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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Honey, I Am Spread So Thin, I'm Practically Translucent...

Sorry for the lack of substantive stuff on the blog in the last few weeks. I do try to throw something up there a few days a week and at least write one or two "real" posts, but along with the other blog I run, working full-time, and trying to bang out a book, it's getting a bit tough to keep up.

Still, I will persevere. Yes, I will.

A book, you ask? Why, yes. Anyone who knows me knows that I am forever in the middle of writing a book. I have six different book ideas going at any given time and I have a pile of half to three-quarters finished manuscripts that are just awesome. I even finished two into rough draft form and one is currently out to an editor and has been "bumped to the acquisitions desk" where I am eagerly awaiting an update.

You wait a lot when you write. Oh, do you ever.

But here's the scoop. A few weeks ago, Twitter ran a campaign under the #MSWL hashtag that caught my attention. MSWL stands for Manuscript Wish List, and the hashtag became a place where literary agents and editors tossed out a tweet detailing the kind of manuscripts they were currently looking for. I perused the list all day and came to one utterly inescapable conclusion.

I'm not writing in the proper genre.

I'd venture to say that 90% of the requests I saw were asking for something in the YA (Young Adult) category. The genre is red-hot right now, in the aftermath of Harry Potter and Twilight, and with the advent of The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments, among others.

I don't write YA stories. Well, not much anyway. I've done some short-story work that would fit the category, and I do read a lot of YA, believe it or not. I just haven't "gone there" so to speak.

So I sat myself down that night with a mug of hot, spiked cider. The kids were at their Dads, the house was quiet, the laptop was open and for once, the cat didn't feel like sitting on it. I stared at the keys on the keyboard and I thought: I'm a writer. I can do this. Think. Teenagers. Add in a paranormal or sci-fi element? Dystopian? A mix of both?


Riff on a fairy tale? I ran them down in my head, and they've all been done to death. And then it happened. The cat climbed the damn entertainment center, knocked something off it onto the floor and when I picked it up, a seed grew in my brain that was suddenly watered by an offshoot of the fairy tale idea in the form of a more obscure children's story I'd read long ago that threw an element of awesome cool into a tale that now had to be told.

And I wrote. I sketched out my people, their world, and even framed out their corner of the universe. I knew what they lived for, what fed their souls, what mattered to them. I just didn't have all the why's and wherefore's yet, but I had an outline, and I've been flying with it ever since.

It'll be a three-book arc, and the ending will blow your head off, if I can limit my time on internet, stop playing on Facebook, and keep the cat off the keyboard. I'm hoping to have a strong first-draft of book one finished by Thanksgiving, come hell or high water.

I will say that I'm loving this story, and loving my protagonists and oh, am I loving how this is all fleshing out. They're surprising me as I write them, and one of them has broken my heart already. That's a good sign, I think.

So, that's the plan. In the meantime, you'll get a little more filler in the blog but I do promise to actually speak my mind a time or two a week, at the very least. Bear with me, please. It'll all be worth it in the end.

I hope.

Wish me luck!

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