That’s right. The writer’s story has committed suicide and the author, a.k.a, the loved one, doesn’t know why. Her plot is fluid, her characters are developing and the stakes are being raised with each new page. So, when the tragedy happens, she’s surprised because she didn’t see it coming, but the reader did, why? Simple. The reader isn’t a loved one. And, as that distant outsider who wants to care about what happens in the story, the reader is able to pinpoint the exact moment the author turned her back and the death occurred.
I’m speaking about acceptable levels of personal influence versus concrete intrusion of our opinions in what we write. Here’s the scenario: Heroine loves the environment. Her mission in life is to see that nothing bad (if she can help it) happens to it. Okay, that explains why she’s face planted in front of the bulldozers that are pushing forward with development plans. She’s hoping to stop the desecration of the nearly extinct trees she loves so much. Great. Got it. She has a heart and nine out of ten readers will connect with her on some level because of this passion.
But then, her ‘save the environment’ moment becomes an unsightly soapbox. A huge platform that she stands on and proceeds to awkwardly preach from one page to the next. Now, here’s the kicker. The story is still being propelled forward, but really, at this point, it’s on life support because the characters are developing into people that are hard to like. So even though the stakes are being raised – big time – the reader isn’t interested because they have no investment in the characters.
*Enter the sharp object to the wrist. Let’s call the time: Story death here.*
So, I’m wondering. Does anyone else see a danger of inserting a controversial ideology that they are passionate about into their hero or heroine’s makeup? Oh, I know that an author’s tenets and beliefs bleed through the pages. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m focusing in on that one thing. That one political phrase of ownership spoken by a hero or heroine, such as, “I’m a Democrat or I’m a Republican.” Or maybe the heroine cries, “What’s wrong with that? I think socialism is a positive thing.” That’s what I’m talking about.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen on the rare occasion where these potentially controversial statements work because they’ve been woven into the plot subtly with a finesse that distracts the reader and allows them to overlook their differences of opinions on the subject. Now the key as to why that works is simple. It was part of the plot not the obsession of one of the main characters the reader is supposed to adore.
Do you guys agree? Disagree? Because I gotta tell you. I was reading yesterday, when something I tripped over on a page got me to wondering about all this. It was one small sentence. One tiny statement. Six little words. And yet, it was big enough for me to go, “Hell, no.” (and don’t ask because I ain’t saying.)
Personally? I think of the stories I write like they’re a person at a party. My story is exposed to all manner of people with varying likes, dislikes and ideas. So if my story focuses in too narrowly on a controversial topic and beats it to death page after page, I know it risks being pegged as that pompous ass expounding in the corner that party goers want to avoid at all costs. I don’t want that. So, I’ve decided. Now that my stories have been invited to the party their sole purpose for attending will be to be fun and be entertaining.
For those of you who’ve been fortunate enough to commandeer an invitation. Do you agree with this? And for those of you who haven’t YET. Have you thought about how you’re going to handle your invitation to the party?
It occurred to me that I have had a run on beautiful and feisty heroines with their hunkier than hunkster heroes for far too long. So I’ve decided to deconstruct the romance novel. Yep, it’s true. Once a week on this blog I’m going to add a scene to my (I’m borrowing from Seinfeld here) bizarro world romance.
Here’s the deal. Normally a perfect title would be Beloved Captive, but not in bizarro world. I’m thinking… ah, Unloved Wanderer. Perfect. Now, *cracks knuckles* heroine’s attributes. In the real writing world my gals are usual of below-average height, curvy with nice sized breasts and features that are either adorable or stunning or in some cases both. In this bizarro world? I’m thinking this heroine has to be six two with a size fourteen shoe. Well, either that or the next size up, the box. She has numerous curves. Unfortunately they’re just not in the right places. Things that curve on her? Her spine, fingers and even toes that crookedly curl upward. As for her features? Easy. Rat-like beady eyes, Durante type big nose and lips so thin it looks like her face is eating them. That is, until she smiles and then her “could eat corn-on-the-cobb through a pick fence teeth” – that have nothing on Mr. Ed, make one realize those lips are to be commended for the job they do hiding all the snaggle.
