Everything I need to know I learned writing spanking stories (Tuesdays With Ana, Part One)

Longtime readers of Governing Ana will remember that I am working toward some long-cherished but rather daunting career goals. After some false starts, challenges, and soul-searching I have found a new direction for my work. It’s not the place that I intended to be when I began this journey, but I hope that it will be an even more fulfilling path that better fits my needs and abilities. (No, this career path doesn’t come with an on-the-job disciplinarian. Stop fantasizing. You already got to do that with Minelle’s story. :P)

Despite the years of hard work necessary to get to this place, it was the past two weeks that meant the most difficult work of all. A year ago I was working 15 or 18 hour days, even staying at the office overnight to frantically produce research that I later realized had to be re-purposed.

Today, I’ve come to rest for a moment on (rather tiny) laurels. It’s been a heck of a few weeks and months getting to this point, but the sense of accomplishment is worth it.

Ironically (or perhaps it should not be ironic), the single most helpful force in the past few months has been my spanky writing. I’ve become better at my job, yes at my grown-up real job, by writing these stories that I can never share with my family or most of my real-life friends. I put together a few nuggets of spanky-writing wisdom I’ve acquired over the past few months, and I hope that you will enjoy them.

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Conflict makes things better.

When I first began writing the Kat and Natalie stories last summer (or began writing them again after ten years of letting them lie fallow), I focused solely on Kat’s internal journey. Conflict happened, sure, but it was the quiet, understated conflict of multiple irreconcilable wants and needs. Conflict meant internal indecision, not external action. In Kat and Natalie’s world, I was sure, external conflict would mean the end of the relationship.

When I was working on Daughter of Discipline (the sequel to The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus), I wanted Minelle to throw a book at Matthew’s head because she was angry. I shied away from the kind of punishment such misbehavior would necessitate–until a friend said that it would actually soften the scene to show that Minelle was comfortable enough in her relationship to display that kind of behavior. I re-wrote the scene to include the book-throwing, and my friend was right. The conflict brought out previously unspoken dynamics to their relationship.

Encouraged, I went back to Kat and Natalie. After months of pondering how to respond to criticism that Natalie was too heavy-handed and that some readers were disturbed that Kat blamed herself for everything in their relationship, I wrote a scene where Kat throws her anger at Natalie. Natalie responds in kind, and suddenly the story became real in a whole new way. That scene became the foundation for “Tomorrow”, (aka Kat 1.5) the short story that will be part of the anthology Coming to Terms on May 15th.

The scary conflicts in our real lives can actually become something productive and meaningful in opening new directions.

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Bad things happen. Life is unfair, yet it still manages to be beautiful.

The Way Home (Kat and Natalie, Volume One), is a story of how two best friends struggle to get past a terrible event in their lives. One of the most controversial rules that Natalie has for Kat is that Kat is not allowed to say that her discipline is unfair. Natalie never directly explains why she has imposed this rule (though she makes it very clear that she expects the rule to be followed!). Enough readers have objected to this rule, however, that I have found myself explaining Natalie’s reasoning again and again. Rarely do my answers satisfy.

The closest that I can come to is this: Bad things happen. Life is unfair, yet it still manages to be beautiful.

Within the DD world we have quite a lot of discussion whether punishments are unfair, whether the HoH is allowed to be unfair, and whether the entire underlying premise of DD is unfair.

I suggest the radical notion that life itself is unfair, and that pretending otherwise only does ourselves a disservice. The difficult things that happen in our life are not fair. The punishments imposed by one DD partner on the other can sometimes be unfair.

If we only dwell on the unfairness, we miss the beauty.

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We rarely know where we are going until we get there.

I hope it’s not too much of a spoiler if I tell you that, at the end of The Way Home, Kat and Natalie are still together. (Sorry. I’ll refund your admission price to today’s show.) Yet when I first began writing their stories again last summer, I had no intention that Kat would ever see or hear from Natalie again. (Long story. Read the book. :P) I wrote each chapter as if Natalie would never come back.

And then?

Three-quarters of the way into what would become The Way Home (the second half of the stories became re-written as Kat 2, tentatively titled Welcome Home), I realized that this was not a story about dealing with loss. It was a story of redemption, reconciliation, and love triumphing in spite of loss. (To spite loss, perhaps.)

The Way Home began as a story of a spanking. It became so much more…and I never could have dreamed that when I wrote my first page.

As I twist and turn through various false starts and find myself in places I had never anticipated, I find my own life journey mirroring that of my stories. Where I am now is not where I had intended to be, but it is wonderful in its own way.

