More than the God of Fishermen: Njord

The following is an excerpt from one of my submissions to Between Wind and Water: A Devotional for Njord.

Visiting Noatun

 I stand to go but stop. Head down, I ask if he wants anything of me. I am no fisher and water frightens me. I have nothing to offer him myself except for myself. He takes this. 

Njord showed me he is more than a fisherman, more than a mere god of boats on the waves. He is more than a captive diplomat and more than a father to great gods. There is a reason he and Nertha had twins, that these twins are gods of fertility. Njord, in his right and act of husbandry to the seas and lover of the earth, is a god of fertility. 

I saw the wives of fishermen, their thighs and bellies washed with sea water, singing praises and prayers to Njord and other gods of the ocean. I saw then ask for his touch as they spread their legs to his waters. Their bellies swelled and they bathed them with ocean water for Njord’s protection and maleness. When their waters broke and washed over them it was collected and given back to the ocean, water for water, in offering on the day they baptized their sons by the waves. They were blessed and their love for Njord was palpable. 

I was shaken by the revelation and his intensity. Afterwards, Njord went back to his work. The full moon is a few night away and the salmon are running. He is busy with his work. I gather myself and step onto the dock. Once I reach land, Hlin is there. She wraps me in her cloak as I kneel on the ground. My body is still swaying with the tide as Njord’s water flows out of me, over my thighs and into the earth. I am clean and full of knowing. 

Read the full submission and many others by picking up your copy of Between Wind and Water at Asphodel Press.

My Top 8 Writing Guidebooks

The following books are ones I’ve used and loved as I have developed my style, structure, and writing habits. I write romance, usually with sex and always with a happy ending, and that has certainly effected the writing guidebooks selection. I also have some strong opinions about writing and have chosen books in alignment with those opinions. Lastly, I am a practicing witch and Pagan. All of these things have effected my book selection so I wanted to give you a heads up.

I know I said this post is a Top 8, and it is as far as there are 10 books listed. However, there is no hierarchical order to them. Some of these books are so different I couldn’t really say that one is better than the other, only that they are ones I have gotten a lot out of.

Disclaimer: The following links are affiliate links. That means if you purchase a book via these links I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you, as this money helps me keep SmutGeek running.

5 Favorite Books for Writers

2k to 10k: How to Write Faster, Write Better, and Write More of What you Love by Rachel Aaron – this book is fabulous but the part that effected me the strongest was her advice for when you’re dreading or not enthusiastic about writing a scene. She points out the obvious – if you’re not excited to write it, no one will be excited to read it so figure out a way to make it exciting for you. You can read the blog post that gave her the foundation for this book here.

Rapid Release: How to Write & Publish Fast for Profit by Jewel Allen. Even if you’re not interested in putting out a novel a month, this book is perfect for getting that book you’ve been writing finished. It’ll help motivate you to write instead of just thinking about writing. If you are thinking about self-publishing and making money, this is a fabulous look at how one author not only did it but helped others to do so.

30 Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to Energize Your Book Sales in a Month! by Rachel Thompson. I believe this book is a MUST HAVE for any author that wants to sell their books and perhaps make a career from their writing. Its a simple, step by step challenge with information about social media, platform building, and more. Also check out How to Best Optimize Blog Posts for SEO by Thompson. She is a fabulous resource in general – check out her website, NaNoProMo, and weekly book marketing chat on Twitter. (BTW, are we friends on Twitter yet?)

Writing the Cozy Mystery by Nancy J. Cohen. If you are writing a cozy or soft mystery OR just have a mystery as part of your external plot in your story, this is a fabulous book to help you plot out the arc and keep your clues in order.

Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books) by Gwen Hayes. By far my favorite book on writing romance whether sweet or steamy. Hayes helped out my writing a great deal by breaking down the romance story arc not only into the 3 act structure but further into 4 parts then into beats. By making sure my writing hit those beats it made the story tighter, flow better, and helped save me from the saggy middle a few times.

3 Magickal Writing Guidebooks

The following books are ones I recommend if you have any interest in witchcraft and combining it with your writing.

Mapping the Hero’s Journey with Tarot: 33 Days to Finish Your Book by Arwen Lynch. A fantastic roadmap on how to use tarot cards to help your novel writing.

A Witch’s Guide to NaNoWriMo by December Fields-Bryant. Spells, rituals, and more to help you in your writing journey.

Crafting Magick with Pen and Ink by Susan Pesznecker. If you can’t seem to get the ideas flowing or focused and want a little magickal aid, this is the perfect book for you.

Want to See How These Books Effected My Writing?

Then check out my books here!

Sunwait: A Heathen Advent

I first heard of Sunwait from a fellow Heathen friend. I saw her post her FUTHARK candles and asked what this was all about. She directed me to Vantljusstaken’s page. There I learned about Sunwait and became inspired by this modern idea of Heathen Advent.

