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"House style" for BDSM stories Options · View
overmykneenow
Posted: Friday, October 19, 2012 2:43:09 AM

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What is the opinion of authors and readers of the usage of capitals in d/s stories? (or is that D/s?)

I've noticed some authors make a point of capitalising every pronoun referring to the dom/me in the story, for example:

"... while she had not been looking for a Master but she had certainly found Him ..."

Personally, as a nit-picking pedant and grammar nazi, it grates on me and disrupts the flow of the story but I'd be interested to know if others find it important or helps with engaging a reader. Do you use this style in your writing? Is it conscious or simply convention?



Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

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Guest
Posted: Friday, October 19, 2012 8:57:32 AM

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I have been told by many Masters when using the word Dom or Master in that context it must be capitalized. When using the word sub it should never be capitalized. But I've also been told it is how deep you are in to the BDSM and how much you are honoring the true intention of it. Just like in most Dom/sub relationships the sub is never allowed to make eye contact.
LadyX
Posted: Friday, October 19, 2012 9:11:37 AM

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I guess it doesn't grate on me because, as HotMama mentioned, people within that subculture prefer to capitalize. To me, this is similar to the capitalization of "Mister" or "Sir", or "Doctor": an addressed title.
Ravyn
Posted: Friday, October 19, 2012 9:21:48 AM

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It's second nature for me to capitalize Sir, Master, Him etc. It drives me insane to see it not done properly whether it be in chat or a book. It's a sign of complete resepct for your Dom/me and is something that should always be done. Its not a matter of one being respected more over the other because a true D/s relationship should contain a deep mutual respect on both sides. Its more of honoring the relationship one has with their Dom/me and according them with the respect you feel for them.

For me, yes it helps engage me when I am reading a story. To see it not done properly disrupts the flow for me. Proper grammar and spelling are things I need as well otherwise I am just not interested in reading. That holds true for chat as well. As for the convention or concious issue, I guess for me its just natural.

overmykneenow
Posted: Saturday, October 20, 2012 9:23:03 AM

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@LadyX I can't resolve that argument - I'd use uppercase Doctor when referring to someone instead of their name but not when when referring to what they do

eg: "What's your prognosis, Doctor?" but "He had been the family doctor for twenty years"

For me "I always obey Mistress" is fine but "I always obey my Mistress" is not. The change of use from proper noun changes the necessity for the capital in standard prose.

@Ravyn

What constitutes "not done properly"? Is it more a general feeling or are there hard and fast rules?

Should you also lowercase references to the sub at the start of a sentence? Should a story written in first person from the sub's perspective lowercase the "I" personal pronoun? Should "who" and "whose" also be capitalised when referring to the dom?

I have a feeling this is probably just a sub-topic in a larger debate on writing style in d/s stories: First person v third person, by subs to be read by subs, by doms to be read by subs (and all other permutations).

Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

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Ravyn
Posted: Saturday, October 20, 2012 5:54:15 PM

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As for my comment on done properly, I personally am a stickler for correct grammar and etc. Yes, we all make mistakes but on certain things such as this topic, it should be taught and learned. I have learned it and it is now second nature to me when I am using those words. You would have to get the thoughts from those who have been in the lifestyle longer then I have as to the general feeling vs. hard and fast rule. It is the way it is and each Dom/me teaches their sub this basic thing.

As for the story aspect and correctness in all the beginning of sentences and so forth, you will have to consult someone more versed in this then I. I am a novice writer at best and I have yet to do a BDSM story. I am sorry I can not shed light on this part but it is out of my realm.

Green_Man
Posted: Saturday, October 20, 2012 8:59:38 PM

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It would seem to me that every genre of story would have its own conventions. I believe that the convention should be followed. If it gets on your nerves then try another genre. The BDSM convention is to capitalize Dom and not sub. Simple rule. Simple to follow.

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DLizze
Posted: Saturday, October 20, 2012 10:19:00 PM

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As a story verifier, I have been known to approve stories either way. The key (in my never to be humble opinion) is consistency throughout the story. If an author submits a story that inconsistent in capitalization, I will default to standard grammar (i.e.) lowercase throughout, except when beginning a sentence, or used as a proper noun.

(e.g.) My mistress is very good for me. Mistress never pushes my boundaries beyond what I need, or can handle, despite my fears to the contrary. And Mistress always knows just what those limitations are. Isn't that true, Mistress?

"There's only three tempos: slow, medium and fast. When you get between in the cracks, ain't nuthin' happenin'." Ben Webster
Sensei
Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2012 2:07:25 PM

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I went through this with an editor recently. If the character speaks as if Sir or Master is his name, then it should be capitalized. If it's simply being used as a personal pronoun, it should not be.

