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From the Comfort of their Favorite Armchair
  July 06, 2001

Today's Featured Author - Karen Flynn

by: Kelly Ann Rogers    

Karen Flynn doesn't mess around. Her goal is to get her male characters en femme, paired off with a man or a woman, and sexually involved. She does this efficiently and with sufficient heat. If you like your steamy sex undiluted and unadorned with irrelevant story lines, you might well agree with one of Karen's characters, who notes while looking at himself in the mirror, "this is a cross-dressers dream."

Karen has five stories on Story Site. "Xena for Halloween", "Guys Will Be Girls", "Like Father Like Daughter", and her most recent effort, "Anne and Sandy", are all pretty similar in quickly getting their guys to begin dressing up without much pretense or bother. They want to do it, they're given the opportunity, and off they go, either with or without the help of a willing female.

Karen's dressing scenes are usually done in some detail, giving the reader an opportunity to savor the sights and feels of dressing process, along with the anticipation of the final, inevitably gorgeous product. From there it is on to a sex scene, or two, or three ( get the picture?), also done in some detail, but typically not overdone or embellished with exotic metaphors.

While these stories clearly have an audience, Guys Will Be Girls has over 5000 hits and Anne and Sandy more than 2000 in its first week, they are not as effective as they could be because Karen's writing skills are not quite up to the demands her imagination places on them. Her sentences are typically not complex, but they aren't always punctuated well either, so you have to put some effort into figuring them out at times. This distraction slows the pace of the story.

Worse, her paragraphs tend to be massive. Instead of dividing her text up into thought-sized portions, she stuffs really large chunks of it into paragraphs that are both daunting for the reader and not at all helpful for the pace or clarity of her stories. In "Anne and Sandy" she begins to overcome this problem and much of the text is divided into more easily readable portions that really do help move things along. Despite this improvement, even these slimmed down paragraphs sometimes combine two speakers and any number of thoughts, so there is still work to do here. But since we have evidence of progress, perhaps there is reason to hope that Karen will continue to sharpen her writing skills and thereby make her stories even slicker and hotter.

So where does that leave us, or more appropriately perhaps, where does this leave you, her potential reader? If Karen's stories were a meal, they would be like eating a thick juicy steak, but without any potatoes, vegetables, or bread. If you love meat, and lots of us do, that could be just fine and effectively satisfy a deeply felt urge. If you're a vegetarian, however, or prefer your meat in combination with lots of other tastes and textures, Karen will probably leave you unsatisfied (though perhaps a bit out of breath).

Karen's stories have a specific goal, and her spare, focused approach to story telling fulfills that purpose rather effectively. So take what she has to offer for what it is, and be sure to have lots of tissues and an extra pair of panties in your purse. You’ll need them.

by: Sydney Michelle      

Paragraphs? We don’t need no stinkin’ paragraphs!

Karen evidently gets into her work and many of the paragraphs read as though they started when she began typing and ended when she stopped. In general, Karen’s work would be much more readable with either the assistance of a good editor or at least laying it aside for a week or so and re-working it before submission. Writing and logic errors that distract from the ease and quality of the read would almost certainly disappear.

When you read one of Karen’s stories, you know what you are going to get besides Bunyunesque text: lots of physical descriptions of mouth to, well, whatever, repeated, and repeated, and repeated. If that’s what you are seeking, and to be honest, most readers here seek some degree of titillation, then you will not be disappointed. Karen wastes little time getting down to business, the devil take character and plot development. (In short stories? What’s plot development?) Holidays especially inspire Karen ("Xena for Halloween" and "Santa’s Cuming"). In "Xena" the Tampa location was well integrated into the action. Ever wonder why Santa never got around to your house? He was way too (2 "o’s") busy at Karen’s. Boy, has he changed persona from "42nd Street." He’s still granting wishes, but forget milk and cookies for a thank you. At least it takes to the end of the last page and half paragraph for Santa to get down. And I do mean down. Karen is versatile enough to vary the situations, if not her writing style. "Like Father Like Daughter" is essentially two long keyboard sessions, ehr, paragraphs, between, uh, rest breaks. Of course the hero, make that heroine, is just the best ever so there will be an ever after of some duration. Methinks only until exhaustion sets in.

Karen doesn’t leave out the budding set. "Guys Will Be Girls" has the most unconscious sets of parents ever and inexplicably missing sisters. After all, what are girls for except a convenient wardrobe stash? The prey, make that chief character, has a slightly older friend with an even older friend, both of whom are the Boy Scouts’ worst nightmares. Although there’s some dress up, Karen doesn’t neglect her real focus. Unlike Ensign Pulver, you don’t have to underline the good parts. When the paragraph gets longer, you’re there.

If your taste runs toward the adolescent set, then there’s "Anne & Sandy" for an overweight Ferris Buller without parents for the remotest hassle. Of course there’s not the slightest hint of what supports this fantasy life style, but then, it is a fantasy. I get the impression that Karen wasn’t quite into this last one: there’s way more descriptions of clothes and the paragraphs are much shorter. But never fear: Sandy gets a lip lock on a stretched paragraph before all is done.

Her first story, "Xena" was by far the most imaginative and developed. But you knows what you gets, and the price is right if that’s where your taste runs.

 

Editor - Heather Sinclair

 

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