What is writing under glass? I’m so glad you asked LOL Allow me to copy my answer from a 2013 blog post:
What is Writing Under Glass?
Good question. The thing is, writing is usually a very solitary, introverted activity but every once in a while it’s fun to shake things up. One way to do that is to undertake a writing exercise like Harlan Ellison‘s “Stories Under Glass” where he would go to a bookstore and write a story in its window based on an idea or prompt given to him by someone else, or like Elizabeth Barrette‘s Poetry Fishbowls where she takes that idea, puts it online and cyberfunds it.
As I predicted in that post a couple years ago, my system is still evolving. I really like what I’ve come up with this year though. My current plan is to stay under glass in perpetuity.
How Does It Work?
During the periods where I’m actively writing under glass I will be aiming to write erotica for at least an hour a day, but writing under glass isn’t supposed to just be about challenging myself to write a lot of erotica, it’s supposed to be about writing in public, or interacting with the public as part of the process. So there’s more!
You can’t actually watch me write like people could Harlan Ellison, and I’m not looking to monetize this process (though, ya know, if I suddenly become famous that might change LOL) so I’m still tweaking my system and trying to find a way to make it actually interactive and engaging.
The best way I can think to do that right now is to allow you to help guide what I write, and follow along with the progress.
How To Participate:
There are several ways to participate.
The first way to join in would be to suggest a theme for me to use to frame my writing. That can be anything from a genre to a heat level, a preferred pairing or a theme. I can’t use anything that’s too specific* (frex: all-blonde Ff bondage stories with extremely high heat levels, purple leather restraints, high heels and a red flogger) because that will be too limiting to write about for 90 hours, but any one of the aspects from that suggestion could work (frex: Ff stories, bondage stories, stories about blondes, stories with super high heat levels, high heel stories, flogger stories).
Previously I’ve worked without a theme and also had one year where my theme was “Panties“.
The year where I was writing with a panties theme I began what was supposed to be a short story but it kept growing and growing… eventually it became a novella. When I returned to that story to edit it I found huge issues with it so I retired it and began re-writing. I’m still working on that new draft of the story and it doesn’t even come close to resembling where it started.
This may happen with all the stories I write under glass. Though I’ll begin with them framed by the theme, once they are completed and published/shared here, you may not be able to recognize that theme within them any more.
I’ll share some of the results on here for everyone to enjoy, and get the rest ready to be sponsored or submitted to publishers.
If you’d like to suggest a theme, please keep an eye on my blog and social media for a chance to do so. I will fully consider all suggestions sent to me.
Another way to support my erotica under glass experiment and participate in it is to offer me story prompts. These can take the form of an image prompt (bonus points if it’s from fotolia so I can potentially use it for the story’s cover when it’s completed) or text prompts (this is where your ‘all-blonde Ff bondage stories with extremely high heat levels, purple leather restraints, high heels and a red flogger’ story prompt would be appropriate).
As with the theme suggestions I will consider all ideas sent my way and try to implement as many of them as possible. You will have to keep an eye on my blog and social media to know when I’m open to suggestions and when the window has closed and I’m working through the ones I already received.
*While something this specific wouldn’t work as an overall theme for the month, depending upon the monthly theme this might work as an individual story prompt.
Finally, any suggestions which are sent to me and accompanied by proof of a charitable donation (I suggest Save the Chimps or Fauna Foundation) will be bumped to the top of my prompt list and I will consider it non-optional for me to write something based on them.
A quick word about prompts: I won’t write anything without clear consent. Also on my Big List of Nope is pseudo-incest, watersports, eroticide or scatplay. That list is not exhaustive so if you’re not sure, ask me before you make a prompt-related donation.
What Happens To The Stories?
I will update you regularly on what I’m writing, how long I’m writing and offer short excerpts of what I’ve written. I will also post at least 10% of what I write on my blog here for everyone to enjoy (ideally this will be based on # of stories but if my work tends toward longer pieces it may be based on # of words).
Once a writing period is over I will post a list with descriptions, word counts, excerpts and two price points for everything I wrote for that theme.
You will then have the opportunity to sponsor a story (or poem) at one of those price points by making a donation of the appropriate amount to your favourite charity *cough* Save the Chimps or Fauna Foundation *cough*.
Stories sponsored at the higher price point (about 1 cent a word) will be immediately shared here on my blog for free. They will then go through the publication process (including editing by myself as well as an independent editor) and be produced as a book which will then be distributed for free at all the usual locations.
Stories sponsored at the lower price point will be immediately shared here on my blog for free. They will then go through the publication process (including editing by myself as well as an independent editor) and be produced as a book which will then be sold for a token amount at all the usual locations. Once the book is published the story will be taken down from my blog.
If I used your prompt when I wrote the story you will be able to sponsor the story at a discounted rate.
I see you scratching your head and saying, “Uh, why would I donate to charity to supply a prompt for you to write to? How do I even know you can write what I’m looking for?” And, well you don’t, I guess. But for one thing the money isn’t going to me it’s going to charity so you’re doing a good thing here no matter what. For another thing for several years my job was to ghostwrite sex stories and supply porn sites with erotic story content.
I’ve written commissioned stories before, I can write pretty much any erotic sub-genre you can think of and I do it well. Besides, I didn’t say how much you had to donate, did I?
I think this is the longest blog post I’ve ever written here LOL I’ve done my best to be complete and explain as much as I can, but it’s definitely possible I’ve missed something. If you have any questions or suggestions please drop me a line and I’ll do my best to clear ’em up.
Question and Answers:
Q: You keep saying ‘Erotica’ under glass, but does the story have to be all about the sex?
A: Uh… it doesn’t have to be all about the sex but it does have to have some degree of heat to it. I struggle with writing chaste romance and so a period when I am aiming to produce a fair amount of work is not a good time for me to try and tackle them. Depending on my prompts and mood I could write anything from a short set-up followed by a steamy sex scene to a fully-developed novella with plots, sub-plots and sexy interludes.
Q: How long does a writing period/theme last?
A: At this point I’m planning to do one theme per year. Once the initial writing is done it takes a fair amount of time to edit the stories and then get them ready for publication/sharing. I could do more than that, but not without sacrificing quality, which isn’t a thing I’m willing to do.