I don't really believe "he" or "him" should be capitalized outside of the Bible. :)


My novel, The Society, is available now in the Kindle Store: http://www.amazon.com/The-Society-ebook/dp/B00BPF9U2I
sprite
Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2012 2:45:21 PM

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do whatever feels right for you. if it bugs someone else, oh well, either way, someone is going to think it 'looks wrong'.

http://www.lushstories.com/stories/hardcore/west-coast-games-part-one-the-beach.aspx
SweetPenny
Posted: Monday, October 22, 2012 12:35:51 PM

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I've written stories both ways. When I write in the first-person -- from the perspective of the submissive -- then sometimes I like to use uppercase letters. I feel it can be more dramatic. When the writing is in third-person, then I always prefer lowercase. It seems more correct that way since the narrator is not a character in the story.
PhareDuFour
Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 12:53:52 PM

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Mr Overtheknee, I do agree with you. After posting a couple stories elsewhere I received some rather "loud and shouty" feedback about pronoun-capitalization, and felt brow-beaten into painstakingly editing every bloody pronoun, just to please the slaves of the world. It seems most Masters could care less, and many like yourself wish it would disappear altogether.
Somehow I think this "protocol" was thrust upon us courtesy of Goran Lifestyle as the ultimate express of "more humble than thou" sort of social competion. Every time I ask "Does your master make you write like this?" - same results. eyes rolling, impatient sigh, and "Well how else do you show HIM how humble you are?"

Si vos postulo me, sed non vis me, oportet me manere.
Sed si vis me, sed non vos postulo me, oportet me abire.
MoonlightSerenity
Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 2:46:52 PM

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PhareDuFour wrote:
Mr Overtheknee, I do agree with you. After posting a couple stories elsewhere I received some rather "loud and shouty" feedback about pronoun-capitalization, and felt brow-beaten into painstakingly editing every bloody pronoun, just to please the slaves of the world. It seems most Masters could care less, and many like yourself wish it would disappear altogether.
Somehow I think this "protocol" was thrust upon us courtesy of Goran Lifestyle as the ultimate express of "more humble than thou" sort of social competion. Every time I ask "Does your master make you write like this?" - same results. eyes rolling, impatient sigh, and "Well how else do you show HIM how humble you are?"


The origins of it that I know of is that one guy forced his subs into this type of grammar to make himself feel more superior and from there it was picked up by others.

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overmykneenow
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 1:36:21 AM

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SweetPenny wrote:
I've written stories both ways. When I write in the first-person -- from the perspective of the submissive -- then sometimes I like to use uppercase letters. I feel it can be more dramatic. When the writing is in third-person, then I always prefer lowercase. It seems more correct that way since the narrator is not a character in the story.


I think this is the most interesting point. When used by a sub in first person, I can see how it lends a sense of submission to a piece (though I'd much prefer the use of language to do all the work) but to see a dom using it in first person smacks of conceit and even disrespect to those reading, unless he/she knows the audience itself is submissive.

It's for those same reasons that I think it shouldn't be used in third person stories.

Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

Why not read some stories instead

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Guest
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 3:18:20 AM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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In all the D/s writings I have read and from what others I have known and have commented on, the terms Master, Dom, Sir, Mistress, Ma'am, and Domme should all be capitalized. The terms sub, submissive, and slave should all be small letters.

Capitalizing the Dom roles is a sign of respect from the submissive and if he/she is writing, should show that respect. If as in My case it is a Dom writing, then this is a sign of respect to other Dom/mes.

Also in My writing, when I speak of Myself, I capitalize it. When I speak of My pet or My slave I do not - unless it is at the start of the sentence and that is only because My word processing program has fits if I don't!

I also try very hard to catch spelling mistakes (which because I think faster than I type I make a lot of!) and grammatical errors. But I am not infallible d'oh!
overmykneenow
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 3:50:45 AM

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Master_Jonathan wrote:
If as in My case it is a Dom writing, then this is a sign of respect to other Dom/mes.


I guess this is the crux of the problem I have with it. I don't see it as a sign of respect - I see the opposite. I see it as antagonistic and confrontational with the writer trying to impose dominance over me as the reader - something that would make me instantly defensive and hostile back at him.

Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

Why not read some stories instead

NEW! Want a quick read for your coffee break? Why not try this... Flash Erotica: Scrubber
Guest
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 6:56:09 AM

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overmykneenow wrote:


I guess this is the crux of the problem I have with it. I don't see it as a sign of respect - I see the opposite. I see it as antagonistic and confrontational with the writer trying to impose dominance over me as the reader - something that would make me instantly defensive and hostile back at him.


