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What Now?

Yesterday I posted an update on what I’ve been up to writing and publishing wise these past few months while I’ve been quiet on the blog front. With the publishing of Bedouin Boy on Halloween and Grave Bargains on Friday the 13th of November, my publishing goals for the year have wrapped up, but its full steam ahead when it comes to writing.

I’ve now switched my attention to writing the first draft of my new work-in-progress, a sequel to my first book The Wilted Rose. In October 2021 I will be celebrating ten years since publishing the first edition of The Wilted Rose, so it will be very fitting to release the sequel next year. I am aiming to do this around March, but no date has been set yet. For now I am taking the foot off the pedal, and am going to enjoy working on this story at a leisurely pace over the holiday season. I’m using NaNoWriMo this year to get a head start.

The below image captures the early stages of the prequel planning process, unfolding last Sunday afternoon on my mum’s front porch in Brisbane, Australia. Creativity fuelled by wine, cheese and crackers. I have since written an overall story outline, and a scene outline. Just yesterday I finally started on the writing process. Here goes!

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Writing Fact As Fiction: Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Parts I & II

Creative Non-Fiction: a term introduced to me by my mentor, fellow author Lee Scott. Finally I had a name for what I had been working on all these years! Up until that day I had been calling my first book a ‘biographical novel’.

The words ‘creative’ and ‘non-fiction’ describe the style. These are stories about real people and events, but unlike a biography or autobiography, are written to read like fictional stories. It is a way of storytelling that creates a safe platform for anybody to tell their story and retain their privacy. As the writer, you also have the ability to be more creative, free of the restrictions of facts.

Creative Non-Fiction is not restricted to novels. The genre, also known as literary nonfiction, includes travel writing, nature writing, science writing, sports writing, biography, autobiography, memoir, interviews, and essays.

Asha’s Story: Part Two continues the story of a young woman’s experiences working as an exotic dancer in Brisbane, Australia. Three years after daringly stepping into the world of stripping, Asha has left The Runway, the club that made her an exotic dancer, to make a fresh start at at rival venue Mademoiselle’s. Here she is faced with a whole new set of challenges, including an interstate adventure to Melbourne’s glamorous strip club scene. Asha’s personal and professional lives collide in unexpected ways, in the lead-up to the grande finale of her stripping adventure.

The character of Asha and her experiences are intended to represent the experiences of many dancers, and was also an opportunity for me to include some of the stories and events from the dancers stories I could not fit into Stripping Past & Present.

A Few Tips on Writing Creative Non-Fiction:

Get Your Facts Straight

Even though you are writing a story that is stylised as fiction, the bottom line is is that the story is still based on fact. While you can be more creative with the narrative, you are still responsible for getting the facts straight. For example, you might be writing a story about the Titanic. You might create your own characters, but you will still need to get the dates correct, statistics etc. You could come up against scrutiny otherwise, for which you will be ridiculed.

Disclaimer

Think of the opening of ‘Law & Order’.”The following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event.” Although we can tell by watching many episodes that they have been inspired by true events, with minor detail changes slipped in here and there.

Repercussions

In my experience of writing The Wilted Rose, my book was received relatively well by the family and friends of the main character. Some minor complaints were made that the book was too harsh on the Brethren church, however the events recounted in the story were based on the main character’s personal experiences, for which I had full permission to use.

Everybody has a right to tell their side of a story, even if someone else might not agree with their particular angle. However sometimes our best efforts to change detail are not enough. I have heard stories from other authors who, despite doing their absolute best to disguise detail, received complaints from readers whose inspired character had only a minute role and mention in the story. And even when you have the blessing of the person you’re writing about, be sure to maintain good communication with them about the details of the story, so that you are both clear on what will be included.

Be Objective.

When I am writing Creative Nonfiction, I like to think that I am laying out the facts on the table, telling a story from someone’s point of view. If someone else comes along and challenges the idea that I have conveyed in the story, then that is their opinion. Allow the reader to take from the story what they will and form their own opinion without creating an air of bias by putting your own voice and angle.

Language

Good news! Because you are working with a fictional narrative, you have the ability to be more creative with your language! You can veer away from the mundane ho-hum of factual nonfiction, with the ability to make full use of language and storytelling techniques.

