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  1. CMW

    Slave versus Submissive

    Oh, I said that, once upon a time - and grew into understanding my needs as they changed and expended into, for me, more than submission. Again, it's a YMMV. Each person has her own needs - for some, it's a totality, for others, it's not so much. There's no right answer, no great status to one or the other. Writing your own story, on your personality or a piece of paper is all there is - and it's a darned nifty thing to see where it can go. A lot of people seem to think that slaves lack personality or are the proverbial submissive doormats - those people don't understand that it takes a great deal of strength to yield and being giving, obedient, and flexible doesn't mean a slave can't have a spark and kick to her personality.
  2. CMW

    Slave versus Submissive

    A submissive must have trust in her (i'm going to go with that pronoun - YMMV) and can thus cry foul if it's broken on any level from not enough aftercare to the wrong grain of rice she kneels on in punishment. That may or may not end the relationship, but it will, hopefully, lead to a discussion and a meeting of minds. A slave, however, doesn't have that right. If she gets upset, she has the only "No" of her relationship - to leave it. She has to trust, completely and totally before she gets into the relationship. In a story, the only way to express that is to be Mr. Exposition and somehow make the reader trust you, or to write a conflict wherein the slave is forced to choose to stay and suck it up or to walk away forever. pittwitch, much of the responsibility lies with the Dom/Top, but a submissive holds care in her own hands, ultimately. A slave has none of that. She is, essentially, helpless in his hands until she decides to leave, hence the before-relationship trust. Writing that is brutal - being in the middle of doing so right now. Writing D/s is tough, writing M/s is close to impossible to do without tears and hair pulling, even if one shares the personality one of the characters.
  3. CMW

    Slave versus Submissive

    This is a great article, and, while I don't have a quibble with it, I'd also like to point out that the terminology depends on the couple - and if they want to call it M/s, it's not my job to say that their label has it all wrong. My own definition is that a submissive has "no" and a slave doesn't, however, that definition is different for everyone - and it's also very difficult, as a writer, to express the deep connection of an M/s relationship and to prove the lack of "no" without a serious conflict that may simply not exist in the story being told. (Gracious, those pronouns were silly.)
  4. CMW

    Mistrust of Good Reviews

    Being utterly paranoid, I get all nervous when I hear something nice about my work. Balancing that out, however, is the little monster than needs stroking with some verbal gushing. What helps is hearing why someone likes what I've written. I'd like to know what worked and, even more, what didn't. "I love your story!" is great for the ego, but hearing why they like it, with a few examples helps me feel better about actually working on my craft.
  5. CMW

    What Do You Look For In An Ideal Review?

    I wrote this for my own site, but since it may help answer your question, here you go: Review? Why bother? What you read and see at [this site] is art. It may not be created by a professional (though certainly some of it is) but it is art, and should be treated that way. Authors, artists and photographers work hard to create something for you to enjoy. It takes time, energy and emotion to create what you’re seeing in the flash of an eye. It takes a great deal of bravery to post something that has taken so much time and energy for the public to see and dissect. Authors lay bare their fantasies and artists expose their sweat and sore hands to their audience, models are showing their bodies to strangers. Each one is putting him or herself on display. The authors, artists, photographers and models of [the site] deserve recognition on their work. They deserve recognition for their efforts, courage and their generosity in showing you pieces of themselves. The best way to give that recognition is to leave feedback or a review by clicking the “Leave Feedback/Leave a Review” button on the page that you’ve just viewed. How to write a review A gentle reminder before anything else is said is that reviews should be left concerning the quality of the piece and the emotions invoked rather than judging the content of the piece. If you find that your emotions are so heavily negative concerning the work because of the content, please wait to review the work until your emotions have calmed and you can write a reasonably objective review the focuses on the writer’s style and skill rather than your emotional distaste. It’s really important to be unbiased in writing your reviews – both positively and negatively – so the author grows in skill. While a simple “great story” or “Mmmm” note and a star number is acceptable – it shows the author that someone has read and possibly enjoyed the story (and knows where the “M” key is), why not leave a more constructive review? At [the site], we encourage con-crit (constructive criticism) to help authors. This doesn’t mean that every story has a list of things to work on; it could also be that the author should keep doing a certain thing. At the bottom of each chapter and each photograph/drawing, there is a place to add a review/feedback. Type in your comments and click the submission button. Anonymous reviews are not allowed. Flames– that is unreasonable critiques – and personal attacks are also not allowed. Some things to bring up in a constructive review: - Was the summary well written and did it accurately describe the story? “How could it have been improved? How was it good? - Were the content notes accurate? Should others be included? - The plot was _____ (imaginative, original, believable, unrealistic, ....) because _____. - The visual descriptions were _____ (perfect, not enough, lush, gorgeous, inaccurate) because ___ - The characters were ___ (just like real people, humans, exactly what I imagined, one sided, needed depth). My favorite character was ____ because ____. - I thought this story could use a bit of work on ____ (realism, dialog, grammar, ...) - The emotions this picture/story brought out in me were _____. - My overall opinion of this story is that it ________. - What I like most about this picture is ____. - The element that I find most jarring/most pleasing in this photograph is ____ - The next time you take an erotic photo/draw, you should pay attention to ____. - The background elements are ____ (great, too busy, distracting, amazing, how did you do that). - The model in your photo is ______ (beautiful, inappropriate for the manip you chose, looks uncomfortable, looks like she’s having fun.) - I couldn’t really get in to your story because _____ but I did like how you _____. - Leave a [plus]. Please take just a moment when you are finished reading or seeing a photo or drawing, to leave a note for the author or artist. A meaningful review only takes a few seconds but the author or artist appreciates forever.
  6. CMW