Why Heathen Advent?

I can’t speak for everyone but my kid is in a holiday frenzy so I need a count down. Not only does it allow him to feel like we’re already celebrating, it also helps me bring in our faith and stories during times when he is inundated with secular and religious Christmas concepts.

This helps me too. Yule is a big deal in our home. Not only does it give us a chance to celebrate and give thanks and offerings to our Gods, Ancestors, and Wights, but it helps us balance our lives in Christian family/culture. Leading up to Yule, a Heathen Advent allows me to prepare that Northern Tradition mindset, get into the spirit of the thing, and make me feel less overwhelmed by all the secular commercial hubbub.

But There’s No Lore

I’ve seen a little bit of backlash about Sunwait. A bunch of Heathen Recons saying that the concept of a Heathen Advent is preposterous and demanding that those of us celebrating conjure up some lore to explain ourselves.

I’m not a reconstructionist. I love reading lore, archeological findings, poetry, etc but its not the foundation of my beliefs. The Gods, the spirits, and my ancestors are the foundation of my beliefs. In that vein, setting aside some time weekly during a season when things get hectic in order to celebrate what truly matters – I am certain our ancestors would be proud and I know my Gods don’t mind. Honoring the Gods, spirits, and Ancestors is DEFINITELY in the lore.

Besides – since when is stagnation something to be admired? Why not create new traditions so long as they are founded in piety?

How We Celebrate Sunwait

I saw that many celebrants of Sunwait were focusing on weekly rituals, most of them on Thursdays (Thor’s Day). These usually involve a lighting of one of six candles. Each of the candles are often marked with one of the first 6 FUTHARK runes (Feoh, Urux, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, Kenaz).

I chose to celebrate on Friday (Frigga’s Day). This would end my Sunwait celebration on Mother’s Night (December 20th), which also happens to be my birthday. I’ve been told I’m not the only person to do it on this night.

Each Friday I have/am lighting 1 candle. 1 chose 5 black tea lights and 1 white taper. These I am anointing with flax seed oil and setting individual intentions. I admit now, I’m playing this all a little by ear since, as I’ve said, there’s no lore around it.

The First Night of Sunwait

The first night, last Friday, I did a deep and thorough cleaning of my Ancestor and Frigga (and Her handmaidens) altars. That night, I lit a candle for the Ancestors, specifically the Disir as well as left offerings to them and to Frigga. Over the weekend, I did some genealogy work in offering to them and my descendants. I also did some bone throwing asking for some aid in that work – specifically regarding a branch of the family I have a difficult time connecting with.

This past week has been very interesting. Both my husband and myself have received a lot of messages, synchronicity, and inspiration that we both attribute to our Sunwait focus.

The Second Night and Onward

Tonight I light the 2nd candle and am focusing on Frigga and Her handmaidens – especially Fulla, Vor, Eir, Hlin, and Saga. Odin has also elbowed His way into much of my thoughts today so I am also honoring Him. My son and I baked some eggnog loaf that we are leaving slices of in offering.

In the weeks to come, I will likely do some more bone throwing, offerings, and Yule preparations. I will say that I feel more excited and grounded since starting this new tradition. This opposed to feeling grouchy about family Christmas and being inundated by the holidays whenever I leave the house.

Practical Tips for Beginner Sex Bloggers

So you want to become a sex blogger, eh? Well, it’s as noble a pursuit as any, that’s for certain. Just about every topic has an innumerable amount of blogs meant to discuss it, and with something like sex it was only a matter of time before bloggers started to come out of the woodwork. Of course, just like in any field, its not always about what makes a great sex blogger so much as what sex bloggers are talking about the topics a certain group of readers are looking for (a niche). Sex bloggers have their pick of kinky topics to focus on from sexual health to sexual fantasies. With so much to choose from, we know it can be overwhelming so we’ve gathered some practical tips for beginner sex bloggers to get you started.

Disclaimer: This is a post written with the lovely Angela of DoctorClimax. I have been paid to share these opinions but that has in no way affected the truthfulness and desire to help others with this information. 
This blog post is written from experiences and not the ONE TRUE WAY of sex blogging. Feel free to do our own thing and seek out advice from many bloggers and writers in the field. We are all learning and growing.

Understand Your Field Of Interest

This is called finding your niche in the writing and blogging world and is probably the biggest piece of advice we could give any of you beginner sex bloggers.

Your blog should be used primarily to inform and discuss topics relating to sex, but within the topic of sex there are tons of subtopics. There’s nothing wrong with having a general sex blog that isn’t too specialized, but even then your general sex blog will naturally differ from others out there. Sex is a universal topic but how we discuss sex is unique to our personalities, culture, and our past history. This will naturally come through in our blogs and color how we discuss sex. Because of this, you will draw a certain type of reader.

You should absolutely know what those readers are thinking of and asking about when it comes to creating new content. Giving them what they’re looking for within your field of interest not only keeps writers block at bay but gets returning readers (fans) with ease.

