I’ve been trying off and on to come up with a new novel idea that will work. It’s been a struggle, because I put so much into As She’s Told that for a long time there seemed to be nothing left. And given online distractions like Fetlife, it’s hard to get myself down to work! Still, I miss writing.
I may be hampered by having something of a reality kink; the more believable the setting and parameters, the more genuine the power exchange, the more I enjoy the story. And if there’s anything realistic about the plot, what goes on has to be consensual, or I start thinking in terms of rescue instead of kink! No, I’m not kidding.
But not all the kink in my head is entirely consensual. With no personalities involved, I can get off on slave civilizations with the best of them. I just can’t centre a plot on them without building in a revolution.
It’s a perennial question in the bdsm world, reconciling real-world values with what gets us off. Rape fantasies, women kidnapped and enslaved, all that – it can take some serious introspection to keep that stuff where it belongs, in its separate compartments, away from human rights and the equality of the sexes. Of course there’s the common plotline of the victim taken by force and then learning to love their slavery. Which I find not only unlikely but ethically twisted, even in a story.
No, for me to write it, fully realized characters need to be in consensual relationships from the start. Combine that with a kink for real, enforceable power exchange, and I’ve ended up with a very narrow window through which to manoeuvre my plots: early free choice, no or minimal choice later. In other words, consensual nonconsent.
So, how to use all the politically incorrect flotsam in my head? I think shared fantasy may be the way to go. I’m going to be working on this over the next few months (see, if I say it publicly, I’m forcing myself to actually do it); more later as I see if it pans out.