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  1. sallynortheast

    sallynortheast Member

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    New Writer Growing Pains

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by sallynortheast, Jan 10, 2019.

    If I'm posting this in the wrong place please tell me, just wanted to know if other writers had these issues when starting out.

    My first idea when starting out, as with many people was when I woke up thinking that's it!

    It is a story about a strong female lead who I gave my first name to so I could put myself in her shoes. Based upon a fantasy of my own I thought she would fit into the erotica genre, yes I imagined some nice juicy bits. I created a timeline for her - final school days. Then a very upsetting event in her late teens which I wrote out in great detail, shocking myself at times what my mind was capable of coming up with, but it helped me understand better a character that was not destroyed by it but survived and derived strength from the experience. Then I realised it would not be PC to include in the book.(WAKE UP EVERY ONE I will get to the point in a minute, honest). I went through the next few years of her life, she marries a con man into the very dark porn film business who unbeknown to her sees her as a target. I drafted out how her life would gradually get more risky as the dark forces moved in - then realised this is not erotica I'm writing it's horror. (STILL WITH ME?). I looked back on what I had written as novel and thought this bounces around in several genres - I found fun in writing it but realised I would turn off many readers with its lack of genre consistency.

    I then thought what if I write a just short story about her future life after she has overcome all these problems - has gained strength from her experiences - and wants to tackle the type of bad people behind the dark businesses. So rattled I away at the keyboard, letting my now detailed knowledge of my character , her strengths and her weaknesses roam free. Instead of 3,000 words of a short story I have going on 6,000 words that will probably end up a Novella as I'm having so much fun with her in situation that will not fit into a short story.

    My character is now morphing and feeling more like a cross between the Bride/Beatrix in Kill Bill and a female James Bond. Do I keep the naughty bits and go for Erotica, Do I add some gory stuff and call it horror or do I go for adventure with toned down naughty bit and a bit of blood?

    The above is not really a question, just trying to understand if I'm doing something wrong.

    I think is growing pains and identifying with my character too much.

    Phew, that's all folks! Just wanted to get that all down if it makes sense
     
  2. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    It sounds like you know your character more psychologically than you do the story you want to tell. That's what you have to decide...what's the story and what are you trying to say with theme? Once you know that you can decide on genere.

    The psychological stuff is good because it is backstory. Now, do you want to tell a journey story (with her overcoming obstacles, which is what I think you want to do if I read between the lines), an action/adventure where the psychological stuff helps her solve some sort of problem, or do you like the "juicy bits" and want to do erotica but you found yourself so interested in her background that it became a fork in the road?

    When you pick a genere make sure you know the genere and have read quite a few books in that genere.

    Start with what are you trying to say (theme).

    Also, every good story has an equally strong protagonist. Do you know your protagonist yet?
    You should know his/her backstory as well as you seem to know your MC's backstory, which you seem to know well at this point.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  3. sallynortheast

    sallynortheast Member

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    Thanks for the points raised they are very welcome.
    You make a good point about the psychology side, I do understand what makes her tic. You also make an interesting point about What do I want to say with my theme. At the moment I have a character on a roller coaster of ups and downs with no real message, it is a journey story.

    Some of my current thoughts are to focus on shorter works that put her into her 'today' life, see if readers like them, if they do I can offer the story of how she got there at a later date. The shorter works may get me more experience or even noticed.

    Yes I agree more reading is needed
     
  4. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    You know what I see? You don't want to go there with whatever trauma she suffered. You know it, but don't want to talk about it. Find out why as you write a journey story (short or novel length). Remember, a short story can actually be harder to write than a novel.
     
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  5. LoaDyron

    LoaDyron Senior Member

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    Hello, friend.:superhello:

    EBohio gave you good advice so you can start to rethink about your story. However, I will suggest some stuff as well. Keep in mind this is just personal, and you may change according to what do you like. Try to rewrite on erotica and horror, but first have an idea what each requires to have as a theme. If horror is a way to go, I will suggest more psychological than gory. Blood will always be present, but what the character is feeling. What she will react after the shock of a possible death? That's what will define her. What will make her in terror. Focus on why are certain events happening? Why the murder is doing what he does?

    I hope this helps. Keep on good work and have fun. :superagree:
     
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  6. sallynortheast

    sallynortheast Member

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    Actually I embraced the trauma part of it (and probably learnt something about myself in the process) The journey is fascinating to me, I have been on it alongside my character, but it does not feel grabbing enough or sexy enough or adventurous enough for it to hold a reader. For example if it was written by a major horror author, the reader would follow the story patiently knowing his/her interest would be sated eventually . For a new writer why would they pick up the book or if they did would they give up after the first few chapters?

    I'm sure I read a book on writing recently and it mentioned 'The Demon of Doubt' the damn demon is sitting on my shoulder right now.
     
  7. sallynortheast

    sallynortheast Member

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    Thanks for those words of wisdom, much appreciated. :)
     
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  8. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Probably you mean antagonist rather than protagonist, but even so... there are lots of books without human antagonists. There is generally an antagonistic force, but this can be the protagonist's own self-doubt, the emotional scars of the past, etc. No need for these elements to be "his" or "her", and no need for them to have backstories separate from the protagonist.

