Thursday, March 7, 2013

SM Johnson ~Thursday Morning Coffee ~ the hardest part

[Edited post] Good Morning, Darlings, and happy Thursday!

I am here to tell you on this fine morning that the hardest part of writing a novel is writing the synopsis. Yeah, you know, when you pick up a book and turn it over to read on the back what it's about? Yeah, that. Absolutely grueling. And even though there's no 'back of the book' on an ebook, you still have to have some kind of concise description of what it's all about.

Describe your novel in 300 words or less... make it interesting, ask an intriguing question, put a hook in there so you can draw readers in 'hook, line, and sinker'...

I'm fairly certain I suck at this. I've devoted two days to stewing on it, and still don't have a synopsis that I'm happy with.

Let's see.... Book one, Above the Dungeon - two subs revolve around Roman.

Book two, Out of the Dungeon - Roman loses everything.

Book three, Three in the Dungeon - Roman regains those things most important to him and figures out the meaning of life.

HaHa. I know, nice try, right?

I want to shout out a RELEASE DATE but I can't write the damned book description. Arrggghhh! Oh yeah, I don't have a cover yet, either. Craptastic.

See? I thought the hard part was over.

I wrote the thing. I edited the thing. It pretty much makes sense. One early reader loved it. One... well, suffice to say, did not. And each of them loved or didn't love for very different reasons. Opposite reasons, really.

What I can tell you is this - if you came to hate Roman in Out of the Dungeon, you probably will not like him any better in Three in the Dungeon.

You remember all the Team Edward/Team Jacob insanity? Yeah. It's like that. If you're Team Roman, you'll love this book. If you're Team Jeff, well... you might not. That's pretty much all I can say at this point...

Playing with the synopsis:

Roman and Jeff are building a new life in Minnesota, even though Jeff's been insisting since the accident that he just wants to be vanilla. A funny thing, though, Jeff's BDSM erotic fiction is quickly becoming the latest Amazon Indie success story. So does this prove that inside his head, Jeff is still a kinkster? And what about inside his heart?

The local fetish community is a lot different in this town than in the club Roman created in New York City. Roman admits that he's a fetish snob, but still, an inexperienced local boy has managed to capture and keep his interest. Roman is determined to integrate his own controlling tendencies, Jeff's imagination, and Jason's submission into something that feels like home. But it would be a hell of a lot easier if the baby would stop crying.

I have about eight variations of the words above. As far as synopses go, I don't think it's great, but it isn't awful. Of course, it leaves out the whole Vanessa thing, and the whole Dare thing... and although  the series does revolve around Roman, Vanessa and Dare think stuff and do stuff and say stuff in this book, too.

In fact, some of the stuff they think and say and do might just lead to a 4th Dungeon book... (SM cocks her head and offers a fist-bump to her seagull muse).

Oh, yeah, release date. Um. Erm. Hang on a minute. I have to check my calendar and my work schedule...


FRIDAY MARCH 22nd, Three in the Dungeon will be for sale exclusively at AMAZON. (And 90-95 days later, for sale in all e-reader format at SMASHWORDS... and 30 days give or take after that... all kinds of other places - like Sony, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

Whew. I'm sweating now. I'd better get to work on that synopsis.

I shall leave you with an excerpt - well, more of a tease:

From Three in the Dungeon, Chapter 2

There came the night Zach rented Mulin Rouge, telling Dare that watching Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman fall into impossible, tuberculosis-doomed love was a gay right-of-passage.

And anyway, Dare at first thought the film was ridiculous, but then ridiculously clever, and eventually found himself devouring Zach's lips with great abandon, and, a short time later, Zach's cock, as well.

"Dare…" Zach groaned, and he really did sound like he was in pain. "I want to fuck you. I want to fuck you so bad."

The words hit Dare's brain like a fuse on fire, and ignited his lust, sending fireworks through his brain stem. There was something so primal about the plea that all bets were off, no holding back.

"I want to fuck you, too," he answered, and it was heartfelt and true.

He found himself on his back in Zach's bed, towel-covered pillows propping up his hips, Zach kneeling between his legs. His whole body felt tight. He wasn't afraid of Zach, but had to admit to himself that he was definitely afraid of having a cock in his ass. Zach hadn't even touched him yet and Dare was a wreck.

 "Do you trust me?" Zach asked.

Dare felt completely vulnerable and exposed, and the soft question startled him. "Would I be letting you do this if I didn't?" He tried to laugh, but it came out more like a strangled cough.

