~O~Ok, we both just finished reading a story called Bang by RasXputin (currently known as TheBigMiddleFinger) and decided to discuss this a little. I will give a little summary/review here and then mamasutra will add what she has to say about it. Let's see how it goes:
Bang: What we have here is a very interesting story dealing with a very unusual subject. In Bang, Edward is a porn star who essentially ‘bangs’ chicks for a living and he is perfectly happy with his life. Until he meets and falls in love with Bella, a straight laced law student who works part time at a cafe. I know there are scores of stories out there with a similar premise, but this one sets itself apart by doing it convincingly. It’s a strong story that ends suddenly just when you start getting all wrapped up in Edward’s confusion and dilemma about how to reconcile his profession with his growing feelings for Bella. I can’t say I liked the way it ended, but I would have encouraged you to try it out still, if it hadn't been pulled by its author without any notice (check out our Soap Box rant to find out what we think of such antics!). The author, RasXputin (currently known as TheBigMiddleFinger), did a kick ass job creating a very plausible storyline springing from an arguably unlikely scenario, then let it all go to waste by ending it in a rather anticlimactic way. It’s not that I can’t deal with a non-HEA story, but this one felt unnecessary.
As you read mamasutra’s take on things, you will see that she did a far better job at noticing flaws and plausibility issues that I completely overlooked. While I only focused on what was going on in Edward’s head, she took the trouble of looking around and spotting errors that could have been avoided if it was slightly better researched. Let us know what you think.
~O~mamasutra takes the floor:
Well, here it is our very first review. We read the story Bang by RasXputin . As IcarusToSun listed above, it is the story of porn star Edward and his adventures. He leads this very hedonistic lifestyle filled with excess. There are drugs and women that are prevalent for him and yet at the end of his day he goes to a coffee shop where he longs to know, Bella, the coffeehouse girl.
The story continues and as it does you really get to see what the conflict in this story is. It is not a story of boy meets girl and then boy wins girl. In this story the conflict all lies within the main character. It is a conflict of morals and what lifestyle would reign supreme in Edward’s life. He spends this story torn over what to do with his life as he realizes that it is possible that the choice of easy money and women may not have been the great choice that he originally thought it was.
This story was an interesting read. It was well written and had great potential for a good story. The Bella in this story is likeable, which is rare for me to say, I typically hate the Bellas in fan fiction, but this Bella was a little different. She was confident in who she was and what she wanted in life. She was not the typical pushover when it comes to Edward like how she is portrayed in so many fanfic stories. The writer illustrates this character’s strength in the story by not having Bella just fall into bed with Edward. It is this resistance to his so called charm that leaves Edward perplexed. He even goes as far as to ask her if she had been molested or raped due to her lack of wanting to further their physical relationship, when the truth was that Bella had a little self respect, unlike him or the people he deals with concerning his work.
The Edward in Bang was a little different than the typical man whore Edwards that I have read in the past also. It could be because he was being paid to have sex on command. I found the casual way that he described his day at work a little disturbing, but I guess every job becomes a grind; even those jobs where you are paid to screw someone. Edward’s character was interesting since all the conflict was within him. It was fascinating to watch as it dawned upon him that being a porn star would only hinder him in the long run, especially with his love interest, Bella, who he had not told that he was a porn star. Do you see the trouble brewing in this story yet?
The reveal that Edward is a porn star actually comes toward the end of the story, after Edward had made the decision to get out of the business and try to be a better man for Bella. This would be the point in the review where I would say go read the story, but RasXputin has pulled the story without notice and changed her/his name to TheBigMiddleFinger so reading this is not possible unless you know someone who saved the story by chance.
If you happened to have read the last Soap Box rant about writers pulling their stories then you know how I feel about this move and all the lack of class that it reeks. I will repeat it though for those of you who may not have read the rant yet. There is no reason for a writer to be an asshole to their readers by pulling a story without notice or warning. It is a selfish and immature act performed by writers whose skin is too thin or their egos too large for the fandom.
Since Bang has been pulled I will be more than happy to tell you how this story ended. Bella confronts Edward about being a porn star and breaks up with him in disgust. Edward, being Edward, takes it badly, but instead of begging Bella or stalking her like what we see in some stories, this Edward goes back to his old lifestyle. He finds himself drugged up, sleeping with random women and have it blogged about like always. It is revealed that Edward goes on to film five more movies before leaving the business and how he could only thank Bella Swan for this change.
It continues on into the epi where Edward and Bella run into each other about six years later at a court house. Bella was now an attorney and Edward was pursuing his degree in linguistics, was testifying for some case. Edward was surprised to see her and Bella was shocked as well. They both had changed in the six years that they had been apart.
This is the part of the story where you could get hopeful for a happy ending for these two until it is described that Edward had a girlfriend of three years that he is thinking of marrying while Bella is married and pregnant. They go on to apologize to each other and that is it. Yes, that is all folks, the end. The ending was one of the biggest disappointments that I have read in fanfic in a long time. I could go on about the lackluster ending, but that has been saved for the next rant at the Soap Box, so I will spare you on that, but I do have a bit more to say about Bang and you may not like it.
Sorry folks, but I have to call bullshit on the story Bang. Ok, brace yourself over what I am about to say: when I read, I like it to be a little realistic. I like to know to some extent that what is being written could happen and this story just hit me funny about it. I know what you are thinking, but Mama, this is fiction??? Yes, it is fiction, but it’s not fantasy so let’s try to stay somewhat real. Bang is so far from the truth that it made it hard for me to read at times. No, I am not saying that a porn star couldn’t have a change of heart and want a different life. That is real to me and quite believable, it was this that kept me reading the story, the problem I had with it was different.
My problem was all centered on the porn industry as it was portrayed here. It is unrealistic and I have trouble with that. Now, before rumors start I am not in the porn industry, however, my background is in business and, believe it or not, the workings of the porn industry is fascinating.
The production companies have worked hard to overcome the reputation that they earned in the 1970’s of drugged out women and cocaine fueled parties that were made into movies. This fan fiction story, while set in present time from what I could tell, had a very definite 1970’s / Boogynights feel to it at times as it spoke of cocaine parties and screwing women while people filmed it. This to me was a turn off.
Another part of the story which I will call bullshit is that a production company that has a straight male porn star who gets paid well. In the real world that doesn’t happen. It is the women that get paid better than the men since the movies are filmed for men more than women and even these women aren’t getting paid all that well. I think I read in Forbes magazine it was stated that some of the so called female adult stars were paid two thousand dollars a movie while the top male adult star was paid eight hundred dollars per movie, so you can see quite the difference in pay between the sexes making this story completely unbelievable.
Over all I cannot say that I am sad that this story has been pulled. While it was well written, the lack of reality in the story along with the shittastic ending just overpowered any type of redemption for this story for me. Oh, and if you happen to be interested in reading more about the porn industry as a business or the Forbes article I mentioned, Google Porn industry and do not forget to type in industry since who knows what you would get without that.
Until next time….