For example: If you focus on BDSM related topics, think about what questions you had when you were starting off and then write to answer said questions from your own experiences. That last part, from your own experiences and philosophies, is the important part – its what will set your blog apart from others out there. Simply look within your focus topics and see what other semi-related content you should push out to accompany it.

A good sex blogger is much like any other good blogger, their content is well rounded and doesn’t have any major holes.

Establish Tone Very Quickly

There are a lot of different viewpoints out there towards sex. If you are going to throw yours into the ring it should be consistent. Quickly figure out how you’re going to cover sex topics and stick to that style.

This means if you start off with a clinical approach, keep it that way. The same goes for if you are going to take a more aloof or casual approach to your topics.

This way, your readers will be able to quickly understand what point of view you have and what to expect from all of your articles. While it might seem good to be all over the place to not exclude anyone, your readers will appreciate being able to go to you for content of a specific type.

Your tone should also come naturally to you. Pretending to be something or someone you are not might be fun in the bedroom but can be exhausting on the regular, even or especially online. Eventually, your persona will slip and this could leave your readers confused and feeling like their trust in your content has been broken. It’s easier and more fun to just be yourself. 

The Technical Side

Choosing and buying your domain name, paying for hosting, and getting your blog set up can feel overwhelming. Thankfully, many pros out there have laid the ground work and there are tutorials all over the place. 

Why not blog for free? This can be difficult for 2 reasons. Many free blog hosting platforms don’t allow for adult content. Some of the ones that do, don’t allow you to monetize that content. Even if you don’t want to monetize and are just doing this for fun, your blog is not secure – changes with the host can cause you to lose all of your content in a blink of an eye with no back up or support because there’s no money involved for them to value your hard work. If you have any inkling you might want to do more than simply keep an online diary of you kink and sex life, you will want to look into buying a domain and hosting.

To start out, choosing a website or blog name can be super fun or super daunting. Daire Faust chose her site name early on on a whim that worked out very well for her. Choose something that matches your niche and tone. Following the aforementioned BDSM example, you can choose something with a kinky phrase or bondage term in the title to make readers aware of what the site is about immediately. 

Other bloggers choose to go with their pen name which can also allow them to change niches later on if they feel called to do so.

When it comes to hosting, be sure to check in with the host and respite the internet benefiting from sex and sex workers, it makes it hard for anyone affiliated with pleasure. Many hosting companies, including some of the big names with coveted discounts, do not allow adult content or their users to make money off of adult content. If you can’t find any policies regarding adult content in their Terms of Service (ToS), email the provider and double check before purchasing.

Lastly, choose a website builder that you are comfortable posting on and working with. Even if you decide to go with a website developer and designer to do the groundwork for you, you will want something you can easily post regularly on, add advertisements to, and can navigate without frustration. Again, we are blessed in that there are plenty of tutorials for nearly every platform available online today.

A final tip – hosting, domains, and other website and blogging services are often available at a fabulous discount during the holiday season, especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Be on the look out for what hosting and platform you want to use and see if they have any coupons, discount codes, or sales coming up before you purchase. Also check in with your favorite sex blogger friends or the people you follow to see if they can give you the hook up on a deal with what service providers they use (usually a win-win situation for everyone). 

Figure Out How You Will Monetize Your Time

Some people blog entirely for the sheer thrill of it, while others prefer to at least make enough money to cover their domain and hosting fees. If you are dedicating significant amounts of time to maintaining your blog, it would be a prudent choice to figure out how to make your time pay for itself.

There are many different ways to do this even for beginner sex bloggers, whether it be through affiliate marketing, sidebar ads, or allowing for sponsored content to be posted on your site. It doesn’t matter which one you pick or even if you engage in all of them, but you should be cognizant of how you intend to turn your blog into a source of income if that is an eventual goal of yours.

Doctor Climax logo - nurse holding a dildo

Angela Watson who blogs alongside her husband over at DoctorClimax.com focuses on affiliate marketing. “The best way we’ve found to monetize our sex blog has been signing-up for various sex toy affiliate programs. These affiliate programs offer anywhere between 4%-30%+ for referring sales. This way, whenever you mention a product on your website, you can link to the product via an affiliate tracking link. If someone ends up purchasing the toy, you will be compensated for referring that user. This has been the best way we’ve found to monetize our traffic. We get paid for recommending products that we’d recommend regardless of whether we were compensated.”

Daire also uses affiliate marketing but makes the bulk of her income through freelance writing. “My website/blog allows for companies I want to write for to see my work in action. It also is a hub for my readers to see what information I’m sharing across social media and other platforms – a source of advertisement for those other sites. It helps sell my service as a writer and so I’m paid not only for my experience, my work writing, but also for access to you, my fabulous readers.”

