The Library of Spanking Fiction: Wellred Weekly

Wellred Weekly
Volume 1, Number 8 : June 3, 2012
Items of interest regarding all things spanking

Thinking Outside the Headmaster's Office
by Artofzee

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.
canadianspankee said...
I agree, likely any possible spanking scene has been written about many times and all apects of that spanking has been covered.

So what...I like chocolate cake and still eat it regardless of who makes it. Every cook has their own way of making the cake and although it is called a chocolate cake many taste unique in their own way.

If I stopped writing because someone covered the same scenario before we would never have 19000 stories in the Library. If I stopped reading because someone has written about that scenario before, my reading levels would drop down to likly less then 5 per year, if that.

I eat chocolate cake because I love it. The same love applies to writng and reading spanking stories, except I never have to worry about the number of calories in any story...LOL

3 June 2012 23:05
bendover said...
All so true. I try to put myself in every character I write. What would I do in this case? What would I say in this case? I find it's the best way to wipe out writer's block as well.

We hit on stories that are similar to others in the library all the time. A few of the snippets I wrote, I saw a comment that they appeared to be similar to what Grace B writes. Well, of course they look like that, they only 2 hundred Plus words. You can't mask a snippet to make it not look like Grace's.

All in All, I love writing and reading stories. I read King's book 'ON Writing' and found out a lot about myself.

Good piece.

3 June 2012 23:19
rollin said...
I've said before in these pages that fiction writing begins with "what if?". In spanking fiction we do have archetypes, just as in other forms of popular fiction and in writing the "9 Plots" article my object was to remind writers that some of these can be overdone. But plot is only one aspect of a story and I'd like to offer this observation: what if---a writer can take an old plot and tell it from a completely different point of view? Or place it in a different time period? Or adapt it to a different genre? Sometimes the appeal comes from the way the story is told, not just the story it self.

One more thing I'm attuned to that really helps is this---when I watch a TV show, read a book, view a news story I'm constantly asking myself things like, "what if, instead of making the girls perform community service, the judge had given them a choice? What if, instead of the cult being about devil worship, it was about wife spanking? What if, instead of slapping her in the mouth, he flips her over and spanks her?" You'd be surprised how many plot ideas can come bubbling up.
4 June 2012 18:58
sixofthebest said...
Bravo, Bravo, Bravo, Artofzee, for your article "Thinking outside of the Headmaster's Office." In other words, 'Thinking outside of the Box', so to speak, when writing spanking stories. An author of spanking stories, that can do so, could find themselves a goldmine.
4 June 2012 23:06
wac said...
Artofzee, you write great stories and I loved you serial about The Bends. I hope you revisit that place soon. It maybe a repeat, but what the hell I have had sex more than once and plan to do it again. Keep up the great work!!!
7 June 2012 00:01
Mdare said...
Good article. And I second the motion for more of The Bends. You've proven you can pull one surprise after another out of that particular hat.
10 June 2012 08:12
TheEnglishMaster said...
An excellent article - thank you. Your notion of the 'what if' moment hadn't really occurred to me, though I suppose I must have experienced it - but it's a helpful thought.
Loved the 'Wizards of words and Priestesses of Prose' ...
10 June 2012 23:10

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