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The myth of perfect resolution hurts our relationships.

I love being right. Who doesn’t? I love my spreadsheets and record-keeping and detailed, thorough worklists. When someone violates my boundaries or backs me into a corner, my aversion to conflict (see above) tends to not make things pretty.

The fantasy of DD, for most of us, is the fantasy of resolution. To say “I’m sorry” in order to receive punishment, forgiveness, and absolution is the most enduring appeal of the DD relationship. When the relationship doesn’t operate according to the rules of most DD stories, in real life we can become frustrated and angry. We press for resolution, we push for talking things over, and in trying to make our life fit this ideal expectation we end up alienating the ones who love us the most.

DD at its best, and spanking at its best, is an amazing tool for catharsis, reconnection, intimacy, and restoration. But it is only a tool. A spanking can not cure depression (even if it can reinforce behaviors that help to mitigate depression), nor can it change core values and experiences of people.

In The Way Home, Kat and Natalie get a lot of things wrong. Natalie spanks for everything and nothing, and Kat shuts down. What begins as innocent schoolgirl fun and mentoring eventually paralyzes Kat and Natalie into roles that no longer allow them to grow.

Yet the resolution, when it came, was easier than I had ever thought it could be. Because it wasn’t about forcing one person or the other to change or to say the correct DD formula that some proponents espouse. It was about Kat and Natalie letting go of the myth that DD could fix things. Letting go of the expectation that they could talk through things and come to an agreement. Letting go of the need for the other person to be what she wanted.

Letting go of the need for someone else to do or be something in order that we can become all right with ourselves.

Natalie is still bossy and controlling. Kat is still shy and unable to speak up when she needs to, but they find a way to be together without hitting each other. (Well, except for Natalie hitting Kat’s bottom…)

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Do you read spanking fiction? Do you write spanking fiction (published or unpublished)? Why or why not? How has doing so influenced your “real life”?

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Like what you read here today? Come back on Tuesdays in March for more discussion of how reading and writing spanking fiction can be helpful in real life.

Join us for discussion by leaving a comment, writing a response post of your own (be sure to send me your link so I can give you credit!), emailing me, or simply reflecting on your own!

All perspectives welcome, whether you are a reader, author, blogger, publisher, reviewer, or even a lurker.

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28 thoughts on “Everything I need to know I learned writing spanking stories (Tuesdays With Ana, Part One)

  1. Penelope says:

    I don’t know about spanking stories, Ana, but this piece is fascinating, inspiring and humbling in its own right. You have such insight into the human condition: such emotional intelligence and such a big heart. It’s fascinating to read about the thought processes that went into your writing; to read about how your stories evolved, grew, surprised you, with each new insight, each new perspective. It’s wonderful that this process has given you new avenues of understanding in your own life in return.

    I’m glad that real-life work is in a good place. You deserve all the success in the world.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Thank you, sweet Penny. And for you, your journey will change as you prepare for the new baby and all of the changes that will bring. You will learn and find insights as you struggle with the new responsibilities and demands. Ah…what a wonderful time. Even if you are nauseous and terrified.

      You deserve all of the success in the world too, dear. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

      • Penelope says:

        Definitely terrified. But I will do my absolute best to do it well.

        Thanks for the hug and the wise, caring words (as ever) and the big up – they are all very much appreciated.

        Like

  2. pao says:

    Part one? We have to wait til next week? Aww, Ana.

    I have neither lived nor done much, so there’s not much for me to say.

    Life is unfair, i agree. Sometimes when bad things happen it’s hard to get out of that rut…but really, it’s part perspective, acceptance and making the best of the journey.

    Thank you Ana for sharing your nuggets of wisdom.

    Like

  3. Sassy says:

    I love hearing how your mind work. You are such a talented, thoughtful, insightful person. I am so happy for you that through your writing you have come to a better understanding of yourself. I am still processing what you wrote and reflecting. Your words “Life is unfair, yet it still manages to be beautiful.” Held the most meaning for me so beautifully yet simply stated. Ana as always thank you so much for sharing your words have such power more than you realize.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Hehe, I’d think it’s scary to hear how my mind works! Life is absolutely unfair, but I think that as we grow we learn to accept the unfairness and focus on other things. Thank you for being open enough to listen and to be touched. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  4. Joseph McNamara says:

    Thank you Ana for an interesting look at the mind and idea process of the author in presenting Spanking Fiction. Look forward to “Tuesday’s With Ana” in March… p.s. If you invite Renee, you might tell her to leave the Paddle at the door…