Now, normally at this point in my writing process I would detail what kind of skin she has, hair color and some other super special things – mannerisms or habits, but I make it a point to leave those to my hero to introduce to the reader. <- This will be the X factor for my latest creation. I’m not going to name these things. I will simply let them unfold from one scene to the next.
Now for the hero. *takes deep breath* I’m thinking he has to be five foot one, a size six shoe and have soft little dove eyes. Maybe with the cutest pertly turned up nose and ruddy cheeks. I love me some ruddy cheeks. Instead of the cut bod with the six-pack stomach he’s going to remind one of the StayPuff Marshmallow Man, only like his dwarf, troll-worthy cousin. Same white skin, same lumpy physique, but think squashed…no, squat. Ooh, nothing spells smexxy to me better than a dough boy with head to toe muffin tops.
Um-kay, for the first scene next week? I’m thinking Larz (that’s the hero) spots Shermatta (his heroine who prefers to be called Sherm) at the local grocery store. It’s love at first sight for Larz when he spots this hulking, yet unique creature of loveliness, pawing her way through a bushel of avocados. Unlike the rest of the patrons he can’t turn away. He’s riveted by her linebacker moves and guttural grunts of dissatisfaction. This would explain why, when she snaps her head around and glares at him with those beady rat-like eyes he’s done for, because he’s always had a thing for rodents.
If you were writing this scene what would you incorporate? Or not?
I want to thank everyone for stopping by my place on the hop. It was a lot of fun and now it’s time to choose a winner who will recieve a copy of my debut novel, Reclaimed Surrender. And the winner is…
This is my second BDSM post for the Playroom’s awesome hop! For the first post(click here). There’s lots of great comments, but whether you leave one here or there – I’ve got you covered to be entered into the giveaway. No worries.
BDSM BONDAGE ON A BUDGET…
Wow, say that fast three times. I got to thinking about this because I’ve been plotting a historical BDSM romance (think Marquis de Sade meets Jane Eyre) and well… All that came to mind in the toy department was rusty chains and unsanitary other things. Metal chastity belts? Blerg. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one. Wait, maybe I would. One wrong slip whilst walking by the moat and plunk, I’d sink to the bottom before I could shout, “Dear husband! The key. I need the…” Glug, glug, glug.
Anyway, one thing led to another and suddenly I was thinking about our stuff today. We’ve got lots of schmancy stuff. Metal and glass dildos. Vibrators that talk and not only come in various sizes, but different widths and colors. Actually, in my second BDSM novel Reluctant Surrender, my hero explains the pitfalls of breaking with traditional items. When he asks his heroine what color belt she’d like to be spanked with, her choices are brown, black and pink, and she picks the pink one. He takes it off the hook and snaps it before he patiently explains that the pink belt was a special order item and in future she should remember. If they are going to go through the trouble of special ordering an item, they’re going to want to get something for their money. Translation? The pink belt is thicker and heavier than the other two. *heheheh* Sneaky bastard.
Welp, we can’t all be fortunate enough to special order expensive items so I went on a search. Here’s my pick for best bondage on a budget item. A surf leash. Sure, scarves, ties, ropes, and pantyhose work, but for some high-quality cuffs, one needs to go no further than their local Surf Shop. Inexpensive and they make for great restraints. Think about it. One end is already made to attach to the board, so these are easy to install. The board is substituted for a piece of stabilized furniture. Bed post? Awesome. Door knob? Heck, yeah. Your honey’s belt loop? Why not? Just keep in that clever and dirty mind of yours that these are made with tumbling and thrashing in mind, so you can be as rough as you and your sweetie want to be. Just sayin’.
