tagNovels and NovellasThe Freshman Ch. 39: Postscript

The Freshman Ch. 39: Postscript


Postscript - "The Freshman" - thoughts about my third novel

"The Freshman" is different from my first two novels ("Maragana Girl" [2005] and "The Wanderings of Amy" [2002]) because it features a submissive male character and his dominant girlfriend. In part, I started this new novel to experiment a bit with my writing. The story starts out as a psychological novel, because I wanted to fully explore the relationship between Cecilia Sanchez and Jason Schmidt. For that reason the first discipline scenes in "The Freshman" come somewhat later than in my previous two novels. Before the scenes that describe sex and discipline, I seek to explore the psychology of the two main characters, as Jason surrenders himself to Cecilia.

In writing this novel there are a couple of pitfalls I tried to avoid. I attempted to fully lay out Cecilia's personality and make it very clear why she needs to establish herself as the dominant partner at the beginning of her relationship with Jason. I also sought to explore the psychology of my other characters, in an effort to explain as clearly as I can what motivates my characters and why they do the things they do.

In my novel I also strove to avoid the clichés I have seen in some other FemDom literature, for example, at no point did Cecilia try to feminize Jason, turn him into a child, or cut him off from the outside world. Cecilia started out as a dominant character, but unlike Ruth Burnside, she was never a typical dominatrix. Instead she was driven by the intense fear, imbedded in her during her childhood, a phobia of losing control over her life. As the novel progressed, I further explored Cecilia's changing obsessions while she worked through her second year of college and established her relationship with Jason and the other people in her life.

"The Freshman" was longer than my first two novels, which was not what I intended when I started writing. As happened with my other two previous novels, the project took on a life of its own and demanded that I continue to explore the lives of my characters. That inner pressure even forced me to add four chapters after I thought I had concluded the novel at chapter 32.

The reader will notice that the personalities of Jason and Cecilia and how they relate to each other are very different at the end of the story than at the beginning. Throughout the middle of the novel Jason's personality changes as he matures and Cecilia has to struggle to figure out how she can adjust to the changes in her boyfriend. In all of my fiction the characters and their personalities evolve and transform as events in their lives influence how they view the world. I think that tendency became especially important for Jason and Cecilia, because at the end of the novel, how they think and relate to each other is very different than how they related during their first several months together in the dorm.

My third novel also gave me the chance to further develop characters and story-lines from my two previous novels, "The Wanderings of Amy" and "Maragana Girl". Rather than create and have to introduce entirely new secondary characters for "The Freshman" I re-used many of the characters that appear in the other two novels. By re-using older characters I used the project as a way to connect the previous two pieces of fiction I have created. In terms of the timeline of the three stories, plot of "The Freshman" begins shortly after the ending of "Maragana Girl", and ends (if you exclude the epilogue) about three years before the beginning of "The Wanderings of Amy".

From "The Wanderings of Amy", my third novel includes the return of a somewhat younger Ruth Burnside, her lover Jim Halsey, and the future photographer Suzanne Foster as an undergraduate student. I enjoyed working with Suzanne Foster and Ruth Burnside in my first novel and wanted to develop some details about their earlier lives, before they met Amy.

As for the characters from my other novel "Maragana Girl", there was a lot of material that I wanted to add to the story of Upper Danubia, but felt that it would not fit in the second novel as I wrote it. I was interested in exploring the struggles facing my character Vladim Dukov and the political development of Upper Danubia. I then used the Danubian political situation as a way to bring about a real crisis into the life of Jason Schmidt and the climax of the novel.

As was true with my previous two novels, the characters developed in my mind as I explored their lives. Although the primary purpose of the story is for it to be erotic fiction, I feel that developing a plot and a context in which to place the erotic events is equally important. I think it is much more erotic for a sex or spanking scene to be part of a larger environment, than for it to be an isolated event in the bedroom, with no connection to what is going on outside. I also seek to create a world of fantasy in which the reader can escape, which is why many of my scenes have so much descriptive detail.

The point of the plot (if you extract the erotic elements) is that Jason and Cecilia are the survivors of two very dysfunctional and self-destructive families. Throughout the novel I try to make the point that my two main characters come from backgrounds that on the surface seem very different, but deep down are actually very similar. I have tried to portray two families from opposite ends of the social spectrum that are equally dysfunctional and in the end meet the same fate. As for my two main characters, in the concluding chapters they have the opportunity to draw upon each other to salvage what is left of their old households and set about creating a new one. From the ruins of their old lives and devastated families, Jason and Cecilia will create something totally new and be redeemed. An important part of that redemption is for each of my characters to save the life of a survivor from their families.

A final thought on what is going on with the spirituality aspect of my novel. In reality I don't believe in the supernatural or spiritual world, but under the right circumstances I think it makes for good and interesting fiction. Upper Danubia is a realm of fantasy, something I made up, and the country's religion is simply a part of that imaginary place.

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