jed (velvetglove) wrote in svficforum,

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The Prize, or how to write what you *don't* know.

Posting this again, and may I just say that having your stupid LJ client strip out half your tags and three-quarters of your text is really, really inconvenient?

Here's a link to The Prize on SSA.

This is a nasty, cruel story. It isn't something I would have written without being prompted. I offered to write a friend a story for her birthday, knowing it would be something not exactly my taste...and it really, really isn't. I have read plenty of Clark torture, but it's not a kink of mine. I usually find it implausible. And even though I'm writing stories about gay Superman and his pretty bald boyfriend, my bulletproof kink is plausibility.

Because this story is NC-17 and non-con, I'm going to put my discussion/questions about specifics behind cut tags for those who are more sensitive or generally squicked by the subject matter. I'm interested in any comments about the story at all, actually. I'm also curious as to how well I may have achieved some of my objectives.

The Challenge: A gangbang engaging all three Luthors in rigorous Clark abuse. My initial problems with this scenario were 1) the likelihood that Lex would participate in any sexual situation involving his father and his brother, and 2) getting Clark to participate willingly, since an unwilling Clark isn't going to be forced into sex.
I wanted to avoid using red-K, but I couldn't come up with any other possibility. It was even more unlikely that the Luthors would be lying in wait for Clark, brandishing green-K dildos with nefarious intent. So, red-K was it.

My Plausibility Kink: Based on what I've read of the actual behaviors and group dynamics of perpetrators involved in this kind of rape scenario, it seemed much more likely for things to get out of hand if there were more players. This is where Dominic and made-up-guy, i.e., James, came in. I've always seen tightly-wound Dominic as someone whose sexuality would be almost entirely based on a punishment model, so I gave him the chance to prove it. James was there to keep Lucas busy and to help get things going. I also didn't see that Lionel and Lucas would be willing to participate together, but they wouldn't be too squeamish about seeing each other behave this way. IMO, it would have been easier for Lucas to stop the action at the beginning, rather than keeping it going, without the addition of James. Lionel wanting Lucas to stop wasn't intended to demonstrate any major concern for Clark, but rather to show Lionel's interest in avoiding trouble with Lex. Of course, later, the strategic impact of participating in the Clark abuse becomes apparent to him, and he takes his own, very different turn.

And, again, the red-K use seems inevitable to me. I thought the mechanism of having it be part of a rather unattractive piece of "art" worked well to get it into the mansion and, despite the fact that Lionel seems to know what green-K does to Clark, there is no reason to think he'd have any clue about red-K until he finally puts the pieces together at the end of the story. Because Lex doesn't know Clark's secrets, he doesn't know that the red crystals are dangerous and thus doesn't insist that his father get them out of the mansion. Because the award prototypes are packed away by the time Clark arrives on the scene, he's already seriously affected by the meteorites by the time he realizes what must be wrong.
I really can't think of anything besides that damn red-K to make this all work.

Pacing: I wanted the sections where poor Clark is being molested by just Lucas, Dominic and James to be fairly frantic. Later, when Lionel takes over, it was my intent to slow things down, make Clark's fear begin to dominate over his sort of addle-brained sluttiness.

Characterization: I am really pleased with how the goddamned MB turned out! I'm pleased with everyone, actually, but this version of Lex is not my "usual." This one is much more brittle, much more jaded. I am a Lex ho and it was not fun to hurt him, so I didn't go into as much depth with his responses as I might have otherwise.

Poor Clark. I have Clark issues, but this made me forgive all - at least until Tuesday night after the new ep airs. Based on previews, I will hate him again. In the meantime, however, my new-found compassion for Clark is bittersweet.

Hotness: Wanting to have scenes of forced sex be hot seems dirty and wrong. By the time I was done, I couldn't tell if this was arousing, depressing, neither, or both.

How successful was I? I write for a lot of challenges because that gives me parameters and deadlines, and when I'm left to my own devices, I never finish things. This was different because it was written for a friend, to her specs, for a kink that I don't share. I've gotten feedback from her and others who share this kink indicating that I was extremely successful, which was a huge relief and very good news. Now I'm interested in knowing if I was able to write a "good" story using this (rickety) premise that can be appreciated (if not actually liked) by people who don't necessarily love to see Clark getting poked with pointy sticks.

How I feel about it: After finishing this, I was relieved, kind of depressed (more so than usual, anyway), and drained. I wanted to be done with it, but I wanted it to be good. The story upset my betas, which, horribly enough, seemed like a good sign.

I want to always be improving as an author, and clearly one way to do that is to keep writing and, hopefully, getting feedback. I also think that doing challenges of whatever sort is an excellent way to stretch myself. I actively seek out challenges that take me outside my comfort zone--I am loath to admit it, but I'm kind of schmoopy at the core. I'm curious if others have a conscious plan for improvement, and what their methods are.
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