Monday, 11 March 2013

Random Thoughts: For The Love Of Writing

Once upon a time I wrote a story. I did it for the love of writing. It was called Iron Willed and I managed to get to the second book in the series before I finally lost steam and it sort of died in a heap. A lot has happened since I stopped writing that story.
      I rediscovered dystopia thanks to The Hunger Games. I  discovered self publishing and all the trimmings that come with it. Including the one piece of advice that all the advice sites agree on. That self published writers need to write good stories and have them edited to within an inch of their lives.
      Now that I look back on said story I can see how much I've improved as a writer. I'm so glad that all this obsession hasn't been for nothing. And yet a part of me is a little sad because I can also see that all this precision has bled a lot of the love right out of my writing.
      I've always maintained that I'm not really a writer. I'm a storyteller that just happens to express herself through the medium of words. I would love to tell my story through film or art or possibly manga/anime but alas I am so much worse at those than I am at writing. So this is how my stories will be told.
      I am sitting here thinking about what a shame it is that I find myself focusing on the craft rather than the storytelling. I remember how quickly I wrote those books and how much fun they were to write. It was freeing to just let the words flow. The story isn't mind blowing. I'll never get professional accolades for it. In fact, I can see some discerning reviewer (like myself ironically!) who would tear it to shreds. But you know what? This is the one book that I don't think I'd care if a reviewer totally firebombed.
      It's a fun book filled with teenage romanticism, cool powers, impossible world building, a snappy heroine, a non romantic best friend and plenty of stereotypical sidekicks. And I love it. Every single bit of it. So I've decided I'm going to write it. Technicality be damned.


  1. Good for you, Lan! I'd love to read your story! While perfecting the technical skills are great, I still think it's the heart of the story that's more important. There are some books that seem so simply written but are nevertheless embedded in our minds because of its soul.

    Keep writing, Lan!

  2. Do it!!! And be sure you let me read it!

  3. Do it! Yes, do invest in an editor if you're going indie.

    Don't get so technical that you edit your voice out. I ended up having to figure out how to put myself back in. Like everything else in writing, it's a balance you have to figure out for yourself.

  4. Awesome! You should totally go for it. I'd be happy to read it once it's done :)

  5. Good for you! That's how I feel about my stories. If it's a story I want to tell, one close to my heart, I'm going to tell it. Even if nobody cares about it. :) I actually can't wait to read Iron Willed, I still remember the snippet I've read so far. So... yay!!!!

  6. You go, girl! I know exactly what you mean. It's frustrating getting so worried about editing and technicalities that you lose the love of the story. I hope you do go back to the old story and have fun.

  7. You know, Lan. I've been telling you to write THIS book for a LONG time now! Finally, you're convinced to do it. Yay! I'm your partner, so send me those chapters. ^_^

  8. Go you! Maybe you could work with an editor and let them do more of the nitty-gritty technical stuff? That way it's still a love project for you. Either way, I shall read whatever you write! Either before it's published (if you need/want critiques) or after! I think the most important thing is to write, and everything else be damned! :p

  9. DO IT! You know here's what I think: you can train yourself to be a writer. You can pay people to turn your writing into good writing.

    What you can't do train yourself to do is be creative. You can't really "train" yourself to be a storyteller. Sure, you can practice, but some people just have it.

    If you have a story, GO FOR IT! Tell it. So many people who are writers in the technical sense would KILL for that.

  10. Yes, if you're going to self publish, get a decent editor whose job is not to do the technical stuff for you, but to help you make your book one you can be proud of. Of course, if you sold it to a paying publisher they would supply an editor and you'd still have to rewrite. As you ave decided to go the self publishing route you will have to pay the freelancer but think of it as an investment - in the old days you would've paid $$$$ to the printer. But most people these days go for ebook format, so you might as well spend your $$$$ on someone good. There are some great freelancers out there - I can think of three in Australia who specialise in spec fic without even trying. And plenty of fine book cover artists. Why not treat these novels you've written as a first draft and go from there, with an editor?

  11. Wahoo, you go! Write what you feel passionate. The fun and the joy will be there if you are loving your story, instead of trying to force something. That's why I wrote a novel in a new series, rather than finishing the next Sulan. I felt passionate about this new story, so I just went for it, and I had so much fun writing it. We do enough things in our lives that suck. Let's not make writing one of those things! :) Good luck!

  12. Oooh, good luck, Lan! <3 Just follow your and heart and write things you're really passionate about! Art, includes writing, is all about having fun, right? Time will train you to be a wonderful writer, but truthfully, I'll read anything you write even if it's gardening book or TV program list LOL! ;) I know that you're good in this writing stuff, so all I can do is to cheer for you! x)

    Never stop writing, girl! Again, good luck! <3

  13. Good luck! Don't let those reviewers hold you back because you don't think the story is the end-all-be-all of earth-shattering fiction. Write your story. If you believe in it, it will burrow into the hearts of your readers!

    Thanks for your comment on my guest post over at Carissa Taylor's blog about YA romance.


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