Sunday, October 31, 2010

Who am I?

Today is about me.

Which isn't me at all. I'm naturally a shy person. I don't like making waves, content to follow rather than lead - although, I can lead. I usually choose not to, that's all. So focusing on myself seems.... Selfish. Which I'm not. I can confidently say I'm not selfish because pointing out one, tiny thing I did feels self-serving to me. Like I'm trying to brag or boast and I feel like a stuck up snob for even speaking.

I am in my characters. Dreams, hopes, secret ambitions are all wound up in my characters. I create strong female leads, thrusting them into danger and conflict, giving them the strength to do what I would like to do. I create timid characters, trying to coax them into growing stronger, encourage them to stand up like I hope I would in their shoes. There's also hopeful characters, fearful characters, selfish characters, villainous characters, a character for every part of me, both good and bad.

Read my stories and you'll see me laugh and cry, stand up for what I believe, be the voice of reason or even do something so terrible you'd think I was insane! I'm there, in between the lines, in every breath my characters take (even the ones that don't breath.) Who I am isn't just me, it's Tommy or Ebony or Alex or Dr. Reece. It's any of the characters that popped into my brain and the ones that have yet to be realized. It's who I am and who I want to be.

Like I said, it's all about me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Please say YES!

So it's been about ten days since I've started this journey. (Have you noticed my theme yet?) Ten days and maybe in some people's opinion haven't made much progress. Have I tried to contact any agents? No. Have I bookmarked dozen of pages on how to become a writer on google? No. So what have I done? Well, I made a big step today. I sent a message to an author I follow on facebook and twitter, asking if she would do a guest post for my blog.

I felt accomplished.

Okay, so maybe it's not a huge step, but it's a step I want to take. I want to hear other author's stories, find out what motivated them to start their own journey and how they felt along the way. Who knows, maybe I'll get some really good resources to help me out.  So who is this mystery author?

She's none other than Merrie Destefano.


Merrie Destefano. She is the author of Afterlife. While she is not new to the publishing world, this is her first book. I followed her on twitter and facebook and a group blog she is part of, seeing her excitement grow as release day came. I thought she'd be a good first pick to ask to share her experience. Email sent and fingers crossed, hopefully she'll say yes.

As for other authors I have in mind, I was thinking Heather Brewer who wrote The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, a series I love and part of my motivation to attempt this journey. Adrian Phoenix, author of The Maker's Song series and Hoodoo series and Kerrelyn Sparks, author of Love at Stake series. All those authors have books I love and admire. Their stories hook me, drag me in and don't release me even after the book is done.

Hopefully they will say yes and if not at least reply back with a, 'I'm flattered, but sorry, no.' Any negative responses will be good practice for when I send my story out to agents. I need to be realistic here, after all, not everyone is going to be swept silent by my writing genius. Ha, ha, right? I still have my fingers crossed that I will receive yes all across, until then...

Here's to another step in the journey!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When it's all been said and done before.

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 clich├ęs 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.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bitten by the writing bug

So what started it all? What got it in my head that I maybe have the possibility of being an author when, let's face it, writing wasn't my strong suite?

I've always been creative. When I was little I wanted to be a dancer, in middle school and high school I was all about art and in band. Even now, my job is creative. I work in a deli as a baker creating tasty treats and decorating cookies. Nothing insanely fancy, but it allows my creative juices to flow. Creativity is even in my blood, I was inspired into art by my grandpa's oil paintings, have a cousin that makes amazing cakes with fondant, aunts that quilt, grandma that crochets. The creativity is there, flowing from generation to generation. I can't help but be creative, but writing? I always had a problem, I had to be inspired to write something good. I couldn't sit and think up something creative. Still can't to a point.

What got me writing was two things:

One was my ex-boyfriend. I wrote a story, him as the main character. I killed him, put him through hell, then gave him a happy ending with a woman he loved. The story was full of characters I had imagined up through out the years. A red haired sorceress, a tiger girl, female ninja warrior, genetically altered girl, vampires. It was a hodgepodge of everything in my head, something I'll probably never show (at least not without some major rewrites and changes.) I think the story was more me coping with the break up. After all the ninja warrior I imagined looked like me and constantly told the main character (based on ex-boyfriend) 'You're so not my type.' I think it helped, plus it was fun. I enjoyed creating the story. And let's face it ladies, we all want our ex-lovers to suffer.

Second thing that got me writing, (I always feel like I'm plagiarising when I say this,) is I had a dream. (Yup, just like Stephanie Meyers, understand why I feel like I'm plagiarising?) The dream was about a girl and a vampire (again with the plagiarising.) They loved each other, wanted to be together and all that, but here's were it goes off on its own: The cast of True Blood was there. They didn't want the girl to be with the vampire because the vampire wasn't a normal vampire. He had been born a vampire, never human and therefore had no problem hunting and killing. It was normal for him. The girl still loved him though and the cast of True Blood was desperately trying to separate them. I woke with the urge to write this story.

So I did.

At first, all I had was the beginning. After all, there was no way I could use my dream in the story, not without copyright infringement. It didn't stop me, I wrote and wrote, creating Kris and Kristen. She was a headstrong women in her late twenties dreading thirty and he was a clueless 300+ vampire completely at ease with what he is. They met because he's hunting her, after all she smells delicious, but Kristen resists Kris' gaze, walking away and leaving him confused and before either know it, a relationship is born.

So where was the conflict? The plot of my dream? How do I do it?

Eventually, I figured out how to have the conflict from my dream: some one trying to separate Kris and Kristen but not the cast of True Blood. I wrote and wrote some more and as I was dragging the story on, going no past the resolution of the conflict, something happened. One of the characters came forward and spoke. He told me a story and before I knew it, I was writing Caleb's story down. Like with Kris and Kristen, I knew the beginning but what the conflict was didn't come until later.

That was the start for me. It was like a floodgate was open and I couldn't stop what came out. Most of the ideas are beginnings. I see the main characters, see their relationship and I start writing it and as I write the conflict in the plot comes to me. Sometimes, I see the conflict right away, but mostly I wait for the inspiration to hit and let it all come together that way.

So, that's it, what started it, the bug that bit me. It's only been until now that I've decided to pursue publishing a story. Maybe it's because up until now, I haven't felt any of my stories are worth telling. Either that or I've been to timid and finally got the nerve to do it.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;)

PS: Both Kristen and Kris' story and Caleb's story have been finished. Whether I do anything with theirs is still up in the air. We'll see where this journey takes me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Beginning

Well, I'm doing it. I am going to attempt to get a story published. A book to be exact. I just spent the last half hour looking through literary agents, bookmarking ones that caught my eye in hopes of sending them a query letter.

As I go through my journey, I hope to have some guest blogs from authors I admire or chat with about their experiences. I'll post about anxiety over waiting for an answer, rejection letters and tears that will follow, what I'm currently working on and maybe a book review or two.

So, wish me luck and cross your fingers for me! The journey begins now.