And to make a good story, I needed Dan Whitney and the rest of my characters to get into all kinds of dysfunctional trouble so that you, the reader, will find yourself drawn into the story and unable to put it down. So I asked myself, “What kind of dysfunctional trouble could my characters get into?”
A number of sketchy behaviors came to mind.
Maybe I could create drama by having one of my characters have an affair?
Yawn! How common is that plot these days?
Okay then, how two of them having a secret affair with one of the other main characters, you ask.
Or what would happen if all four characters got into changing partners and swinging? Now we’re talking!
The possibilities for bad things happening goes up exponentially once those boundaries are crossed.
But did I stop there? Not a chance! The plot generator in my mind started going crazy at this point. What if my characters’ aberrant swinging crossed the line into bondage, dominance, submission, and masochism (BDSM)? Now we’ve jumped some serious boundaries and created all kinds of possibilities for things to go awry!
There was only one problem. I knew nothing about the world of BDSM and needed to find out fast.
So where does a writer find out about things like floggers, canes, spreader bars, and nipple clamps? Believe it or not, it didn’t take long to locate a book written specifically for authors who want to write about this sordid subject. But just as I was finishing this bit of light reading, I noticed a TV show about an erotic Trilogy that was selling millions of copies: E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey.
Okay. So now I’m feeling the urge to write about BDSM and I want to find out what sells millions of books. I figured I’d better download the Trilogy onto my iPad to find out what all the fuss was about. Once I started reading them, I also began to notice the amount of publicity James’ books and the topic of BDSM were getting all over TV and the internet. A local dominatrix was offering introductory classes in how to pleasure your partner with spanking, flogging, and other wonderfully painful delights. Online stores were selling out of the sex toys that were part of the Trilogy’s story line. BDSM appeared to be turning into the most recent fad!
At this point, you’re probably anticipating where I’m going with this. I needed Dan Whitney and the other characters in my book to get into lots of trouble. You’re also thinking that I’m going to have to make BDSM look like the work of the Devil, right?
But what about the proponents of BDSM who claim that it builds trust between spouses and stretches the boundaries of our sexual pleasure? What would happen if a couple of the characters in Walls actually liked BDSM?
Alright, now we have the makings of a good debate and a great story! We have both drama and sexual tension! Now we have something that will grab your attention and challenge your brain with some ethical and moral dilemmas!
Since I finished the first draft of Walls and shifted my focus to editing and building my marketing platform for the book, I’ve noticed a vigorous debate going back and forth in the Twitter universe. On one side of the debate stand those who embrace BDSM as a lifestyle choice that builds trust and mutual consent between partners, does not involve any kind of sadistic motives, and is entirely healthy. The author of Fifty Shades of Grey clearly takes the side of those who embrace BDSM, since her main characters settle into a lifestyle that includes both BDSM and more traditional “vanilla” sex.
On the other side of the fence, however, is a very vocal opposition who are tweeting the opposite - that BDSM is nothing more than a thinly veiled form of sexual abuse. The battle lines are clearly drawn, and both sides are making it an issue that is very black and white.
So what happens to my characters in Walls? On which side of the debate do my characters and I stand when all is said and done? Do I choose the black side or white side of the debate?
Of course, you know I can’t tell you now! You’re going to have to read Walls to find out.
Just suffice it to say that I think E.L. James’ choice of a title for her Trilogy - Fifty Shades of Grey - was a stroke of genius. Because as we all know, nothing in life is that black or white. In between, there are an infinite number of shades of grey, and an infinite number of opinions!
So what do YOU think! Is BDSM abuse or a healthy lifestyle choice? Does it involve mutual consent and trust, or is it physically and emotionally abusive and dangerous?
Express your opinion by clicking on the COMMENTS button at the top of the page.
Walls is now available for download at your favourite eBookseller!