Tuesday, 20 May 2014

How I found the write path

I wasn't entirely sure if I would be able to participate in this, but here we are.


Carrie Butler is celebrating her third blogiversary and decided to host this blogfest, in which participants can write to themselves when they first started writing toward publication. She'll be using them to compile into a free ebook for writers, which I give full permission for my entry to be included in.
So off we go then...

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Dear 15 year old me,

You know your little dream of publishing that strange story with the lizard people you started writing when you were twelve? The one you thought was already pretty dark? Yeah, The Rogue King. You're pitting all your hopes on that number, aren't you?

Well ... I'm here to say your path won't be easy.

You're going to get stomped on. A lot. Querying, which I know you've just started doing, will lead to being rejected by every man and his dog. You'll tear your hair out over the contradictions and want to slap every face you see. You'll find out that, for every helpful person out there, there'll be someone else who'll dump all over you. You're going to spend ages screaming at that screen.
But some of those helpful people will become your critique partners. Remember those words. You'll start to know them better than all your high school friends (for longer than a few of them, too).

And you know what else? You're not the know-it-all you think you are.
Don't you sit there fussing and rolling your eyes at me. Yes, it's taken you a few years now. You've read a few things, tweaked accordingly. But it's going to take you even longer. You're nowhere near the halfway mark of your journey.
So saddle up for another fourteen years, my dear. You've got a boatload of stuff to learn along the way that they never touched on at school. It'll be a daunting experience, I know, but soak it in. Just don't try to conform to every rule. It'll drive you crazy. Well, crazier. ^_^

Be prepared to change things around. You've got three complete rewrites to haul your butt through. You'll grow to hate that arrogant arse you decided to make a main character. And his son ... he's practically a shadow (no pun intended, there). You'll quibble with yourself over scrapping the whole thing.
Even with all that help, it's going to be a hard road. It's a big story now, you won't fit it all into one book (FYI, that's where all your trouble is coming from). And you'll scare yourself with how dark it gets, but it's okay, I've got it now.

Lastly, you're going to find you're doing the important parts yourself. Yes Miss Hypocrite, you've got the makings of a self-published novel in your hands. But don't sit there and fret. You can do this. You're an indie. You did it. It's out there and being enjoyed. Be proud.

Love,
Aldrea Alien, author of the Rogue King Saga
www.aldreaalien.com

15 comments:

  1. So much truth! I don't think any writer starting out has any clue just how hard the road is. Which is why the one phrase guaranteed to make me want to slap a non-writer is "Oh, yes, I've been thinking about writing a book myself..."

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    1. Ugh, that phrase just makes me want to slap the speaker and shout "do it!"

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  2. Love the frankness of your letter, Aldrea. Your younger you should be proud to know that you met the challenge--very inspiring!

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    1. I think my younger me might've had issues with how long it took.

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  3. I'm impressed that you took on such a big undertaking at such a young age.

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    1. Thanks, it's taken a long time to get here, though. And a lot of learning that made me faster.

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  4. I can't believe dogs would reject you!

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    1. Well maybe not dogs. ^_^ But everyone else, certainly.

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  5. The urge to "conform" to every rule...that's a tough one for me to challenge. If it's a "rule" shouldn't we follow it? Everyone does, don't they? Congrats on your journey.

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    1. Yes ... well ... "They're more guidelines than actual rules."

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  6. loved this letter especially the warning that hey, you will self publish in the end! great job :)

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    1. I was such a snob... Okay, I'm still a snob. But more about the quality of self-published books than the actual method.

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  7. Such spirit and grit can only end in triumph, no matter how hard the journey. I must say, though that your writing is phenomenal and refreshing. Thanks for allowing me a glimpse into your process!

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  8. I was the same way, but now I love being indie! :) Thank you so much for participating!

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