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  • Beth Burke

Story Development

I have been asked how I develop my stories and there are two ways that I go about this. The first way is that I have an idea and then I plan out the basic plot points and outline the story. The second way is when a story comes to me and I just write it as it comes. Both of these are very enjoyable to me. I love watching a story come together and take on a life all its ' own.

The first way is definitely more organized and thought out but I don't really believe that one way is better than the other. This way begins with a basic idea. Blackwell was one of these stories. It began with the idea that too many books show the BDSM world in this terrible and abusive light. I know a few people that live in that lifestyle and that is not what it is really like. I wanted to show the real side to this type of relationship dynamic. The idea was that a girl had something traumatic happen to her and finds a sort of healing in the BDSM world. As I spoke to a friend of my about the idea she said maybe it could be about a club, where this girl finds her Dom. That gave us the idea for a series based around this club. Then I sat down with the idea and thought about different ways to go about developing the idea. I thought a lot of traumatic things happens to cops and so Raelyn became a cop in the largest city near where I live, Spokane Washington. As I was trying to counteract the books out there I did make the main male character wealthy, to show that not all rich people are abusive jerks. The outline started to take shape and was filled in as the story was flushed out and other things needed to be developed.

The other way is when a story comes to my head and just tells itself. Deadly Betrothed was one of these books, Uncaged was another. These both just started to tell themselves in my head and I started to right them down. This way of story development might not be as organized but it is alway fun for me to discover the story as I write it. When I was writing Deadly Betrothed I thought as first that Killian was a real ass and wondered how I was supposed to make this girl fall in love with him and to accept this arranged marriage. The longer the story went on I realized that he really isn't that much of a jerk. He is who he needs to be in that moment. When he needs to be the tough and ruthless clan leader, he can be just has ruthless and heartless as he needs to be. However that is not the real him, Killian is caring, loving and protective. It was a very interesting discovery of his character as the story progressed. He only punished Kayleigh because he felt he had to, she needed to understand how the clan worked and the part she needed to play in order for there to be peace. He didn't do it because he enjoys pain or anything else, that is what needed to be done. I enjoy these types of stories because it is almost as if I am reading and discovering the story and the characters right along with the readers as I write it.

Both of these are ways I write my stories and I don't think that will ever change. In contrast to the way the character of Killian came to me as I wrote the story. Ambrose from Blackwell came into my mind fully formed. As soon as I started to outline the story and was trying to figure out the main female characters past Ambrose just arrived and introduced himself. His character and his background, with the exception of a few small details that were iron out later, he was just there. I will have another blog with a little more information about how I develop each character.

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