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Blah!?

Mixing sneezing and plot

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Blah!?

Hey everyone,

I've been trying to come up with a few specific story ideas lately, and I decided to finally make a thread about something I often ponder when I'm writing. Everybody has different preferences when it comes to the ratio of sneezing to plot in their fetish stories. Some people mostly like the sneezing and the plot is secondary, and others prefer a more involved story that has sneezing in it. I'm definitely in the latter category, practically to a fault.

This isn't to say I dislike reading stories that are light on plot, but I can basically never get myself to write one. In order for me to really enjoy a story, I need to at least have likable, fun, or otherwise interesting characters, and once I come up with that, I almost always want to give them an interesting story as well. The problem I run into there is I often come up with story ideas that I like a lot, but then I can't figure out how to actually fit the sneezing in. I suppose I always could just have some characters sneeze at random, or give them allergies or a cold, but if that's a completely freestanding detail, it always feels like the story grinds to a halt whenever the sneezing actually happens.

Sometimes I feel like it doesn't make any sense for me to want less sneezing in a sneeze fetish story, but I think ultimately what I look for is the right balance. This is getting more into my personal preferences than the general question, but I think one of the roots of my problem is part of what I enjoy so much about sneezing in stories and media is that it's such a candid thing. Naturally intentional fetish indulgence is fun too, but for whatever reason I almost never enjoy stories where one or more characters actually have a sneeze fetish, and especially not when the sneeze fetish is some kind of widespread, well-known thing. As a result, I feel like the balance I always want to strike sounds a bit paradoxical: I want the sneezing to be important to the story, but at the same time I want the sneezing to be unimportant to the world.

Basically, I like for the sneezing to be something the characters will notice, acknowledge and think about, but I don't want it to be something that's important to their daily lives or the universe as a whole. I guess as an example within a story, I'd love something like a mystery story where sneezing is a clue or something similar, but a story where the villain's evil plot is to make people sneeze would pretty much immediately destroy my suspension of disbelief and make it a lot harder for me to enjoy.

I guess this has gotten kind of ramble-y, so I suppose I'm just wondering how many other people feel similarly, and if any authors on here have come up with a "solution" for this problem, so to speak. Every now and then I come up with an idea that strikes that balance I crave, but I don't really do it on purpose. I feel like I just accidentally wander there every now and then, and those ideas end up being the few that I really pursue enthusiastically.

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Oolia

I started quoting stuff that I feel the same way about and ended up quoting pretty much your entire post, so it's safe to say that I 100% have the exact same problem/preference. It's nice to know I'm not alone, and it probably explains why we both seem to enjoy each other's fics :lol:

I have the same issue about getting so into the plot that writing the sneezes becomes annoying to me. And then I start wondering if it will feel forced to the readers, because honestly, sometimes I have to force myself to write it in. I find that letting the story sit for a few weeks and coming back to it helps a lot. Once the whole plot is out of my head, I can do a second or third pass where I try to focus on the sneezing itself, adding and removing some of it, and it seems to work for me. So that could be something to try?

Another thing I like to do is think of sneezing scenarios that tie in well to the plot itself in advance. Basically some fetish tropes that I particularly enjoy that I tweak to fit my story. I'll usually have 2-3 of these scenarios and weave them into the plot, so that I know I'll have at least a few fetish-heavy scenes in the story. I pepper a few sneezes in the rest of the story to wrap it up.

Also, I've recently started just writing "[sneeze]" during the first draft to avoid having to come up with sneeze spellings and descriptions on the spot, because I find that it really does slow me down so much that sometimes I'll stop writing altogether if I can't find a good spelling and get frustrated. It's much easier when I focus on only spellings/sneeze descriptions during a later pass.

15 minutes ago, Blah!? said:

Basically, I like for the sneezing to be something the characters will notice, acknowledge and think about, but I don't want it to be something that's important to their daily lives or the universe as a whole. I guess as an example within a story, I'd love something like a mystery story where sneezing is a clue or something similar, but a story where the villain's evil plot is to make people sneeze would pretty much immediately destroy my suspension of disbelief and make it a lot harder for me to enjoy.

