Listening to The Sisters Of Mercy the other night while writing reminded me that, originally, the story which became True Love was going to be called The Temple Of Love, after the SOM song. My lady friend of the time, the one who inspired Kimberly from The Pleasure Bunnies, talked me out of it. I don’t really remember what the reasoning originally was behind the name “True Love,” but I did finally work it in a few chapters before the finale.
A few weeks back, a reader commented that one of my stories was harder to follow due to the long breaks between chapters. This is a great concern for me; now that graduate school is almost over I will have a lot more time to write. At one point, when I started wrapping up True Love (when I wrote again, someone reviewed it by beginning “from the mists of time…”) I was going to have a short chapter where Kristen and Celia actually did a somewhat 4th wall breaking recap of previous events.
This seemed like a fun idea, but I ended up getting rid of it because I wanted to wrap up the story and not prolong it any further. I don’t see the big deal about readers having to go back and read, or reread, older chapters, I just did it with trilby else’s Outcall, but I understand other readers don’t have that kind of patience or time.
I decided it would be fun to have commentaries about my story chapters. I hope to do one a week as time permits. The first one is chapter one of True Love:
- True Love wasn’t really inspired by anyone in particular or any specific event. I liked the idea of an outcast betraying her values for popularity and adoration. Over about a year I put together some ideas about the characters and then started to write early in 2001. I finished the first chapter, I think, around June or so.
- Gee, isn’t it really, really, convenient that Lauren is right there when Jenny has her fall from grace? I never explained this very well and actually thought about retroactively adding a scene involving some sort of spying.
- I’ve discussed this with a few other authors over the years, but boy has technology changed. Burnt CD-R’s for subliminal messages? These days things would be a lot more efficient.
- I don’t like the scene where Jenny wakes up and Lauren begins to command her. I would have done it a lot differently today and added some resistance from Jenny.
- I also wish I had developed how superficial Lauren is. She is just as bad as those she hates; she commands Kristen to dress Jenny rather stereotypically and I wish I had commented on this earlier in the story than I ended up doing.
- When I first posted this story, praise came in for the bathroom scene with the lights. It’s good, although again I wish it was a little more developed.
Sarah Collins was not really based on anyone real, although a co-worker from my teen years did inspire her visually somewhat. I despise the “retro” fetishizing of homemakers and supposed old timey values that only sort of existed outside of misogynist’s dreams. That said, the docile, eager to please, housewife is quite an attractive character type when done well. It would figure, I thought, that Lauren would think the best way to fix her alcoholic, out of control, mother would be to have her brainwashed into mindless docility. The character became, for me, more a comment on Lauren’s immaturity than anything else. True Love wouldn’t be the same without Sarah and I expect her to show up in the Pleasure Bunnie universe rather soon.
Originally, I did not have a lot of plans for Kristen. She was always to be Lauren Collins’ slave in True Love, but eventually cast aside so Lauren and Jenny could go off together (more on that soon…). As I mentioned in my earlier post about Lauren, something changed as time went by and I grew to dislike Lauren a lot. Kristen’s self mutilation scene at the end of chapter four and sort of mental breakdown made me grow rather fond of her and want to explore her role in the story a lot more than the main protagonists.
The implications of her breaking through her programming is something I want to explore in the future as well.
The addition of Celia, Arianna’s sister, had been planned for awhile. The decision to pair Kristen up with her was something that happened while I was writing. There is a lot more to come from those two.
There was no specific person who inspired Lauren other than the stereotypical mall goth meets “alternative model” (way before stupid sites like Suicide Girls) from the Internet. I just wanted to write about that archetype via EMC. Her assumptions and delusions of her own grandeur were something I wish I had spent more time exploring while writing True Love, but as a few years went by I lost interest in the character and, after a lot of consideration, she ended up with the fate she received.
Originally I had considerably different plans for Lauren. Sometime soon I will have a feature on here called “change of plans” where I will discuss some of the plot direction changes I have made over the years while planning stories.
As for the future, I can say I have penciled Lauren into a scene for a future Pleasure Bunnies story I am planning. Whether the reader will know it is her is something I have not decided yet.