As with any content, look at your niche. If you are a creative type, consider writing erotic fiction and selling it on your site. If you are into it and discuss porn on your site, consider making some of your own. 

Other methods of monetization include creating a Patreon or membership site for exclusive content and bundling blog content, editing it, and create an ebook for sale.

Have A Plan To Expand

When you first start blogging it can be pretty intimidating. You have this empty website just begging to be populated with quality content, but you’ve barely just finished your about page. 

Over time, you’ll start having distinct categories within your site and lots going on to keep people entertained. Of course, there’s always more work to be done in the world of online blogging. 

You should have a plan to expand your social media presence, work with other websites, and in general increase your online reputation. As you show up on more and more websites providing valuable content, things like links to your website will begin flowing in like crazy which will only help bring more people to your blog at the end of the day.

To help you prepare for this, consider the following:

  • Track your traffic through Google Analytics
  • Budget for getting the next tier of hosting in case you write a viral blog post that suddenly floods your site and, heaven forbid, crashes it. 
  • Back up your content regularly…in case of crash
  • Keep your internet hygiene and safety in mine – this means making sure your website is secure, there’s no spam making its way into your comments, your content is up to date, and your links are updated (not broken).
  • Network – be kind to fellow bloggers whether they are experts with years of experience or beginner sex bloggers like you. Comment on their blog posts (hint, hint), and learn from their experiences. 
  • Keep an open mind about content and monetization – some of the best opportunities are the ones that come out of left field so keep checking your emails and comments out. 
  • Invest in learning opportunities, experiences, and website/content developement when you can. 
  • Remember that you are always learning – once you have content consistency, unique voice, and an idea for monetization, start looking into topics like SEO, collaborations, etc. 
Beginner Sex Blogger

In Conclusion

To be frank, being a sex blogger isn’t necessarily all that different from being any other kind of blogger. Its a lot of fun – its about sex, its supposed to be fun! Just remember to be consistent in releasing content and to be yourself when writing it.

Best of luck to you if you do decide to take the plunge and create your very own sex blog!

Fantasticocks Tentacle Dildo Review – a BuyMeAnOrgasm Patron Gift

Tentacles are one of my favorite things! Nothing new to long time viewers, I know. So when I was gifted a BuyMeAnOrgasm Patron Gift from the lovely @np1-b, I was so excited to grab a tentacle from Fantasticocks. I hope you enjoy this rave Fantasticocks Tentacle Dildo Review!

Fantasticocks Tentacle Dildos

Fantasticocks is an adult fantasy toy company run by “two self-proclaimed geeks who love conventions, cons and everything in between.” I have been looking forward to trying out one of their toys for a long time now.

They make 2 different tentacle dildos – Clithulu and the smaller Thoa, son of Clithulu. Both are handmade with “Platinum silicone, Silicone Pigments, FDA Approved Cosmetic Mica Powders.” They are also both available in a variety of custom colors varying from shimmering to sparkling to fluorescent to bolds.

I opted for Thoa in a marble combination of pastel pink and shimmery rose gold. Fantasticocks was sweet enough to Tweet me that they loved my color combination choice!

Thoa, Son of Clithulu is the tentacle toy of your dreams. Rising from the deep, Thoa comes a more managable size but still have 18 delicate suckers down its front. A gentle curve means Thoa will be sure to reach your most sensitive areas.

Approximate Measurements:
Usable Length: 6″
Total Length: 6.75″
Base Diameter: 3×2″
Girth at Usable Length Base: 5.5″, 2″ at tip, 4″ mid shaft
Weight: 7 oz
Firmness: Medium Super Soft Shore 00-50 Rating

Receiving my Fantasticocks Tentacle Dildo

Feel free to click through and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more unboxings, erotica discussion, and kinky life babble.

Experiencing the Son of Clithulu

The medium soft texture of Thoa is glorious! I could have just played with it in my hands as a stress-ball like toy for forever. This would definitely make for a fun handjob/footjob visual stimulation to play with for others.

Applying lube to the tentacle dildo is the best. It squelches along the sucker-cup texture and curves, squishing along as I squeeze the soft silicone.

Mr. Faust was just as excited to get this toy in the mail as I was (he asked me several times that day if it had arrived yet). He had me lay back at an angle that prevented me from seeing what he was doing.

I definitely could easily feel Thoa’s texture internally. It not only is a great g-spot stimulator but is delicious feeling when squishing along my labia and clit. I could do that all day – just slick and squishy grinding along those bumps – mmmmmm.

This toy was not as girthy as my others but that had the added benefit of being a great dildo for vaginal DP. Mr. Faust could stretch me with it and his fingers before easing himself in with Thoa.

Tentacle Care and Maintenance

The tentacle has lots of grooves and crevices, which make for fun play but demand some attention afterwards.