"Don't be scared. I'll make it good for you. I promise. Just close your eyes and try to relax."

Dare tried to relax, but there was no way. He didn't know what to do with his arms, and his feet were flexing madly, trying to release tension.

Zach poured lube along Dare's cock, and it trickled to the crease of his thigh and dripped between his buttocks. Zach stroked him, whispering sweet, reassuring words, but when he slid one lubricated finger into Dare, Dare cried out and jerked away.

"Sorry, sorry," Dare breathed. "I'm just so tense that the pain startled me."

Zach crawled over Dare's left leg and stretched out on his side next to Dare, propped up on his elbow. The flat of his hand smoothed down Dare's chest, all the way to his dick, and then the fingers walked back up again, pausing to gently play first with one of Dare's nipple rings, and then the other. "It's okay, Dare. We don't have to do this right now. I don't want to hurt you."

"But it's going to hurt, isn't it? I mean, for sure the first time."

Zach shrugged, but then nodded. "Sometimes it hurts, especially the first time. More if you're scared and tense."

"I want to do it tonight. I want to get it over with."

Zach laughed. "Damn, Dare, that's romantic."

"You know what I mean," Dare said, and raised up from the bed so he could capture Zach's lips. Zach kissed him back, moaning a little in the back of his throat, the fingers of one hand tugging hard on the ring in Dare's right nipple, causing a sharp flash of pain.

Dare had an instant memory of the piercing chair, the handcuffs, and Roman sitting on his lap, holding him down.

"Tie me up," Dare whispered into Zach's mouth.

Now it was Zach who was startled. He jerked away, and stared at Dare, eyes wide with surprise, mouth half open.

"What are you talking about?"

"Tie me up and fuck me. Please. I can handle the pain if you tie me up."

Zach was shaking his head. "Aw, Jesus, Dare, it would be like raping you."
"No, it wouldn't."

Zach's voice came out cold then, stabbing into Dare like a dagger made of ice. "Is that what Roman would do?"

And what Dare felt then was guilt. Zach was all sunshine and warmth, and  here was Dare, trying to bring him over to the dark side.

"Well? Tell me, Dare. You want Roman to do this? Bet you could call him up and ask him. He'd probably be happy to oblige you."

"Zach. Please. It's not like that - "

Zach cut him off. "Oh, really? What's it like then?"

"I've never done this before. And I do trust you – I do," he made his voice insistent, seeing skepticism on Zach's face. "But I'm tense because it's new and it's going to hurt. You were pulling on my nipple ring, and that hurt, too, and reminded me that I was handcuffed when I got them pierced. The inevitability helped me deal. Made me less afraid."

Zach pulled away. "You are a kinky bastard, aren't you?" But now there was something besides anger in his eyes. Something closer to curiosity. "Are you sure?" he asked, and Dare could tell by his voice that Zach wasn't mad anymore.

Zach went digging through his dresser drawers and came up with two neckties. He knotted them tightly around each of Dare's wrists, then tied them to the posts of the headboard. It stretched Dare's upper body almost to the point of strain, but instantly made him feel more secure and grounded. He closed his eyes.

"Is it okay?" Zach asked.

"It's perfect," Dare answered, feeling himself dropping into submissive headspace.

Have a GREAT weekend, darlings!


  1. Hey, awesome on the release date! (woot!) I guess I'm team Roman, lol...although, like I told you, I really loved Jeff in book 3, and felt like I understood and sympathized with him a ton more in this book, too, partly because he really does come into his own.

    Re: the synopses (synopsi?)...the first one gives away too much of the plot, in my opinion. It's not a tease or a sales tool so much as a summary of the plot arc. The 2nd one works much better! It's got more of the humor of their situation woven in, too, and your voice as a writer. I think you could probably make it a bit shorter, and still mention Dare's adventures, but it's fine as is.

    And word on synopsi sucking...I'm MUCH better at doing them for other people than I am doing them for my own books, too. Easier to pick out the hook and the highlights when it's not your own words.

    Yay! It's coming out soon! :)

  2. Hi JC - I did remove the first synopsis from the post - thinking, as you said, it gives too much of the plot away. Like I was writing a query letter or something. I'll tighten it up some, but isn't it funny how the summary I wrote BEFORE I wrote the book, is better than the one I wrote after? The book went a few places I didn't expect it to go, and yet the originally summary still work. Things that make you go... hmm... Writing is so odd.