Ooh, and I came across this really cool…Well, never mind. I’ll save that for another BDSM blog hop post.
All right, here’s an excerpt of my debut novel, Reclaimed Surrender, released Feb 9th 2012. In this snippet my hero Rene has instructed his wife (who he is trying to get back on the BDSM track with) to text him from work and tell him in 150 words or less something sexual about the beginning of their relationship. He tells her he wants it real, held to the word count and to have been something that deeply resonated with her regarding their kind of kink. This is the very first thing she thinks back on to text to him…
This is My hero, Rene
Taking another sip, she sighed and rolled her shoulders. As the tension began to ease, she closed her eyes and relaxed just as Rene had instructed.
She concentrated on him and thought about his other instructions. Warmed by the sunshine, she leaned back, sinking deeper into the couch and mulled over what she could text to him about the beginning of their relationship.
The first thing that came to her was the movie theater. She tried to envision that night. To recall the power of it. So innocent now that she was able to view it through the distance of their rawer experiences together. Even still, when the images began to surface she thrilled with the brief but poignant chills that zipped through her.
They’d sat side by side in the theater that night. He’d let her pick the movie. In the beginning, Rene was careful to let things evolve at her pace and this was right at their very beginning, only their fifth date. It was a time when she did nothing but think about him every minute of the day. Watch her phone and wait for him to call and later lie in bed alone and imagine him touching her. Even now she could practically smell his cologne. That unique blend that he’d let her pick out for him on their third date, which turned out to be the exclusive scent he wore during their intimate sessions. At the time, she hadn’t known how solidly she’d connect with it or how much it would come to mean to her. How she’d crave it. Thinking about it now made her restless.
With a deep breath she focused on the two of them in the movie theater that night.
“Are you comfortable, Alexis?” he’d asked in that authoritative tone of his. The one that made her insides melt and her heart race under her rib cage.
“Yes.” She remembered she’d leaned toward him, until her shoulder was pressed against his biceps. “Are you?”
He never answered. He just pushed his elbow out at an angle, wordlessly directing her to slide her arm around his. When she had he’d readjusted until she was captured and happy. Not wanting that moment to end because she was sure that it didn’t get better than that, but Rene blew that position out the water a few minutes later when he’d dropped his big hand to her knee and squeezed her as if he knew all her secrets. The very idea had sent blazing shots of electric tingles up her thigh, through her skin and penetrated muscles deep into her core. That was the first time she’d felt anything in that part of her body without actual physical stimulation being applied and the realization had made her jerk. She probably would have made some excuse for the sudden movement if Rene hadn’t reacted.
That was the first time he’d put his hand under her chin. The first time he’d drawn her gaze up to meet his. The first time he’d looked into her eyes and whispered a command that made her lightheaded and breathless. “Open your legs for me.”
**Just click on the beautiful gal to get to all the other sites for chances to win prizes***
You might be into BDSM. If this gets your blood pumping…
If you’ve thought about doing this for your man…
And, what better way to figure that out than to read about it. This Blog Hop is the perfect place to start. There’s prizes and give aways. So don’t forget to check all the other siteshosting this deliciously dirty event. For mine? All you have to do is leave me a comment and at the end of the Hop I’ll be picking one commentor to win a copy of my debut novel Reclaimed Surrender. It’s that easy and best part? It doesn’t matter what part of the world you hail from. But first, I want to share my thoughts about one aspect of BDSM that really gets me thinking.
A LITTLE BDSM BONDAGE IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL
‘It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.’ Marquis de Sade
I believe this to be true, but I don’t believe the main attraction is the pain or bondage. Those things are the catalyst that will propel the individual to their ultimate pleasure which I’d define as knowing someone has complete control over you, deciding what you’ll do, hear, touch, taste, smell and feel. It’s this kind of catharsis that brings the coveted euphoria.