    Why Do We Hate Mary Sue?

    Give her more than what you see on the slick surface of cannon. Give her a background, a family, a pet, a diary. Dig into her soul, ask questions about her mind and quirks that require answers. Give her a personality. Perfect people don't have personalities. They have a shiny costume that people can't see beneath. Make her think. She's NOT good at everything. Find what she's mediocre at, find out what she simply can't do because of a lack of skill or practice or raw talent. Show her fears. Show why she's good at all of the things that Stan Lee says she's good at - did she practice every single night until 1 am until she got it right, were her parents nutjobs that grounded her for every B in superhero school, is she faking it and did Jane do that thing instead of her an she took the credit.... Find out her WHY. When you know her, inside and out, then you can write a real human being.
  7. CMW

    Names for OCs

    I use a lot of sources for names. The first is a huge baby name book that I picked up used at a garage sale a few years ago. Also, I google "popular girls names" (and boys) and even name sites - of which there are a LOT. With my huge story, I have to use a lot of non-everyday Anglo-American names so I end up picking an ethnicity/country and googling names - i.e. "Traditional Irish Names", finding one that I like because of the ring, the look or the meaning and going from there. Unless it's a toss-off name for something, I usually put more time than most folks do into looking for names because of my personality and the nature of my story (my names give clues about characters, if one takes time to look them up). I analyze common naming patterns given by the author and try to roll in to those. "Flower names", "Common names", "Astrological names" and "Old English/Pict/Gaelic" names are popular in Potter. To me, Ivy is a perfectly reasonable name in an HP story because Rowling has established a pattern of several plant names. I probably wouldn't use River or Rainbow because they are just a slightly hippie touch out of the realm of what she's offered. I always avoid names of people I know (unless it's so buried that only that the one person knows it and gets a giggle). I also always avoid using my own name, just because it gets so stale and it becomes insertion of me and my fantasy into a story, rather than a STORY. CMW
  8. CMW

    Why Do We Hate Mary Sue?

    I doubt that I have anything original to offer, but I'll try. I've never found that I'm jealous in Mary Sues, but will freely admit to not liking them. My thing is that I need to read (and write) characters that are human. Mary Sue isn't a human so I treat her as a dangerous alien who is coming into my story-world to take over the planet and eat my favorite characters' brains. Perfect people set my teeth on edge; perfect characters do the same. So what's she hiding that has turned her into perfection (which, as I said before, is a characteristic of aliens)? By writing a Mary Sue, the author is demanding that I, as a reader for a connection with her and make her a friend so that she can seduce my written friends into offering up their brains. I am NOT going to be friends with someone who is hiding something big enough to make her non-human that I don't know about. "I'm Lord Voldemort's granddaughter, please don't hate me" is not a secret or a flaw - it's a plot point. There's not bit of humanity in that. Being painfully shy, with acne, brown hair, dishwater blue eyes, crap at Charms and Transfiguration class but a dab hand at dealing with bowtruckles, and Voldemort's granddaughter? I might buy it but I want more. I want humanity. I don't want my written friends to be in danger of losing their brains. The best way to achieve that it to draw someone that is average so I can identify with her. Yup, normal for the 'verse you're writing in. Not with purple hair, unless purple hair is common. Not with purple eyes unless are also shared by 1/4 of the population. She is allowed one or two things that she's utterly extraordinary at - why? Because we're all really, really good at something. We're also really crummy at others. Humans have acne and have to go to the bathroom and sometimes forget the air freshener. Mary Sue shoots rose-scented rainbows out of her ass. You have to create a balance of skills, a balance of friends, a balance of personality and physical traits (actually, I tend to err on the side of "mediocre at more than she's good at"). It's human. Aliens are good at everything - it's how they seduce you in to offering your brains. CMW