As always let me start by saying I have posted a new chapter to Shame’s Desire. And let me add that I have written several more that I hope to post over the next few weeks… I thought I was getting near the end of the story, but I keep having to add chapters as things don’t move as quickly as I thought they would. Originally I thought this story would be about 20 chapters, and now it is looking to be at least 27. So I keep writing and get no closer to the end… But if all goes to plan I will have it finished by the end of the summer and I will start posting on Sound of Submission which is currently being written too!
This week I thought I would talk a bit more about the process of writing fiction. There doesn’t seem to be any single “right” way of doing this. Each author has their own process and the only thing that matters is that it gets results for them. So really I can only speak of my own process because it is the one I know best. I find that when I am working on any story I have four stages of development.
There is of course the inspiration for the story. This is when that little plot bunny usually jumps up out of nowhere and screams “write me write me”. On a good day I have about three to ten plot bunnies. Which I quickly murder like 90% of them. You all have seen the ones that survive, can you imagion how bad the ones that don’t are? You don’t want to read the where Hermione is stuck in the world of Minecraft. Anyway. Getting the ideas is always the most simple of the stages.
The next stage in the process I call outlining. This is when I grow the idea from a simple spark like, a Dark Harry shows Hermione her place as his submissive, into a full story. This is where I ask questions like; why is Harry Dark, or why is Hermione his focus? I start to outline the main plot points I want to include. For some stories I make detailed maps for where they will lead, while for others only get bullet points to hit as I am going along. And there are also those that get this step skipped as they seem to have no idea where they are going until they get there. Examples of each of these are easy. Smell of Submission has a very detailed plot web with spreadsheets and seating charts. Face of Death actually is mainly bullet points that I want to hit on each chapter. And my recent story His Blood sort of just went where it wanted to go.
After a put thought into a story it is time to start writing. The writing stage for me is hard to describe. And at times the story doesn’t go where I mentioned planned because in the passion of a scene my characters don’t do what I had planned for them. There are times when I an utterly surprised with the path my characters choose and I find I am following where they lead.
Many have complained about the fact that in my story Blind Nymph Ginny had sex with Blaise when it was obvious that Draco cared for her and that she cared for him. They I have many reviews and comments saying out she was being spiteful or silly or just mean. But when I was writing the scenes leading up to that choice it was my character with her frustration, and fear, and own anxiety that decided a man like Blaise was the safer choice BECAUSE she didn’t care about him the same way she cared about Draco.
There is a scene in Face of War where Lord Voldemort drives the dark mark into Ginny’s hip with such force that it marks her very bone. That dramatic event was not what I ever had in mind when I started writing the scene. Originally there was going to be pain for Ginny, a punishment of some kind, but then Tom just broke and he needed to not only punish her, but mark her as his so that she could never say otherwise.
It us a rush for me when things like that happen. I tend to be very connected to my characters and I swear there is adrenaline pumping when there are high energy scenes like that. When I get so focused in on what the characters are doing and feeling that the rest of the world just drops away and I am surrounding by a world of my own making. For better or worse that feeling is the reason I write.
Don’t get me wrong, I love your comments and reviews and responses very much. And each one brings a smile to my face to know that someone else is enjoying what I put out into the world. But if responses were my only reason for writing, I would probably have stopped a long while ago. My stories aren’t really popular enough to merit me writing for simple ego’s sake.
Okay so I went a little off on a tangent there…
After I get all the emotion and plot and 😉 smut on the page the editing starts. First I’ll reread the chapter myself to find any obvious errors or mistypes. Then I send it to a wonderful woman named Eclectic Pet who reads them over and makes more edits. When she sends it back I read over it again to look at her edits and see if I like everything. Depending on how many non minor edits she makes we may do this process several times before I mark a chapter as Ready to Post.
Now I want to take another moment of this post to mention Eclectic Pet again. I would say she is my number one fan. The reason she edits my work is because she loves to read it, and she offered several years ago to be my beta. The only payment she gets for her work is she gets to read chapters before everyone else. She already knows how Sound of Submission starts, and how the rewrite of Quidditch Lessons is going. But really that isn’t much of a payment. She is a vital part of my process and even though she has her own job, life, and writing to work on, she takes time to edit mine. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am grateful for her, and this is the only due I can really give her for everything she does to make my stories better.
Thank you Eclectic Pet.