Fixating on Fiction Writing ~ Orwell & Me

fiction writing

After a chat with Life of a Kinky Wife I decided to write a post about how I write fiction. And as the prompt this week for wicked Wednesday is – third person writing – it seemed like the perfect opportunity to enter it to the meme too.

The links including in this article have been added to enhance the tips or narrative. If you click them they open a new page.

Glossary – G.O(George Orwell) – M.M(May More) 😉

What is Erotic Fiction

Personally I think erotic fiction is very different to tales that simply include sex. With that in mind erotic fiction is a brilliant story with well written sensual sex scenes that are fundamental to the plot. In other words, if you remove the sex, the story can’t be told. Good erotic tales use sexual imagery and tension. When done well it stimulates your body and mind! In my opinion a few of the best places to go for high caliber erotica are Asra Devin, Posy Churchgate and for lesbian themed erotic fiction you can’t beat Sorcha Rowan. Also, get over to Cara Thereon’s site if you like your erotica dark.

But, this post isn’t really about erotic fiction as I don’t often write it.

Where my work for others would probably be classed as erotica – such as my stories for Bellesa, particular this one about a cross dresser in the 1980’s, and my fiction for Frolic Me tends to have sex central to the plot – the work on my blog is not particularly sex driven.

Fiction on my Blog

This post is about the stories on my blog. They are plot and character driven with a bit of sex thrown in when needed. So not necessarily erotica.

I’m always very flattered when people like LKW compliment me regarding my fiction. I have only been writing it for two and a half years and from the start found myself on a steep learning curve. From the moment I completed my first story I was hooked and set about trying to improve my writing.

I am influenced heavily by writers such as James M Cain and J D Salinger as well as being a fan of so many others such as Orwell, DH Lawrence, Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Edgar Rice Burroughs – I could go on. But instead I am going to start by talking about another person I admire, that most of us know, who writes excellent fiction. Cousin Pons. There are certain things about his writing that sets it apart from others. And this means it is very readable.

Individual style

Cousin Pons is also not really an Erotic writer. Pons writes amazing stories which leave you wanting more. They are often sexy but always have a great plot with characters who portray human traits. But the number one thing, that would be my first tip for a new fiction writer that Pons gets so right, is he has an individual style. It is recognizable and sets him apart from many other blogger/writers.

Work on your own style. (M.M)

This is often achieved by penning things you yourself want to write rather than pondering at length as to what may be the most popular with the reader. Learn what you are good at and perfect your craft.

When I started writing I was lucky that I quickly found my own style that people recognised. I was naturally a spare writer. Later I came across Orwell’s six rules for writing and realised my personal style already incorporated three of them.

Orwell’s Tips

Never use a long word where a short one will do. (G.O)

If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. (G.O)

Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. (G.O)

While writing in the smut marathon I also learned from trial and error that it is important to steer clear of using cliché, phrases that you often see in print. Try and write your own unique text. And once more Orwell backs this.

Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. (G.O)

Passive sentences

Rule five from Orwell is one of the more difficult ones to get to grips with as a new writer.

Never use the passive where you can use the active. (G.O)

When I first started writing stories my work was littered with passive sentences and I didn’t really understand why, what was making it passive so I delved deeper.

Yoast helped me out. Briefly, this is an active sentence – “Mum hugged me.”

This is it’s passive counter part – “I was hugged by Mum.”

There are many reasons to avoid it. Passive writing does not impart such a direct meaning and is a more wordy way of writing too. This does not work for my writing style. I feel it is well worth your time learning a little about when and when not to use the passive voice.

Prepositions

Something else I learned was not to end a sentence on a preposition – (in, under, for, below etc.) For example, “turn off the lights” is better than, “ turn the lights off”

Don’t finish a sentence with a preposition. (M.M)

Technicalities can be boring but they can help the general readability of a story. I suggest concentrating on one point until you are happy you understand it rather than labouring to understand them all immediately. It is more important to enjoy your writing.

I often refer to my fiction style as marmite. People seem to love it or hate it. And that is a good thing as it gets people thinking about their own work.

Personal tricks

The style of my writing may divide opinion but mostly the readers agree I am good at setting the scene and creating strong and relatable characters. And this is one thing I LOVE doing with my writing.

Concentrate on creating a visual scene with strong characters. (M.M)

Before I even put pen to paper, so to speak, I spend quite a few hours thinking about a new story. I will be looking for a definite plot. Something I would like to read myself. My favourite include mysteries or those slightly dark and thought provoking. Although I do tackle romance too.

