I have to say that writing Arc 6 of fs01 has really done a number on me.
I can't recall if I have stated this overtly before, but my writing process is very personal. I basically envision a scene, scenario, event, or dynamic and try to put myself into the main character's role. Some of these situations are modified versions of things I have actually experienced, others are pure fiction but based upon emotional space that I am familiar with.
For the most part, most of my writing comes while I am in a self-induced subspace. While I write it often feels heavily like a trance or lucid dream. Events are tossed my way and my submissive self reacts. It often feels like things are writing themselves, and letting 1000 words flow out is quite effortless. When someone gives feedback that things feel "authentic," that is about the highest compliment I could hope for.
Each Arc has followed one of two formulas for me:
1. Event-based. Situations occur that I have thought/fantasized/wondered about happen and I picture myself within them. Much of what changes by the end of the arc is emotional growth and lessons learned by the end.
2. Emotional Theme-based. A series of situations occur that invoke a certain emotional trigger and I attempt to sort out the feelings and find a suitable means of coping. This often revolves around how a positive resolution could be found that works for the involved parties. Think of these as emotional problem solving.
I have a lot of experience with events that I would deem "life changing." While some of the events in the stories may seem a bit extreme or intense, much of the character growth is reliant upon emotional responses that are strong enough to change them deep inside. There needs to be enough trauma or desperation to force them to look at life and relationships in a different way than before.
Arcs 5 and 6 are completely new territory for me. They reach levels of subspace I have not experienced personally, and involve exploration of sadism that I have only seen in bits and pieces in my own life. To complicate things even more, the emotional spectrum is not a pleasant one. I feel emotionally exhausted upon completing each chapter, and even moreso when there isn't a tender moment to bring things to an emotionally balanced place (e.g. the spooning scenes).
The feedback so far on pushing the dynamics ever harder has been fairly positive but I may need to dial them back a bit in future arcs as it really is difficult for me to write from this headspace. I'm not firmly committed to this yet, it's just what my gut is telling me.
As always, I'm open to ideas, comments, or requests. I write to please the readers so if you would like to see something in the story from an event or play standpoint or want to see more of a specific character, please let me know and I will make an effort to work it in.