Writing and Sex – A Dubious Metaphor
In the process of editing a story for submission, I thought about the relationship a writer has with the story. Dark fantasy and sci-fi author Alan Baxter wrote during the week of the editing process as flensing. It is well worth your time to have a read.
I’m going to dirty it up and compare it to sex.
The First Draft – This is when you rip off each others’ clothes and engage in primeval, animalistic, urge-driven sex. It’s a quickie. Pants are down around your ankles. There is no thought to foreplay or decorum. It just happens. It’s rather selfish as all you think about how good your idea is.
Subsequent Drafts – You’ve know reached the “awkward” phase in the relationship with the story. You’ve seen each other naked. But you know there is work to be done.
In a half-baked attempt at romance, you take things a little slower. There is the offer of flowers, desserts, sensuous massage, candles, walks along the beach. Even a movie if you’re particularly keen. You’ve even made a mix tape to make out to. But, you still can’t quite figure out how to get the bra off without appearing like you’re an incompetent teenager and breaking the mood. You have even remembered to shower.
Each time you come back, you’ve learned a little more. You know when and where to stimulate to make it work. You take your time. You luxuriate in your story. You have even gone out and bought new underwear to let the story know it’s special.
Each time you are together, you learn to work more closely, watching, listening, learning.
The Final Draft – You have now learned to make love to your story. You have explored every nook and cranny; you know what turns your story on. You can undo the bra. In the dark. One handed.
Truly you have learned to make love to your story. You consider its feelings by not passing wind when you are intimate together. Snuggling after sex is enjoyable. Intimacy is achieved; a connection of souls.
If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, you have to work on your relationship some more.