Fumbling with Grace

It’s already April 8th. Where has the time gone. That’s not really a question, more like an observation. It’s gone into cleaning, planning, paperwork and research. That’s all about my RL, not my writing. I’ll get to that in a second.

As for progress on my novel, it’s been slow since the last post. I’ve gotten up to 89,000 thousand words in the new-new draft versus 78,000 in the new-old draft. I’ve finally gotten through the climax, but the tenses and POVs are still not completely correct, nor is the punctuation. The issue is that the the male Dom is talking in the present about his past. I have the past [for the most part] in italics when he is directly relating his experiences “as told to” his present-day female sub. The problem is this: If he is speaking, in the present, about the past, is it a direct quotation, such as ” “. Or, is it quote within a quote, such as ” ‘ ‘ “? And what quotation to use when he’s relating something that someone else said in the past within that dialogue with himself in the past but speaking to her in the present?

The next part is where I have to chop – not prune – the prose. It’s too detailed as it includes the entire written DD contract between them in the present. It would be fine as an addendum, but it simply bogs down the story too much. Not to mention those chapters run about 20,000 words. I’ll keep some, but portray it as conversation and action rather than a flow chart with Roman numerals and bullet points.

I was at the Naples Botanical Gardens recently. If and when travel starts back up again, and you happen to visit SW Florida, the Gardens are a must see. I was down there finishing up the paperwork on my new place. I’m going to be moving some stuff soon, but I won’t permanently move until June. In the meantime I’m working around my house getting it prepped for sale. I also paid off the mortgage so it will be easier to sell. I hope to get about 150K, that’s the average in my neighborhood over the past year. I’m now debt free and I plan to stay that way. Once I move I may go back to work part-time… but I also want to focus on my creative writing and photography to see if I can generate steady income that way.

Oops… counting words

One of the negatives of the Word version I’m using is that the word count on the docx. stops showing past 99K. Makes it difficult to figure out where you are. Where I am right now is at 75,000 words on the newest version of Grace, which is still 10,000 words more then the complete manuscript which topped out at 108K.

I’m nearing the first climax, which is 2/3rds through the story. There is a reason for that. It’s because I’m stubborn. I write the way I want to write. I’ve tried writing more mainstream, but if that makes me miserable, why bother? It’s very likely my novels and novellas will never be a success, never mind a commercial smash, but that’s not why I write in the first place.

A quick blurb: This is not a light and fluffy spanking story. Boy meets girl. Girl gets spanked. Wedding bells and a baby nine months later. This spanking story will make you cry, laugh and scream. It will make you angry, sad and aroused, but it will never make you comfortable.

I’ve mentioned the plot device before in various posts, but not in much detail. It is also why this manuscript has given me fits for ten years. Did I mention as well that I’m stubborn? A dirty little secret about writing is that the words are not static nor dead on the page/screen. Every writer hears the characters talking inside, they often drive the narrative to places the writer never thought of going. But the experiences, the traumas, the joys and sorrows of your life find their way to the page/screen as well. Authors are not the words we write but neither are the words we write not based upon our lives.

So: Plot device.

Character 1 is present day male Dom

Character 2 is present day female sub

Character 3 is past day female sub [title character]

Character 4 is past day female switch

The narrative is told from the viewpoint of #1 in the present, relaying his past with #3 and #4 to #2. In the past, #3 and #4 tell their stories to the reader which sometimes but not always involve #1. The past and present are 8 years apart through the climax -see above- then shortly afterwards, the past collides with the present.

What the reader sees is the complete picture, but the pasts of #3 and #4 are much worse than #1 ever knew. #2 wants to know about #1’s past because she also has a hidden past that #1 doesn’t know about. When #1 reveals what he did to #3 and #4 that precipitates a crisis by triggering #1, whereby the D/s that #1 and #2 are doing, screeches to a halt, but not for good.

The novel does with end with HEAFN [that’s Happily Ever After For Now] because I’m a sap at heart. Love me a good romance.

Halfway home – not house

It certainly feels as though many of us have been [and continue to be] under house arrest. I suppose we should all be grateful that tracking ankle bracelets are not mandated as are face masks. My title though is about my current editing of my spanking novel Grace. There are several dirty little secrets about the conflict between writing and editing.

