Craig Sorensen is one of the most electrifying new writers in the erotica firmament. His publication credits are already dazzling and gathering force with stories most recently appearing in Rachel Kramer Bussel's The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories and Alison Tyler's Afternoon Delight. He is definitely a talent to monitor over at the meteorology center, and what do you know, he also has a second person narrative to share that's sure to sizzle! Here's Craig reporting from the eye of the storm:
The story "Photo Finish," from Alison Tyler's Frenzy: 60 Stories of Sudden Sex, was inspired by an actual late night thunderstorm. I got up and started writing while the story was fresh in my head. It was in second person in my mind, but I translated it into third person, and I realized it seemed less effective through this filter. I started over with the second person voice in my head and it flowed so naturally.
In a sense, it was an accidental success; I didn't think about why it should be in second person. Sometimes you'll hear a sculptor say they just carve the bits that don't belong from the rough stone and reveal what was already inside. This story felt kind of like that. The story was born out of the magic, tense moment of a thunderstorm, sensing the "electricity" when a warm wet front unites with a cold dry one. The lovers personify the fronts colliding. Now, on hindsight, I think second person is the natural extension of this embodiment.
What do you think?
And for the record, yes, I do love thunderstorms...
And now, a teasing tidbit from "Photo Finish":
You’re such a tough woman. Of course I pick on you for this one paralyzing fear. Your slim arms circle my neck like a vise and your breath fills my ear in the black hole silence following waves of cackling thunder. I feel your flannel clad hip graze my hard cock, and I worry that you’ll be angry at how your rare fear turns me on.
I feel you curl your nightgown up your legs. Like a strobe light in a disco, the lightning frames you peeling the nightgown away. Your dilated eyes captured burn in changing colors as you collapse to me like a koala to a eucalyptus. In a safe cocoon of early winter covers, I turn your body under me and I press my fingers between your legs. The thunder chases lightning closely now. Like rubbing a genie’s lamp, lingering on the tiny spout, I draw the moisture from you until it flows like a mountain hot spring. A long pause and I’m surprised when I feel the covers wash out like low tide.
“Please, please fuck me.” Your hoarse voice is less than a whisper. You never say ‘fuck.’ You never plead. I consider toying with you, but it’s not a time to play.
It was in second person in my mind, but I translated it into third person, and I realized it seemed less effective through this filter. I started over with the second person voice in my head and it flowed so naturally.
You said this so eloquently and nailed it! The filter of third person can distance or act like a veil. Second person has no such obstruction. You're just there.
Thanks for an electrifying piece of YOU, Craig!
God, this is such a wonderful topic, Donna.
Third person without the filter. Perfectly stated.
Craig, I love this piece!
Whoa, what a hot snippet! I do love it in the second person, but once again, I don't know if I would have even thought about it technically if we hadn't been having this discussion. It seems to me to just work that way in this story. (And again I will reiterate my reverence for — and aim of deference to — the story being in charge, so to speak. The creative flow knows better than rules, it seems to me.)
I love thunderstorms too, and awesome picture!!
Thank you, EllaRegina. I hold how you use in high estimation, so I'm glad my comments resonated with you. I'm especially glad that you are here to share the electricity!
Hi Neve! Even though I've written second person before, this discussion has really opened my eyes.
Emerald, I'm with you 100 percent. It's about how the creative force flows. That said, opening my mind to thinking of stories in this voice is definitely inspiring me.
Exactly, Emerald. THE STORY IS IN CHARGE. On the nose.
It's funny, I loved this story when I read it in Frenzy, but never thought about the POV at all - it just seemed to work so well and feel so natural (like a good thunderstorm).
It's like someone whispering in your ear.
This discussion is so fascinating and now I'm keeping my eye out for this POV in my reading.
Exquisite piece Craig.
In general, not only does the creative force drive the viewpoint, for me, the characters themselves drive the decision to use it. It's as though I have no other choice, I'm compelled in some stories through the intensity of the scene and circumstances. That's what it is, it brings an emotional intensity to the story which can't be expressed in any other way. I'm possessed. ; )
And this is nothing if not emotionally intense, connected, in the best way.
I'm glad that the POV flowed for you. As I'd said, the story really "wanted" to be written the way that it was, and it felt best that way to me.
Your point about it feeling natural is such an important one. I've mentioned before that I've always been cautious about using second person, and I think that is because I'd read some where the language seemed stilted or awkward. But second person POV stories I've read by Donna or EllaRegina or Jeremy don't suffer from that!
I'm now referring to Craig as General Electric. I hope he doesn't mind. ;-)
Thank you Isabel. I love being among so many people who are keen to let the muse dictate the voice when writing.
And I love the title General Electric EllaRegina! I shall work diligently to keep it!
Bravo! And you had me on my feet applauding with this beautifully evocative image:
I’m surprised when I feel the covers wash out like low tide.
P.S. Another great post title!!
Thank you so much, Jeremy. The power of the storm and the intimate second person voice really inspired the imagery!
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