Post-play cleaning, if I want to get back to playing soon (like we need to take a break or perhaps want to switch to a different partner) I use a toy cleaner and cloth or a cleaning wipe. For deeper cleaning, use a dab of unscented dish soap and warm water. Make sure you clean all the grooves. You can also toss in the dishwasher if you aren’t worried about offending someone looking for their coffee mug later.

If you use this toy anally, I recommend a condom. Those are a lot of grooves to clean after anal use.

Thoa is my new Tentacled BFF

I highly recommend Thoa if you are looking for some fun, squishy, pleasure! I’m keeping him nearby bedside for continual use.

Become an Orgasm Patron

Message me at TheSmutGeek(at)Gmail.com to deliver me an orgasm by buying me my next fantasy dildo. You get to pick from my wishlist! All my BuyMeAnOrgasm toys come from small businesses I love supporting.

In return for buying me a fabulous toy you get a shout out (or ad) in my toy review and a detailed description of use OR a flash story inspired by the toy.

10,000 Words for NaNoWriMo 2019

I hit my first 10,000 Words of NaNoWriMo2019! That means I’m 20% done with my 50,000 word goal revising/rewriting The Billionaire Geek.

10,000 Words for NaNoWriMo
The 10k Writing Badge from NaNoWriMo

To celebrate, I thought I might share a fun excerpt from my book. I read this to Mr. Faust who was very happy with it and followed up by asking me to read more. I took that as a good sign.

To set the tone – my main characters, Becca and Will, are being harassed by a misogynistic scifi fanboy troll named Roy:

Bracing himself but drawn through pure curiosity, Will looked at Roy’s website. There were already two blog posts about the situation, one included a video. He opted to just read about it. The majority of the post was about Becca, pointing out her questionable sex practices based solely on some scenes from her books.

While Jordan’s involvement in strange affairs is no surprise to any of my readers who have followed the last year’s scandals, they are certainly nothing compared to the strange fantasies she puts to paper.
From Elysium Rising
The toys and tools of Sister Kuva’s collection were nowhere near as well honed as her own mind. She would require someone with deft hands and strong will to put her through her paces. Aebram picked up the blades and approached the priestess, the firelight glinting off the steel. He would give her the pain she needed in order to break through the barriers of her training. Using pain, he would make her feel like the woman she longed to be with him.
Kuva gripped the steel bar to which her wrists were bound. Looking up at her beloved, she smiled slowly. “Thank you,” she whispered.
Aebram shook his head. “Thank me later.” He chose the location of the first cut. “Thank me when I kiss it and make it better,” he said as the steel met flesh.

Perhaps instead of taking her to conventions, Jordan should see if Vaughn company could hire her a good therapist?

Glancing up at Becca, Will’s mind went back to the night before. While what they did would probably be considered tame when held up in comparison to most scifi erotica he’d read over the year, it had been kinda kinky. Was Becca a bit of a perv? He wondered at this for a moment then felt guilty for it. Even if she was, it wasn’t any of his or Roy Smith’s business.

/End Excerpt
-Squee!-
I cannot wait to get this book revised and published and out to you all next spring! Act 1 is revised and with another beta reader as we speak!

Thank you all for celebrating this milestone of NaNoWriMo with me! If you are participating in the writing challenge, how are you doing with your goals? What is your favorite line you’ve written? Share below!

Keeping Motivated as a Writer!

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! I’m so excited but also a little nervous. Not only is this a huge writing commitment but I also changed my mind at the last minute about what book I’m going to write! I know! YIKES! So to raise my spirits and keep motivated as a writer, I have a series of fun things to help me out – and of course I had to share them with you!

(Video coming soon)

NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month is a fantastic motivator. The community online and off is like having a group of cheerleaders at any given time. They’re writers willing to share writing resources, do challenging word sprints, and give pep talks. I love this month!

Partipate in multiple locations! You can go on the NaNo site and hang out in the forums, search for Discord or IRC chats for NaNoWriMo participants, check out the #NaNoWriMo hashtags on social media (I prefer Twitter), and more. Offline, local areas often have write-ins where writers in your area can come together at libraries, coffee shops, etc to hang out, write and help each other out.

On the NaNoWriMo site? Want to be buddies? Add me: dphryxus

4theWords

I am an achievement whore. I love badges and progress charts so much. This is part of why I love gaming (Skyrim!!!). So when I learned there was an online fantasy game that helped writers draft their works – I was so ready for it!

4theWords is a game where you “battle” adorable monsters by doing word sprints. Different word counts defeat different monsters – the easier ones are struck down by writing 100 words or so and the harder ones by chugging away at thousands of words in one go. By defeating monsters, going on quests, and writing multiple days/weeks/months/years in a row (streaks) you receive badges, loot, etc.

You can join 4theWords today and try it for a month free. After that its pretty cheap to play. You can buy crystals and spend crystals on monthly subscriptions or other in game materials. When you sign up, be sure to use my referral code (ZJHCO88919) and I’ll add you as a writing buddy.
For NaNoWriMo you can also add the bonus code (wrimo19) and get 2 weeks extra for free! Do this even if you already have a paid subscription, you still get the 2 weeks free.

