Smut Marathon Round 3 results and Round 4

I’ll admit, this round was a bit of a doozy on all of us participating. The challenge, as you may remember, was for all of us to create a character sketch within no more than 200 words. This round began with 40 total entrants, and just barely closed with 39.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if everyone was going to make it, but I’m glad we got as many as we did. It worried me a lot because there were so many awesome people in this competition, and yet, a good chunk of them simply departed on their own at the start of each round. I didn’t want the competition to proceed with everyone quitting after a certain point. If I ended up winning by default, it wouldn’t feel like I won, and it wouldn’t feel like I learned anything. I truly hope the 39 of us who remain will continue to go as long as we are able, and continue to support each other as we have thus far. You’re all amazing writers, no matter what the results of this competition resolve into!

Moving on, as the results of the voting round are now published, here was my entry for round 3 of the Smut Marathon:

Primal Huntress

When she walks into the small meeting room, she sees immediate compliance in everyone’s eyes. They respect and fear her. The short, dark hair and slim frame reminds you of an image of a forest pixie. Behind large frames, there are eyes bearing a peaceful shade of blue, but hide a kind of ferocity. She’s a great employee, but her associates would never slight her. Everyone around the office knows Jamie is the kind of girl who gets her way, or blows her gasket.

As she walks past you in the office, wearing the formal suit and skirt of a future executive, you’d think she’d caught the eye of nearly every man, and many women as well. You’d be correct, and she’s slept with a lot of them already. But all of them weren’t enough to satisfy the primal, voracious woman she became behind closed doors. This kitty often tore them apart with her claws before finding satisfaction. So you avert your gaze, lest you be struck by her icy glance, or worse: be seduced by her. Meanwhile, Jamie continues to hunt. Not looking for her next prey, but for the alpha that would finally best her.

The most surprising thing about this round was the fact most of us were worried the others would know which entries were ours. Including me. But to everyone’s surprise, no one seemed to know for sure! I honestly thought people would make the connection, “Oh, this is about a primal woman. Well, I know Charlton is also a primal, and writes about primal play, so it must be him!”

Nope. No one made that connection…

At least now, I can share my thought process for this round. On Twitter, all of the entrants seemed to have a hard time coming up with their initial concepts. For the first few days, several people were confused as to what a character sketch was supposed to be. That was soon rectified by a follow-up email from Marie Rebelle with some useful links and references. Still, it’s always a challenge to create someone from nothing. For most of us, our characters tend to be based either on ourselves or on the people we know. This assignment challenged us to create someone we didn’t know from Eve or Dillon, then paint a picture with only 200 words.

For me, I struggled for days to come up with something that might be compelling. A well-rounded, 3-dimensional character sketch that would represent my style of writing well. Something that gave you a picture in your head, as well as a description that made you feel like you knew someone like her. While looking up hairstyles I might try to describe, I came across this image. The woman’s visage pulled me in, and I suddenly found myself asking, “What’s her story?”

I pictured her in my mind and imagined her daily life, and a story came to life. Her story became my assignment entry.

22-pretty-short-haircuts-for-women-

Furthermore, something less expected came as a greater challenge. We were tasked to create someone who was considered imperfect, but it was up to us to decide what it was that made them imperfect. Naturally, everyone has different views on what’s considered an imperfection. And for some, those descriptions came a little too close to home. While I don’t think it was those writers’ intentions to offend anyone, at all, their sketches did trigger a couple of the other entrants. The Director did come forward and admit that a trigger warning was probably needed, in hindsight.

As for the feedback, there was much more to read during this round. It seems that feedback becomes more and more relevant, as well as it is easier to provide, as each round comes along. As the assignments get longer and longer, we can identify more of what each author is working to accomplish, and can better identify what each of us can do to improve. Really, I think this is where all of us can begin to benefit the most from the feedback provided. I wrote my feedback for each entry as I read them, and based my judgments first on how well they accomplished creating their sketch. I’ll be honest, many of the entries were good, but were just short of one detail needed to create a full sketch. Some had a great physical description, but little or no detail on their personality. Others had a great personality, but not much description of physical details. A few seemed to read like a story fragment, describing their character as someone would at the beginning, or middle, of an on-going story.

