The Inspiration Nursery: Where “Kheras” Came From

Blessed be, all! I don’t know if this will become a regular series or not, but it sounded like a fun Twin Thursday to do at least once. I love seeing where stories come from, how the various inspirations all come together and create something new. So, with that in mind, here’s the origin story–if you will–for the project I’m hoping to get back to this month.

It was the long-ago year 2015. Mark Reads was doing Fifty Shades of Grey, and I, being a masochist on occasion, had vowed to watch the whole thing. I’m not a fan for a multitude of reasons, but the main thing that got to me was how coercive the main relationship is. Consent and boundaries are extremely important to me, especially in intimate relationships. Doubly so when it comes to BDSM, where trust in your partner is paramount.

At one point in the middle of this endeavor, I texted my CP about it, something to the effect of, “I want to rewrite this. Only with gay. And consent. And magic.” To which her response was, “Go for it!”

The next thing that poured into the mixing bowl was Tamora Pierce’s Emelan novels. One of the characters–Sandry–works her magic with fabric, thread, looms, and so on. The idea was a fascinating one to me, and I began to construct this image of a magical system built entirely around the imagery of spinning and weaving.

What I settled on eventually was a system where magic was worked in pairs or groups, one party “spinning” the magic–taking it from its raw source and making it usable–and the other party being responsible for the shaping and using of that magic. Gradually, this came to replace the BDSM element of Fifty Shades, but the idea of consent and equal give and take remained.

After that, I needed a setting. I had been gravitating toward ancient Greece for quite some time, had done ever since I was young. But since reading Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat, I had been dying to try my hand at writing a setting that would evoke that same sort of feel. And now I had the perfect place to use it, so away to the research I went.

Surprisingly, the characters came last for this one. Raes and Taegen built slowly, coming together in bits and pieces. At the time I started the story, I still only had the barest idea of who they were and what they wanted. They developed their own hearts and minds in the writing, but this was a big departure for me from my usual method.

So far, this has been a fun project to work on. Now that I’ve had some time and distance from that first rush of inspiration, I’m hoping to go back to it with a keen eye and start making the edits.