Meh, don’t worry. I’m not going to go all Freud on the topic, I just think it’s interesting that some people literally have to be tied up to be truly free. Anyway, *shakes self* where was I? Oh yeah…
I want to talk about bondage as it’s a simple and tangible action that draws out a very emotional or intrinsic response. By being restrained, held captive and corralled an individual’s choice and reason is removed from the equation. Intellect is powerless to war against long repressed desires. Quite simply, the individual is free from the *self* that has held them back.
This aspect of BDSM is what I love to explore with my characters. Bondage that actually opens the mental prison cell of an individual, freeing this person, which ironically leads them to the most poignant sexual epiphany they’ll ever experience if it’s done right. It’s the how to do it right that I focus on because there is a lot that can go wrong if you’re not paying attention. Communication is the key. Honest communication no matter how embarrassing.
This is why I say bondage is good for the soul. It allows you to bare that soul to your captor/dominant/lover and when that trusted person embraces this most precious part of you there’s no feeling more empowering in the world.
What are your thoughts on bondage? Why would someone want to be tied? Or why does someone want to tie up another person? Have you done it? If so did you like it? If not, why not? I’ll spill in comments if you do. >:)
Here is an excerpt from my soon-to-be-released book, Reluctant Surrender. My hero Ethan has talked my heroine, Colin, into doing BDSM tapas. (small bites of various scenes of power exchange) In this one they’re playing Abductor/abductee.
He came directly to the table, dropping what she thought were metal keys on it. She feared the klunk had deafened her until she heard him ask, “Are you going to come out so I can have a look at you?” He collapsed to his haunches, elbows resting on his knees. “Or do I have to reach under there and pull you out?”
His hair was different, messy, and he’d changed his top. Gone was the pristine white dress shirt of a few minutes ago and in its place was a black, totally-molded-to-him T. He looked the part of a super-sexy bouncer, which wasn’t so intimidating. Why, if he weren’t scowling, she’d be creaming her jeans right now.
“Come on, we don’t have all night. The buyers will be here in less than two hours and I need to see what I’ve got to sell them.”
She was crawling toward him when his words made her pause. “Buyers?”
He lunged for her but she skittered away, going for a side exit. “I’m not for sale.”
“I think you are.”
Getting out from under the table she shot up and spun around. He was standing now too and damn him, he looked much taller but she wasn’t going to be intimidated. “I’ve got money. I can pay you better than whatever those buyers will.”
“Oh, yeah, I know how much Little Ms. Rich Bitch has in the bank. It’s not your money I want.”
Hmm. Her shoulders slumped as she held back a sigh. She was kind of disappointed they’d arrived here so fast. “So, you’ll let me go if I sleep with you?”
“Sleep with you? What I’m going to do to you doesn’t involve any sleeping and no I’m not going to let you go.”
“No?” This was a surprise twist.
“No. As of right now I own you. Every square inch of you is mine to use, abuse and sell. It’s up to you which one of those three things you don’t want to happen to you tonight. Because after everything your family has put me through, I can assure you, two of those three things I’ve definitely made time in the schedule for.”
She swallowed and her chin came up. “Which two?”
His voice went silky. “Guess.”
The room all of a sudden felt small and the tiny bed looked big and the pillar with those hooks—she tried to contain her mounting panic—scared the ever-loving crap out of her. “You’re just trying to frighten me. What could you possibly hope to gain other than money or sex from me?”
The relief she experienced when he smiled was short-lived as he said, “There it is. That snobby attitude that apparently runs through your family. Do you really think you can equate your screwed-up values with what you perceive my needs to be?” He sat down on the table and crossed his arms over his chest. “If I were you I’d start worrying because I can get laid anytime I want to and as far as money is concerned? I have enough to keep me comfortable for two consecutive lifetimes.”
“Revenge? It’s revenge isn’t it?” Knowing she couldn’t barter or beg her way out of this left one option open to her. She needed to cut and run. This might be a possibility if she could keep him talking long enough to plan a route to the door.
