Well, my journey is started, bump one (getting the nerve to actually do this) is past me. Now it's onto the rest of the bumps and there will be a few. I got a few others behind me, I told my friends, gave them my first draft (minus the final chapter because I hadn't written it yet) and asked my boyfriend to check for plot holes because he loves poking holes in plots. Another bump is emailing a few authors I follow on twitter and facebook and asking them for their experiences with their first book.
But that can wait, I want to address a major bump I have to overcome:
How do I convince anyone (an agent, publisher and readers) that my story is worth telling? How do I make my story stand out from all the rest when everything has been said and done before?
And when I say everything I mean everything. Because that's the truth, it's all been done before me. Look at books and film and you will easily find two stories that are similar. (Avatar and Dances with Wolves is one I hear a lot.) My boyfriend loves to bash Twilight by saying take out the vampires and you have a love story that is not unique at all. I roll my eyes and point out that Twilight does have unique features. Can you recall another story were the vampires sparkle? I can't.
So what do I do? Give up?
I think not!
I've just started this journey, I can't give up so easily. Besides there are some things my story has to have to make it what it is.
Let me explain that before trying to persuade you that my story is unique.
My story is a vampire tale, the main character is a vampire. Being a vampire tale, I believe there are three aspects needed to make it a vampire tale. First, a vampire has to be undead. To become a vampire you have to die after all. Second, a vampire has to have an aversion to sunlight. Said vampire may not burst into flames, but the aversion is there in one form or another. Example again is Twilight, the Cullens don't burst into flames but they do avoid sunlight because it would expose them as not human. Third, and this is important, is blood drinking. You just wouldn't be a vampire if you didn't drink blood at some point in your undead life! Every vampire story needs those three aspects in one form, it can be mild or severe but it has to be there.
There are exceptions to the first two, there have been stories were vampires are born or chosen and I've even read a manga were the vampires enjoy sun, but for my story I am sticking with those three clichés that make a vampire a vampire.
So what makes my story different? What makes it worth your time to notice?
Pretty much it comes down to smaller details, little bits of the story that don't fit in the the mold. Details spun throughout that make it my story, that tells the tale of a boy turned into a vampire that forgets being human and over time learns that to be human, you don't necessarily have to be human.
That is my story I want to tell, my journey I want to take the reader on. My first steps have been taken with more to come. With any luck, I'll find the strength for each step, face the challenges and come out with a book in my hands.
And who knows, maybe a few people will like it too.