28 November 2008

Another Entry

Our American readership get enough to eat? Well, loosen your belt and set a spell, cuz we got ourselves another entry...

Jun Kawasaki's Dead Girlfriend

Unlike current-gen hentai girls, Saigon Sweet, version 1.0, hadn't been created for sexual gratification. In fact, her programming had, for the most part, consisted of emotion-based relationship features.

Share this tidbit with a member of the general public and they would most likely express surprise that Saigon Sweet, the wonderful bedroom companion for the everyman, busyman and just-became-a-man (or so her marketing slogan goes) once was more best friend than bed friend.

Attempt to enlighten a Saigon Sweet fanboy with the same piece of information and he'd roll his eyes at your audacity to impart well-known, historical S-squared knowledge to a devotee, then, with a knowing smirk, divulge the true origins of the hentai girl lay not
with Ryuu Nakamura but Jun Kawasaki.

Thoroughly distraught after his girlfriend died in a car crash during a native land visit to Japan, Jun Kawasaki, a twenty year old University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign mechanical engineering major, vowed to exact the most cruel and unusual punishment he could imagineupon himself.

And he had more than enough reason; he had been operating the vehicle at the time of the crash. However, Jun Kawasaki's guilt was less aboutdriver error and more about the last act his girlfriend had committed just before her death: fellatio.

This is another Sex In The New Millennium piece, of which I see a regularly. As I said before, though, that's not a bad thing. Just know that your piece must be pretty original to stand out above the others.

At first impression, I would suggest this writer streamline the style. These sentences are overwritten. I had to read some of them twice. (Granted, I'm moving slow as a slug after this last round of leftovers.)

Two points on overwriting. Remember, I'm new to your world and already on shaky ground. Make it as easy as possible for me to get caught up. These ideas are not complicated, so I'm wondering why I have to work so hard to get at them. Also, lengthy, involved writing feels self-important when the idea could be expressed in simpler terms. (And it almost always can be expressed in simpler terms. This is fiction, not brain surgery.) Ditto, second person usage. I mostly can't stand that in fiction. Suddenly the author is lecturing me. Listen, I got a mother already. She's even visiting right now, so I really don't need some author to tell me what for. (I'm kidding.) (Mostly. My mom actually is here. Hi Mom!)

For example,

Attempt to enlighten a Saigon Sweet fanboy with the same piece of information and he'd roll his eyes at your audacity to impart well-known, historical S-squared knowledge to a devotee, then, with a knowing smirk, divulge the true origins of the hentai girl lay not with Ryuu Nakamura but Jun Kawasaki.

could be:

Any Saigon Sweet fanboy knew the origins of the hentai girl lay not with Ryuu Nakamura, but Jun Kawasaki.

Y'all remember diagramming sentences? No? Youth is wasted on the young. Anyway, you should be able to diagram your own sentences. If you can't, then simplify them. And, since you're now looking for words to cut, watch out for qualifiers, like "in fact," and adverbs like "thoroughly." These clutter words bury the strong verb usage. Let the verb carry the sentence.

I really like the lingo: S-squared, Saigon Sweet, fanboy, and hentai girl, especially in juxtaposition with the Chicago reference (I grew up there) . Dropping lingo and slang like that makes me feel like I'm entering a different world filled with interesting things and concepts. BUT, I've got no idea what this story is about, because these graphs are backstory. Who's the protag and what is their problem? If I don't find it in the first two hundred words, then I should at least have the idea that it's coming. Like. Very. Soon.

This would probably earn a second page cuz I like sexual robotics as well as anybody, but unless the style streamlined or the premise was really creative and different, I'd pass.

Thanks for playing! Remember, tell your friends. Heck, tell your enemies! Lets rev this up!


David E. Hughes said...

I had less of a problem with the sentence structure than Bets, and I hope she doesn't make me diagram a sentence. That was one of the few parts of English class I didn't like! I enjoyed the voice of the piece and the vocabulary. I would also read on, but I think it unlikely I'd hold the full story for voting. The robot/human relationship--including sexual relationships--have been looked at a lot in science fiction. (And we get quite a few of these stories). So, it is unlikely that the story will contain an idea or a world that is not similar to what has been done before. Also, I agree that the protagonist and the conflict need to be identified very soon. The narrative is not enough to draw me into the story and keep me reading for long.

Thanks for sending us your page and keep them coming.

writtenwyrdd said...

I liked lots about this, but the lecture mode was too long. Limit that to one paragraph for me, please!

My sense was that the story would be about Jun Kawasaki's development of this hentai robot, and that the lecture section was part of a framing technique and we'd end with something similar. Which is fine if it doesn't take away from the story. I'm thinking, however, that this might flow better if you just started with a single backstory lead-in sentence like "Jun Kawasaki developed the Saigon Sweet robot not as a hentai sex toy but to punish himself." (Of course you will be able to do this better, knowing the storyline, Author.)

And I really did like this. The lingo is original yet accessible, and that's a definite plus. I like new worlds with new lingo. I like future sex stories, too, if done well. So I'd have read further on this one; but some action better happen soon or I'd give up.

lesleylsmith said...

Thanks, author, for playing! Kudos! :) I thought this one was an interesting read. I enjoyed the mix of current normal stuff like University of Illinois with SF stuff like sex robots. Death by fellatio sounds funny. ? I would keep reading to see what happens next.

I have to agree with Dave though that we see so much with sex robots that it's going to be a tough sell.

A note on style: the lack of dialog and the sentence structure is generally more literary than what we publish.

Good luck author!

six blocks east of mars said...

Thank you for all of the comments.

First, I should probably 'fess up. Jun Kawasaki's Dead Girlfriend has been grafted onto a longer piece of work, soon to be novel length. I wanted very badly for it to be a standalone short story, but obviously that's not happening.

The piece is definitely overwritten, but purposely so. I've taken some chances with the overall story structure and writing style, including making the narrator an off-screen character of sorts. He's juxtaposed with another narrator, and their main defining characteristics are their narrative style, which in essence, is their voice. Again, maybe not suited for a short story.

I think I have a unique twist on the sex robot story cliche, but then again, I'm biased that way. :)

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Thanks for sending it in, SBEM. :)

laughingwolf said...

i'm put off by it already....