    Like

  5. Joelle Casteel says:

    All I can say is, Wow! My mind wants to put together words to respond to this, Ana, but I’m at a loss. I do appreciate your thoughts on unfairness; I think we really do spend too much time on this. In my religious home, a sometimes unthinking commitment to “feminist ideals” has left me in my choice to live full BDSM feeling unwelcome, out of place. While I made the choice, it certainly doesn’t mean I agree always. It’s only been a few months since the fight between my Master and I that included me swearing at Him and ending the fight by yelling about the “___-forsaken h—hole of a conservative backward cesspool.” I’m glad to read about your indecision about Minelle throwing a book at Matthew- and how you decided to deal with it. I think that’s part of where I’ve been struggling with my poly spanking story; I’m struggling with a lack of D/s and making the TiH partner simply too perfectly submissive.
    ๐Ÿ˜€ How spanking has influence my real life… well I recently linked my Master to an article on a DD site about maintenance spanking, having already asked Him if He’d consider including the idea in our BDSM lifestyle. so I’ve gotten spanking two days in a row now lol, neither of them specifically declared as “maintenance,” but it certainly has us moving out of the rut we’ve been stuck in.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      If it’s any consolation, this post is something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while now. My blog gets so busy with all of the regularly scheduled posts that I don’t get to do these kinds of posts as often as I’d like–that’s why I’m going to try regularly scheduled Tuesday posts to see how it works.

      It’s a tough balance to make the relationship both realistic and interesting. We want to show respectful, positive relationships…but we also want to show the realism of the struggle. The truth is that few people feel perfectly submissive all of the time.

      Maintenance spankings are an entire issue of their own. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  6. katherinedeane says:

    I love the realism in your writing, Ana. All too often, I find myself longing for the impossible after reading some DD types of books. I have to separate myself , and remind myself that this is an escape for me. It is not real. But components of it, can be realized, once my husband and I open up to all of this.

    I love reading spanking stories. They have become such a big part of who I am. But I have to remember that my HOH is not always going to do things the way I read (and hope for). and I have to not resent him for that. Most of my musings come from scenes we have had, which I have tweaked to a more satisfying, bottom warming, ending.
    ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      It’s hard not to long for the impossible, isn’t it? It’s also hard not to long for people to do exactly what we want them to do. You’re right that fiction can be a playground for us to explore possibilities, as long as we recognize that our life may not be able to replicate exactly what we want. I think it’s lovely to enjoy the stories but still keep a firm grasp on reality.

      Like

  7. Julia says:

    I don’t write fiction, but I think that is because I have too much going on at the moment in my life. I like writing, but I know I would need more peace and quiet around me to do it well.
    But this post was awesome, I loved how you learned something from writing these stories. See, its not just the reader who gets something out of your stories, but you yourself too!
    And congrats on your laurels! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Thank you, Julia. I’d love to see your writing if you ever do decide to take the plunge. Something chocolate-infused, maybe? ๐Ÿ™‚ It is true that writers get something out of writing…we certainly don’t do this for the money! The neatest part for me is connecting with readers.

      Thank you for the congratulations, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  8. Bob says:

    Hello Anastasia.
    Loved the way you broke down your thought process.
    Yes I read spanking stories and the ones I like the best are medieval fantasy stories so I can lose myself from life’s problems and realistic stories so I can see and hopefully learn a different solution to a similar problem in the future.
    I have written a couple of stories for PK and did try to make the stories real.

    Bob

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Hello Bob! How great to see you again here! If you like medieval, you might want to check out Renee Rose’s recent book, The Knight’s Prisoner. I like your topic about how to get someone willing to take a spanking, and I will probably have a post on that later.

      I love the mixture of fantasy and realism, too. Sometimes we simply want to get away, and sometimes we do want some real-life flavor to our stories.

      I think it’s wonderful that you’ve written for PK. Maybe we will get to see some more of your stories soon?

      Like

  9. Constance Masters says:

    Great post Ana! I canโ€™t wait to read The Way Home.

    Yes, I both read and write spanking fiction. Why? I guess the obvious answer would be because I have a spanking kink.

    I donโ€™t read stories that donโ€™t contain spankings much, if at all anymore and I guess that would be because to me it feels like there’s something missing in regular fiction. I have read wonderful books in my life but at the moment, with the time that I have, I prefer to read what entertains me the most and that would be spanking fiction.

    I guess my writing has impacted my real life. I write and twitter and what have you a lot, so that has impacted the way this house runs, or doesnโ€™t run sometimes lol I will say though that after raising a large family it is really nice to have something for myself.

