Believe it or not, this started with a post on weepingcock yesterday. A second person porn fic was posted and I kid you not, it read like a Choose Your Own Adventure story. I commented as such and then riffed on it;
[His balljuice explodes all over your gaping gash. What do you do next, you skanky-assed ho?
If you decide to dip your fingers in and lick off all the cum, turn to page 34.
If you decide to take out your machete and decapitate him, turn to page 69.]
Of course, I decided I wanted to write a CYOA. And it had to be for Psych because a) I am totally in love with it right now, and b) it’s perfect.
I didn’t get Your Code Name is Babalu to porn stage, because frankly I find that quite creepy. I also don’t write much first person porn for similar reasons. It just seems too personal.
Writing second person is relatively hard, but the CYOA format renders it mandatory, and luckily, if you keep the sections short enough, it’s not too jarring. I also decided to make it more than obvious that the narrative voice was actually Shawn’s as opposed to a blank slate where you could insert your own personality. There really are no choices that are the reader’s, in this story. You’re doing what Shawn would do, behaving as Shawn would behave. There’s only three endings to the story anyway; one where you get shot, and two where you end up with Lassiter. There’s honestly no choice in this story, but this is how I remember CYOA stories being.
I find writing Shawn’s voice shockingly easy. I know that at the moment I’m exaggerating it a little bit, but I’ve also been writing exaggerated stories, so it fits. I’m still working on Lassiter, who I find much more elusive (it’s a formal/informal thing.) I’ve said before that voice is my strong suit, and you know, it really is. I wish I found everything as easy as I find dialogue and voice. I will admit to having forgotten that Shawn would think “flashlight” as opposed to “torch” though. Momentary side-effect of being English and writing an American character.
I don’t exactly know why I keep writing Shawn/Lassiter when I’ve said before that I’m really more into Shawn/Gus. I guess because, and this sounds ridiculous, but I feel like there would be less issues. Shawn and Gus have a complex relationship that Shawn already tests, and adding in a sexual/romantic element that’s more than Shawn being the touch-happy flirt he is would make everything that much more difficult. And for me, Psych has depth, but I feel absolutely no compunction to write angst for it. It’s my GLEE show.
I really, really like Lassiter. I want to wrap him in my arms and never let him go. Some of my Shawn/Lassiter might be transference. I think that Shawn genuinely really likes Lassiter, though. I do think they’d be absolutely darling together. They’d be all snarky and infuriated and confused, because, oh man, Shawn is the most annoying person Carlton has ever met in his entire life and Shawn knows that Lassiter has issues that rival his own, plus a complete lack of sense of humour in all sorts of disappointing ways.
The basic story at work was derived from both Poirot and Spaced. There’s a short Poirot story where he deals with a missing Pekingese (it’s one of the 12 labours of Hercule, I believe) and in Spaced there’s an episode where Colin is kidnapped along with lots of other dogs. As to why Johnson Industries were using specifically Pekingese dogs to test their Orgasmaflo, I couldn’t tell you. But that’s exactly the kind of detail that probably wouldn’t be explained on Psych. “Babalu”, by the way, is a reference to a song by Desi Arnaz, purely because it is really fun to say.
I didn’t write this in anything remotely resembling chronological order. I started with the first few lines as a hook, then skipped to the “rescuing Puddinpop” scene, and then I just kept sort of extending out from that, the different sections requiring me to come up with more sections, etc. etc. The beginning scene was one of the last I wrote. It was a bit hard trying to keep track of where I was, but this is where the find feature in Microsoft word is AWESOME. I made sure I had my “turn to page [x]”s all in place after scenes.
The trickiest part of this story was trying to think of page numbers to turn to. I wanted them to be completely chaotic, because once again, that’s just Shawn. I had to write them all down on another piece of paper, but that’s as far as my planning went. I can’t tell you how much I love the HTML anchor tag for making this story possible, even if it did take ten minutes to code.
I’m really proud of this story. I know I wrote it all in four hours, which feels like cheating. And that there were possibly other things I could have done with it (I wondered, too late, if it shouldn’t have been a CYOA with more actual choice --- such as you being able to end up with the ship of your choice; Shawn/Lassiter, Shawn/Gus, Shawn/Jules, Shawn/Janice, Shawn/Pineapple. Ultimately I like it as it is.) But it worked. It did exactly what I wanted it to do and that’s all I ever ask of stories I write.