In the end, my favorite entry went to #10 The Contradiction by Kilted Wookie. To me, his ability to link his character’s physical traits to his troubled past created an image I could see clearly in my mind, while also giving me cues as to what shaped him into the man he is today. Despite the fact that the eroticism didn’t appear until the last sentence of his entry, I felt a real resonance with his character.

Speaking of feedback, let me share with you the feedback I received this round!

This is another one that got me frowning. She sounds kind of badass, yet I’m guessing the fact she seduces people and takes no shit in the office isn’t meant to be a good thing. I like it, but I’m not sure I got it.

I understand the confusion. My intention was for her temper to be considered her imperfection. But being a primal, that does tend to blend together into a ‘take no shit’ attitude. That’s on me.

This story just didn’t work for me. I had a hard time picturing the character. Try using the word ‘but’ less often.

Alright.

This was a solid character sketch. It started out a little flat in the first paragraph, nothing overly exciting stood out in the first lines. But, things picked up a bit in the second paragraph when the writer chose to change the POV to 2nd person and invites the reader to place themselves into the story. Bumping up the narrative with a few literary devices and adding an element of (erotic) excitement to lines would elevate this sketch significantly.

Fair enough.

Meow. I love a good kitty character and this cat had definite claws. Great character sketch!

Thank you!

I really liked the ending for this. I always find executive women sexy so I’m a big fan of your character choice!

You and me both! Thank you for the kind words.

Okay, I have read this a couple of times and yes, I do know a lot more about her after reading this, so in that way this totally works as a character sketch. But, there is something missing from it, but I don’t know what. It’s not the writing, because that is good. Maybe it misses a bit of eroticism?

Also kinda understandable. If you’re not that familiar with Primals, it would be a little difficult to see the implied eroticism behind her actions. Primals are animalistic in their sex lives and tend to use their nails, teeth, and hair in lieu of more traditional BDSM gear. Hence the whole ‘Kitty has claws’ vibe. If you’d like to learn more about Primals, I have a comprehensive guide to Primal Play.

But that’s all I can really say about round 3 at this point. I didn’t score very well, which pushes my overall rank from 18th to 20th, but my spirits are still up. I’m proud of what I wrote, and minor mistakes aside, I think my entry was pretty damn good. The feedback helped me to see what I could have done better, and I’m gonna work on that. The assignment for round 4 is already out, and I’m pretty excited for this one! I’ll update you with more information on the 28th of April when the entry round closes. Wish me luck!

  8 comments for “Smut Marathon Round 3 results and Round 4

  1. CimmerianSentiment
    April 8, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Criticisms are hart to take, I get them all the time. In the end I listen if it can improve my writing, ‘but’ we all have our filter word we tend to lean on 😉 I Loved your character BTW.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. April 8, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Excellent report Charlton. Lovely to read about your writing processes. I take great warmth from your supportive words for everyone in the competition.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. April 9, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    You were so kind helping me in this round when I really had no idea where to start! Thank you so much and good luck for the next round! It’s definitely a fun one 😀
    Aurora x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. nbrplaza
    April 12, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Thank you for sharing your process. Picturing someone always works. I do that too. Not only with personas but also with places.
    Writing/reading is an art form and it has to sparkle emotions. That is something personal and subjective. As a jury member I try to be objective, in the sense that I try to focus on 1) has the author complied with the assignment and 2) is it technically written good. If these are checks in the boxes, the more subjective part inevitably comes in, I must admit. Then it becomes a matter of taste.

    Keep on writing, because you obviously can. Can’t wait to see your next entry.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. April 14, 2018 at 10:01 am

    I love reading about your thought process and having a picture of someone in mind definitely makes it a bit easier to write. As for Primals, I have to admit that I know nothing about them, but I will read up on them. I look forward to your entry for the next round 🙂

    Rebel xox

    Liked by 1 person

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