Hello! This is my first blog at Love, Lust and Laptops, and I’m very excited to be part of this group. I’ve been quite jealous of these authors and was beyond pleased at being invited to participate!
So. To start:
Here are some things I hate in my personal life:
Cheating. On a partner, on an exam, on your taxes. When I’m with someone, they know they have one shot with me. I have no compunction about ending it when I’m cheated on. Same goes for lying. Or even withholding the truth. I don’t like cheating in romance. I don’t like it in any way, shape or form.
Spanking. Don’t even consider coming near my ass with your hand. I will bite it off, chew it up…and swallow.
Twincest in romance. Ew. Just…ew. It’s the kinda thing that puts people in counseling.
Yelling. I hate it. Don’t do it unless you’re yelling at Lassie to untie the rope and rescue Timmy from the well so he can go get the little neighbor girl off the train tracks. Yelling puts me into automatic flight mode.
Television. Guns. Bullies. Tailgaters.
What does this have to do with writing books?
When we write, there are so many elements that go into the construction of a story: characters, an engaging plot, conflict, tension, setting and so forth. Way back when…in my early days of writing, I stumbled across a story that offended the hell out of me. It made me feel so icky, and I went online for days, doing anthropological research. It was a twincest story and the damned thing just rattled my brain. Was it bad? Good? I don’t really know. Remember my comment about people being in counseling over that sort of thing? I worked in Children’s Protective Services for a stretch of time and saw too many kids in unwanted sexual situations. Not always with adults. So I had issues with that story.
Nevertheless, I recognized that my reaction to this book was extreme. To make the scenario acceptable in my hysterical lizard brain, I dug back into my university days and found information on cultures around the world that practice variations of twincest. I eventually found a cultural mythos that was so beautiful, it worked. I can’t remember right off hand, but I believe it was a Mescalaro Apache tradition. They believed that an opposite sex pair of twins had been star-crossed lovers in a previous life, so the parents married the children at birth so they’d never be parted again.
I integrated elements of this mythos into the creation of the Somian species in Belle Starr. I created a species that believed twins were one spirit in two bodies, and a brother/sister pair would eventually marry and produce offspring who advanced the evolution of the species. Since it was removed from Earth and humanity, I was able to make some peace with the idea of such an extreme kink.
I pulled the same trick with spanking. I have such a violent reaction to spanking that I literally feel sick when I read it in a BDSM story. So…I write spanking scenes. I make them make sense to me. I make those scenes playful or cathartic. I make those spankings something *I* can understand and accept.
This is how I take control my personal hot buttons. It’s not only like psychoanalysis on the cheap, but I believe it’s a method of instilling some potent tension into a story. I jokingly tell people I’m a Method Writer. I let emotions and sensations generated by my visceral reactions color my stories. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I just feel crappy afterward. Sometimes I feel better about myself and sometimes I write a bit of power into a scene.
Don’t be afraid to write or read out of your safety zone. Push your boundaries, hit those personal buttons. Take time to consider your reaction…physical and emotional. Even if you don’t understand what you’re feeling, embrace the fact that you are feeling.
I think indifference is poison to an author’s soul. Don’t be afraid to charge that boundary and hit that wall.
You’ll get up again.
Belinda’s newest release is the Bad Angels trilogy, now available through Pride Publishing, and at all major outlets. Now available in paperback!