“Revenge is the small scale, I should think.”
She counted the strides she’d need to make, half-listening. “Really?”
“Yes, because if I only wanted revenge I would have tanked your family’s company and bankrupted them.”
Those words got her attention. “Wait, if you have the power to do all that, why are we here?”
“Because that would have been too easy on them.”
Too easy? “And what do you determine as being more difficult?”
“Their precious, spoiled princess, humbled. Either by me or some other man, until she forgets them and cares about nothing else in life. Sees nothing else but her Master while she presents to him naked on her knees every day from this day forward.”
“Master, huh? I get it.” Now she was covertly mapping out her escape route. “You have a God complex.”
“And you have a death wish.”
Her eyes flickered toward that solitary exit. She bit her lip, gauging what she needed to do to get there.
“Go ahead,” he whispered.
His quiet tone unnerved her. “What?”
“Let’s see if you can make it to the door.”
He was staring at her in such a way that she thought it best not to respond.
“Go on. If you do make it you’re free to go. I swear.”
He swore all right, he also dropped his arms as if he were preparing to launch himself off the table to go after her at a moment’s notice.
“And if I don’t make it?” she had to ask.
“Let’s just say you’ll never forget what I do to you tonight.”
At least the way I see it. Please note I am an author not a therapist. Life coach? Occasionally, but no psychiatrist. That said, I’ve found myself drawn into some interesting conversations with women since publishing Reclaimed Surrender, so I’d thought I’d share one of the prevalent themes from those conversations.
Here I am speaking on the topic with a friend of mine who admited she wants to sprinkle a little spice in her married life.
BDSM hopeful, “Is it possible?”
Me, “Hell yeah.”
“But I’m worried if I bring up the subject with my husband he’ll think I’m dirty.”
“And that’s a bad thing?”
“Well, no. Yes. I don’t know.”
“That’s why I’d recommend you discuss your needs with your man.”
“But it’s embarrassing.”
“Hmm… So you’d rather remain comfortable and unfilled, than brave one tough talk and have years of sexual bliss. That’s just plain crazy.”
“I keep thinking about the things I want him to do to me. If I tell him about these things, he’ll think I’m crazy.”
Me pondering for no more than a millisecond. “Nope. I’d put money on he’ll thank you.”
“Yeah. You want to know how I know this?”
BDSM hopeful vigorously nods.
Time to impart the pearls of wisdom. “Most men are clueless. More’s to the point? They’re just as horny if not hornier than most women. So by my calculations, you have a better than 80% shot of getting the sexual deviant of your dreams if you’re willing to share your secret desires with him.”
“I’m not sure I can. They’re so…so not proper. He’ll think I’m a slut.”
Time to break feminine ranks here and pull reality out of the proverbial petticoat. “He wants you to be a slut. Better yet, he wants you to be his slut. Now, if you like the sound of that you best start talking to him.”
“Do you think it’s wrong if a woman wants to be treated like a slut by her husband?”
“I could say here that it doesn’t matter what I think, because it doesn’t, but I’ll answer you so we’re clear on this. My philosophy on this is twofold. If you want it, make it happen. Change and growth are always good things in marriage. With that said, I also believe there is nothing – I repeat — nothing wrong with treating a person the way they want to be treated.”
“What do you mean by that?”
I stare right at her. “If you want to be spanked, tied-up, humiliated, poked, prodded or examined by your husband and your husband’s up for the challenge? It’s nobody’s business but your own.”
Geez. After having a discussion about how she could break the ice with her guy I was left scratching my head. Did we or did we not, (women I mean) have a sexual revolution? I got the memo. Anyone else?
Question is, would you rather not communicate your desires and save yourself the perceived embarrassment or take the bite out of the big kink sandwich and be sexually satisfied for the rest of your life?
Copyright 2013 by Riley Murphy. All rights reserved.