Have you ever wondered how people write stories; where they got their ideas from? Where the inspiration to write comes from?
There are many writers who pen short stories with transgender themes, and it’s no surprise to find that transgender stories are very popular. Indeed there are numerous online sites that provide a focal point for many writers of transgender fiction to post their stories.
The range of stories is very broad and covers tales of innocent cross-dressing adventures to full blown quadruple X erotica that would set fire to the paper if it were printed.
Recently I found a story line on Fictionmainia set in Manchester, where the main characters become involved with Sparkle. I was curious and wanted to find out more. So here is the story behind the story!
The author, Caroline Walker, has been a cross-dressing for as long as she can remember. The advent of mass media through the internet helped her discover that she was not alone, and that there was a large ocean of information to tap into. During her browsing she discovered a number of transgender fiction sites.
She soon found that the sheer volume and diversity of the stories was overwhelming, and that having read literally hundreds of stories she thought that she would give it a try. So eighteen months ago she set about writing her first story.
"From the beginning I knew that I wanted to create a “real” world for my characters where their dressing became an inevitable part of their personal development and not just a convenient peg on which to hang some fantastic transformation. I also wanted to try my hand at a variety of different story types, so that some would be naturalistic, whilst others would involve magic or extreme science. I also decided that my characters should come from all ages and not just be pretty young things."
Caroline had read many stories and was aware that coming up with an original idea was going to be very difficult. To begin with, she had never written fiction before, although she was used to writing factual pieces in a business context. However, she says, "accordinging to some they might argue that many of my business papers were a work of pure fiction!"
Her format when developing stories was to observe and adapt, "I started by noting different items of news in the papers and on television and thinking about how these stories might have developed if one or other of the participants had been transgendered. In bed at night, before falling asleep, I 'rehearse' stories in my head; trying out various pieces of dialogue and seeing how different angles might fit together.’"
Caroline is still a fledgling writer. But she has written some ten stories thus far. Some have been relatively short, while others have spread into multi-chapter tomes! Like many writers she finds reader feedback invaluable.
"The reviews of my writing have, in the main, been positive and encouraging. Indeed in several instances, when I had thought I had brought the story to a satisfactory close, it has been suggested that I take the development of my characters further and write additional material."
One of Caroline’s stories – “Flat Mates” – is centred on the experiences of a young undergraduate leaving home for the first time -- to study in Manchester and discovering that, contrary to all his beliefs and previous experience, he is, in fact, a cross-dresser. "When I started writing this story, I envisaged it running to a dozen pages or so. As it developed however, it currently looks as though it will run to fourteen chapters – of which I have so far written eleven."
She goes on to explain "Although it was not part of my original planning, the fact that this story is set in Manchester resulted in it heading inexorably towards Sparkle. I was aware that this was probably the most prestigious transgendered event in the country and research on the Sparkle web site provided much useful material. However, it so happens that a few years ago I had the chance to visit Sparkle in person. I have few opportunities to venture forth dressed as 'Caroline', so when one such opportunity happened to coincide with the Sparkle weekend, I seized the chance with both hands. I can still remember, with absolute clarity, the feeling of excitement as I drove into Manchester wearing my skirt, blouse and wig. I feared I would bottle out when it came to getting out of the car; but I didn’t and the next thing I knew I was walking up Canal Street, listening to my heels clicking on the cobbles and with my handbag swinging from my arm.
I was on my own but determined to interact with others. Everyone I engaged in conversation proved to be very friendly and I learnt a lot about the different ways in which people come to learn that they sit somewhere along the transgendered spectrum. Many, like me, just felt the need to dress, but I also spent some time with a post-op transsexual which gave me a totally different perspective on the pressures some folk live under.
When it came to writing 'Flat Mates”' I tried to create the atmosphere at Sparkle that I remembered. The venues and activities into which I placed my characters, however, were totally invented.’"
I asked Caroline what advice would she would give a budding writer,
She strongly suggests: -
- If you feel like writing something, give it a go. Starting is the hardest part of the process.
- Don’t worry if things don’t go smoothly all the time. Stop writing and let your characters develop their own story in your head.
- Check and double check your story for continuity, language, grammar, and typos before publishing. It is so easy in the heat of composition for your brain to work faster than your fingers can type!
- Readers will post reviews of your work; most will be encouraging and positive. You should take criticism seriously and learn from what others think when they read your work. Inevitably you will encounter some comments which are hurtful; ignore those that are mean and spiteful but recognise that there may be valid reasons why some people don’t like your writing. Read, inwardly digest, and learn – and don’t be put off; make your next work even better!
Caroline’s stories, and those of many other authors, can be found on the Fictionmania transgender story site.
Have you thought of a story in her head that you'd like tosee play out on paper. Well, what are you wating for -- write it down girl!