Published

Published, that is a scary word I’ve decided. It is a word that I have loved and wanted for so long. It is a word that I want to be. I feel like I have spend over half my life running toward that word and yet it is terrifying.

Published, no longer will me stories be just mine, something I play with and tell my self but it will be there for the world to see and read. For someone else to potentially take and play with. It is scary. Will others love my babies as much as I love them? I have worked hard and poured a lot into the lives of my characters they are precious and important to me. Will they be the same for someone else? It is a scary thought? What if the world hates them? Hating me is not a big deal but my characters my stories the ones I’ve poured my heat and soul into? That is a scary prospect!

I know I have had people read over my work and tell me it is good but there is a difference in sharing your story with those you know and love and while I trust them to be honest and to tell me if I can’t write, it is less scary to share with them. The world can be cruel.

Of course, I don’t have to share and my stories can be just for me and a select small group of people whom I trust but that is not what I want. I want to share, it’s just scary sharing.

While sharing is scary, there are other parts of the word published that is terrifying. Almost since I can remember I’ve wanted to be published. It has been my dream, and that’s just that, it is a dream, my dream. Seeing a dream become a reality. I think everyone can relate how terrifying that can be. What will the next dream be? Will the reality of the dream live up to the imaginings of the dream? What if it isn’t what it is cracked up to be? What if that is it? They are classic questions and many cheesy movies have addressed this idea but it is just words spoken on the big screen, living it is a whole different prospect.

Honestly this depicts my feelings about being published so perfectly:

Reading & Writing

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have
the time
(or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
                                                                                        – Steven King

I have always thought this to be an interesting and profound statement and to be quite honest it is very true.  I find my life is lacking if I am not taking the time to read as well as write.  As I have stated before my passion is stories I love a good story no matter the format.  To be honest it is an addiction.  I mean a massive addiction.   I have more books from the library that I probably have the right to have in my possession as I don’t know if I can get them all read in a timely manner but I can’t simply just return them, not yet I need to read the story!  I’ve got to know!  I borrowed the books because I want to know.  So right now I’m almost shamefully in the middle of Assassins Creed Revelations, the book not the game (currently on the Assassins Creed 2 in my replay), I’ve read the first several pages of Star Trek Cast No Shadows, working my way through the book the latest Ernest Cline book Armada, and on the 4th chapter of Club Dead.  Then, I am also listening to a book as well, Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld.  Yes my life is filled with the written word .

Of course, while I am enjoying the books I’m reading the thing that has my attention right now is Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld.  It is a bizarre story about a teenager who wrote a book in November for Nanowrimo and landed a publishing deal.  The story alternately follows her life as she enters the world of publishing and re-writes and the story she actually wrote, which is about the afterworld, and death which sounds super grim and dark which is some ways it is and in others it isn’t as dark as you would think.  It’s a YA romance.  Anyway while the story about the afterworld is interesting what has been holding my attention the most is the plight of Darcy the teenager who wrote the book and is entering the world of publishing.

I think it has my attention so, because it is all about writing and the written word and I can relate to it in a lot of ways while there are other parts that I sit there eyes slanted looking at the CD player in my car going ‘no… that can’t be how things are – really?’  I mean there are things I believe to be real and a true representation of the publishing world (whether you are a big publisher or not) such as the need to market, even before a book is out.  Yet at the same time I can’t help but wonder, if it is legit or how often it happens where, an editor wants the writer to completely change a scene from sad to happy.  While other things I know has to be an instance where Scott Westerfeld opts to use something unrealistic for the sake of a plot device such as the fact that Darcy on a completely un-edited first draft novel written in 30 day can land an $300,000 publishing contract for the book and its sequel.

(Why that seems un-real: 1) $300,000 is exorbitant for a first time published author who is fresh out of high school  2) This was accomplished in 6 months or less 3) It is a first draft, other wise known as a rough draft – those things can be just that extremely rough 4)  It was written in November for NanoWrimo!  While first/rough drafts are just that, one written in November during the event know as NanoWrimo are a special breed of novel many times and are even worse so to speak.  I am not dissing NanoWrimo – the novel I’m editing was written during NanoWrimo but it was a very rough work at the start as most are – the month is all about quantity and getting words out than quality!)

So knowing that some things are most certainly true and others are more than likely false I find my head getting messed with a little and am clamoring to hear more in some respects because publication is my goal, has been for a long wile and is what I am working toward.  Of course, self publication rather than traditional but still it is interesting to hear about the publication world as depicted by a traditionally published author is the form of prose.  I am only on disc 8 of 12 but I am curious to find out what happens next and learn more.  So I am not giving an official review or take on the book just yet but it is interesting to say the least.  (Which is nothing less than I expect from my favorite author.)

