Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Recipe for Naughty: The Conflict

The Conflict

Last week I talked about the main ingredients involved in building a series, which are the characters. This week let's look at the actual recipe itself, which in our analogy is what the characters are doing and why they're doing it.

The conflict.

When I first started writing about The Madame X School of Sex, I wasn't sure what kind of conflict could arise at a sex school. Everyone there should be pretty happy, right?

Not exactly.

The essence of conflict boils down to isolating the character's weaknesses and then forcing them into situations they aren't ready for. Sounds sadistic but it's the only way they learn anything. It's also what keeps things interesting. Who wants to read about a bunch of perfect people who always do everything right? Not me, that's for sure.

So, we have our heroine Sarah Caldwell. Her weakness is insecurity due to how her fiance treated her. Her attraction to her boss, Quinn, is something she doesn't know how to handle. He's way out of her league and she doesn't feel sexy or desirable enough to go after him. That's the basis for her conflict. She wants something but doesn't know how to get it. Her weakness (insecurity) is holding her back.

Quinn's weakness is not facing up to something that happened in his past. He wants Sarah but thinks she belongs to someone else. Then he gets a call from his old friend Madame X that changes everything.

Sarah is going to The Madame X School, the place he vowed he'd never return to.

Our hero's conflict stems from two things he wants being at odds. His desire for Sarah vs. His antipathy for The Madame X School (for reasons to be revealed later).

So, now that we understand the conflict - here's a sneak peek at things from Quinn's POV


EXCERPT FROM SEDUCING SARAH

Quinn Sanders hated to rush. He'd built his law career on attention to detail and a slow, methodical approach to research. Yet here he was throwing clothes into a suitcase as if his house was on fire. One phone call from an old friend and he'd abandoned his business and his social life. One phone call had spun his entire world on a different axis.
Sarah Caldwell was going to see Madame X.
The phone clipped to his belt vibrated. He yanked it from its holster and held it to his ear. His room looked like a mini-tornado had ripped through it but he didn't even care. He'd been lucky to book a flight at such a late date and if he didn't hurry, he'd miss the plane. He'd have to drive like a bat out of hell to get to the airport on time as it was.
"Yes?"
"I assume you've already booked your flight?" Madame X had a way of getting right to the heart of a matter. How she did this without ever being rude was something Quinn had yet to figure out.
"I had to pay an astronomical fare but I got a flight. I'll be there in the early morning. Thank you for giving me the heads up. This should be an interesting three weeks."
She made a non-committal sound on the other end of the line. Quinn braced himself for whatever it was she would say next. He'd known her long enough to know that the soft sound usually preceded bad news.
"I'm glad I was able to help you out but I must caution you. Ms. Caldwell is a guest of the Madame X School. If she doesn’t wish to work with you for any reason, then you must respect that. I've already stretched the limits of confidentiality. My first obligation has to be to my clients. Even if you are one of my oldest friends."
Quinn nodded even though she couldn't see him. "I would never do anything to make her uncomfortable. I promise you I'll leave if she doesn't want to work with me. Besides, I used to be your employee. Let's just call this a consulting gig."
Sarah would have the option to decline him as her handler but he doubted she would. Plenty of the instructors and a few of the students at the Madame X Academy wore masks so she wouldn't recognize him. He was glad now that he wasn't prone to long conversation in general. It would make it harder for her to recognize his voice. Even if something about him seemed familiar, he doubted she'd make the connection or question him.
No one questioned Master Q.
"I'm sure Ms. Caldwell will get along with my alter ego just fine. You have no cause for worry."
Silence hummed over the line for a long moment before she spoke again. "You've been out of the game for a while, Master Q. I know you had your reasons for that and I won't pry. I just hope you know what you're doing and are doing it for the right reasons."
Quinn couldn't stop the grin taking over his face. "I know what I'm doing. Sarah Caldwell will get exactly what she needs over the next three weeks."
Madame X chuckled. "I'm sure she will. Hopefully, you will too."
Quinn Sanders hated to rush. He'd built his law career on attention to detail and a slow, methodical approach to research. Yet here he was throwing clothes into a suitcase as if his house was on fire. One phone call from an old friend and he'd abandoned his business and his social life. One phone call had spun his entire world on a different axis.
Sarah Caldwell was going to see Madame X.
The phone clipped to his belt vibrated. He yanked it from its holster and held it to his ear. His room looked like a mini-tornado had ripped through it but he didn't even care. He'd been lucky to book a flight at such a late date and if he didn't hurry, he'd miss the plane. He'd have to drive like a bat out of hell to get to the airport on time as it was.
"Yes?"
"I assume you've already booked your flight?" Madame X had a way of getting right to the heart of a matter. How she did this without ever being rude was something Quinn had yet to figure out.
"I had to pay an astronomical fare but I got a flight. I'll be there in the early morning. Thank you for giving me the heads up. This should be an interesting three weeks."
She made a non-committal sound on the other end of the line. Quinn braced himself for whatever it was she would say next. He'd known her long enough to know that the soft sound usually preceded bad news.
"I'm glad I was able to help you out but I must caution you. Ms. Caldwell is a guest of the Madame X School. If she doesn’t wish to work with you for any reason, then you must respect that. I've already stretched the limits of confidentiality. My first obligation has to be to my clients. Even if you are one of my oldest friends."
Quinn nodded even though she couldn't see him. "I would never do anything to make her uncomfortable. I promise you I'll leave if she doesn't want to work with me. Besides, I used to be your employee. Let's just call this a consulting gig."
Sarah would have the option to decline him as her handler but he doubted she would. Plenty of the instructors and a few of the students at the Madame X Academy wore masks so she wouldn't recognize him. He was glad now that he wasn't prone to long conversation in general. It would make it harder for her to recognize his voice. Even if something about him seemed familiar, he doubted she'd make the connection or question him.
No one questioned Master Q.
"I'm sure Ms. Caldwell will get along with my alter ego just fine. You have no cause for worry."
Silence hummed over the line for a long moment before she spoke again. "You've been out of the game for a while, Master Q. I know you had your reasons for that and I won't pry. I just hope you know what you're doing and are doing it for the right reasons."
Quinn couldn't stop the grin taking over his face. "I know what I'm doing. Sarah Caldwell will get exactly what she needs over the next three weeks."
Madame X chuckled. "I'm sure she will. Hopefully, you will too."


The Final Product

So, we've looked at the Ingredients and the Recipe for Conflict. The only thing left is the final product.

So without further ado, here's the cover art for Seducing Sarah V.1 (The Madame X School of Sex series). The cover was done by The Naughty Girls' own Minx Malone.




By the time I blog again the book should be live! Wish me luck...



Stay Naughty,
Jinx