The first is that editing never, ever reduces the word count. [Unless entire pages of plot are discarded for the sake of expediency. Which will happen soon in my novel.] Of the original word count of 108,000 I have edited the first 41,000 words. However, the current word count stands at 51,000. Thus, a net increase of 10,000 words in a manuscript that was too long and wordy already. *sigh*

The second secret about editing is that it is never done. Ever. This is at least the twentieth time I’ve gone through my manuscript and as mentioned in my head-hopping post, I’m still finding POV errors from ten years ago. And, since I’ve switched back and forth from 1st person to 3rd person past and present who knows how many times, the he/I and she/I pronouns are all over the map. As a part B of never-ending editing, every single book I have ever read; new or old, has editing errors in the text. Doesn’t matter how famous the author or how prestigious the publisher, there are always errors in grammar and punctuation.

The third secret is this: Editing sucks. Which is why authors turn it over to editors as soon as possible. Authors write. Editors edit. Even though every single word an author writes is perfect and editors never stop trying to ruin a brilliant story with ‘recommendations’, it’s a relationship, that in the end, creates a better story. Not matter how many times an author states they are halfway home.

The Art… frustration of writing

The standard of writing is no head-hopping.

Jack thought she was the most beautiful and exasperating woman he’d ever met. I just want to put her over my knee and spank that sass right out of her.
Jill thought he was the most arrogant and handsome man she’d ever met. I just want to slap his face and then kiss him all over.
Jack toyed with his tie. I wonder if she likes bondage?
Jill twirled her hair. I wonder if he picks his nose?
Jack thought the steak was tough. Her fish looks okay.
Jill thought the service sucked. His expression turns me off.
Jack said, “I’m having good time, are you?” Frowning when he saw her roll her eyes. She needs a spanking!
Jill lied, “It’s great.” When the fuck is this date going to end?

Jack and Jill never went up the hill or anywhere ever again. Thus the potential for a romance of the ages died over surf and turf because the writer couldn’t decide who’s POV was preeminent.

Modern writers/editors deal with this issue by writing paragraphs all the way up to entire chapters in one POV only. Then when the POV switches to another character, the first paragraphs are a recap of the previous action as viewed from someone else. The rules are that you can never, ever, have one character know what another character is thinking or doing without direct observation or spoken dialogue.

Jack admired the beautiful woman seated across from him in the crowded restaurant. He knew his exasperation likely showed on his face, but something about the way she conversed sparked a desire to put her over his knee and spank the sass right out of her. Toying with his tie, he felt his face heat and his groin swell wondering if she liked bondage as well. He’d never thought about doing those sorts of kinky things to past girlfriends, not that Jill was a girlfriend, not on a first date. But still… his hand paused, fork poised to place the steak – the tough overdone meat – in his mouth. He watched her twirl a strand of curly black hair. Such slender fingers, he thought would look nice wrapped around his cock. He cleared his throat and put his fork back down on the plate. “I’m having good time, are you?” Frowning when he saw her roll her eyes. She needs a spanking!

Jill lied, “It’s great.” When the fuck is this date going to end, she fumed silently. It had started off well. He was handsome, well-groomed, sharply dressed – she felt a bit intimidated by the restaurant, the prices at least – but she hoped her nervousness didn’t show. She hated that she coped with nerves by being defensive and a bit sassy; as well as twirling her hair as if she was flirting. It tended to piss men off, but Jack didn’t seem to mind. That was, until he started to drone on about his career and possessions. Figures, she’d muttered to herself, just a another arrogant A-type. He probably picks his nose and flicks the boogers on the wall. She giggled and covered her lapse by saying the service sucked. When he wrinkled his face as if she’d farted, she couldn’t help but roll her eyes.

So remember writers, no more head-hopping!

Color me surprised

Since I posted my last post with the free offer, I haven’t had a single person take me up on the offer. I mean, that’s okay, but I am surprised. Been editing today, up to 12,000 words and six chapters. Changing POV and tenses again. When I first starting writing longer fiction, it was pointed out that I head-hop all the time. Been really focusing on that tendency, trying to write in blocks instead and offer more internal thoughts. I like writing spoken dialogue and let that carry the narrative rather than pages of introspection.