    Donโ€™t know that I answered your question but I tried ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I’m so glad to have met you here and to find someone else who enjoys reading and writing spanking stories. You certainly know about life’s ups and downs.

      I do sometimes feel as if non-spanking stories have something missing, but then often I wish spanking stories had more emotional depth. I like the spank spank, but I like the pathos and passion of the mainstream fiction, too.

      LOL I completely understand about not running the house, although I can’t blame writing on that. It’s a convenient excuse, though!

      I love what you say about having something for yourself. I like that we can each create a fantasy world for ourselves through writing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  10. joeyred51 says:

    Ana,

    I find all of your posts very thoughtful, but I am very inspired by this post. I have followed your journey for a while and I am awed by how you have grown as an individual. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    I really enjoy both reading and writing spanking fiction. I find the connection with other writers to be very special. We share our fantasies with hundreds of people which takes lots of courage. But, I also feel an emotional bond with people I have never met which creates a community that cares and supports each other.

    Thank you Ana.

    Hug,
    joey

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Joey, I keep asking you to share your stories…and you keep not sharing them! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Where are they? Are they public? Please send me a link. I would love to see what you have written.

      You have been there for me from the very beginning, and even these days when I can’t get to your blog as often as I would like you still stop by. I appreciate you so, so much.

      Though I have a nasty suspicion that at least one of your stories involves that awful cane! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hugs back.

      Like

  11. minelle says:

    First, I’d like to say that everything we do in life prepares us for the next step. Sometimes we are just not ready to be in a certain place at a certain time. The spanking fiction has been such a monumental part of your process. It has freed you up to finish your career work without fear!
    I definitely read DD fiction. My romance books prior to me finding this community often included spanking whenever I could get it. I felt like a kid in a candy shop when I discovered the spanking fiction genre. I love the strong characters and resolutions to conflict. I do not like a story that panders to the reader. However I am fine with formula as long as it is set up properly. To me some DD stories are fantasy and would never be part of reality. Like you said above Ana, conflict makes a DD story so much better. Real emotions and mistakes are all part of a good story. Yet there are certainly elements within a good story involving an HOH and a TIH pair that work in reality.
    We have always had a version of DD/TTWD in our home but reading more DD has enlightened both of us and energized and romanticized our relationship.

    Did I answer all your questions?

    Oh yes I have penned a few stories myself…..Recently where ANA gets spanked!!

    Like

  12. Julie says:

    What a great post, Ana. I’m not convinced conflict makes things better in real life – although it doesn’t always have to make things worse – but it definitely makes things better in fiction. And the myth of perfection can be harmful to almost any aspect of our lives.

    Of course, for me the story will always be about Kat and her journey. But Natalie is definitely a wonderful supporting player. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Julie

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Julie! I blinked hard when I saw you commenting. Goodness, what a pleasant surprise.

      I have to laugh at your comment that it’s not really about Natalie. Now, could that possibly have anything to do with your dislike of Natalie spanking Kat so hard and often? ๐Ÿ™‚ Kat’s lucky to have a protector like you.

      I think that sometimes conflict in real life *can* make it better. When it brings out something that no one has been willing to confront, conflict can be productive. Sometimes it’s the nice-nice of trying to make everything sweet and happy that causes problems.

      Like

  13. Joelle Casteel says:

    don’t I know it, on maintenance spankings ๐Ÿ˜€ just when my Master asked “so what exactly are maintenance spankings”?
    but yeah, I noticed other people commenting on it, but your realism is refreshing. I know it’s something I’ve brought to my own writing. Like a Dominant apologizing to His submissive when He was out of line.

    Like

  14. lea27f says:

    “DD at its best, and spanking at its best, is an amazing tool for catharsis, reconnection, intimacy, and restoration. But it is only a tool. A spanking can not cure depression (even if it can reinforce behaviors that help to mitigate depression), nor can it change core values and experiences of people.”

    I really like how you stated that. It can be frustrating in a relationship when you have preconceived notions of how something should be or you must be doing it wrong. When you read others stories (fiction or real) and wonder why your life doesn’t match up to that. Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned through your writing.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Oh yes. Lea, I was just thinking of you yesterday (of course because I saw Peeps…hehe) and realized I need to stop by your blog!

      And exactly. We have ideas of what something “should” be, and it precludes us from enjoying what we have. Stories are wonderful (of course mine too! hehe), but if we try to live a story it becomes problematic. That’s one neat thing about the spanking parties you go to–it is fun, people have a wonderful time, but then there is an understanding that everyone goes back to “real life”.

      Like

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