Writing Charts, Posters, and Gold Stars

I told you I’m an achievement whore. I love a good progress chart. Not only do I have my NaNoWriMo site chart to go on but I also have a physical chart that I can rely on when I need to unplug from the internet and focus on writing without distraction.

As I write and achieve word count goals, I’ll mark the chart and use some sparkly stickers.

Rewards and Punishments

Last but not least are my sets of awards for reaching certain goals…and punishments if I don’t. I am blessed with a great, supportive Dom who is more than willing to help me along on this journey.

When I reach certain word count and story goals I get a prize:

  • Halloween candy (we’re totally hitting the store after Halloween for the big discounts)
  • Kaelan Rhywiol’s Training Chronicles of Ilavani
  • A ring light for doing YouTube videos and taking pictures for the blog
  • Multiple orgasms
  • A new vibrator

If I don’t achieve certain goals I get a punishment:

  • Orgasm denial/edging
  • spankings
  • tickle torture

World Building Questions for #WriterWednesday

#NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! My #Preptober plotting is starting to look more and more like…I can actually write this! (If you want to learn more about NaNoWriMo and Preptober, click here.) Today I’m working on setting for my queer steampunk romance and thought I might share with you my World Building Questions.

The Importance of Setting the Story

Have you ever read a novel where the location or part of the location felt like a character in itself? Narnia, Hogwarts, Anne Rice’s New Orleans, Stephen King’s Rose Red – all of these locations add interest and depth to the stories being told. If you take any of these locations out of the story, the whole plot falls through. I’d say that is a key to a well established and well written world in a story.

When getting into world building, make sure you use all 5 senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. This builds reality around even fictional locations. It allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the story.
For example: Taste – food is a great thing to focus on even if you aren’t writing a foodie romance. There are stacks of unofficial cook books for Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Narnia, and other series/stories because readers want to eat what they read their favorite characters enjoying.

World Build EVEN IF You’re writing a contemporary novel set where you live. I’d say especially so. This will not only give you a better handle on locations mentioned and used in the story but it can help you avoid flat characters, plot holes, and timeline issues.

On a final note before we get into the questions:
Please avoid White Room issues – where the reader has no idea what the space your characters are in looks like. You might be tempted to let the reader fill in the space with their imagination BUT – if you rely on imagination of your reader…what’s the point of them reading your book? They could just imagine their own if that is the case. Give them the information they need to see the story that YOU are telling!

My World Building Questions

  • When writing a scene, ask yourself how you can incorporate more than one of the five senses.
  • What is the climate of your world?
  • What languages do your characters speak?
  • What is the history? (Don’t stress writing a whole encyclopedia of the history but keep in mind how war, changed in government, etc effects the characters today)
  • What is the currency? Is there an exchange rate between locations?
  • What material goods do the people most value? (gems, oil, gold, lumber, furs, etc)
  • What religion(s) are prevalent?
  • What subcultures does your world have? (This can allow your cultures to not seem shallow. Not every culture has taboos and practices adhered to by all people – this is how subcultures come into play)
  • What foods, spices, and drinks are common?
  • What major bodies of water are nearby?
  • What land formations are nearby? (mountains, plains, canyons, sink holes, beaches)
  • How far is each scene in your story located from the others?
  • What are the character means of transportation?
  • What technology do they have available?
  • What are the major occupations?
  • How does that culture view manual labor?

And Because I Write Erotica

  • How does the culture view sex, sexuality, and gender? (this is a huge part of my current novel)
  • What are the taboos of that region?
  • Are there any laws or formal regulations regarding sex?
  • Sex work is the oldest profession. How are sex workers regarded in this culture?
  • What sex toys and aids are available? What materials are they made of?

World Creation With Characters

The following questions will also help with character development. It gets into the cultures and lifestyles inside of your worlds.

  • What do I need to know about the context of my characters?
  • Do I understand their culture?
  • Do I understand the differences between how they live and how I (the author) live?
  • Do I understand the similarities?
  • Do I understand the rhythms, beliefs, and attitudes of their culture?
  • Have I spent enough time looking at or thinking about different people in that culture to not create a stereotype?
  • Am I familiar with the character’s occupation?
  • Do I know their jargon well enough to use it naturally in the character dialogue?
  • Do I know where my character lives?
  • How does location effect their lives?
  • What are the sounds and smells of where they live? (Remember to use all the senses)
  • Do they have accents?
  • How does location effect their communication?

#FatSmutFriday Fat Vampires

Happy #FatSmutFriday! Today we’re talking vampires. These immortal/undead creatures have been villains and sex symbols for years and yet we see so few fat ones. So I’m dedicating this Halloween-season’s Fat Smut Friday to Fat Vampires.

