Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Recipe for Naughty : The Ingredients

So, where to start?

When I first came up with the idea for my erotic series The Madame X School of Sex, all I had was just that: an idea. I had no idea who the characters would be, the setting or even what would happen (besides the obvious). So how does a writer go about figuring this stuff out?

Daydreaming. That's how I figured it out anyway.

First, the characters. Who is just as important as What, in a story. The characters are the ones who take us on the journey. We experience the world through their eyes, their fears, their strengths and their limitations. Plus, if I'm going to write a story about something, I had better like the person the story is about. After all, we'll be spending a lot of time together.

The Heroine: Sarah Caldwell

I decided to pick a young professional woman with some self-esteem issues. Why? Because I can relate to that and I figure a lot of others can too. Sarah is a paralegal who's always done everything she's supposed to. She goes to work every morning at 8:30 am, she always separates the whites from the colors and she pays her taxes each year by April 15th.

She's perfectly ordinary. She's also perfectly tired of her boring life and she just knows there has to be more out there.

This brings us to the What? portion of the planning stage. What can happen to our perfectly lovely, perfectly boring heroine? Well, I decided to make her do something completely crazy. Something completely out of character.

She signs herself up for the infamous sex academy : The Madame X School of Sex.

Once I figured out what naughty business our heroine could get herself into, I was able to start writing. I wrote a few scenes in Sarah's point of view to get a feel for the way she thinks.

Sarah let the artificial smile she’d been wearing for the past hour drop. Her face was stiff from holding a smile she didn’t feel, forcing laughter that wasn’t genuine. But she couldn’t let her friend see how dejected she really was. It would just invite more worry, more hovering.
And it wouldn’t sway her from her path.
She reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope that held her plane ticket. Not that she needed to see it again, she’d studied it a hundred times since that morning. A plane ticket to Nevada. One chance to find out if she was really broken or not.
The Madame X School of Sex? It’s an urban legend. Doesn’t exist.
Sarah shook her head. “Oh, it exists. In a few hours I’ll have firsthand proof.”

The Hero: Quinn Sanders

I wanted a hero that provided exactly what Sarah needed, which is contrast. He's the commanding, inventive type that can balance out her fear of change. He'll introduce her to hedonism and teach her not to be ashamed of her feelings. Quinn also just so happens to be her boss.

The conflict

Being the good girl that she is, Sarah wouldn't get involved with her boss. Luckily for her, Quinn used to be an instructor at The Madame X School. So some pretty interesting things are bound to happen when he gets a phone call from his old friend Madame X.

NEXT WEEK: I'll take a look at CONFLICT in depth. This is the meaty part where we figure out why our characters are being so difficult.

Read the next post here

Stay Naughty!


Minx Malone said...

This is how I write too, just meandering a little until I find my way.

I can't wait to hear more about this school :) Sounds like my kind of place.

Ellie McKay said...

Great post! It's so cool to see how other people get their ideas.

I always plot and plan until my head is spinning. Maybe I should try this free-form approach myself.

So, we have a prim and proper paralegal who may or may not fall for her domineering boss. Sounds sexy to me!