The Little Things

I know this blog comes a little late and for that I am sorry. Normally my process for this blog is to start thinking about things come Wednesday and have an idea formed by Friday to post it up on Saturday, but this week has been quite a week. It was one of those weeks where I felt a lot like I was suffering through “Ground Hog Day Syndrome”. Every day I woke up and it was the same thing, Monday. It was a very bad case of the Mondays with each day being worse than the last. By the time Friday rolled around things were only slightly better but I was only hanging on by a thread, a very thin and precarious one at that.

Thus when I woke up I started in on things, cleaning getting my life together after the difficult past week to look at my lap top and realized I had not thought about my blog all week long. I then proceeded to spend several hours trying to think of something writing a paragraph or two for the idea or thought to float away from me and have nothing. I researched, I looked for inspiration, I wrote in stream of consciousness, and nothing. I was stuck and could not get past that road block.

Finally, I threw my hands up and went to spend some time with a few friends laughing and not worrying about a thing in the world deciding, maybe this once I’d let a week slip by unnoticed. Really who could blame me? So I decided to simply sit down for the night write a little bit for a role play I do and then go to bed, when I saw a few new blog posts waiting for me to read. While reading, inspiration struck and here we are my having written a blog about not writing and bad weeks and you reading about it. Of course, that isn’t what my full blog is going to be all about but it plays a part in things all the same.

With the way the week has gone for me as a whole there has not been a lot of time let alone energy left in me to be able to put much work and effort into my novel and writing save for a bit of role play which isn’t work but rather play. (I know it is odd to say considering, writing in general is play but there really is a difference one that can be outlined in a different blog at a different time.) Yet, all the same, my novel never left me and was in my mind in odd little ways. What I did have the time to think about were the odd little things that are all part of a book and it’s creation. Each thing important but seemingly minor compared to the meat and potatoes of the book, things that I feel in some ways shouldn’t be considered or fantasized about until after my editing is done or a whole lot closer to done than it is now. Yet it is what my brain had time ponder, and ponder it did.

The questions and ideas that played in my mind were things like: “Cover, what should the cover look like?” “How should I go about getting and making a cover?” “Should I have a drawing?” Maybe a photograph? “Wait what about the dedication?” “What should the dedication say?” “Do I want/need a dedication?” “Should I have a dedication?” “What about acknowledgements?” “There are so many people that I want and need to thank” “Is it too much to have something like that?” “This is my first novel, is that normal for a first novel?” “If I do a dedication and or novel those will need to be edited too” “Should I write those now?” “Bugger, I’m going to have to worry about formatting.” “Publication, I do need to save up for that if I am going to do things on my own rather than through a third party.”

The list goes on still from there, but each of these thoughts are brief and questions I have asked myself multiple times, the biggest one being: “Is it too early to worry about and concerned with these things?” Well is it? I admit I am new to this whole publishing thing – I’m still a ways off I mean I’m only on chapter 2 of the re-edit. I’ll need a few more read-through’s as I tighten things up and attempt to put my best foot forward, but I’m hoping with dedication things will be ready by year end/early next year. Is it too early to think and worry about the completed product, or is it a matter that it is all part of the process and part of the dream?

Feedback

Writing is full of double sided-ness so to speak. While something can be considered bad in some respects it can also be considered good in others. What is sometimes a pain can also be a real treat. This week I week I experienced the flip side of something I hate. If you read my last post you know that editing is a big nasty monster that I don’t like to face but am facing down and I might say with some success. While I am still loath to editing in a lot of ways I did find the positive part of editing so to speak and that is feedback.

My friend who is editing my novel for me gave me back chapter 3. (I am not done working on chapter 2 yet but the comments are getting whittled down!) I decided to take a look at it just to see what my future work is for me. I was pleasantly surprised and even joyed at it. While there are some flaws and issues with chapter 3 make no doubt they aren’t as prevalent. That in and of itself made me feel better. Made me think “Okay, so I do have something worthwhile, it’s just a matter that chapter 2 was the weak link so to speak”. Yet there was more. I found my editor complimenting points and ideas in the chapter, a fair number of things actually. This made my heart soar higher than a kite! (To my editor: Don’t feel you have to focus on compliments, I want your real take!) This added to the whole feeling of “I think I have something worth here! I can do this!”

Of course, that wasn’t the end of my feedback this week. A dear friend of mine, who has been a massive cheerleader and support of my goals of being an author since middle school reached out to me. (We haven’t spoken in a while since we are countries apart.) I had sent her a copy of my novel back in the early stages but due to moving she lost it. She was seeking a new copy so that she could re-read and give me her thoughts. She expressed how she enjoyed what she had read and really wants to give me proper feed back still. This of course made me smile.

Between my two friends, who I know to be honest with me, I am reminded about why I do this, why I write. Feedback, knowing that I may be accomplishing what I’ve set out to do with my story. That I may actually have something good on my hands that my feelings that I’ve had since I was a little girl of “If I am having fun with this maybe someone else will too.” After a tough week of facing the cruelty of editing I am better prepared to face it again because I know in the end it isn’t the worst it could be. I can and will do this! Let’s see what the next chapter brings!