In writing my naughty stories, I’ve come across an odd paradox:
I write naughty stories of women spanking and getting spanked, but spanking stories now seem normal.
Even…dare I say it..almost vanilla?
When I wrote Editorial Board, I originally made editor Rachel a good deal sterner. My own editor objected and wanted Rachel to show more compassion and understanding. More like Eunji, the tutor-spanker from Desire in Any Language. I followed her advice, and Editorial Board did well.
However, I found myself chafing at the restrictions. Desire was a joy to write, and Eunji is one of my favorite disciplinarian characters…but I wondered whether my stories had already become typecast. What if I wanted to write something naughtier, non-consensual, or even a little bit nasty? After all, even Desire includes one of the scariest scenes I’ve ever written. Part of my excitement in writing Becoming Clissine was the chance to write pure non-consensual spanking. (It’s not just me, right? Non-consensual spanking is a fantasy for many, isn’t it?)
Well, guess what. Karielle was having none of that. Her love and nurturing of Clissa, as misguided as it was, made me cry over and over again. One of my beta readers even suggested that I had diluted my message by making Karielle “too nice.”
Part of writing books is to create a clearly identifiable brand. If I pick up Author A’s book, for example, I expect to read a young adult fantasy that includes a happy ending. If I pick up Author B’s book, I expect to read adult science fiction with military and political themes. If I pick up an Ana book, what do people expect? F/F, spanking…and niceness?
Is that a good or bad thing?
What if I wrote a story in which the characters were not nice?
What if I wrote a story in which spankings were not given with consent?
Would I ruin the Anastasia Vitsky brand?
One of my works-in-progress is a story in which the protagonist is unrelentingly nice. She’s a happy-go-lucky kindergarten teacher who views everyone, child and adult, as someone in need of a hug and a smiley apple sticker. Yet what she goes through is not at all nice, and her partner is not nice. Going through bad events does tend to make us less nice, doesn’t it?
But if I have learned one thing over the past few years, it’s that sometimes people read books because they want fantasy. Fiction to take them away from the harshness of real life.
So I wonder. Do you want your stories to be nice? Why or why not?