I’m currently on day ten of the November writing frenzy known as NaNoWriMo for short–National Novel Writing Month. It’s been under fire recently for encouraging people to write badly for a month. It’s grown from a relatively small group of people to a world-wide writing party.
I know some folks seriously entertain the notion that what they write during NaNo will be worthy of readership. I hold no such illusions. I know that what I’m doing is an exercise in writing that is both exhausting and useful in its own way. It’s only a beginning; a place to start exploring a story, no more.
The novel I’m working on came to me as a spin-off of a roleplay I am doing at World Enough and Time. (See sidebar for link.) The roleplay is very different, actually, but I am using the same character for an idea I had a while ago.
Maddie is a young woman is working for a museum in Italy and has come across a diary dated 1599. The diary is unusual in that it details a sexual relationship between a young Venetian housewife and her lover. Maddie has her own sexual needs and desires that haven’t been fully evolved or expressed, and her own life takes on a strange parallel to that of the woman in the diary.
Maddie begins to do research into the history of BDSM and finds herself drawn to the modern version of the lifestyle more and more. She gains a new understanding of her own sexuality through the experiences of this woman who died four hundred years before she was born.
That’s the basic premise. Anyway, The ticker at the top should, I hope, stay updated with my progress.
A number of years ago, I took a rather casual poll of my lady friends about how they fantasize. I didn’t ask them what their particular fantasies were so much as how they went about it. I was probably in my late twenties, and it was way before I learned the term “kink” or how it applied to me at any rate. I had been with my hubby for probably ten years and had employed fantasy plenty of times particularly during masturbating. I asked my girlfriends if they fantasized and what they did with their husbands to get to the fantasy. In other words, in real life, we were all married, but in fantasy land we were all thinking about men or women who were not our husbands. Where were their men in the back of their minds? You see, I had always rationalized away my husband so that I could be “free” to have fantasies with other men. After all, being monogamous and married meant that having sex with other men would be sort of contrary to my vows. Those of us that I talked to who were under thirty had pretty much the same response. “I pretend that he died in a car accident and that it’s been a year or so, and I’m now free to start off something new.” or, “I pretend that he’s in a coma and I just can’t help myself. When I’m done, he wakes up from the coma and he’s totally understanding of the needs I had while he was asleep. We get back together at the end and all is well.” The need to rationalize the ability to ‘be with someone else’ seemed to play strongest amongst those who were younger. The older women, say over forty, were more likely to say, “What? When I fantasize, I’m not even me, so the hubby doesn’t even come into it.” The older they were, the more likely they were to just go all out into fantasy land and have no need to justify their wanton desires. As I aged, I became much more like my older friends myself. It could be that they influenced me into a more freer frame of mind, but it could be that the need to “be me” in my own fantasies also changed. My earliest fantasies involved my husband being gone for some reason (death, coma, prisoner of war or some-such that he couldn’t be with me), and me coming onto the UPS guy or finally dating someone from the gym.As I got older, I began to fantasize about being someone else entirely in a setting completely unlike my ‘real life.’ Maybe I’d be an elven princess in a fantastical world. Or, I’d pretend I was an astronaut in space experimenting with weightlessness in fun and interesting ways. Or, I’d be a queen in ancient polyandrous Britain with my male harem serving my needs. At any rate, I moved beyond the “me” in fantasy. That morphed later as I discovered electronic role-playing. As a writer, I love to put things down into words, and this form of fantasizing has become one that I really, really enjoy. I make up characters that are all very unique and different and write stories with other people who are doing the same thing. When I’m not actually writing scenes for role-play, I do think about them and let them feed my private fantasies.