Also very busy in my RL. Closing on a new home in a couple of weeks and moving in a couple of months. Despite be able to retire in order to facility this as expeditiously as possible, and having a nearly perfect credit score, it’s rather annoying when lending dries up when you have no income. In any case, lots to do over the next few months. I’ll keep updating as I can and the free offer is still available until March, 15th.

Thanks from Byron Cane

A Free offer for spankos everywhere

If you are coming here from Lurv Spanking, then welcome to Byron Cane Fiction. If you’re not, welcome as well, because everyone should be reading. As the title states, there is a free offer available for a limited time. As some of you know, I’ve been wrestling with my ‘Grace’ novel, my completed novel, for many years and have only within the past week, began editing again after a lapse of four years. Detailed post here if you want more information.

I’m also sure that many of you search on-line booksellers and know that free samples are available for many titles before purchasing. Usually this is about 10% of the actual word count. My novel will be around 100,000 words.

So, as you have guessed, I am offering the first five chapters, 24 pages and 9,185 words for free, yes free, for anyone who wants to receive an email that will have: Free Grace Sample, in the subject line and be sent from Bryoncanefiction@gmail.com.

Now, you can use the ‘Contact’ page at the top of the blog, or leave a comment on this post and I will use the email address you commented with, or send an email directly to Byroncanefiction@gmail.com by clicking this link which will open in your email provider.

I do want to post this warning that this excerpt is rated 18+ and filled with spanking and BDSM and bad words. It is also dark and contains about every single trigger you can imagine. If that’s not what you want to read, then don’t request a copy, please. And of course, follow common sense as to where and in front of whom you read this.

So what is this novel all about?

Well, it has spanking, BDSM, D/s, D/D, polyamory, Christianity, LGBTQIA, abuse, violence, and takes an unflinching look at the way corruption intersects with juvenile justice. There is lots more than that: the narrative device is two timelines eight years apart that come together with plots that go spinning off in all directions, affluenza leading to wasted lives and people finding love in all the wrong places. It is not an easy read, and it will piss a lot of people off.

But at the heart, it’s a romance about the devastation of abuse inflicted by adults upon children and the power of faith and redemption to bring healing to broken survivors. 

And I will say this, I like writing erotica, not so much for the thrill or titillation of the forbidden, but because I really don’t like hypocrisy.

My goal with this offer is not to solicit – because that’s not legal except in Nevada outside of Las Vegas – editing, but rather for any and all commentary on the story. I’ve edited this many times, but stuff slips through and, I’ve switched from 1st person to 3rd person so many times that there may be errors. But feedback is very important to me. If you hate it, that’s fine, my writing is not to everyone’s taste. So please consider providing specific feedback if you’re able.

Once the novel is completely rewritten/edited, I’ll be calling for a small group of beta readers before I move forward with publishing, as well as advice for agents and publishers.

In the future, I’m going to be posting updates and offers on this blog instead of Lurv Spanking, so if you aren’t a follower yet, please do follow Bryon Cane.

Kobo vs. Kindle

Once more the physical retailer Walmart is taking a swing at the online king Amazon. Today Walmart announced a partnership with Kobo in launching Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo, an all-new ebookstore. I poked around and came across several of my titles for sale.

One of them is, The Spanking Misadventures of Stephanie, which you can read about in this post here. If you already have a Kobo ereader, then click here to go directly to the new Walmart Kobo website and my book.

The other book is actually an erotic anthology called, Corrupted. My short story contribution is, Ghosting Past Emily. You can purchase by clicking this link.

No matter what type of ereader you have, these books [and more] are available at many online bookstores.

It always pays to take care of your tools

Monday Writing Prompt from Clarian Press.

The constant drip-drip of melting ice filtered through her consciousness; the first day of spring, and snow lay heavy beneath the fragrant pines. The circuit training had payed off as she dragged the wrapped bundle down into a hollow, huffing frosty steam from her panting mouth. It was a moot question now: Would she have fallen so hard if she’d known his secret from the beginning? The razor sharp edge of the shovel bit into the softening ground. By the time some hunter stumbled across the remains next fall, she’d be long gone. Rather sardonically, she addressed her statement to the murder of crows cawing out questions of her. “If I wanted vanilla, I’d have ordered ice cream, instead of a man who thought it was funny — after he fucked me — I actually believed he was a Dom.”

