Sometimes The Story Practically Writes Itself
Maybe this isn’t true for all authors, but I find that each of my stories has a story of its own, and they’re all different. Of course, the stories we write are all different, but they’re different in more ways than that. Certainly some of the things we write are better than others, but authors are rarely the best judge of the quality of their own works. That isn’t really what I mean, anyway. Some stories are more popular and sell better than others, it’s true, but almost no one can ever figure out all the factors that go into that. That’s not what I mean either.
I’m talking about the actual process of creating the work. Some stories are easy to write and some aren’t. Some of them I sort of zip through, and some of them I agonize over.
Most stories start when a couple of the thoughts, feelings, trivial facts, and odd conceptions floating around in an author’s head meet, rub against each other, and start giving off sparks. A few of them begin to coalesce into a situation that has story potential.
I like to open a story at a point where the main character has either just discovered she has a problem or when that problem has reached a crisis point. Frequently my protagonist has to make a life-changing decision, take a big risk, or do something questionable to solve a problem.
When I begin writing, I generally know what that opening scene will be, and what the major problem or crisis faces the main character is. I usually have an idea of the setting, the other main characters, and how I want the whole thing to resolve. What I don’t always know is all the stuff that happens between beginning and end.
That can be a major issue when I hit a roadblock or reach a point where I just don’t know what to do next. Generally in those cases I take a walk, go to the gym, brainstorm, let it sit a while. Sometimes one or more of those will work, but often I just have to press on with little idea of what comes next, or retire from the story temporarily and work on something else.
But every now and again I get a gift—a story that just flows from one scene to the next, laying out a plot that moves in the classic rising action, climax, aftermath, rising action, etc. routine.
My upcoming release from Ellora’s Cave, SECRET SANTA SIR, is one of those stories. The idea occurred to me just after last Christmas when my daughter was talking about their office Secret Santa gift exchange and how some gifts had been deemed inappropriate. That proverbial little light bulb went off in my head. Suppose a young woman with secret, kinky yearnings gets a surprise gift from an unexpected Secret Santa—an offer to help her explore those kinky desires in a reasonably safe way? Would she go for it? And where might it lead?
I knew I had twelve days to take my heroine from a dubious and frustrated to accepting and on the way to being in love with the man behind the Secret Santa identity. When I began to write, it just seemed to pour out onto the screen. I always seemed to know what the next scene would bring, when the major events would happen and how it would move from one scene to another until it got the end. It’s a short novel and I wrote the entire thing in just a couple of months.
It doesn’t happen that way for me very often, but I’m thrilled when it does.
Blurb for Secret Santa Sir (Available November 23rd): When Maggie Marino gets a note from a very unofficial Secret Santa during the office’s holiday gift exchange, she’s surprised to be tempted by it. This Secret Santa offers to help fulfill her wilder sexual fantasies, those fantasies she’s never admitted to anyone else. Normally the very professional, uptight Maggie wouldn’t consider doing anything so risky. But she’s at a crossroads in her life. She wants a husband and family, but she also has kinky sexual fantasies and none of the nice guys she’s dated so far have moved her. She agrees to her Secret Santa’s proposal, and her first few anonymous encounters with him are a revelation, showing her levels of sensuality she’s never experienced before. But when she meets the man behind the gifts and the glorious kisses, her life gets seriously complicated. As she begins to fall in love with him, she’s faced with having to make a decision between her longing for husband and family, and continuing a relationship that fulfills her in ways she never believed possible.
About Katherine Kingston:
Katherine Kingston has written somewhere around two dozen erotic novels, novellas, and short stories. Most of her novels and novellas are currently published by Ellora’s Cave, but she has one novella with Whispers Publishing, and has had stories in a number of print publications. Her stories cover a range of genres from historical to paranormal to science fiction and contemporary. Most of them include hot, kinky sex, particularly BDSM. Learn more about Katherine and her books at her website: http://www.katherinekingston.com .