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August 17, 2013
Posted at 12:54 pm

Origin of Melissa’s Secrets


If you're not up to chapter 46 with your reading, you may want to skip this blog post. There are references to things that you likely would prefer discovering in the story instead of here.

When KK and I began thinking about writing a story together back in 2002, we really didn't have a specific plot in mind. I was hoping we could blend our strengths as writers to come up with a fun story. We weren't thinking about a writing a very lengthy story at the time. The idea was to alternate writing chapters. In order to write a seamless story that didn't look like two separate writers throwing chapters together, we needed to develop a plot and characters we both understood the same way. So, we began sharing ideas.

The basic premise we settled on involved two young teen girls who are best friends exploring sex for the first time with each other. They would be discovered by one of their mothers. The mothers would talk about it, and then one of the mothers would seduce her friend's daughter. She would then expose the girl to other things, such as swinging. The woman would even admit to having had sex with her older brother, and encouraging the girl to have sex with her own older brother. That would lead the girl into exploring a number of sexual things with the woman. The story was to generally revolve around secrets that the girl was learning about and keeping. The mothers would underestimate her desire to know more and more, which would lead her to stumbling into bigger things that the parents were involved with.

KK offered to write the first couple of chapters with the input I'd given him about the two best friends and the best friend's mother. Then I would write the next few chapters, and go back and forth like that. He ended up posting the first four chapters. So, I started work on the next few chapters. I did share those with him (chapters 5 & 6). KK liked them, and so I posted them. After that though, KK decided that he really couldn't offer too much more for the plot and characters. So he turned the whole thing over to me to finish. I then proceeded to plot out the whole story in detail, which I thought at the time would be about 20 good sized chapters. Of course, that was a major underestimation. I also came up with most of the other major characters at that time. I've since added more characters over the past two years as the thought of a Book 2 has come into better focus.

In 2004, I began to get burned out from everything going on in my life -- school, marriage, work, etc. etc. The story had a sizable following and I was feeling the pressure to post something regularly. I had a lot of great things planned for the rest of the story. I was anxious to get them all written, which turned out to be my downfall at the time. The time I had to write was becoming very scarce and I became very frustrated.

Finally, I started rushing to finish the story. I started deleting whole planned chapters and storylines. The backyard campout was gone. Mrs. Thomas was gone (which really bothered me at the time). Anything to do with the church was gone. The revelations from Andrea's college days were gone. The relationship with Peter was gone. Jennifer was gone. The nudist campground was gone - No Donkey Dick or Mr. Pervert. Tammy was gone. Most other things yet to come at the time were gone. I was basically gonna have Mel, Sarah, and Pam discovering a few more things together ... which I hadn't clearly defined even for myself. Andrea and Mel would get closer, but not to the degree the college days' revelation allowed things to become. There wouldn't have been any sexual involvement between Mel and her parents until the last chapter. Then Mel would discover the big secret - end of story.

Looking at what was left, I just decided to completely stop writing it. I didn't want to end it like I was planning. So, the story sat for six years. I wasn't even checking my "Pookie" email because it was just reminders from readers that I shouldn't abandon the story. I didn't have the time to even seriously think about the story, much less do any writing.

With my time freeing up (for good reasons) in early 2011, I dusted it off and started writing again. I added some things back, but not all, which almost tripped me up when I had Mrs. Thomas originally say that she and Andrea had never taken money for sex. When I finally decided to add the prostitution revelation back in, I had to go back and revise the earlier chapter with Doris and Mel's discussion after some readers noted the continuity problem.

I started posting chapters again in June 2011. The reaction was great. I began having fun again with it. I was pacing myself too. I still am! So, I decided to add everything back in, and even added a number of new things. Book 2 began to really take shape as an idea over the past eight months. Even a Book 3 looks very promising.

And that more or less brings us up to today.

KK's version of the characters Colleen, Bob, Sarah, and Pam have remained as he wrote them. The original portrayal of Melissa didn't quite sit well with me though. She didn't come across quite as spunky, daring, and determined as I wanted her to be. She was really curious about things, but was just a little too passive for me. So, I slightly revised some of her earliest dialogue and introspective style to accomplish that. She still comes off as a little passive in the first two chapters, but not enough for me to fret about. I actually use that to justify to myself her tendency to be passive at times. To me, it's her excuse for how she can brush off some things others see as important while focusing on what she thinks is really important. That's where it rubs some readers the wrong way when she doesn't demand to know everything all the time, or become confrontational more often. That's how she can stay so obsessed with the big secret and anything she strongly feels will lead her to discovering what that is. She doesn't let what she considers to be the less important things bog her down.

So, that is the basic origin of the story, and a bit of how it got to where it is today. KK occasionally emails me and says he likes where our creation has gone, and plans to go. He knows the rest of the basic plot for Book 1. Nick, my editor, knows it in great detail.

Have a fun weekend!

Oh, and Chapter 47 will be posted on September 7 as planned.