Monday, March 28, 2011

Core Stories

I am an author of erotic romances and I tend to incorporate elements of the Dominant/submissive lifestyle into my stories. The choice isn't one based on popular trends, marketing, or monetary goals. It's organic to my characters and how they live.

I also spiral around a story. You know those cool shots in movies -- the kind that almost make you dizzy -- where the image is far away and the camera slowly zooms in as it circles around the person or spot. From all those angles and distances you can get a pretty good idea of where the person is standing, what direction they're headed for, and, if the shot is meant to foreshadow coming events, what obstacles the character is bound to face. That's how I work through problems. How I get to a story or an idea. I spiral in -- sometimes I spiral out -- but this often results in lots and lots of talking AROUND the problem instead of addressing it head on.

With that in mind I was discussing some issues I've run into with my writing with a friend of mine the other night. The subject of core stories came up. And when I say core I'm not talking the plot or genre, I'm talking about the type of story that is at the center of an author's work. Some examples -- and please keep in mind, I'm not touting myself as any expert of specific writing genres, this is merely my observation and opinion: If you look at the works of Shakespeare -- his tragedies are often about secrets and revenge; his comedies about mistaken or hidden identities and secret plans. Which means, at the core, his plays were focused around secrets. JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood primary focus (in my mind) is family and keeping it alive. Many of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories and poems were focused on death but deeper down you could say (again, my opinion) that he related in his stories the impact of death and grieving upon those around the victim and his/her killer (a lot of the stories I've read by him dealt with murders).

Keeping this in mind, I examined my own writing. At the core  I write about relationships. It doesn't matter if the characters indulge in the D/s lifestyle or not, their behaviors towards one another will tend to take on that mannerism based on who and what they are at their essence. I also discovered and accepted (and that was the hardest part -- the accepting) that I will always write erotic (unless I'm writing Young Adult) since the sex is a key communication device between my characters. By doing this, I've empowered myself to write what I want the way I want without feeling like I have to chase some elusive "style" or "subgenre" to gain an audience. If I stick with my core story and put on the page the story my characters tell me, I'm being true to the writer I am. And that's the most important thing, at least in my eyes.


  1. Hi Qwilia! I stumbled upon your blog through your comment on a friend's and I am very happy to "meet" you! It doesn't matter what genre we write; if we are going to find our "voices," as writers, it is essential that we be true to the writer we are. Very well said. I learned this lesson very powerfully during a critique workshop on Saturday; if you have a moment to visit my blog, you can read about it on yesterday's post. I look forward to learning more about you and keeping up with your progress here. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks Pam. I like what you had to say on your blog about telling the story you want to tell. That becomes the biggest hurdle for me, and I've had discussions and disagreements with people about what they think is the right direction for a story and what I think is the right direction. Sometimes I'm right and sometimes they are, but it all circles back to the story.