I'd have to agree with this, I see it as rather pointless hoopla to capitalize the word "my" even as a Dom/me talking about their sub in a first person perspective. It's simply blaring about their own self importance rather then setting a good tone for a story.
Guest
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 7:21:55 AM

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To each H/his or H/her own. There are a lot of people who don't like the King James Bible because of the thee's and thou's too. I like using capitals when talking about Dominants or Myself. And I know a lot of other people do also. If it grates on you so much, then perhaps My stories aren't your cup of tea. I can't please everyone and am not trying to. I am relating My own story on what My life with pet is like. You are either interested or not. Simple as that. I failed creative writing in school becaause the teacher tried to get Me to write things I didn't want to write about. I don't like being made to write to certain standards - which is why I don't do poetry. But this is My story and I tell it like I live it. Sorry if My writing style upsets you.
Naughty_Magician
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 12:41:32 PM

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Master_Jonathan wrote:
To each H/his or H/her own. There are a lot of people who don't like the King James Bible because of the thee's and thou's too. I like using capitals when talking about Dominants or Myself. And I know a lot of other people do also. If it grates on you so much, then perhaps My stories aren't your cup of tea. I can't please everyone and am not trying to. I am relating My own story on what My life with pet is like. You are either interested or not. Simple as that. I failed creative writing in school becaause the teacher tried to get Me to write things I didn't want to write about. I don't like being made to write to certain standards - which is why I don't do poetry. But this is My story and I tell it like I live it. Sorry if My writing style upsets you.


I can buy into the concept of a dominant person using the capitals around his/her sub but why use them around people who are not in the lifestyle?

Had a dream I was king, I woke up still king!!
Poppet
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 1:11:13 PM

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I think Dom's and subs alike should give the respect to the Dom in the relationship. I tend to only do it to MY Master. When I have one. I don't see the point always towards ones who aren't. In my stories if it's BDSM based the He's Him's Sir's Master's are all capitalized. If it's not your thing or it breaks your flow, I'm sorry. But they are in fact MY stories and write them how I want and think they should be. I try to write to where everyone can enjoy them but in the end I write off in real experiences. That's just how I do things. : )
If your not in the lifestyle, then I don't think you should have to bother but be respectful to those who are!


Guest
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 2:35:07 PM

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Naughty_Magician wrote:


I can buy into the concept of a dominant person using the capitals around his/her sub but why use them around people who are not in the lifestyle?


Naught_Magician, most of the people who are here on this forum are either in this lifestyle, wish they were in this lifestyle or are cusrious about this lifestyle.For those in the lifestyle this is a sign of respect. For those dreaming of or curious about it, might was well give them what they want.
Naughty_Magician
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 3:20:02 PM

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No one is disrespecting anyone or anything, just trying to figure out why some members of this lifestyle like to use the capitals all the time but others don't.

Had a dream I was king, I woke up still king!!
Guest
Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012 2:40:57 PM

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NaughtyMagician, the writing style is an individual choice, some people use the capital letters and some don't. There really isn't much more to it than that. I've seen lots of stories written both ways. I happen to like using the capital letters. Some of My readers like this and some don't. Everyone has their own tastes in writing style and in subject matter.
jerseylynn
Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012 3:19:10 PM

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Naughty_Magician wrote:
No one is disrespecting anyone or anything, just trying to figure out why some members of this lifestyle like to use the capitals all the time but others don't.


For some it's a training issue. Some Dom/me's insist on the cap on the Dominate One's name, some do not follow the protocol that strictly and for some its a personal choice.

Here in words there is no way to show the proper respect to the Dom/me's and the only way is to cap everything to do with them. To cap Sir/Master/Mistress/Ma'am and so on. Also, capping Him vs him or Her vs her is another show of respect.

Again depending on your training or your beliefs it's either done or not. Hope that maybe helped??? dontknow

No one can make you jealous, angry, vengeful, or greedy -unless you let him.
- Napoleon Hill
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 11:05:18 AM

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Poppet wrote:

If your not in the lifestyle, then I don't think you should have to bother but be respectful to those who are!


I find it a real shame that people 'in the lifestyle' feel the need to aim this kind of comment at people who aren't 'in the lifestyle'. The whole attitude of 'respect us, don't bother trying to get what it is we do' is very stand offish.

Those of us on the 'outside' (I feel ridiculous breaking this down into an us and them set up, but it seems to be preferred in this context) can understand how those on the 'inside' (in the 'lifestyle') can feel frustrated with the fact that they don't always get respect for their choices....but, in the same breath, if someone is just trying to understand the thoughts, feelings, etc of those 'in the lifestyle' and they often have the above implied ('respect us, don't bother trying to get what it is we do')....well, respect goes both ways.