    OP - it's certainly not unheard of for stories to blend erotica and horror, so possibly you don't really need to make a firm choice on this. Have you hunted around to find books that might be similar to yours, at least in broad strokes, in order to figure out whether you can fit into the same niche? You could start with a list like https://www.goodreads.com/genres/erotic-horror and see where it takes you...
     
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  9. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    I have an exercise for you.

    Pretend the MC is your sister and you and I were at a cocktail party and her name came up. In just 3 sentences answer this question that I ask:

    "Your sister sounds interesting, tell me about her?" (In only 3 sentences)
     
  10. sallynortheast

    sallynortheast Member

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    What only three sentences? part of my current problem is I'm so full of ideas :)

    I really looked up to her at school, she was quite a character, when she entered a room you could feel the magnetism, all the boys fell over themselves to talk to her, the girls hated her.

    Not everything has been good for her, when she was 19 she was walking to get the bus home after a nights clubbing and was set upon by three lads, the police disturbed them and found her close to death, I cried so much when I went to see her in hospital and saw the condition they had left her in.

    She made an amazing recovery, she seems to identify with a Damsel In Distress fantasy she created when she was younger, the police were her dashing heroes coming to the rescue, I'm concerned she does not see the risks in some of things she does, there may be no dashing hero or knight in shining armour around to save her next time.
     
  11. sallynortheast

    sallynortheast Member

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    Thank you for the advice and the link I will check it out.
     
  12. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    @BayView is right, I did mean *antagonist.

    Anyhow, for the exercise get into the scene I set. We are at a party, don't get too deep yet.

    Change this to fit your character:

    My sister is 30 years old and lives in New York City. Yesterday she told me she was going to London to write a feature story on this missing heiress case for the magazine she works for and I am worried about her. Knowing her, she might get mixed up in helping the police try to solve the case.
     
  13. sallynortheast

    sallynortheast Member

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    I think I have interpreted what you want, if not it's good keyboard practice :)


    You know she can never maintain a stable relationship, she is always charging off to chase some story or other, what relationships she does have tend to be with the wrong type of men

    I'm sure she has a Lara croft fixation, it does not help that Daddy sent her for Tae Kwon Do lessons from the age of 6, she feels she is indestructible, did not help her though when she was assaulted.

    She has a strong sense of right and wrong, tends to push her way in forcing her view on people, not necessarily listening to what they have to say
     
  14. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    It's okay, it is all getting you to think. But you asked if anyone would pickup your book. You are telling me things we will learn as the novel progresses. I'm just trying to get at what the story will be. If we are at a party, you wouldn't be telling me these things (all though there are some people who might).

    We are at a party...you have a sister you are worried about...

    "So, you say your sister is mixed up with some guy you don't like?"

    Now in just 3 sentences, tell me more but natural, like at a party. You don't know me well enough to be telling me yet she was assaulted when she was 19.
     
  15. sallynortheast

    sallynortheast Member

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    You have the patience of a saint - thank you

    -Yeah, you you know the sort, eyes undresses you when you walk in a room, creepy as well, loved showing off his latest phone, going on about the great camera, starts snapping my photo, asking me to flash my underwear.

    -She brought him to a mutual friends birthday party last week, I asked about his family and he said he was an orphan, brought up by the state from a baby, later that night when he had a few I overheard him telling someone how much of a B***!!! his father had been.

    -Not a clue what he does for a living, he seems to sidestep the question every time I ask him.

    Oh yes, thank you I will another large Bombay Sapphire with ice and a slice please ;-) Great party this!
     
  16. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    You're telling me backstory again. Let's stay at the party...

    "So, you say your sister is mixed up with some guy you don't like and he's flying her to his private island this weekend?"

    (make changes to fit your story, don't let me write it)
     
  17. sallynortheast

    sallynortheast Member

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    I didn't think my last three were back story.

    At the moment this creepy guy is sounding like he escaped from 50 Shades of Dulux grey emulsion ;-)

    -Yes she's off with him again, claims he has some contact who can help her with her research on this missing heiress story.

    -It does not make sense I thought the heiress went missing in London.

    Where's that G&T you promised?
     
  18. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    Here, a G &T on me. Now let's get to your story. The missing heiress was my idea. I'm trying to get you to tell us what your story is about and why I would want to read your book. Setting, plot, characters, etc. I'm asking questions but answer based on YOUR story.

    "So, your sister is mixed up with some guy guy you don't like and he is flying her to an island this weekend? Didn't I read about that island in the newspaper last week...something about body parts washing ashore? Why would she want to go there?"
     
  19. LoaDyron

    LoaDyron Senior Member

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    Glad I could help. :supersmile:
     
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  20. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    Okay, I hope the exercises did help but I see where I am going wrong. I re-read your original post and you have already written 6,000 words. There must be a setting or plot there? Can you sum up what the story is about in 3 sentences?

    Or--

    Do you feel you can share the first 3 sentences of what you already wrote? It's okay if you don't want to.
     
  21. sallynortheast

    sallynortheast Member

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    Thank you "Slurrp."

