Crash Course in Writing Slash

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Title: Crash Course in Writing Slash
Creator: Dichotomy
Date(s): 1999
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
External Links: Crash Course in Writing Slash; Wayback
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Crash Course in Writing Slash" is No Excuse For Lazy Writing is a 1999 essay by Dichotomy.

It is a how-to essay with hints and examples regarding writing m/m sex. It references Minotaur's Sex Tips for Slash Writers, a very popular fandom resource.


Things you don't want to read while reading a slash fic (AKA, a down and dirty guide to avoiding things that make readers laugh, cringe in pain or go "ewww" when they read it, AKA, a dummy's guide to slash writing.). These are all just my own personal opinions; your mileage may vary.

1. Lube 'er up and stick 'er in. Um, unless the guy is really, really loose and used to having anal sex, you need to prepare beforehand. [...]

2. Giving oral sex to a man who was the penetrator in anal sex without washing off his cock first. Let me just say, ewwwww .[...]

3. Referring to sperm as "dead" or "cum". I'll start on the "dead" part. Nothing kills my happy mood while reading a good slash fic than seeing "dead sperm" in relation to a vampire. [...] So you have this beautifully written, hot story with few grammatical and spelling errors and a good plot line, or if it is a PWP, just a really good sex scene or series of sex scenes. You've also used the word "cum" every time one of the characters has ejaculated. Nothing disrupts the flow of a sex scene faster than that word. It brings to mind cheesy porno flicks and large, sweaty, dirty men hitting on young women. To top it off, you have a spelling error in your perfectly spelled fic. Cum is not a word, come is. Most readers will know what you are talking about.

4. Condoms! I love a good unprotected sex fic; it just hits a kink button of mine. However, I don't always enjoy reading them. [...]

5. Geometry. Yes, geometry plays an integral role in slash fic writing. Having your character in odd positions is not always a good thing; people are only so flexible unless you happen to be an escape artist like Houdini. [...]

6. Lube...again. What maketh the lube? Something slippery, non-harmful and, depending if your character is using condoms or not, water based. [...] Let me reiterate again: lube is good, lube is your friend, use it generously in your sex scenes.

7. Adjectives and matters relating to size. Some adjectives relating to size are good; they give you a sense of how large a character's cock is. Others are bad, they bring to mind monster cocks that make you want to squeeze your legs together and run in the other direction. Let your reader decide how big to make a character's cock.[...] On the flip side of the size issue is the adjective thin. Whenever I read about a "long thin cock," it brings to mind a nine-inch cock with a small girth, it also makes me laugh. Stick to letting the reader decide the cock's size unless you absolutely must let us know how big Xander's cock is. [...]

8. Be reasonable about how much time it takes for a man to become aroused again after having an orgasm. [...]

9. Use a beta reader. [...]

10. Last guideline. Have fun! Writing fan fic is not supposed to be a painful process. You're hopefully not doing this because you don't want to, you're doing this because you feel like doing it and want to do it. If a story isn't flowing or coming out how you want it to, set it aside for a while and go back to it. You may just find that whatever wasn't working right is working now, and you've zoomed past the block. Emphasize your strengths, work on your weaknesses. To quote Methos, "We're none of us perfect." All the great fan fic writers out there put a lot of time and effort into learning how to write fan fic well. It doesn't come overnight; it takes time and effort to write great fan fic. But the most important thing is to write because it makes you happy, not because you feel you have to.