They say that in Hollywood there are only 7 basic plots. The same is true of the spanking fiction genre but I’ve come up with 9. I’m mostly talking about short fiction here – the type that is posted on public free storyboards like LSF and Literotica or sold in short story compendiums as ebooks. These same plots seem to keep being recycled in various iterations and combinations and I thought it a useful exercise to identify them. They are, in no particular order:
You Burned the Roast. (or lost the car keys, overspent the credit card,
drank too much, stayed out too late)
This is a plot that was used more frequently in times past, but is still quite popular. Typically it requires infraction of some rule imposed by a dominant character in a relationship, typically marriage, but often courtship. This is the most commonly used justification in the spanking romance genre. In short stories, mainly F/F, sometimes it’s just roommates or a sorority.
The other character then violates the rule or forgets to do the thing, is confronted, and ultimately punished with a spanking. Most typically the sanction of a spanking has been set up beforehand, so the dramatic tension comes from the thoughts and feelings of the miscreant as the time approaches, or his/her efforts to evade detection or cover up the infraction. A bit more rare in these PC times is the non-consensual spanking on the spur of the moment.
Example: Gwen’s Sorority Days
to the Principal’s/ Headmaster’s Office.
This one hardly needs much explanation. The setting is a school in which corporal punishment is employed and the characters have broken some rule. Many of these stories are mere descriptions of the scene in the headmaster/principal’s office, while others are highly inventive in setting up the infraction and its logical outcome.
Example: The Schoolgirl Collection
Shoplifter. (or embezzler, or petty cash borrower)
The shoplifter who is caught and then given a choice is one of the oldest plots in the book. Other common blackmail type plots that leverage damning knowledge into a spanking are those involving infidelity, theft, or cheating but in each case knowledge gives a dominant character power and it is used to exact punishment.
this Job and Spank It. (i.e,—The Secretary)
If you want to keep your job, you will agree to a spanking. That’s basically it. It’s using economic leverage to spank or get someone spanked. Hard to make plausible today in the era of lawsuits. Talk about a hostile work environment! Very popular in fiction written in the 50’ and 60’s.
Family that Spanks Together ( In this family mom/dad spank. So, junior/sis,
you better behave)
This plot covers all stories about the spanking of children in households. It is by far the largest of the nine categories in terms of the number of stories devoted to this theme. They are typically recounted scenes of punishments meted out for typical kid/teenage behavior. Often very procedural, these stories tend to explain the infraction and then dwell on the details of the punishment ritual, from the clothing worn to the implements used to the number of strokes. At other times it’s all about the decision to spank and its aftermath.
- I’m a
Fish Out of Water Here (or Summer with My Cousins and Aunt Harriet—you
mean she spanks if you’re naughty?)
A variation on #5 above, it is different because it covers any plot in which an outsider lands in a situation in which, for everyone else, punishment by spanking is normal and routine. The dramatic conflict comes from the outsider’s reaction to this state of affairs. Included in this category are stories about tourists passing through quirky towns that have spanking ordinances, new roommates in communal domestic living arrangements, and families that take in a new member.
These are stories about commercial services that provide spankings to willing and/or unwilling recipients. There are a great many of these and they often tend to evolve into multi-episodic serials.
- I’ve Always Wanted to be Spanked.
This type of story is often a recounted voyage of discovery. As everyone who reads these pages knows, this desire is very real and each of us who has felt it has dealt with it in some form or fashion, some more successfully that others. But as wishful thinking turned into fiction, it remains a powerful and oft-used plot line. Also includes games with spanking forfeits.
of Dr Evil (or, In Kafessestan the Penalty for Just About Everything is Spanking).
Basically the non-consensual spanking story that has our heroine/hero at the mercy of some dastardly cad or whacked out judicial system. More popular in BDSM lit, in which nubile young women are sent to some remote keep for "training", it also surfaces here, sometimes in historical and sci-fi settings. Many stories feature foreigners caught unsuspecting in a judicial nightmare.
Example: Flash Gordon and the Menace from Mongo
Often, stories are actually a mixture of several of these basic plot canards. For example, my story, Dr. Forbin’s Method is a mixture of plots #1 and #2. Plot #6 often morphs into plot #8 and plots #2 and #5 frequently go together. There is nothing wrong with the use of these plot devices as long as the plot device does not become THE story. The challenge is to keep them original.