How To Write Mommy Porn: The HR Edition

by Frank Roche on May 15, 2012

in Writing

You can’t turn around without bumping into someone reading 50 Shades of Grey. You know the largest group of readers of that mommy porn? HR people.

Know why? Prurience and HR go together like “S” and “M”. There’s an HR cadre who are drawn to the job because of the legal voyeurism. Dirty deets spun dirt cheap! Splendor in the crass! You’ve got mail! (And I’m reading it.)

Why not put all that prurience to good use? Here’s what you do.

How to Write Mommy Porn for HR Pros

  • Setting: Futuristic offices, ultra-minimalist design aesthetic. New York City, Stockholm, Moscow. Good stories take place in cool locations. Love stories take place in Bali. HR Porn takes place in buildings that have a lot of chrome, steel, and black leather.
  • Protagonist: Young, compliant, confused female. Lots of imagination, little experience. She’s in HR because of her love of people and her naive view of human nature. She’s cute, but doesn’t know it. Her best friend is her cat. She’s not you — she’s an amalgam of people you’ve met over time. She’s like them…times ten.
  • Antihero: Young, domineering, damaged male. He’s seen it all…and wants more. He’s running a global empire, but there’s something very shady about him. He’s an ersatz Most Interesting Man in the World. Waxy. A Dorian Gray. He wears D&G. Always black. Skinny ties. His black hair touches the collar of his French-cuffed shirt. He carries a Beau Ried briefcase. He’s like every head of sales you’ve ever met…times ten.
  • Plot: A global business merger that involves hundreds of thousands of people. Bribes. The Russian Mafia. Yakuza. La eMe. Our Antihero is an apex predator — he does his deals alone. Only this time he needs help with the people issues. Enter…our Protagonist. Although she has no global HR experience — or really much of any experience for that matter — our Antihero taps her for this covert assignment. They must travel in tandem. She doesn’t have anything to wear except for the Macy’s business suit she got for her interview. No trouble, our Antihero has an American Express Centurion Card — a black card and a black heart. Champagne flows. Cash changes hands. Assignations abound.
  • HR Porn: This is the easy part…just write down the stuff you read from employees’ emails. Sprinkle in statistics about web surfing proclivities. (This is where you might have to do some research…but don’t do it on work time or on work computers.) If you follow the 50 Shades of Grey model, have your characters call each other by their names all the time – you know, like people always do in those situations.
  • Denouement. You know there’s a cover-up. But there are repercussions. HR knows all. And jobs will be lost. Careers derailed. Our Protagonist learns a valuable lesson about herself and the essential nature of people. But she’s not done. She has a whole career ahead of her…and she’s not so naive anymore.

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