For those who follow my ramblings closely, you will know of my struggles with this particular tale.
It is a sequel to one of my most popular stories (also one of my shortest) Backseat Battle. Now, Backseat Battle’s popularity has always sort of perplexed me. It was one written so early in my career as fight-fiction author (if you’re snickering at that description of what I do, know that I am too), that I do not remember writing it or any of the thoughts going through my head at the time. That inability to recall is also likely due to the fact that the story wasn’t one that I sank deeply into.
It just popped in my head and I wrote it — moving on from it almost immediately thereafter. But, in the way it often happens, feedback on the tale has trickled in from the day I posted the tale on. Feedback, and requests that I either rewrite the story as a full-length tale or instead, a sequel. Those from Hostboard will remember my struggle as to which I should do.
Eventually, despite that indecision, I came up with an idea for a sequel. An idea that to me sounded like the perfect way to get Brenda and Samantha back together. Mark would choose Samantha as the family’s new babysitter — he knowing nothing of the battle that occurred int he original. In my enthusiasm, I presented the idea to those fans of the original that I kept contact with, fully expecting them to love it.
But … they did not. Instead, they had their own ideas for the story. Ideas that were presented as, this is the way it must be done, or it’s a betrayal of the original story’s vision. That sounds like me being derisive, but actually it is not. For that conversation in more detail, check out the blog post I made about the ownership of readers, which can be found here.
Now, their suggested changes and guidance all focused around making the story lean more towards … well … part of the original story that was very unRapture-y. Namely, Samantha’s insults about Brenda being ugly and old. Not just in the name calling, but also to generally, focus on the two really dispising each other.
It is one of my quirks, that though I like trash talk, I dislike trash talk where rivals call each other ugly or otherwise suggest the other isn’t attractive and sexy. Why…? Well, as many of you either know because I told you or know because it is literally littered all throughout my stories. The sexy part of my stories to me are … well … the sex part. The sensual part. I want my rivals to be turned on by each other, and to either have to fight and resist their desire or to completely give into it.That feeling is broken if the two women think one another to be ugly.
Now, you’ve read Backseat Battle 2 (or should — go now!), and you know how I eventually threaded that needle. Keeping the verbal insults from Samantha while also making it clear that though she spoke the words, she was turned on. VERY turned on.
That dichotomy of words and desire, I think, helped the story. And so for that, those who I came to for guidance prior to the story’s posting deserve a thank you. Having said that, despite those same commentators warnings, I kept the beat-by-beat aspects mostly the same as my original vision. Not because the ideas of those I spoke to were bad, but instead because my ideas just felt right — to me (weird right?).
But those pre-writing helpers were not the only ones who I need to mention here. About mid-way through the story, about when Brenda and Samantha move to the master bedroom, I put out a call for aid.
I needed someone to help me figure out if the way I had the story playing out, tone-wise, made sense. That’s when HankMcCoy02 came in. Hank looked over what I had, and though he gave mostly positive feedback (which may or may not show up on this blog as some additional insight), he left me a true gem. He warned me to keep the character’s traits consistent from one end of the tale to the other.
As soon as I read his words, I knew. Shit! lol, that’s exactly what I wasn’t doing. Or more accurately, what I wasn’t planning on doing from that point on. Instead, in true Rapture fashion, my plan was to have the two lose themselves in the raw sexual attraction they felt for each other, letting the battle for Mark slip away. And their combative spirits fade.
Instantly, upon getting Hank’s advice, however, I knew I had to rethink and rejigger. Mapping out in my mind what was going to happen, and how those events mapped to the character traits of Brenda and Samantha. Brenda was experienced, strategic, and almost devious. Samantha was reckless, aggressive, and desperate.
And so where as Brenda sought to trap her younger opponent and outwit her, Samantha just tried to blitz and will her way through. A meeting and meshing of styles and stratagems that worked — at least in my mind. And so if anyone deserves a tip of thee hate for Backseat Battle 2, it’s HankMcCoy02. Thank you so much!
From there, the rest came easy — save for the end. An end I had always planned. For Mark to come home and catch his wife with Samantha.
If I were to explain why the idea occurred to me, I’d say it’s because we, as a community, seem to miss it. The fact that a sexfight, without the permission of the other spouse, is cheating. In itself. And though it isn’t explicitly said, Mark doesn’t even know what Brenda was doing or why, only that she was fucking the neighbor girl. After all she had said about David and his choice to do the same.
In addition, I thought it would be interesting to have Brenda win, and yet lose. Defeat her rival, only to have Mark leave her. Not for Samantha, but in anger.
Could I have planted more seeds of Mark perhaps returning early? Yes. I probably should have, but I did not want the reader to expect it. Or even think about it. It just happened, and the reader was as surprised, at least I assume, as Brenda.
What would happen next? Would Brenda be able to get him back? Would Samantha make a play even in defeat? Questions I wanted the reader to ask, to make them want a sequel to 2 as much as they wanted a sequel to 1.
A fire I threw gas on, when I had Samantha once more engage Brenda, just as the story came to an end. Was Samantha challenging her blonde rival for Mark again? Had she given up all pretense and admitted in their final kiss that she wanted Brenda and not her man?
At this moment, even I don’t know the answer to those questions — but I greatly look forward to figuring it all out. A desire that goes along with how deeply I fell in love with Brenda and Samantha as I wrote this tale. Like Lauren and Claire, they feel real to me. Important to me, in a way they did not after their first encounter.
So though I can NEVER promise a story will be out when I expect it to, I would expect another tale in this saga.
A tale to answer the questions, and most certainly create more.