I admit now that I did not come up with this idea on my own. I was perusing Twitter and saw someone ask where all the fat vamps are (see my quote response here).
This opened a can of worms, of course. We can’t possibly portray more fat people in media for REASONS says the comments section. The reasons for skinny vampires were laughable. Included in the excuses were biology, the low calorie content of blood, and historical wasting sickness as well as the general fat hate.
The OP pointed out several times – even if biology and fat-free blood were a factor, what about fat people that were turned into vampires. Surely it would take time for them to lose weight due to the change in their diet unless we’re talking sparkling, magical vampires whose bites make you immediately the public’s view of pretty. This never really got answered.

Fact is, vampires are fictional unless we’re talking about the vampyre subculture in which case – there are plenty of fat vampyres in the world (I’ve met a few myself – wanna learn more, check out this book and this book).
Being fictional, creators can make vampires look however the fuck they want – including fat.

I did some searching – came across quite a bit of fat hate so be careful – and found this was not an uncommon question. Fat vampires turns out to be a niche that isn’t being met in movies, books, or other media.
While there are stories that meet the criteria out there, they haven’t reached the popularity their counterparts with skinny vamps are. The best way to help with that is to read/watch/buy what is out there AND create more.

I am grateful that there are creators out there writing, filming, and drawing fat vampires. For that reason, I did a shout out and compiled a list. Granted not all of the vampires listed are particularly sexy or nice but they are fat and immortal/undead, which was the only two criteria.

Fat Vampires

Disclaimer: Some of the following links contain affiliate codes. This means if you make a purchase via this link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. This money helps me keep SmutGeek going, thank you.

Pearl – Blade 1998
By far the most popular fat vampire out there is Pearl. This character is problematic but I wanted to get him out of the way. This supporting antagonist is a vampire archivist and it is never clarified if he is a pure blood or human that was turned into a vampire. Fans speculate he not only is a pure blood but is an ancient – explaining his knowledge of the language used in the film. If this is the case, it certainly knocks out the theory that vampires can’t get fat on blood.
The director of the film was apparently questioned about Pearl’s size and explained “the cause of Pearl’s obese size was the creature gaining a cannibalistic lust for infants and children as he loves to eat their hearts.” I’d like to add here that heart is a lean meat, just for context.
NOTE: Pearl is a classic case of a villain’s weight being part of their outward example of villainy and cowardice – not a cliche I’d like to see in future vampire stories with fat characters.

Morgan Kendrick by Jess
Jess’ whole brand is sexy fat vampire and I ADORE her for it! Seriously…dayum.
Her character Morgan is no different. Such yummy artwork and I can’t wait to see more of her!
Check out her art twitter for more! @JKCanaan

Josephine Berendt of Black, Red, and Gold by Catherine Winters
When I did my Fat Vamps shoutout on twitther, Catherine was more than happy to lend a hand –
“I have a vampire trilogy featuring a fat main character who becomes a vampire. http://writingwinters.com/books will get you all the volumes, plus a prequel!”
Black, Red, and Gold promise to be bloody sexy page turners!
Amid worry for Max Spencer, fighting her love for Grant Black, and the pomp and circumstance of an Imperial covenmistress ceremony, Josephine has to unravel the opposition’s plans and keep her coven safe — all while watching her own back and working to discover the limits of her power.
YUM!

Reginald Baskin – Fat Vampire series by Johnny B. Truant
I haven’t read it so I can’t give an opinion. Does not contain any content warnings that I’ve found but the blurb says that Reginald is often mocked. It does not seem to be “own voices.” I recommend reading the reviews before buying.
…as Reginald struggles with the downsides of being a fat vampire (too slow to catch people to feed on, mocked by those he tries to glamour, assaulted by his intended prey and left for undead), he discovers rare powers in himself that few vampires have … and just in time, because the Vampire Council wants him destroyed as an inferior representative of their race.
Perfect for fans of Rick Gualtieri’s Tome of Bill series or Drew Hayes’ Fred the Vampire Accountant series, Fat Vampire is the story of an unlikely hero who, after having an imperfect eternity shoved into his grease-stained hands, must learn to turn the afterlife’s lemons into tasty lemon danishes.

Doug Lee – Fat Vampire by Adam Rex
I haven’t read it so I can’t give an opinion. I recommend reading the reviews before buying.
From School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up Unlike most vampires who are drop-dead gorgeous, sexy, and irresistible, Doug is the exact opposite. Overweight, unpopular, and dorky, he seals his fate by being in the wrong place at the wrong time and as a result was attacked by a starving, newly made vampire. Now he must spend the rest of his immortal life as an unattractive 15-year-old, feeding off cows to satisfy his need for blood. With the support of some local vampire guardians and his friend Jay, the teen must now learn how to live life as a vampire. If events aren’t complicated enough, he falls for the new girl at school, and has the star of the TV show Vampire Hunters hot on his trail, trying to expose him to the world. Rex’s story falls flat. The back-and-forth narration between Doug and Sejal is confusing and slows down the plot. There are some promising moments, funny scenes, and intriguing themes that unfortunately just don’t pan out.
Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY

Support Fat Vampire Creators

When I did a shout out on Twitter asking for fat vampire rep, I did get a few creators who haven’t published or released their vamp babies yet.

