Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Slashing for fun

While I've been working on my website - see post below -, I've been rereading most of my stories (and there'll be another post about the bouts of nostalgia I experienced during the work). Over the last six or seven years I have produced quite a lot of slash-stories. But what is slash? That's what this post is about.

I first met with slash stories under another name: yaoi. Yaoi is a Japanese word for stories about male/male-relationships - in other word: gay love-stories. The female variety of yaoi is yuri (known as 'femslash' in English countries), but that's not what this post will be about. It'll be about me and slash.

When I first met with slash stories, it was through my obsession for manga - something I've already written about. The first yaoi-manga were published in Germany around 1999/2000 (the very first being "Zetsuai", later on continued by the author/artist under the name "Bronze"). I wasn't among the first to buy it, actually I bought it after the five volumes were out already ("Bronze" was more or less 'finished' last year - but the story could theoretically continue). I still like those manga, but other series (especially "Kizuna" and the three volumes of "Ludwig II.") are more to my liking graphically and from their content. One of my absolute favourites is (and always will be) "Fake".

Yaoi is closely related to the bishounen-phenomena. Bishounen are, in the real sense of the word, "pretty boys", usually slightly feminine in looks - though not necessarily in their habits or character. They come from the Japanese tradition, from sayings like "a man as pretty as a woman" and other sources. They are not necessarily nice, they even can be very evil, but they still look pretty and a bit androgynous. Among the bishounen listed on a specialized website (Bishounen Garden) are the nice ones, the normal ones, the evil ones and the dangerous ones (among them Zaphikiel from Kaori Yuki's "Angel Sanctuary" and Angelo from the online vampire-story "Black Widower" which I wouldn't have found without this site). They are all pretty, but that's usually the only common denominator.

Anyway, soon after I'd started reading those stories (the only love-stories I've found slightly interesting, I'm not normally a huge fan of those), I also started writing them. I've managed to write quite a few of them in the meantime, fuelled by my own imagination, the slash-fanfictions I've read online and other ideas I got from somewhere (see Eoin Colfer's definition of inspiration on the right side of this blog).

The main problem I've found during this time is writing sex-scenes between men without sounding either pornographic (and to me there's a thin line between erotic and pornography) or like some sort of scientist. This is a problem I've encountered with normal stories that include sex-scenes as well, but in the German language (and, from my experience, the English language, too) there are more words useful for describing it than for describing the sex between two men - even sex between two women is easier to describe, go figure...

Some of the first stories aren't that good from my point of view right now (though "Blutsbande", the first story about that topic I wrote, is), but I'll nevertheless put them all online. Others might like them more than I do now.

1 comment:

janette said...

Thank you for the plug for BW.
I know what you mean about the danger zone between being clinical and sounding ridiculously porn like that you're almost expecting to hear the cheesy music too. I deal with that problem constantly and it's a big reason why it takes forever for me to write fics. I've had the most luck with exposition and writing sex from how it makes the character feel. I think the feelings angle is what differentiates erotica from porn.