As previously mentioned, I’ve invited Lila to talk to us about her experiences in both the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s DRitC event, and the BDSM group’s Bring Out Your Kink. This year Lila participated in both events, writing an incredible total of four stories, and she is sharing her experiences below. Thank you, Lila!
My questions are in bold to differentiate them from Lila’s replies.
1. My readers are already acquainted with the M/M Romance Group’s annual DRitC event. Would you mind giving us a quick description of Bring Out Your Kink?
This is the inaugural year for the Bring Out Your Kink event, which is hosted by the Goodreads BDSM group. The BOYK event can be considered the kinky child of the DRitC event since it was mirrored after it. The original premise is the same, to write a story, within two months, based on a picture and written prompt. The main difference is the content. The DRitC event allows for kink prompts, but BOYK requires them– anything from sugar kink to non-con can be requested. The stories started posting in the group Sept 2nd, every M-W-F until the end of October– only twenty-five prompts were available. The author can opt to publish their stories on external vendors if they please, but the group is still considering the idea of creating an anthology– download files weren’t created.
2. What in your experience participating in both events, are the differences between them?
From a writer’s perspective, yes, the events are different. For DRitC, the first story we submit can be seen as a first draft. The moderators assign us an editor to help us polish the stories, and from there, we work with a secondary editor, QA, and proofreaders before the story is posted. In the BOYK, the author has the responsibility to submit the best version of their story possible because there’s not an editing process in place. There are independent volunteers you can request help from, but it has to be before your deadline. Your final version is what the readers see in the story’s thread.
As readers, the BOYK isn’t big enough yet, to provide downloadable files. The DRitC threads are more to thank and praise the writer after the stories are posted. On the other hand, the BOYK threads are more of a discussion, in which the stories are sometimes examined under a microscope.
Plus, the BOYK are not limited to M/M stories. They are all inclusive.
3. How did the differences you describe in question two impact the stories you wrote?
The editing aspect didn’t impact my stories directly since I was lucky enough to be paired with a great beta reader for my first LOR story, St. Andrew’s Bay Chronicles. After we finished all the initial edits and I submitted my story, Samantha volunteered, once again, to work in my second LOR story, Beyond the King’s Curse. And since I have a guardian angel or an evil overlord, she worked with me to create the best versions possible of Binding Jax’s Heart and Graphic Exposure.
On the sexuality side, I had the opportunity to write my first femdom scenes in BJH. It was interesting to add a female in the mix after writing exclusively male relationship for the past two years.
4. Your two LOR stories this year formed the first two stories of a series. Do you also plan to expand on your Bring Our Your Kink story?
Getting a LOR orphan prompt that worked perfectly with my original story was a stroke of luck. I was 5,000 words away from the end of SABC when I got it and was able to add some items to link the two. When writing those two stories, some characters wanted their own stories told and three more stories are in my writing queue. Hopefully, Gate to The Worlds, #3 will be available early summer 2016.
I originally thought about linking my two BOYK stories since I got them within a week from each, but the characters had different ideas. Binding Jax’s Heart is told completely from Jax’s POV (which is my first story with a single POV), but in the end I decided not to write two more stories from the other two character’s POVs. The critiques had been good so far, but most readers agree that the ending was strong enough for the story to stay as a stand-alone novella. I’m planning to re-edit it, though, and perhaps add one or two scenes before it becomes available for external distribution.
Graphic Exposure has not been released yet, but it’s going to be the first of four stories in the Exhibit series. I have notes to expand the original story from its current 18K words before external publication.
5. What have you learned from participating in LOR and Bring Out Your Kink?
This was my second year participating in the DRitC event and first in the BOYK. I think these events are great for new writers to develop their craft. I had to create a general plan before starting each story. The way I outline and research before I started writing evolved with each story, as well as the way I structure them. Also, I had the opportunity to learn more about the writing process and the different steps needed before a story can be published. Plus, I had the opportunity to use my background to create the covers for all my stories.
6. Writing a story in a short amount of time is a challenge, but you’ve written not one story this year, but four. What is your secret? How do you remain on track while juggling multiple projects?
I did have two projects at a time, but I didn’t work on them concurrently. I’m really good at compartmentalizing my ideas and working with them one at a time. If I saw something during research I wanted to use for a different story, I just saved the information and continued working in my current story. My boys know how to wait their turn, they just keep making the project line longer and longer.
I have trouble concentrating for long periods of time. Before every project, I create a schedule with a basic idea of how long each chapter should be and how many days I’m going to spend on each one. I set my own milestones and how many words I’ll need per day. Then I try to follow the same pattern every day. I get bored easily, so I use the schedules to keep my mind from wondering around. The secret, consistency.
7. What advice would you give to an author considering either LOR or Bring Out Your Kink?
I’d recommend any author considering taking part in a writing event, to be sure you have the time to do justice to the prompt. The amount of orphan prompts is really disappointing. Yes, real life happens and takes priority, but as writers we should account for minor events interfering– anything from common colds to writers block.
But most importantly, these events are meant to be fun, for the writer and the readers. Love your prompt, your story, and interact on the prompt’s thread. The readers are great providing ideas and encouragement during the whole process. I love posting pictures and snippets to let the reader see what I’m working on. It keeps me accountable of my time and the project’s direction.
8. What LOR stories and Bring Out Your Kink stories have you read this year that you would particularly recommend?
I have read about 30 of the LOR stories this year. My top three so far are:
Nightjar by Gabbo de La Parra – it is an enemy to lovers fantasy in which the MC become each other’s salvation. I loved the setting, the characters, and the plot. 5 stars.
Waiting for Clark by Annabeth Albert – a romantic comedy between geeky nerds. It made me think about a hot, gay version of the Big Bang Theory. It was cheesy, full of clichés, but at the same time, lovely. The angst level was very low. 5 stars.
The Forest Savage by Claire Davis and Al Stewart – a dark romance. I thought about skipping this story due to the tags, but I’m glad I didn’t. It’s a beautiful rendition of pain, angst, and love. 5 stars.
From the BOYK event, I really enjoyed Tie It Right by Joely Sue Burkhart – a friends-to-lovers short story with a twenty-year age gap. It has great pacing, great characters, and the perfect mix of edging and smexy. 5 stars.
9. Please tell us about your stories!
Time for some shameless self-promo *rubs hands and grins wickedly*. Nah, I really enjoyed the opportunity to talk with your readers a little about this two writing events. Personally, the events are the base of my writing career and gave me the opportunity to take my first professional writing steps. You can see all my stories here and what’s in the works here.
My next release is Graphic Exposure – “A chance encounter involving West’s camera, a naked Shaun, and a motorcycle, showed the men a glance to the future they both longed for. Now they have to decide if surrendering to each other’s needs will be worth it.” Available exclusively in the Goodreads BDSM group October 16th.
I love interacting with my readers and fellow writers. Please don’t be shy and ask/comment away. You can always visit my social media outlets later, even if it is just to say hi.
See y’all soon!