To come back to the preference thing, I feel like you've explained it in ways I could never have done myself. This is exactly how I feel about it, too. I don't want it to be the main point of the story, yet I still want it to be important enough that it's not too random or negligible. It's a very delicate balance that makes it hard for me to enjoy many of the very well written fics on here, and I frankly wish I wasn't so damn difficult about it :lol: I think you've hit the nail on the head about how it has to do with sneezing being a candid thing. It's hard to write a whole fic centered on your fetish while keeping it candid, but when I feel like I've achieved it, it's so satisfying to me. Still working on it though. I can't say I've ever been 100% happy with the balance in my fics, but I think I'm getting closer :)

 

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tma

 YES!!!

Also, "3-dimensional characters" are such a thing for me.  I need the banter, and the realism.

I guess a sense of realism is the thing for *me*.  Anything  "cartoonish" turns me off.  Clowns aren't sexy to me, and I feel like over-the-top stuff is the sort of thing used for comic relief.

But obviously some or all aspects of this totally do appeal to some.

Btw- I remember some of your cute characters, Blah. :heart::Pounce:

 

 

 

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randomguy

I'm by no means an expert in writing, but I would just mention that, in my opinion, sneezes should drive the plot forward, not stall the action. This, I believe, works best when sneezes are integral to the functioning of a story. In other words, a good sneezefic is not just boring without the sneezes, but impossible without them.

One thought for you is to look at the elements of the story you're aiming to write and subbing out some of the more traditional elements for sneeze-based ones. Take the mystery example you proposed. If I'm writing a typical mystery story and I give the detective a cold so he sneezes every once in a while, I end up with a story in which the sneezes interrupt the action (the mystery plot goes on hold while the detective sneezes). If, however, I make the detective allergic to whatever he's trying to find so his sneezes let him know he's found a clue, now I have a story in which the sneezes are necessary to the action.

I actually got the idea for my last story when I was watching a trailer for "The Snowman." I started thinking about the mystery thriller framework and thought about what it would look like if  I substituted the goal of the protagonist solving a crime for a goal of the protagonist changing the way she sneezes. Sounds odd, I know, but it effectively made sneezing a necessary part of the plot, which is why I think it worked out. That said, of course, the story I ended up writing may not be your cup of tea, so feel free to mosey along if this post doesn't seem to do it for ya!

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Wig_Powder

I too prefer to read/write sneezefic that has a plot. When it comes to writing, the way I tend to operate is that I go in with a reason for there to be sneezing in the story, and then I kind of build the plot around it. This does, however, lead to scenarios where in order to set up the sneezing, I wind up with several pages of plot. For example, in my Christmas original fics "Angry" and "Happy", I went in with the plot ideas of "Hero defends the honor of his lady despite being exposed to something that makes him sneeze" and "Both the bride and groom are sick on their wedding day but they don't mind", respectively. I suppose I could have jumped straight to the "good part", but I felt compelled to set the scene for both stories ("Happy" even more so, because it was from the perspective of a guest, rather than one of the sneezers). The end result was five pages of plot with just a few hints of the impending sneezing for "Angry" and four pages for "Happy" (which was further complicated by the story going in such a direction that spelling out the sneezes didn't make much sense).

I guess this was a long-winded way of saying that my technique is to start with the sneezing as the core of the story and develop the details of the plot from there, with a possibility that the story's going to go in a very different direction than I intended. But as long as there's some sneezing in there, I'll feel like I got my point across.

Good luck finding that right balance for yourself!

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MyOwnPrivateSFC
On 2/5/2018 at 8:03 PM, Oolia said:

I started quoting stuff that I feel the same way about and ended up quoting pretty much your entire post, so it's safe to say that I 100% have the exact same problem/preference.

Ditto. (Thanks, Oolia, for writing something I COULD quote.)

I agree with what everyone else said: try starting with an idea of how to work the sneezes in, and go from there. I haven't written much fwtish fic at all, but the ones I've enjoyed have all started this way (by me asking myself how/where I wanted the sneezes to be part of the plot). For example, in a mystery, the sneezes could be related to a clue (the detective is allergic to the evidence he's acquired, but needs to keep it safe anyway), sneezing while hiding (for example, to get evidence), an alibi (if the suspect is allergic to cats, it's unlikely he could have done it because...someone would have heard him? He wouldn't have had time between then and the next time someone saw him for the sneezing to have stopped?), etc. Or you could go the opposite way, with the sneezes interfering in the investigation: the detective can't smell a scent that would tell him something, or the crime-scene tech can't stop sneezing long enough to properly process the scene, or the detective needs his boss to okay something, but the boss is too sick/allergic to have the patience needed to understand what the detective is saying. Etc.

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