Casual Monsters by Ami Mercury

Ami Mercury @amimercury has an awesome comic in the works called Casual Monsters.
“My main character is Audrey. She’s a graphic designer who just broke up with her boyfriend and decided to take a weekend vacation in the mountains to collect her thoughts. Just outside of town her car breaks down, and she has no cell service. Luckily there’s an all-night garage just up ahead. This is where she meets the garage owner, Rob, our unlikely vampire character. He fixes her car and the two become friends. Through a series of plot points eventually she figures out that he’s a vampire. Now, for vampires in this setting, animal blood makes up the majority of their diet, but it’s encouraged that they get a human donor. A person who consents to letting their vampire friend drink their blood on occasion. Rob needs a donor, and Audrey needs a new place to live after breaking things off with her boyfriend. Rob offers her the spare apartment on his property in exchange for being his donor. From there romantic-comedy sitcom shenanigans ensue.
But basically in my story, I treat vampirism as more like a “condition.” Yeah they’re still immortal, and they’re still dead, or “undead” as it were; but the shape-shifting and mind control, etc is not inherent to being a vampire. They are sensitive to sunlight, but they won’t immediately burst into flames/dust. They’ll just get really bad sunburns. They do require blood to “live,” but that doesn’t mean they can’t eat other foods. I actually plan on having other creatures in this story, as well: werewolves, sasquatch, mummies, etc. Much like the vampires their existence is more like a condition than anything supernatural. Honestly they kind of live normal lives, otherwise, and mostly go completely unnoticed by humans.”
YALL! I’m really damn excited about this one – you bet your cute asses I’ll be reading this comic and reviewing with pleasure!

Bodie @geroakoya says he is working on some fat vamp erotica that he is now inspired to get back to:
“I started writing an erotic short story about a fat vampire once! I never did anything with it but every so often I get really excited about the possibility of picking it back up again.
The fat vampire’s name was Chauncy Lockhart, which is maybe my favorite name of any character I’ve ever written”

Ink York @inkayork author of soft supernatural being has some fat vampires about ready for our hot lil hands!
“I have a fat girl vampire MC in my novella, Lotus (with my editor rn) & a fat girl vampire MC in my WIP, No Good Comes.”

Call for Fat Vampires

As I said, this is certainly a niche that could use some more reps. I would love to see and read more fat vamp characters. Some other requests that I saw and definitely agree with:

  • Fat Polyamorous Vamps
  • Fat Vampires of Color
  • Fat LGBTQ+ Vampires especially NonBinary, Trans, etc.

Do You Have a Fat Vampire Character?

Comment below your character or your favorite that isn’t listed. Not only do I want to see them but I’ll list them on twitter with some shout outs so definitely share links.

#WriterWednesday Character Questions

NaNoWriMo is around the corner and one of the things I’m doing for #Preptober (Check out my blog post explaining NaNoWriMi and Preptober here) is working on my characters. After doing a read through of my zero draft, I realized my characters are horribly flat. So I’m answering some Character Questions to try and create relatable, realistic, likeable characters.

Getting Deeper with Shallow Characters

While most character questionaires focus on name, age, zodiac, what they look like, eye color, height, etc (and these are all good things to know in general) I want to focus on questions that dig deeper.

You see, my character issues aren’t due to forgetting Priscilla has red hair or that Teagan is 5 foot 9. My issues are that Priscilla is too naive to live (infantile almost) and Teagan is coming off as a self entitled prick. I have to fix that shit asap and the best way to do that is go back to their core personalities and beliefs.

Perhaps a better title for this blog post is Character Personality Questions or Inner Questions for Fiction Characters.

My Character Questions

  • If I were to describe this character in broad strokes, what would that description be?
  • What paradoxes make my character interesting?
  • What are my characters concerned about?
  • What do/did they want to be when they grew up and how does/did that attitude change or stay the same?
  • Where do they feel safe?

And because I write erotica:

  • How does this character feel about sex?
  • How does this character feel about sexuality and gender – their own and others?
  • How does this character feel about their genitalia or the genitalia of others?
  • What is my character’s hottest fantasy?
  • What is my character’s sexual history?
  • How is this shown in their current sex life and personality?

If you have already written your characters or a good chunk of your book – the following character questions can help in revision:

  • Have I shown a number of qualities my characters have?
  • Have I used attitudes to define my characters?
  • How are their cares/concerns conveyed in their actions?
  • How are their concerns conveyed in dialogue?