This is, simply put, the funniest thing on all of SOL. If you've ever read any bad erotica or just a story with a bad sex scene, read this. It's completely accurate, and I can't even think about it without giggling a little.
I'd suggest that every author looking to write online erotica read "Beating Off Bob's Guide to Writing Really Bad Erotica" before getting started . . . except for the fear that too many of them would take it seriously, and begin to fill storiesonline with a lot of really bad material . . .
Ooops! Too late . . .
Actually, everyone who has even a passing knowledge of the wide range of, ummm, quality of the stories online should give this one a read. Save it for a day when you need to smile. I was shaking with laughter throughout, even as Bob was skewering some of the overused plots that still draw me in.
Despite his objections to the contrary, Bob writes very good erotica, having shed the Beating Off Bob pen name awhile back in favor of the sleeker nom de plum of Lubrican. It's somehow appropriate that he went with the old name for this story, however, as he covers every element of writing sex stories that are unreadable. From the epics in which every chapter is posted as a single paragraph, to the bewildering tales that jump from one tense to the next, this essay is for all those readers who continue to suffer through stories about 14-year-old boys so well hung that they qualify as a tripod, and girls of all ages so stacked that they haven't seen their feet since puberty . . . or earlier.
Look at it this way . . . in addition to making you laugh, Bob's guide will help you appreciate the really good stories. Like those that Lubrican writes . . .
Beating Off Bob (AKA Lubrican) was nice enough to give me a birthday present. Oh, not me personally, but I can pretend, right? Being the woman who has everything, I didn't really know what I was missing… Now I do: A handy rant to summarize many of my own feelings and biased opinions on the subject of porn writing. Specifically, other people's porn writing. And who says ego isn't important?
What we have here is a witty, clever, sarcastic world-view of online erotica. The land that Darwin forgot is a verdant jungle filled largely with elephants, hyenas, jackals, and vultures. If we remain patient around the watering hole and keep our eyes peeled however, we may occasionally spot lions, tigers, and bears… Oh my! The real predators of the metaphorical animal kingdom that sink their teeth into the meat of a good story and feast on creativity. They give us something new and fresh and bloody with promise, see? Once engorged and (barely) sated for the moment, the carcass is left for the aforementioned carrion eating opportunists to pick clean and the occasional elephantine ego to crush into the muddy pulp and gristle of a 600 chapter Hairy Dog story.
Hmmm…that metaphor didn't work as well as I thought it would.
Let's just say that BOB has managed to list and illustrate with humor and style a number of the common banalities found in the library of online erotica. It's entertaining, especially the first half of his essay, and a lot of fun. I found myself nodding in agreement, giggling, rolling my eyes, and occasionally smirking. But I also found myself vaguely embarrassed every now and again as I have to admit my own occasional lapse into the low-brow world of bad porn habits and lazy writing.
That's a good thing though and not new for me. I'm reasonably conscious of what and why and how I write. I mention all this because I think the value of what BOB has shared with us here lies not in pointing out the obvious or in chastising those many thousands of writers who should probably NOT write, but in reminding us that we should strive to be better as authors and as readers. I say that not to the individual, but to the community as a whole. We should expect more and when we get it, we should be rewarding those people in happy Pavlovian tradition so that they'll do it again.
Any excuse for a soapbox, right? I suppose this is less a review than a commentary. I hope you'll forgive me for that.
The bottom line, for those of you who skipped to the important part, is that this brief "guide" is entertaining and fun and for those of us who have read thousands and even tens of thousands of stories, BOB offers us confirmation that we're not alone. None of us have suffered in lonely isolation. We've waded through countless stories in hopes of finding the few worth keeping and we've all been frustrated by the experience. And like the obsessive-compulsive masochists we are, we keep coming back for more. BOB has given voice to our pain.
Thanks, Beating Off Bob :)