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What are we doing here?

November 1, 2013
Posted at 9:48 am

(This should have been posted in late November, 2012, but I was trying to avoid having a blog. See first entry.)
I've been writing "adult fiction" for my own amusement (and to work out some personal demons) since the late 1970s, but never thought any of it was good enough to publish. That is, until I read some of the stuff being posted on SoL and ASSTR.
I mean, I've been paid as a technical writer. It is required that you tell a mechanic that step three is to remove all five bolts 'K'. It is not required, but both the bolt and his knuckles will appreciate you taking the time to point out whether to use a 9/16" wrench or a 13mm wrench. I try to both speak and write precisely.
There are well-received serials on SoL's top downloads list _right_now_ with authors who profusely thank their proofreaders and editors, but post works that show that none of them can tell 'to' from 'too' from 'two' and don't know a 'pallet' from a 'palette'.
Yes, both words are French in origin and may even have the same root somewhere back in Latin, but they are separate English words now with completely different meanings, and if you don't know what they mean, maybe you shouldn't be using them? Go with "bed" or "cargo-flat" or "paint-tray", if you have to. It may look awkward but it's better than using big words to impress people without any clue as to their meaning. What impression do you _really_ think your readers get, when you do that?

Anyway, after several years away from SoL, ASSTR, and others, I found myself retired and with far too much time on my hands. I started reading and wasn't impressed with a lot of the current offerings. Hmmmm. Here is this pile of finished, half-finished, and barely-started stories among my personal files, and over there is that website that clearly accepts pretty much anything sent to it.....
I started cleaning up my 'finished' stories, modifying the autobiographical ones enough to give me plausable deniability, and posting them. I worked on some of the others that might be finished soon. Frankly, I had too many fragments, and I find myself skipping among them all. Dammit, stop that! Concentrate on one until it's finished!