The Library of Spanking Fiction: Wellred Weekly
ArticlesItems of interest regarding all things spanking
Thinking Outside the Headmaster's Office
I don't know who came up with the phrase, "The story is in the telling," but it's one of only a couple of truisms I've found in fiction writing.
Here's what I mean.
Rollin contends in Vol.1 No.2 of this august periodical that there are nine themes to spanking stories. While it might be argued there are a few more, Rollin is right that a limit exists to the number of broad scenarios in which spanking stories can occur and still suspend disbelief.
Katerina Kinsley notes in Vol.1 No.7 that spanking stories suffer from predictability and laments in understatement that some storylines in the genre are "a bit overdone". She's right, too.
So we would be hopelessly caught in a conundrum between Rollin's limits and Katerina's predictability if it were not for --
"The story is in the telling."
About a jillion stories have been written about wizards and/or witchcraft. J.K. Rowling said "what if" there was a kids' school for wizards? and spun that simple notion into a series of novels that earned her wealth that surpasses the gross national product of some countries.
An inestimable number of stories have been written about haunted houses. American horror master Stephen King said "what if" the haunted house were actually a haunted hotel? and spun that idea into "The Shining". That and his other "What ifs" have made him an obscene amount of money.
Rowling did not invent the wizards concept and King certainly did not come up with the idea of a haunted building. But each developed unique stories within these broad and familiar themes that resonated with readers. They did so through development of characters, settings, circumstances, plot, conflicts -- all those things we writers muse about.
Granted, Rowling and King are remarkably talented writers, but the same criteria applies to we scribblers -- to toil within Rollin's limits and avoid Katerina's predictability.
I would not have the time in a day to count all the stories in this library that deal with a summons to the headmaster's (headmistress's, principal's, dean's, teacher's) office. I'm sure they range from very good to very bad. I'm equally sure the very good ones are those in which the writers took the time, made the effort and applied the talent and/or skill to develop the uniqueness that was born in that nanosecond of mental activity that created a "What if?".
That's another truism: all fiction begins with "What if?"
It is that moment of snapping synapses that stirs the imagination (or loins) of its creator and is followed by "Hmmm, that's interesting!"
The entire DNA of the story exists in that "What if?" The job of its creator is to birth it, be midwife and nursemaid, and nurture it through the hour, day, week, or month between inception and the pressing of the submit button, hoping that when it's fully reared it still maintains the "Hmmm, that's interesting!" that it had when the sperm hit the egg.
I think the Wizards of Words and Priestesses of Prose who carry the load of producing content for the library "get" this, even though they might not choose to describe it the way I do.
A couple of things can deter this process of story creation.
First, some writers or would-be writers don't possess the skills (which can be learned) and/or talent (which cannot be learned) to nurture the tale from "What if?" to maturity. Sadly, a lot of wonderful stories no doubt stay locked in minds or are born defective because of the limitations of their creators.
Second, even some writers who are skilled and/or talented are self-fettered by the false notion that stories must conform to blue-eyed, blonde-haired conventionality. Nothing could be further from the truth! Rollin's constraints are enough without self-imposing more shackles.
Often, my way of attempting to avoid the Rollin-Katerina conundrum is through setting -- a fitness club that has rooms in the back for spankings, a public transit bus on which a man can "read" the intimate thoughts of a female passenger, a hotel that offers spanking in its room services menu, etc. All are settings in which a reader might suspend his or her disbelief and say, "Yeah, I can buy that."
Mine is certainly not the only way (if it is, we're doomed).
Some time back, I submitted a story called The Bends set in a gated residential community where corporal punishment was the norm. It was meant to be a single story, but at the urging of commenters I naively spun it into a series. I did so determined that in order to not bore myself, I would not let it become just a string of spanking scenes. Being true to that determination resulted in the introduction of many characters, back stories, sub-plots, settings, an overriding mystery, and a surprise ending. The thing became far more complex than it needed to be, but it was a cathartic exercise for me in avoiding predictability while staying within a broad theme that allows the suspension of disbelief. Every chapter fits into one of Rollin's nine categories.
This may not make a whit of difference to some writers, and that's fine. If an author finds enough reward in creating and submitting a work, it's not the business of another writer to tell him or her how to do it.
In my younger days, a bit of erotica was a rare gem to discover hidden away on a back shelf of a bookstore -- spanking fiction being even harder to find. But now we live in a cyber world where readers/viewers have an unprecedented number of choices about where to spend their time. Even in the spanking niche, the LSF is one of many places where readers can seek fulfillment -- and the Library contains over 19,000 choices!
The challenge to us writers who take the craft with even a modicum of seriousness is to constantly seek and develop the uniqueness born in that flash of "What if?"
I'm optimistic enough to believe we can. The best spanking stories have yet to be written by authors who do not let themselves become intimidated by the vast ocean of offerings in which they swim or encumbered by unnecessary shackles of conventionality.
Somewhere out there, a character waits to be born in a flash of "What if?" and be nurtured to an individuality that rises above all others who have marched into the headmaster's (headmistress's, principal's, dean's, teacher's) office to bend smartly over the desk as her/his creator beams with satisfaction.
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