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Amanda's Reading Room: "Being Emily"

Amanda Hawkins


#1 | Posted: 15 Jul 2010 17:59 | Edited by: Amanda Hawkins

Hey, all.

There's a new caption story in the Reading Room: "Being Emily"

Book-style: twenty-something, M2F, salon, the operation, stalking

A dark fantasy: A young man is obsessed with a beautiful woman. His obsession leads him to attempt the impossible: to sculpt his body to match hers, to steal her identity, to take over her life, to become her.

Check it out at: oom/

Amanda Hawkins


#2 | Posted: 29 Jul 2010 03:36 | Edited by: Amanda Hawkins

Man, two weeks and not a nibble. Did anybody actually read the story? Or was it just totally uninteresting to all and sundry? <sniff> I feel unappreciated... :-(

(Edit: I probably shouldn't have used that frowny face. I wasn't upset when I wrote the above, I was just feeling playful. Think of it as a "playful frown", be there such a thing.)


#3 | Posted: 29 Jul 2010 06:37

Amanda, all you've basically told us is "Here's a story." Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but ... that's not enough. Two things I would want to know ahead of time, before I take time to read your story--

a) What's the story about? If this were a novel or a movie, what would its blurb say?

b) What's the TG hook? Wizards in bathrobes, medallions, evil stepmothers, alien technology, chemical plants illegally dumping chemicals, April 1st, October 31st -- what?

If you tell me enough to catch my interest, and if nothing I read in your description bores me or revolts me, then I'll read your story. Maybe. If I have time. Otherwise, no. And with no description? Definitely no.

Remember that there's lots of other things I can be doing besides surfing the 'net. And when I'm net-surfing, there are an infinite number of pages I can be surfing instead of yours. So you gotta make me _want_ to read your story.

#4 | Posted: 29 Jul 2010 08:43 | Edited by: EvaGrubbFan

Luv --

I read your latest and quite enjoyed it. I would have changed just one part (a portion of the final sentence) but another than that another classic. Of all your works, the ones that focus on TG ID theft are my favourites.



PS: I feel the same way whenever I post an Evil Archie. Lots of views but very few comments, making me wonder whether I've lost my touch or people are bored with the concept. :(
Amanda Hawkins


#5 | Posted: 30 Jul 2010 15:36


Thank you for the tip! I've always thought of these messages as a way of reaching people who are familiar with my work, and who are probably already members of my group (3340 strong at last count). But I now realize that this message could easily be a point of first contact -- and will be for many people. And you're right: I've given them nothing that would make a new reader want to follow the link. I certainly wouldn't do so myself. I don't even read the long stories are are sometimes posted on tgcomics, even though the text is right there!

I will definitely provide a description next time. Heck, it'll be good practice for when I eventually move the group to a blog. (One of these days...)

Thanks again for your honesty. :-)

Amanda Hawkins


#6 | Posted: 30 Jul 2010 15:53


Many thanks for your kind words.

Actually, I'm not surprised that you weren't crazy about the last line. It was kind of an "O. Henry" twist that turned the whole story on its ear. I was aiming for something like a TG horror story, which isn't actually easy to do since some of the horrifying things that could happen to the average guy are things that many of us actually fantasize about! Here, one of our own turns out to be the bad guy, which is a bit disconcerting.

In a larger sense, I was having a bit of fun with those many TG stories where a guy takes over some woman's body and life, leaving her either dead or stuck in some awful situation (e.g., stuck in a man's body, shipped off to a brothel, whatever). From her point of view, that's certainly horrifying! But the "hero" of the story (and, by extension, we the readers) aren't concerned about that.

Pretty heavy stuff for a simple TG story, huh? That's just me trying to be different... :-)


TGCapper and Moderator 

#7 | Posted: 1 Aug 2010 20:04

I've been busy lately, and missed this up to now.

Being Emily is a very enjoyable, well-written identity-theft story. Personally, I think the twist at the end does come off very well from a dramatic point of view. Whether the reader likes it or not depends, I guess, on their particular taste in who should "win" in these sort of situations.
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