Few readers want to read stories with perfect characters. If they’re perfect, what can go wrong? What challenges will seem dramatic to anyone who can deal with anything?
This is part of the reason authors give their characters flaws. It makes the story more interesting.
There is a drawback, however. If a character is too flawed, it can make the character less sympathetic to the reader. This can become a big issue in an erotic story. It’s no fun reading about a character who stumbles ignorantly into sexual situations, or one who lets others take advantage of him/her.
On the other hand, I prefer my main characters to be smarter than average, which means the burden is on me as the author to come up with very challenging situations. Or clever flaws.
For my work-in-progress, being a science fiction story, my main characters have had their memories messed with. They can’t remember everything they’ve experienced. And with that comes subtle personality changes. But as some characters retrieve more of their suppressed memories, their personalities alter, as do their relationships with other characters who, without their own retrieved memories, cannot understand the reason for the changes yet.
This gives me the opportunity to put in unique conflicts (remember, conflict equals drama), as well as an overall motivation for my main characters—namely, who’s causing these memory issues and why.
More on this work-in-progress as it, well, progresses.
Okay, so the first skeptic about the mind-switching in my story MindSlide is me.
Long ago, someone posted on a message board how he hated mind-switching stories because mind-switching can’t happen. I prefer to be as scientifically accurate as possible in my stories, but sometimes I have to fudge things. Often, I hope the fudging doesn’t become too much.
But for mind-switching, okay, it seems impossible, and as I studied the reasons why, my creative juices kicked in. How could I make the impossible just a little bit possible?
In general, the issue with mind-switching is that the thoughts, feelings, emotions and memories that make us uniquely individualized are in part determined by electrical neural impulses, chemical compositions and the folds of the brain. So simply saying you’re “switching minds” isn’t enough, when any two brains are going to be chemically and physically different enough to the point that any full-on mind-switch would seem impossible.
It’d be like successfully switching shoes between a woman who’s a size 4 and a guy like me who’s a size 11 extra wide. Yeah, the exchange can happen, but neither person is going far with the other’s shoes on their own feet.
Enter quantum entanglement.
I needed a way to pull off changing the electrical and chemical makeup of two minds so that the biological processes that constitute a mind could be moved to what essentially has to become a very similar brain as compared to the brain of origination. So one bit of technobabble later, I have my excuse to make this happen.
And since quantum physics has lots of weird, unexpected properties popping up, I figured that justified my twists later in the story.
So yeah, like I said, I give the science some thought. Maybe not brilliant thought, but thought nonetheless.
Hi! I’m Alex B. Westphal, and this is my Official Author’s Website. (Gosh, that sounds so official.) Thanks for checking it out! I write erotic science fiction stories, emphasis on the science fiction. At some point, I’ll write something in other erotic genres, but for now, the next few projects will all be science fiction of one kind or another.
Here you’ll find news, announcements and info about what projects I have out and where they’re available for purchase.
My first publication is MindSlide from Torrid, part of their Man Cave line. It’s a near-future thriller. Two female scientists circumvent company directives and test a radical new procedure on themselves. Although they’re successful at first, one of the women suffers disturbing side effects, and she quickly suspects someone is causing the effects intentionally. MindSlide is a short, sexy thriller sure to keep you guessing.
My current work-in-progress is a more conventional science fiction adventure, a sexy romance where one by one, everything the heroine believes to be true is revealed to be something else, from the man she’s fallen for to her entire existence. And the mystery and tension don’t put a damper on their sex, but the guys with the stun guns might!
More on this project and a peek behind the writing of MindSlide are coming your way in the weeks ahead! Glad you dropped by, and hope you come back soon!