Unnormal Normalcy

Just News and Ramblings From Your Average Author

Armchair BEA Day 4 – Beyond the Blog

Today’s topic is about getting beyond the blog. Personally, I don’t make any money through my blogging. The part of my book hobby that makes me money (though only a very small amount) is my writing itself – my self-published books. So, I’m going to talk about my writing beyond my blog and beyond reviewing books. This is the story of how I became a writer, why I chose self publishing, and where I post my writing.

How I Got Started

I was in junior high school, and I had had this story going around in my head for months. I would play it out in my mind on the bus rides to and from school, daydream about it in class, and think about it while I tried to fall asleep at night. The beginning of my writing might go back way before that, to my childhood “imaginary friends” who occupied my mind quite frequently, as well (Vamp the vampire was my most developed buddy, and 5-5 was a superhero with powers that changed all the time) but I never actually wrote about those characters. The first story I wrote was about a girl named Cyra who has to go on a quest to find out that she’s really a princess, and falls in love with her adoptive brother. I was 14 when I wrote it during Christmas break, and the first draft was exactly eleven pages long. I was impressed with myself at the time, but now I look back at the final draft (which was also the fifth draft and much longer than the original) and I cringe through most of it.

I finally had the drive to write the story, though, after reading the Immortals series by Tamora Pierce. She was my idol at the time, and I clearly found her realm of Tortall very interesting. I set about creating my own fantasy world (which I still use) and wrote several other stories about characters in that world. They all grew increasingly better as my writing ability grew. The final story involves Cyra’s son, Prince Jaimathan, and his adventures and challenges. Personally, I feel like that was the best fantasy novel I have ever written, and I doubt I will ever write something that great again. That’s why I gave up on my fantasy world a while after finishing that book, because I felt too discouraged by everything else I tried. So I went to young adult fiction.

The Angel started off as something completely different. It came from my desire to write a book series about high school bowling. I thought I could use five very different main characters and tell all five of their interwoven stories over the course of four books. The characters’ names were Ian Miliani, Jade Sophia, Jaysin Carson, Ward Fagan, and Ryle Salvadore. I had them all completely fleshed out and everyone had different challenges to overcome and everyone was going to fall in love (Jade Sophia eventually becomes Jade Miliani, if anyone has read the book and doesn’t recognize the last name). But I had more ideas for some characters than I had for others. So I gave up, even though I adored all of them. When the story of The Angel started forming in my head, I briefly thought of using those characters, but I just couldn’t bring myself to change the stories that they all already had. So I just stole their children.

Why I Did It Myself

A lot of people seem to think that anyone who chooses self-publishing does so because they have no other options. I never even submitted The Angel to anyone. To me, it just felt like I would be giving up my baby, and I wanted to take care of my baby. I also wanted to have a life outside of writing. It may sound like blasphemy to some, but for me writing is a hobby. I was also afraid that if I got accepted, that I would no longer enjoy writing because it would become my job and not my hobby. If I’m only writing for money, what’s the point of it? How can I create a good story if I can’t pour my passion into it because I’m not enjoying it? For me, writing is about the story and the characters. If I am happy with my characters and the story that I write, it doesn’t matter to me if I make any money off of it or even if anyone else likes it. I want to put it out there for others, but it’s my story, and that’s all it comes down to.

I also worried that my characters would get changed if I was accepted by a publisher. They would tell me that the cast isn’t realist, or censor the realistic swearing, or force me to take out the crazy religious neighbors, or change someone’s sexuality. I wasn’t going to consider letting someone else tell me how to please them with my characters. If you can’t sell it as-is (or after basic editing because I can never catch all my typos), then don’t bother.

I could rant about this for pages and pages, so I shall move on now.

Where I Post My Writing

I post novel snippets and short stories on a few sites other than this one.

DeviantArt (DA) is where I post many of my short stories. These stories include the old ones I wrote in high school as well as more recent ones.

Wattpad is the only place where you can read Meant to be Broken, in full, for free. I also have a few other stories there that are on DA and the blog.

Gay Authors (GA) is the primary posting location for King of Blades (also being posted here). KoB is my newest adventure back into my fantasy world, and is the sequel to Vows from Darkness, which I was slightly disappointed by. I am enjoying KoB much more than Vows. And yes, I will be completing KoB this summer. I’m hoping to get back to a rate of one chapter a day. School slowed down my writing process with a lack of time and too much stress to be creative.

Shield Brothers is my next big project, once KoB gets finished. I’ll be keeping you posted on that.

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June 7, 2012 - Posted by | Armchair BEA

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