I usually take a long walk and work out the plot setting and characters as I go. I am a very visual thinker so everything becomes like an image or video in my head. Once I have taken the story through to it’s conclusion in my mind I sit down and put that picture into words. Always attempting to catch the reader immediately and finish with them wanting more. When complete I,

 leave the story for a day or so. (M.M)

Editing

For me the editing is important as my first draft is a complete mess. I am dyslexic so the spelling is all over the show and occasionally I use a malapropism or do something like, for example, write surly when I mean surely. Oh yes the joys of word disorder. I will deal with all of that in my first edit. After doing this I address the technicalities I mention above. Then I,

read out loud and read backwards, (M.M)

making sure I’ve not written the same word too often and making other changes that are difficult to see except when using these methods in your editing.

My favourite way of writing is in the first person. I think it adds an urgency and enables the writer to create very definable personality traits. Writing in the first person is probably part of my style. Although I am always up for a challenge so every now and then I set my self a task of using third person narrator. However, I must admit I love the buzz I get from first person writing.

Sometimes I include second person too.

I think what voice you write in is very individual but it is important to shake it up now and then if you are trying to improve.

Dialogue & Humour

I haven’t got too much to say except I love using dialogue in my tales. I put time into trying to create believable speech. Occasionally using accents.

Humour done well can be a joy to read. This does not mean that adding a little wit makes a story a comedy. If you get it right, like I think I did here with my entry number 10 – Always Leave them Smiling – for the 2018 semi-final of the smut marathon, you can make a serious topic hit home even harder.

Practice using dialogue and humour regularly. (M.M)

Life Experience

One of the things I often employ is to include personal experience into the tale. This can also make the story reach out to people as they read. I do this by giving my characters feelings I have personally felt or placing them in a situation that I’ve been in. Or alternatively I will use a friends experience. All the while the story remains fiction.

Also, if I am writing about an experience that is painful and difficult to account as a personal post, I may turn it into fiction. Better ones of mine that do this are, The Girl in the Mirror and Don’t Mention it (which is not about me but never the less happened to someone I know). Within these fictionalized tales I will use artistic license to create a made-up scene or character description. That is one of the things which makes it a story rather than a personal account. I really think this is something well worth trying, it can help you mature as a writer in general. Almost like objectifying something subjective.

Bring in personal experience to create believable scenes. (M.M)

I still have much to learn and have a long way to go with my fiction writing. But I am enjoying every minute.

Enjoy what you write. (M.M)

And I’d like to end on Orwell’s last rule.

Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. (G.O)


Here is one of my better stories... IMO 😉

More from Cousin Pons –

fiction writing
#415 fiction writing

fiction writing

14 thoughts on “Fixating on Fiction Writing ~ Orwell & Me

  1. May More Fiction Writer… she writes interesting stories with engaging characters, usually with a surprise twist at the end, sometimes a sexy read, well actually, almost always a sexy read.

  2. Excellent advice May, from you and Mr Orwell. Thanks so much for mentioning me in such generous terms and also for giving two of my stories a plug. xx

  3. I think this could be a great resource for SM and just writers in general. It’s good to get an insight into how you go about writing, as it’s always specific to every person even if some things overlap, like with the things Orwell says. If you are interested in reading about writing, there’s a book I picked up a few years ago called ‘Story genius’ by Lisa Cron, which is different in that it talks about the importance of story, stressing that all the other elements are in service of story, which does seem to match with a lot of what you’re writing here!

  4. I LOVE THE ANALYSIS ELEMENT ! it is such a pleasure to read and something i am gonna have to take in to account in my own writing. Honestly the act of looking in to the fundamentals of stuff like writing has always fascinated me and something i mean to do more often.
    This was a pleasure to read and you are an amazing writer.

  5. This is really useful May and has some great tips and rules to consider. I love your fiction and, as you say, your ability for characterisation through dialogue. Thank you for sharing. missy x

    1. Actually u just made me think – as some of the tips are mine I think I better do a quick edit to decipher them from Orwell’s, in case it is not clear 😉 x

      1. Haha! I think all the tips were good 🙂
        Especially waiting a day or.two to read a piece again. I’m horrible at writing ahead of time. But that may be my big problem. Scheduling needs to be done.
        Any good tips for that? Or an app….Lol.

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