Completion

It’s a weird thing when you complete something you have worked on for years. That moment when you type the final word of a story you imagined for the first time when you were barely six years old. It is bittersweet though. What do I work on now? For twenty years I have imagined a world beyond what I lived in and just over the past few years have I taken to really spending time writing it down. Tonight I typed the final word and it was amazing. To finally get the first part of the story down and complete was great. The next steps ahead are what terrifies me though. What if I just spent years writing out nearly 77,000 words just to find out I suck as a writer and that no one will ever read my story? What if I spent all this time just to be rejected by agents and publishers and be stuck with a manuscript that will never see the light of day. 

I guess that is why this is so bitter sweet for me. I love my story, I love the world I created and the plot and the characters, but I imagined them, so of course I love them. How do I make other people fall in love with them also? Especially since some agents do not even want a sample, they just want a summary. How do you make someone understand the progression and growth and depth of your characters and your story when all they want is a 1000 word summary and then if they want to read more they will ask for it. Pouring your heart and soul into something and then having to sell it like some sleezy used car salesman just so you can get the full manuscript read is counterintutitve to my nature. I hate forcing things on others, but I feel if I do not force it that it may not happen. The agents that ask for a sample I feel more comfortable with. I like knowing that they will at least get to read part of the story before they reject it or ask for more. It seems a more natural, though I would say ten pages is a little on the low side to really get a feel for the book. I typically say twenty five pages is when I decide if I like or dislike what I am currently reading. Twenty five may be too much or agents to read every time they receive a submission

They other part of the submission process I find annoying is that some agents say they will not even respond if they do not wish to read the manuscript in its entirity. I understand that not every submission is good enough yet, or is a good idea, but to not even take the time to write a simple email and say that you are not interested seems rude in a way. Someone has put time and effort into their submission, could you not spend a few moments to write a stock response that tells the submitter that though you appreciate them submitting you are not interested at this time? Otherwise they could sit there for 6-8 weeks just wanting a response. I would rather receive a letter saying an agent was uninterested than never hear back at all. 

The sweet side to all of this is that after twenty years the first story I ever wrote is at its full potential. Not only is it at its full potential, it has a sequel that needs to be written. Though the first book has been completed, there is a second and possibly more if I leave enough open ends. I even left room for a prequel if I feel like moving backward in time within my world. I have so many options that I am excited for where to move next. I have the second book in my head, and there will most likely be a third. I can’t see myself drawing the story out much further. I was never one to enjoy series’ that continued long after they should have ended. 

I have a road ahead of me when it comes to the publishing process, but I also have a road ahead of me to work on other aspects of my story. Both roads are equally exciting, and luckily I can travel both at the same time. 

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The Pressure of Writing….

As my novel inches closer and closer to completion, the more I wish I had never really told any of my friends and family that I was working on it again. I love my writing, I love my story, what I do not love is the pressure that is being put on me to actually go beyond just finally finishing the story. I always assumed I would try to have it published, whether or not it is good enough to be published will be left to an agent and/or publisher. Everyone putting this pressure on me to get a move on the story so that it can be published though is more than a little annoying. 

I have looked into having my novel published, for the type of novel I am writing, it is best to have it completed first, so everyone putting pressure on me now is just delaying the completion of the book. The more pressure, the less creative I feel. It is just how I am. I have always had one crazy, over active imagination, until someone starts putting the spotlight on me and pushing me to take my creativity to another level. It was the same with art and music for me. I love to draw and paint, but the second people were like “Oh! You should try to become an artist,” and started putting pressure on me, I became less inclined to draw because it wasn’t what I wanted to do. The moment anyone said that I should try to do more with my musical talent it was the same story. I become less motivated when people start to have expectations of what my talent will amount to. I said in a previous post, I do not expect to be the next J.K. Rowling. That kind of fame and money and success from being an author is not easy or really normal from what I can tell. I like the idea of having my book published because it is something that has been a huge part of my life and I want to see something come of it, but I do not like the pressure being put on me to actually get it done. 

Having my creativity feel stunted is not a good feeling. I have been staring at my novel for the past few days with absolutely NO motivation to continue writing at the moment. I want to, but it just isn’t happening. The worst part is everyone asking me how much progress I have made when I have literally made no progress at all. At what point do I stop being polite and saying that they will have to wait and see and just tell them to f*** off? 

In the meantime I am going to try and write parts of my story that I know are going to happen, even if I have not reached that part of the plot yet. Maybe if I go to the parts that I am still excited about the rest will start flowing again soon enough. 

~~SKG

Writers block

I am sitting here staring at a story I have been writing for four or five years. You figure I would have it all figured out by now right? That I would know every twist, every turn and every detail that was possible. Too bad that  could not be further from the truth. I know the beginning, I know where I am currently at and I know the general path I want my characters to take. The specifics are happening just as I write them though. This allows me a lot of freedom in my writings of course. If I had everything planned out my writing would be robotic in a way. First my characters did this, then the did this and finally they did this. Since I do not have such a road map my story is more organic, I am growing and changing with my characters as I write them. The organic element is nice, but at the same time since I do not have a road map, it becomes difficult at times to figure out what my characters should be doing. 

Getting from point A to point Z in a fiction story can be super easy if you want your characters to have no depth to them. Instead you have to have all these points where your character grows and changes and develops over the course of the story. Without these points your story is just dull and has no life. Each step of the story has to be for a reason, A to B has a different lesson to learn than B to C does and so on. 

The other downside to writing a fiction/fantasy book is keeping things slightly believable. An alien just can not pop up in someone’s backyard and they are suddenly okay and accept that there is life beyond Earth when they did not believe in it before. There needs to be some transition period where they are in denial, even if in the end you plan on your earthling becoming best friends with the alien. This is difficult because typically the transition period is hard to write. I am over half way through my story and I know I have to go back and put in more of a transition for my main character before she accepts what is happening in her life. It is hard though, I want to write the riveting and exciting parts even though I know that my focus should be on the down moments just as much as it is on the high energy points. 

I get writer’s block quite often if you could not tell by the fact I have been working on this novel for four or five years. In the end I think it makes my writing better though when I walk away and do not look at it for a few days. For the last few weeks I had been trying to figure out how to link two parts of the the story I was sure I wanted to happen, but could not figure out how they were going to connect. After a week of not thinking about it, an idea finally came to me. Now my story is moving forward full speed again. Hopefully it will not take me another four or five years to write the second half of it. 

~~SKG