Rebuilding myself as a writer: I’ve been thinking. And yes, it hurt a lot.

I’ve been quiet lately. Silence can be powerful, especially when you’re having a conversation and you want the other person to spill the beans. But with social media, silence will get you nowhere.

I’ve been rebuilding myself. And out of all the reconstructions, I would say this has been the most painful: I’ve never felt reverberations like this. The good news is that I’m back with a sturdier structure. So, next time there’s a tremor, it’s going to take more than people’s opinions to bring me down. I’ll also be able to take a lot more on without cracking.

I’ve been thinking. Looking at what’s hot and what’s on peoples wishlists makes me realise that no one will be hunting my MS. But do you write a book that everyone is after? Or can you transcend tropes and cliches and a glutted market if you write what you’ve always believed in?  You know what’s hot to me now? My book. Always will be, or I don’t think I’d bother selling it. Would an agent want a book that wouldn’t sell? No, and neither would I.

I’ve been going crazy. Wait a year? Write a new book? Start with a great hook and then write a book? By hook or freakin’ crook, just sell this book! You know I’m losing it when I go all Dr Seuss on you.. I’m going in circles, chasing a tail that will forever be out of reach. But crazy is what makes my book what it is. And there are other crazy people out there. And when I reach them with my writing, I hope they feel as though I’ve always been there. You don’t have to wear black, read books and loan friends to feel different. There’s a cliche right there that I want to break.

I’ve been learning. I’ve always stayed true to myself and haven’t felt the need to conform. But now I’m looking at this book and feeling like I shouldn’t stay away from new adult just because my book isn’t racy. I’m going to embrace what I was passionate about in the first place when I wasn’t trying to fit in a box, and I will make it work this way because I will have my passion behind it. And am I jumping on the new adult bandwagon? Nope. And if Mae isn’t jumping anyone, will that mean it won’t sell?

I don’t know, but I hear people wanting books that break through boundaries, not conform to them.

And I want to be that person.

 

 

 

Thoughts from an urban fantasy writer’s panel

 

With electricity prices skyrocketing, solar paneling may be your urban fantasy, but it is not the sort of panel I am referring to…

The Brisbane Writer’s Festival is in full swing, and I thought I would summarise some of the key points I learned from the urban fantasy panel last year:  Nalini Singh, Marjorie M.Liu and Paula Weston.

Nalini Singh – Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series

Marjorie M.Liu – Hunter Kiss series

Paula Weston – Rephaim series

1) Know where you are going with your world and how  it will end.

Some of us are plotters and some are pantsers. Either way, knowing how your world will evolve and how the story will end will help you build the layers through your installments. You’ll know when the time is right for the series to end.

2) Characters need to show light and dark and growth.

If there is nowhere for your character to head to or come from, readers will be less interested as they like to follow a journey.

3) Keep the tone of your series consistent.

If you start your book as one genre, readers will expect that it will stay that way – don’t change it. If your series will head in a different direction, you need to set the expectations for your readers early on.

4) If you are having writer’s block, make sure you don’t leave it too long before you write again.

Marjorie said that she left it two weeks once, and every day she left it made it harder for her to return.

5) Create your own mythology, but keep it consistent and believable.

And when they say believable, they  mean that readers need to be able to accept the mythology you have built, not that you expect to see vampires walking next to you. If you provide limitations on the paranormal aspect, then your magic system/creature will be more believable as well.

6) Don’t write to a trend.

We hear this all the time. Write what you love when you love it even if nobody else does at the time. Your passion will be translated through your words. Chuck Wendig did a great post on his terribleminds blog. Can I just link other peeoples blogs or am I meant to reblog? Hmmm

What will be the next big thing? Urban fantasy. Oh, they didn’t say that? Well, I’m saying it.

It’s on….