Do you need a prompt to write?

I most frequently write to prompts, at least for blog posts. There is a new prompt, offered by Clarian Press, called:

Based upon a snippet of conversation: “The first prompt is a piece of dialogue that I overheard once when I was in the public library. It was many years ago, but I can still envisage the little old lady who asked the question of one of the librarians!”, the prompt is as follows.

There are many obvious lines that spring to mind.

1. “Why yes, he gives me a pedicure every day.”
2. “He is quite handy. My feet enjoy the massage.”
3. “Shhhh. He has a fetish for toes. His tongue tickles.”

Moving on [or up] from feet, you can take an erotic turn with different genders.

4. “I need his mechanical expertise. The power drill has a dildo attachment.”
5. “That’s why I wear short skirts and go commando. He cleans up my cum.”
6. “I need relief from the stress, and he loves to suck my cock.”

You can also try more societal lines.

7. “Ever since the new computers were installed, IT has been camping out.”
8. “I can never remember which plug goes where. He is handy.”
9. “Nothing like a tool belt slung off a tight pair of jeans.”

Of course, being fixated on spanking, I prefer to utilize discipline with my prompts.

“Do you always keep a man under your desk? How handy!”
“Well, Lorraine, I got sick and tired of people making up excuses for tardy book returns.”
“Oh really? Does he pop out like a harlequin and scare them into complying?”
“No, hardly. He puts the patrons over his knee and gives them a good old-fashioned paddling. One whack per penny due!”
“Goodness gracious! Sounds like my dear departed Elmer. How I miss that man.”
“In that case, Lorraine, this Agatha Christie is overdue by an hour.”
“I see. Rules are rules.”
“Exactly. Glad you agree.”
“Oh my. He is a handsome devil, isn’t he. What else does he do under your desk?”

Writing for Readers

I’m both a reader and writer; more of the former than latter. I’ve always maintained that there is no such genre as fiction, primarily because actual fictional prose would be incomprehensible. Not so much in terms of language or syntax — even that makes sense when done correctly — but in the shared human existence. When we read, we filter the story through our own biases and empirical history. Even if we have no relevant parallel to the narrative, we can still imagine the scenario and empathize with the fictional characters.

As a writer, the question becomes: Do you write ‘what you know’, or create an entire landscape with no semblance to reality? The most successful books, screenplays and movies, are either lushly detailed fantasies set in exotic realms far away, or romantic struggles that echo the common frustration and exhilaration of finding that special life-partner. “Know your audience” is drummed into every hack that has ever put stylus to papyrus. There is no magic formula for writing; just hard work and placing word after word until the manuscript is completed.

Last year at this time, I was working on a short story for a Sexy Little Pages submission called “Corrupted”. The editor, Charlie Powell, broadcast the following information.

“Since the beginning of time, everything has been promised to liberate women has also been accused of corrupting them. Think suffrage, trousers, the pill, the internet, feminism, learning to drive, owning a house, having a bank account, working… Or, more recently, alcohol consumption and selfie culture. I’m looking for fresh and sexy takes on these issues, along with anything else that women have been criticised for doing.”

I started blocking out a plot, who, where, when and why. The lead character is in the title: Ghosting past Emily. As always, that came first. The ghosting refers not to specters haunting a dark mansion, but the practice of deliberately — and without warning — dropping all electronic contact with someone.

The place, San Francisco. Silicon Valley. Emily is in tech, not programming though. She’s Japanese-American, another strike, and lastly, a dominatrix on the side. All the ingredients needed to raise the hackles of white male dominated corporations. The irony is, this was written before that bastion of power and sex started to crumble under the relentless onslaught of pissed off women.

My short story of 3,900 words was accepted for inclusion in September, 2017 and Ghosting past Emily is now available for order from Amazon Kindle for $3.99. The publication date for the Corrupted anthology is March 8th, 2018.

byron-cane

I didn’t choose the sentence in the graphic, by the way. I’m unsure as to how much if any of my story I can share, so for now, that will have to do.