Selection of Stories

As mentioned before, Creative Nonfiction is a great way for many people to share their stories, which may go unheard otherwise. However as the author you should still be mindful of which stories you select to use. A memoir about an ordinary person’s first year of college isn’t incredibly interesting. There would want to be some drama, something inspiring perhaps. When writing creative nonfiction, a clearly defined audience is also essential. Who can relate to the material you’re writing about?

What I love about the genre is that it gives the ability for more and more people to share their stories with the world, whether they write them themselves or utilise a professional writer to do so. I certainly hope we start seeing more of these types of stories in circulation.

Sexy Womanh hold hands and fingers on legs in fishnet stocking posing

Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two will be available worldwide on Amazon in paperback and Kindle eBook from July 20.

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From The Outside Looking In: Daniel, The Boyfriend

Sam told me she was a dancer about a month after we started dating, but I had my suspicions well before that. It was mostly typical things that go along with being a dancer, from the odd times that she worked, to certain aspects of her appearance.

I felt all right with it, and Sam was doing the job for a long time before we met, so there was nothing really for me to say. The only thing that really changed in my perception of her as a person was that now I knew what she really did for a living. Before I thought she must have had some kind of conventional job. The only difference was my knowledge.

I didn’t really have a fixed perception of strip clubs before I found out Sam worked in one. I didn’t think they were great, and I didn’t think they were outright bad either. I had only been to them once or twice in the past for buck’s parties, and all I really thought of them was that they were an expensive place to go and have a drink.

On the buck’s parties I often went for the pub crawl part of the evening and left early before they went to the strip clubs. I thought the clubs were overpriced and offered nothing of interest to me. Now I think they are really overpriced knowing how much money Sam could make in a night!

Nothing has changed, and I still think they’re a waste of money. It’s nothing against the girls that work there, but I just don’t see the attraction to it, and wouldn’t be bothered myself.

The most significant impact that Sam’s being a dancer had on our relationship was the limited time we had to spend together. We were not living together during that time, and while I worked days, Sam worked nights. I worked during the week, while she worked on weekends. That was really the only thing that was hard about the situation, and I believe we maintained a healthy relationship.

We made the best of the time we did get to spend together, and we each did our own things, which is important regardless of what kind of job you do. It was not so much the negative emotions I felt but the pressures that Sam experienced that were obvious even when she wasn’t working.

My view is neither here nor there in regards to the customers that go to clubs. It’s each to their own; if that’s what they’re into and want to spend their money on, that’s fine.

If you’re married or in a relationship, I can understand why some people would feel the temptation to go into a club and have a look, but I really can’t fathom why you would want to.

If you’re single, I think you should just go to a regular bar to try and pick up a girl. It’s cheaper, and you can get drunk too. In the end the dancers at the club are putting on a show, because that’s what they’re paid to do.

If you are contemplating having a relationship with a girl who works as a dancer, my advice is to really evaluate whether you can handle it. Don’t start something or stay in something if you can’t handle it. There is no point. You have every right to make that decision for yourself, but you shouldn’t be trying to change her. That just challenges the whole dynamics of the relationship, and it’s not right. If you are happy with them doing the job, just be there for them as you would be for anyone else.

From a partner to a dancer, I believe the best choice of action is to be honest and upfront about the situation within the first month. When it starts to get that little bit serious, and you both know you’re moving toward a relationship, let the person know what you do. The sooner the better and you can get a true indication of whether the other person is interested and if they want to stay with you. Just like you would expect them to be honest with you about what they themselves do for work.

It shouldn’t really matter too much, and it’s not about the taboo stigma of stripping, but more about being honest. Tell the truth about what you do, so they can make up their mind from there about whether they are comfortable staying with you. But don’t bow down to someone you’ve just met who is telling you to get out of the job or else. It is completely up to you.

Sexy Womanh hold hands and fingers on legs in fishnet stocking posing

Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two is AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER in paperback and Kindle eBook for release WORLDWIDE on July 20th, 2018.

US: https://amzn.to/2MstBPb

UK: https://amzn.to/2KpEKQ9

CANADA: https://amzn.to/2tKXna6

AUS: https://amzn.to/2yODFAb