The site was hacked over the last week but it’s recovered now. 🙂 Thank you all for your concern.
But today’s post is a little special, since so many have asked about my story. I’ve decided to tell after reading one of my favorite series.
My writing was influenced by many things. Drawing, writing, other books. People’s stories. And then there was one thing that inspired more stories than I remember before realizing I should work on my own shit. That was Gravitation, a series about a aspiring songwriter and a romance novelist. (Yes, it’s a male x male and I’m fine with that concept.)
By the time I came to the idea I needed to work on my own stuff, I had written a 250 page fan story. I was on the second one when this realization hit me and over half were original people, who fanfiction fans don’t like. They want to read about already established characters.
315,215 words in and 410 pages later, I came to that realization.
So I stopped and worked on my own shit. I was 24 at the time.
I was lucky I already had a following who understood this and wished me success. With that, I began the first book. I wrote it in manga style with pictures and a screen play. Book one was 73 pages. It was drafted mostly in dialogue.
It was basically me trying to work out my unrequited feelings about my two relationships. This is never good for any book. It was also a mash of crap I role played at the time, which has drastically changed.
I put it down. I came back to it a year later, wanting to keep the good times and the supposed happy endings. However, it still was crappy. This time, I was brave enough to let someone confirm what I felt.
It would be two years later and a heart felt talk later when I came across my editor.
R.J. and I have been friends a very long time, but she was the one who explained what the difference between fanfiction and damn good writing is. She explained that what I was doing was not advancing my career but hindering it. At the end of the day, the story has to be realistic enough to get people interested and sympathetic with it and it had to be cohesive. The second draft in, it was no where near where it was today.
So I started over. I’ve done it three times now. It’s a lot better, but there still needs a little work to the piece. Most is just grammar and wording, a little description. Other parts are fleshing out people that were added as the story progressed.
Meanwhile, I re-watched Gravitation and read it a second time through. I tried understanding more of what I was missing not through the series, but I watched and read because I enjoyed the characters. The storyline is about a young singer who is discovering his talent and has to go up against his idol. He finds someone he loves, but it is a tumultuous relationship not only because the main character loves a guy, but because they’re both trying to figure out who they are.
The one I related to was the tragic writer, Eiri Yuki. Most of the time I don’t like blondes or people who are transparent. However, he captivated me because of his past and his story. But I’ve always liked tragic characters but he had more depth then the MC sometimes.
But there was one thing I related to more than anything else–that he ran away from everything. I could relate well to this concept.
It made me realize just how truly alone writers can be sometimes. And all I want as a writer some days is to know I’m not alone and to yammer on when I’m excited. All writers do.
But then it was time to do some serious work on the book.
So I went ahead and started once more back down the rabbit hole. June through August I prepped, edited, cut out about 77,000 words because the parts weren’t needed. Yet, it still wasn’t enough. I was told to sit on it because there was more to be done and problems on both editor and writer’s ends got in the way.
It turned out to be a blessing. There was a lot more to do.
I’m now on my fourth draft. I’ve got an excellent beta reader who is a fellow colleague assisting me with the grammar and tensing issues. Someone else pointed out characterization flaws with a character that was added last draft. One final person hates what I’ve done with the book since the beginning.
Guess what? The story is only getting better, because I’ve let the personal baggage go. The end of the day, writing a novel is for other reader’s entertainment. It’s a career. One I enjoy and hate at times, like any job. But one I’ve chosen to make.
Seriously, I’m glad for ONE MORE CHANCE to do this before submitting this for editing. I received a comment today in a writer’s group I’m in after she said we were all great authors. Just the snapshot tells me I’ve gotten better, even in works in progress that were first drafts.
Stephen King said it takes a million words before you’re ready to release your first novel. I’ve written about 700,000 in my lifetime between fanfiction stories, shorts and originals. I’ve written since I was 14 years old. I’ve never felt more satisfied in my work than I am now.
As I read Graviation one more time in a bout of depression, I can look at the depth the story holds. At 16, I just saw it for something completely different. Now, there is meaning and real substance behind the story.
I can relate to the woman writing this and know that she transformed herself as she wrote each of these books. Her style changes. The characters become more serious. The problems are ones anyone can relate to.
I wanted to portray that and I have one more chance to do so.
My Renegades series is special to me because of what it represents. Let me be clear that I do not want people to actively go against the government. Rather, I am a little unconventional. I go against the norms and I do what I want with my life.
It represents a sense of who I am and the dreams that I hold dear. Sure, there’s action, there’s crime, there’s shady stuff that a conventional person doesn’t do. But the storyline is no longer my personal unrequited love story and that’s okay. The characters are starting to come out and have their own voices and styles.
In the year that I’ve been single, I’ve accomplished more than I thought possible. A few drafts later and a following, I’ve also delved into internet marketing. However, there are a lot internet marketers and Facebook friends who ask about my writing and my work all the time. That was why I wanted to share this story today.
I’ve failed, gotten up, rubbed the dust off my ass when I fell and tried again. Each time, it gets better. And that is what you should tell yourselves too. You’re worth everything you put into yourself.
Between that and writing full time, I am slowly making the transition towards working as a coach to help others in the industry while doing what I love. I’m not ashamed to admit and am confident that I’ll slowly become more successful.
(All Gravitation images (c) Maki Murakami. They were all ones scanned from pieces I had.)0