I wasn't going to say anything, for I certainly have no wish to ruffle any feathers, but apparently I'm not all that great at keeping thoughts to myself.

I don't actually believe that you, Poppet, were really implying the above so please don't take this post to really even be aimed at you. I just thought this might be worth saying overall really....I have had plenty of thoughts and questions since this forum was opened but I haven't asked them due to the fact that it seems as if one has to tread on eggshells.... in every other forum people are sarcastic, jokes are made, and so on, without anyone taking much notice but in this forum it's a bit more....explosive than that. Which is a shame because it's a subject one may not manage to find so much out about 'in the real world' - surely those 'in the lifestyle' would like to encourage the broadening of everyone's minds re BDSM?

This isn't meant to be a feather ruffler, as I said above, and I hope it isn't taken that way happy8 just some thoughts.


In answer to the actual, original, question:

When I'm reading a story that involves subs/doms (which is rare, admittedly, but it has been known to happen) I don't have any issues with Master/Mistress being capitalised because it appears that these are used in the place of a name and therefore should be capitalised. Seeing 'him' as 'Him' (and he, she, her, etc) I don't enjoy though....it interrupts the flow of the story for me as all I can think is 'huh, is this person God??'. Him, he, she, her etc are not being used in the place of names...they're being used as words referring to a person. I don't really understand it as a respect thing either.... I respect my mum but I would never refer to her as Her. Or even, apparently, capatilise mum.....gosh, I really am a crap daughter aren't I sad1

Guest
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 3:59:56 PM

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LittleBambi wrote:

When I'm reading a story that involves subs/doms (which is rare, admittedly, but it has been known to happen) I don't have any issues with Master/Mistress being capitalised because it appears that these are used in the place of a name and therefore should be capitalised. Seeing 'him' as 'Him' (and he, she, her, etc) I don't enjoy though....it interrupts the flow of the story for me as all I can think is 'huh, is this person God??'. Him, he, she, her etc are not being used in the place of names...they're being used as words referring to a person. I don't really understand it as a respect thing either.... I respect my mum but I would never refer to her as Her. Or even, apparently, capatilise mum.....gosh, I really am a crap daughter aren't I sad1


Ok LittleBambi, how do you feel about when I refer to myself in capitals. My stories are about me and my pet who is also my slave and wife. In my case I am referring to myself. Would it then be proper as I am a Master to use capital letters?
I am not a "writer" per se, merely one who enjoys writing erotic stories based on my own experiences, fantasies etc. I write the way I live. I don't think of myself as God or even a god. I just write the way I have seen others write when I was learning this D/s stuff.

And I'm not out to pluck any chickens (or other fowl) either. Mine already come plucked and wrapped in plastic!
DLizze
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 5:45:50 PM

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As I have said before, in my role as a story verifier, I will probably insist that capitalization follow standard rules of grammar. If anyone has a problem with this, they need to take it up with a senior moderater, not try to get a consensus of opinion by posting about it on this or any other forum.

"There's only three tempos: slow, medium and fast. When you get between in the cracks, ain't nuthin' happenin'." Ben Webster
elitfromnorth
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 7:01:00 PM

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MoonlightSerenity wrote:


The origins of it that I know of is that one guy forced his subs into this type of grammar to make himself feel more superior and from there it was picked up by others.


Seems a bit interesting to lead on a tradition based on someone that needed to feel more superior. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it so that a dom isn't superior to a sub, but just the dominant one? That they're both equal? Or have I missed something dontknow

@Master_Jonathan: To be honest with you, when you capitalise My and Me it makes you look like you're one step away from getting a Julius Caesar complex and will start referring to yourself in third person. I'm not saying you're bigheaded with a complex, but to some it could appear like that. It's just the general signal you're sending out by the way you use capitalisation.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 8:58:39 PM

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Ok this seems to be a source of irritation to many people and I am not inflexible. So I will write my next couple stories in "traditional" grammar rules of capitalization and see if my readership grows.
As a writer, it is necessary for me to write so that my stories are easily read by others so if that means that my capitalization change then we will see how it goes.
Ruthie
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 9:53:52 PM

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I've always thought that Master should be capitalized when it's referring to a specific person. "I told Master that I'd be home by six." If you put the word my in front of it, capitalizing doesn't seem necessary. "I told my master I'd be home by six." I had never really given it much thought though. The words master and sir are used differently than the names Master and Sir, at least by me. I was hoping for more of a consensus.
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