Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday's Mad Ramblings

     Eli L Sanne from M/M Goodbook Reviews recently posted something interesting on
Crazy Mad
FB wanting to know how authors start a new book or work. It was interesting to see all the responses from other authors. At the time I was a bit busy and didn't really have the time to go into much depth right then, so I thought I would do it today. 

     I know there are others who are probably asking the same question. Yeah, I know I’m a bit different. As in most cases, the way I do things tends to be a bit off the beaten path, but I did notice a few other authors who work similarly, though not exactly. What did you expect, right? I've always got to be the odd one out, of course. Oh well, nothing new there. 

     I usually start with a little niggle of a plot. Something that I've either seen, and or heard or read about. Then it goes to characters. I use Hiveword to get started there. It’s a program that really goes into detail for character outlines. Of course it also offers plotting, scenes and locations. Lots of stuff there, but I totally concentrate on characters first. 

Inspiration for Johnny of My Hero

     One of the first things I do is look for a visual for my characters. I want to see eyes. Eyes tell me a lot. Then I want to see basic facial features. They may not be exactly what ends up in a story, but I tend to have a basic visual to start from. From there it is all character based. 

     I take each character and build an entire outline of who they are. I give them names, sometimes troublesome, but I don’t really have to wait long before they tell me. Physical descriptions come fairly easy as well. Then I start getting into the nitty-gritty part of them. This is when I really start to get to know them. Things like religion, wants, likes and dislikes, and their personality starts to really come through. I get into their families, financial situation and education. The back-story is where I begin to hear them really start talking to me. Sometimes their voices are strong, and sometimes not so strong. However, by the time I start to write, most of them are coming through loud and clear. I need to say here that most of my characters typically end up being a lot like someone I have known or a combination of several people from my past. 

     The secondary characters tend to come after the story starts. Once they make an appearance, I go back and start their outlines. Sometimes they tell me everything all at once and sometimes I have to go back and fill in as they tell me. 

     Marie, from ‘Anything For You Sir’ was so loud, I thought she was screaming. She told me everything except the one thing that would have made the most sense, but in hindsight, had she told me, I may not have written the ending the way I did, so I guess it worked out. 

     One character in particular, I remember, was a total pain in the ass. Only gave me little bits and pieces along the way. I had to keep going back and fill in things as they came. This was very frustrating because I knew where I wanted the story to go, but he wouldn't let me do it my way. Oh no, he was going to do it his way no matter what and I had to just deal with it. End of story there. Asshat. 

      Now K.c. Wells sits down and plots out her story from beginning to end. She knows exactly how things are going to go. Sometimes she gets a wild turn here or there, but she pretty much sticks to how her plot goes. Lucky her. 

     I've heard of other authors doing a plot, then an outline, then scene set ups and so on and so forth. I tried that one time and one time only. My characters said ‘Pfft’ to that and did what they wanted to anyway. So why waste my time on that when I know they aren’t going to go by what I say? Nope, they write their own stories. I’ve had some characters who were calm and took their time, making it easy. Then there was Johnny and Rich from My Hero who were bound and determined to spend as much time in bed as they could. Those two were so frustrating to me I couldn’t see straight. Yes, I did say that, get over it. They came at night when I was trying to sleep. They screamed at me in the morning before I had my coffee. (NOT a good idea) They jumped into the sack at every opportunity. 

     Let’s talk about sex, shall we? Good Lord, those two…I had forgotten what it was like to be early twenty-something. They were going at it like rabbits. Now the one thing that I learned early on is if there is a sex scene, it damned well better have something to do with the story. I was beginning to worry that this story was going to be nothing but sex, but they worked it out in the long run. It had everything to do with the story even if I didn't see it in the short term. They were able to make it clear that it was needed, so I did what they told me. However, I did threaten them. If it didn't make sense it was going to get cut! I was serious. They laughed in my face. 

     More sex? Yes, there is always hot sex. I never struggle with sex scenes. I’m not quite sure why some authors do. For me, much of it just comes from experience. Yes, I did say experience. No, I don’t go trolling through porn sites to get inspiration for sex scenes. If it weren't for some sending me links, I doubt I’d even venture there. So yes, many of the sex scenes I write about are often personal experiences. Yes, I’m a pig. Big surprise there, right? So when a woman said in a review once that the sex scenes were not believable, I had to laugh. “Lady, when you grow a penis, then YOU can judge whether it was accurate enough”, I said out loud as I clicked it away. Yep, asshat.  

     I've always heard the phrase ‘write what you know’, and for the most part I do. Now, I’m not a Marine, so that took a lot of research and I did several in-depth interviews, which were very hard to do for P.O.W. However, I am a gay man and I know how men think, feel and, more importantly, react. Which brings me to another topic: Insta-Love. Oh honey, if you've seen as many moving vans show up on a second date, you’d never question me again on that one. Gay men tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves, the poor dears. There are more broken hearts because of it that you can even count. Yep, it happens. Sometimes it works out, but most often it doesn't  So if you think some of my stories are far-fetched  then you really don’t know gay men all that well. There are times when they wait at least a few months though. Those relationships always seem to last much longer. 

     In the end, most of my stories work out. There has only been one instance where I had to go back and rewrite the ending of a story. I was told that I would be skinned alive if I didn't  I did it reluctantly and it was very hard to do. First off, the characters were a little put out about the whole thing, but after another hot, romping sex scene, they decided maybe it wasn't all that bad after all. It was so good in fact, they decided they wanted another book! So that will be next! Stay tuned for that one. 
      Here is a little news for you guys… I will be releasing a new story next Friday, November 15, 2014. A little something that I thought would get you in the mood for the holidays. I think you’ll enjoy it. 

     Till next week y’all! 

     Max   ;-)


  1. Love that last photo! Getting inside your mind is a treat. Thanks for sharing your creative process and your queer eye for the straight gal with us.

    1. Hope I didn't scare anyone off! :D

      Thanks for the comment, Tina.

  2. loved the blog as Always max :)
    you make me laugh and enjoy reading it so much :)
    love to hear your views on the building and creating of a story and the sex What is not to love about any of your sex scene's :) xx Dani