    OK, rewind .........................

    Let's take MY STORY and not go back to the party as her sister she would not tell me this and at a party I certainly would not tell a casual acquaintance.

    Make of this what you will. This is her life story -I do have it mapped out and written in great detail about 50k words so far.

    Young teens, she finds brothers porn magazines hidden in his room, finds erotic stories in them, loves them, they portray a different side of sex to the sex education manuals her parents leave around for her to find and the schoolgirl sex talk. She also finds what she terms damsel in distress stories where the heroine is kidnapped, restrained and subjected to torture by the kidnapper. The heroine is rescued by the dashing hero in the nick of time - just like the 50' B movies. (That bit is actually a true story ;-) )

    She totally fixates on the male always dominating the female scenario. This is proved when a trusted adult does something unmentionable to her. She accepts it as normal.

    In her late teens she has the event. He martial arts training lets her down apart from her seriously injuring one of her assailants who will forever hold a grudge (for future story arc). Though she has the chance, she does not identify her assailants all but one who is convicted by DNA. The others go free.

    She comes to terms with it by believing that her assailants gave her the first true damsel in distress experience. It's reinforced beliefs created when she was young. She fantasies all the time about restraint (nothing like 50shades).

    She meets a guy with similar kinks and they start meeting up with other guys who want to .... while she is restrained.

    He is not what he seems but a very nasty individual out to secretly film her in her home to show she is an everyday woman then make a rather nasty film where she ends up ...... He sets up more meetings to meet guys with heavier kinks which are also filmed by hidden friends, even the kinky guys she meets are set up by him, not people she thinks are replying to online swinger sites. Everything is going in a bad direction.
    She is not a weakling she is actually very tough both mentally a physically - I need to plan where she goes from hear, does she become like Kill Bill's Bride seeking revenge.

    I am writing from her POV, some backstory first then up to date as she merrily goes about her life, being given chances to experience her fantasy in safety by this guy who is gradually grooming her for the ultimate starring role. Now in some ways because it is her POV there is no suspense. There are some nice juicy restraint scenes, a lot, lot harder that 50 shades, this is no romance, which in realty 50 shades is.

    There is a flip side to this. I inject the suspense into alternate chapters where we see the other key characters but in third person POV. We can see what she is oblivious to and suddenly some of the actions , conversations and arguments she has in her POV suddenly make sense - the dark side slowly drawing her in.

    There you have it - synopsis writing practice perhaps - long long way to go.
     
  22. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    Okay, I would call that notes.

    I see that you want to go the erotica way. Does sound like 50 Shades.

    So my previous advice stands...read the genere, know the genere, then start writing your own.
     
  23. sallynortheast

    sallynortheast Member

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    ===============================================

    This is the first page, it sets the scene for who Sally is currently, Yes I know I gave her my first name but found I could identify with her better - was easier breath life into her. And to be honest I'm exploring my own fantasies here ... before you ask the Sally as detailed below is NOT me LOL.

    Copyright: Sally-Anne Thornton (2019). LOL I can wish. :)

    Chapter 1 - SALLY

    I’m Sally, I’m a Sex Addict, no thats not quite right, how about Sexaholic? Maybe I’m a Sex Maniac?

    Why do they always call men Sex Maniacs but not women?

    I don’t think either of those sound the right term for me. I guess I should go with old style Nymphomaniac. “Hello, I’m Sally, I’m a Nymphomaniac.”

    I’m sitting in front of our PC in the spare bedroom cum study, cum junk room, not cum nursery (sadly). I’m musing on Life, the Universe and? well, everything, but mainly me, and my very complicated sex life. I’ve just looked up ‘Sex Addict’ on Wikipedia:

    ————————————>
    Sex addiction: is characterised as a state of compulsive participation or engagement in sexual activity, particularly sexual intercourse, despite negative consequences.
    ————————————>

    ‘despite negative consequences? Tosh! Get a life people!

    Just noticed, there is a link to Sexaholics Anonymous in the USA.

    Is it similar in style to Alcoholics Anonymous? Perhaps I need to find one in the UK?

    I can imagine myself sitting in a circle of chairs, all the other participants facing me, including the co-ordinator are men. The co-ordinator looks me in the eye and announces,

    “Everyone, we have a new member here today,” He looks directly at me, “please, can you stand up and introduce yourself?”

    I stand, smoothing down my very short skirt that has risen up showing my stocking tops. I look nervously around, all eyes are on me. I take a deep breath and say,

    “Hello I’m Sally, I can’t stop thinking about having sex with complete strangers.”


    I can just imagine them all throwing away years of self-control, or even celibacy, standing in a queue outside the meeting room, waiting for me to come out.


    I take a sip of my large Gin & Tonic, which is very much needed after a busy day at work. Perhaps I need Alcoholics Anonymous too?
     
  24. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    Ok, I'm confused now. Did you mix up the page with you talking to us in this forum?

    Just paste the first paragraph of what you wrote so far so I can see something. Just the page, no comments or annotations from you.
     
  25. sallynortheast

    sallynortheast Member

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    No mix up, that is the first page of my book where I introduce my Main Character as she muses about her sexuality
     

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