So, I received an e-mail from Nicola, the founder and owner of Lush Stories to ask me (and, I’m sure, every other writer who’s contributed a story that one of the site’s moderators has deemed to be a Recommended Read) to submit a story to the Vault: a new feature on the site to offer subscribers something more than what is available to the average visitor to the site.
Although I’ve submitted a fair number of stories to the site I’ve only once achieved a Recommended Read accolade. That was for my science fiction story: Sliding Sideways. To be honest, this doesn’t really surprise me as you can see from a glance at the kind of story that gets the highest recommendation. Although I’m sure no one could say anything disrespectful about, for instance, Blue Night Special (about Two small town policeman who pick up a big haired, big titted waitress for a ‘yehaa’ good time.) or Faerie Circles (where Three young girls discover the magic of faerie rings), these aren’t really the sort of story I write (and more’s the pity is what I expect quite a few might say).
But I thought I’d take the challenge of writing what I thought might be closer to the type of story that does well on Lush Stories.
And so was born Facebook Friend.
This story is a kind of experiment in writing what might be called a Love Story that is designed for exactly the kind of fallible, rather less-than-perfect person who enjoys reading stories on sites like Lush Stories (and why not?). And I had a lot of fun trying to put myself into the minds of such people: those who use Facebook and whose taste in culture is as vanilla as their interest in sex fiction (and maybe sex as well). To be honest, I am a lot more sympathetic to such people than I guess are many of those in that category who write such fiction. Little as I understand the appeal of Facebook, Poldark, Heart FM or Celebrity television, I do kind of understand and sympathise with those who use such crutches to lean on in a world that is, in truth, a lot less kind and much more complicated.
Still, I have to report that my experiment in writing a love story to appeal to such a demographic was an abject failure. After the usual rather long time to make a decision about one of my stories that for some reason or other doesn’t quite fit the moderators’ expectations the story was returned as not being a Recommended Read and therefore not suitable for the Vault. Clearly it isn’t of the standard of Into The Night (which has gained a huge amount of praise for its writing style) or Cricket Vaughn And The Don (which is about a very strange kind of mafia boss) in terms of what makes the grade.
I can’t deny that I’m a bit disappointed in the sense that even when I make an effort I still can’t quite write the kind of fiction that the majority of people who read stories on sex fiction sites most enjoy. But then, I think, to be that kind of writer you either have to be a lot more cynical than I am (as in the film As Good As It Gets) or be the kind of person who actually enjoys these kind of stories.
And as I’m neither, I guess it’s probably not surprising that, despite some nice comments and some reassuringly high scores, Facebook Friend wasn’t chosen for the Vault.
And I guess if you want to find out what does make the grade (and this includes Mediaeval sex fantasies by Metilda, Sex in the Sand by Milik Redman and Gothic Sex and Seduction by Frank Lee) the Vault is the place to go.