To be or not to be…too dominant

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel; my quest is nearly at an end; I’m in lobbing distance of that ruddy great volcano in Lord of the Rings and the Precious is neatly in my hand.

Yes, I’ve just about finished another book!

This is the fourth book in my Victorian Vices series, which are not as intense as my Ruttingdon series. They’re also set further back in the nineteenth century. This follows Lady Lavinia Beaumont, who was mentioned but never seen in the third Vices book, Spanking The Heiress. She’s the fearless and demanding youngest sister of the hero of the third book, and as soon as I had written about her I knew that I needed to make her a heroine of a future book.

In this book Lady Lavinia meets her match in William Stewart, a young man with a mysterious past. The difference in class between them seems an impenetrable barrier, but Lavinia is used to getting her own way, and she wants William! William, however, is firm in his belief that Lavinia’s behaviour is in need of correction and he finds himself the only person who can tame Lavinia’s wild streak.

I’ve done all the heavy lifting. I need to go back and insert the spanking and sex scenes and do a general edit for consistency, pace, word choice etc and then it’s off to the beta readers.

My problem, however, is with William. I think that he may not be dominant enough for some readers of this genre of fiction. His position in the class structure puts him beneath Lavinia, which creates tension in the book (or, at least, I hope it does!) but it also means that he cannot act in the ways that dominant heroes in these books seem to do. He can’t just sweep her up in his arms, kick down the bedroom door, spank her backside red and ravish her. It’s just not possible. He can’t dictate her actions or chide her in public. He certainly can’t punish her in public. Nobody would accept him behaving in any way that wasn’t deferential and respectful. Well, Lavinia would, but she doesn’t get to have her way in this, sadly!

My other problem, which is one that I’ve touched on before, is that if William did do these macho, alpha-male things, then I’d absolutely hate him. There is a line between dominant behaviour, agreed in advance by both parties, and outright abuse. I think that some authors blur the line between them. I also think that some authors accelerate over the line as if E L James’ legal team was chasing them for copyright infringement on her trademark abusive dom stereotype.

I want to write books that I would like to read. I think that’s a basic core belief for all writers, or if it’s not, it bloody well should be. I hate books where the hero’s dominance is so absolute that it borders on, or is in fact, abuse. I won’t turn William into one of those heroes no matter what the disappointed reviewers will say on Amazon, but I am wary of not making him dominant enough ┬áto satisfy most readers of this genre.

Decisions, decisions.

I’m off to edit.