica before but offered to sample my stuff and critique it. For the first time, I was given serious constructive criticism and I determined to take it forward. She and I even talked about a unique format for a collection of my writings. Then she moved away.

Also around that time, I met Dani as a customer at my store. Undoubtedly the single best conversationalist I have ever met, Dani can discourse for hours on fascinating subjects. She hung around my store that first night and we talked for three hours between customers. She was nineteen, funny, and opinionated on everything…especially sex. I knew I wouldn’t see her much longer though as she was moving out of state and I was switching jobs for the first time in twenty years. One night before I left, I asked Dani, Meg and Natalie, another co-worker, out after work. At one point when Dani and I were alone, I told her about my writing and suggested we sit down for an interview about sex to be published on LIT. She was intrigued by the idea and immediately agreed.

At this time, I began toying with another ambitious piece inspired by Dani to be called TIGER STRIPES. I let her read the first page but with all the changes going on in our lives, I didn’t want to rush the story so it remains back burnered.

The behind the scenes details of THE INTERVIEW PROJECT are printed elsewhere on Lit. Suffice it to say that Dani was incredibly impressive, bringing much more than I expected to the table with her candor, her enthusiasm and her background. We ended up with a lot more than just a hot little talk with a teenager about sex and everyone, including my wife, encouraged me to do more than one. In fact, my wife was the one who told Dru about the project on the phone. Later Meg lobbied to get in the mix and ended up with a fascinating, funny interview. Natalie and even Liz were brought in to round out the piece at five. My wife wanted to be the sixth but with all the troubles I had getting past the Lit censors, we’re not sure that would work. In fact, I interviewed myself, doing both parts as a companion piece to the regular series but my wife and Dani both found it incredibly sad and depressing so I decided to drop it. Sigh.

Dani became so enamored of Lit that she began writing her own stories based on her real life. To date, STATIC IN MY HEAD and SEDUCTION have been published. I found her pieces to have something mine lacked, a sense of reality that I hadn’t been able to achieve. I began AN INTERESTING LIFE PART TWO in an effort to find that reality. Part One had been written in Meg’s voice, which I knew well. Part Two was also, but I incorporated a character based on myself and chose to tell most of the story in dialogue. I had trouble finishing it when the premise unexpectedly came up in real life with her. I was angry with her for her unsafe practices but I recognized that on another level, it actually turned me on. Out of these mixed feelings, I wrote SEMANTICS.

I emailed Dani an unfinished version of SEMANTICS and explained the emotions behind it. Surprisingly, she said it was the hottest thing I’d written yet. I posted a finished version soon afterwards to quickly climbing readership and high voting. Eventually, I let Meg read it but I’m still not certain how she took it.

With the encouragement of success, however, I was able to finish the leftover NAKED SOULS (with a new ending suggested by my clever wife) and AN INTERESTING LIFE PART TWO with what I felt was some of my best writing so far. I’m not satisfied with it in some ways (Hey, the ice cube scene seemed funny at the time!) but the characterizations are aaaalmost there. As of this writing, Meg has not yet read this piece due to personal issues.

In fact, Meg’s promised follow-up interview has yet to happen and seems more and more unlikely. Both Dani and Dru have suggested follow-ups but without Meg, it isn’t worth it. After all, she really does lead an interesting life.

Anyway, for a little over a year, I’ve enjoyed my Lit experiences immensely for the most part. I’ve made new friends, inspired other authors, gained experience, pumped up my resume and, best of all, my “children” have prospered on-line, giving me the encouragement to write not just erotica but any and all things! Special thanks to those few who have bothered to offer feedback, particularly The Bragis and Damppanties. As I said at the beginning, if you’ve read my stories, thanks! I hope this was an interesting look at them. If you haven’t, now would seem to be the perfect time. Click on my name above to go to my full list. Read! Enjoy! Vote!

Barnaby

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