"How I Came to Write This Story: Performance Anxiety"
By Keith Rawson
Over the past three years and 70 short stories, there isn't a chance in hell I could tell you how I came to write 95% of them. Most of my stories start off as snippets of half heard conversations, things I see through out the day, or even phrases that somehow cement themselves in my head and repeat over and over until the framework of a story begins to take shape.
But there's one story that's stuck with me over the past couple of years that has more or less haunted me as a writer:
( http://chrispimental.com/panxiety/performance.html )
The story bloomed from a conversation with a friend at my previous job. The story she told me was of a friend of her's (at least I hope it was a friend and not a proverbial "friend".) whose boyfriend had an obsession with body fluids.
The boyfriend had already convinced the girl to allow him to give her a golden shower (No I'm not going to describe the act. If you don't know what it is you've been living under a rock since the sexual revolution.) and he was trying to take it a step further and convince her into allowing him to defecate on her. As my co-worker told it, her friend would be covered in plastic wrap so it wouldn't touch her skin, but still, the entire act, (and the girl's seeming lack of self respect.) covered in plastic wrap or not, turned my stomach, but the seeds of a story buried itself and wouldn't let go.
Originally I intended "Performance Anxiety" to be the story between a prostitute and one of her long time johns, but no matter how I worked the story, the characters didn't fit, at least until I cast the long time john as a fetish porn director and the prostitute as a performer.
Since finishing the original story, the characters featured in it have gone onto occupy over 45,000 words and I've become a bit obsessed with pornography. (Not so much with the imagery, but with the mechanics such as production, financing, and the performers) And just when I think that I'm done with these characters and I'm ready to move on, their voices resurface, causing me to sit down at the machine and bring them into the world.
Keith Rawson is the author of many short stories and the editor of the online zine CrimeFactory. He interviews many crime fiction writers for the online site Spinetingler too.