Topping out

When a construction project reaches its highest level – (say) the frames for the roof, even if the actual roof is not yet present – builders will have a “topping-out” ceremony to mark the landmark. Often a tree branch will be or sapling will be temporarily planted.

I’m not quite finished Coding by Candlelight, but it’s all polishing and details now, rather than laying down the framework. The thing comes in at 20 000 words, give or take, and as such it’s about three times as long as a typical erotica short.

Having three major characters in it – rather than two – doesn’t help. It’s more like two stories, one enveloping the other. Each is important, and they could both stand alone, but I think entwining the two gives more depth and impact.

I’ve read quite a few erotica shorts in research, and I’m not entirely happy with the bare bones stand-alone encounter model that typifies the genre. Two people meet, they overcome whatever problem is keeping them apart, they have fabulous sex, they wind down, that’s it.

My story doesn’t fit this model, and will probably suffer for it, but at least it is more firmly grounded, more securely tied into the cosmos, than the average short, and I’m happy with that.

Talk to me in a year’s time and maybe I’ll be cranking out 7 500 word one night stands every few days and be happy with that, but at the moment, I’m aiming for stories with more depth and presence.

I could push a bunch of stories onto a higher level by making them into a serial, as I’ve seen some authors do. Maybe that’s a path I will take in future.

Anyway, all the chapters are in place, there’s not much left to do but rounding out and filling in a few blanks. I suspect most readers will skip over the plot anyway, and focus on the steamy bits.

It’s been an adventure, these last few weeks, and an enjoyable one. Next step will be to publish the finished product, and work out what story to tell next. Any ideas?

Britni

Written by Britni Pepper

Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures. Her schoolmates loved listening to her stories about princesses and pirates and dragons, and once she looked up to find the principal looking on. "No, no, don't stop, Britni," he said. "I want to hear what happens next!" What happened next was university, a job in the travel industry, and a career of travelling the world meeting the most fascinating people. Britni has travelled to thirty of the world's nations and loves making up stories about fascinating people doing interesting things in exotic places. No longer tales about princes and wizards, but her stories are just as much fantasy as ever.

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