Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Look Back at the Beginning

A kind reader has provided me with today’s writing prompt:

“Maybe when you get the chance you could write a post about how you found your agent/how many manuscripts you wrote before you got picked up... Us pre-repped writers love to hear that stuff! :)”

Let’s see… I started writing stories when I was 12. I spent one entire summer seated on my bed with a battered notebook in my lap, re-writing the story of Robin Hood. Weeks prior, I had finished a great re-telling of the story by a wonderful author, but I was left feeling like something was missing. For me, the tale needed a strong female figure. So, I rewrote it. It came out to be about 50+ pages handwritten and I still have it buried somewhere under an enormous pile of unfinished manuscripts.

For the next couple years, I wrote stories about girls in high school, silly romance stories that will never ever see the light of day. Around my freshman or sophomore year in high school, a friend introduced me to fantasy fiction and I found my home. I have never gotten around to reading as much fantasy fiction as I would like. I was given Raymond Feist’s Midkemia series and I was in heaven. This was the kind of stuff I wanted to write. It sang to my creative heart in so many ways. Feist is an amazing storyteller and that is what I want to be.

So, in my freshman or sophomore year, I started my great fantasy series. I still have the map I designed of the world. I actually finished writing the first book and I’ve got the second book half done. But I’ve never finished it. Somewhere along the way, I decided that what I was saying wasn’t fresh or new enough. I needed a new angle to the fantasy genre, something different to say. So, the series has been put aside. However, it is one of my long-term goals to return to it one day. The idea, the heart of the story, is a good one. I think the world building and some of the main characters need to be completely revamped.

Over the years, the writing has never stopped. I hopped through genres with the same frequency that some people change their hair color. For me, it’s about following what the story demands and not worrying about what genre the story will fit in. I’ve written fantasy, science-fiction, horror, romance, historical romance, paranormal historical romance, dark fantasy, and action/adventure. And a few things that I haven’t found a description for just yet.

How many manuscripts did I write before I was picked up? I actually completed only a few books. Many stories were just practice, or an effort to get a story out of my head finally. And a part of me misses those days of just writing with no goal, no need to actually reach the ending.

Nightwalker is the first book I’ve ever tried to sell. I’ve written a lot of things that I love and have enjoyed, but Nightwalker was the first one that I felt like I needed to share with the world. I couldn’t keep Mira and Danaus to myself. They deserved better than that, I owed them that.

Okay, so I’ve rambled way too much already, so I will save the other half of the question for tomorrow night.

3 comments:

Karen Mahoney said...

Thanks so much for replying! Great post - looking forward to Part 2.

Btw, it was me who asked about this over on LJ, but I've shifted a lot of the blogs I read into Google Reader now (inc. yours). It's a great tool for procrastination... ;)

Jocelynn said...

No problem! I keep hearing about Google Reader and how great it is. It would probably help me keep up with all the blogs that I want to read, but can't always remember.

However, I don't need any more procrastination tools. I'm already very good at it without any help.

daydream said...

Jocelynn, this feels like the story of my life, because we seemed to have started almost at the same age and well my rewrite on stories included kids TV shows broken through my imagination. Back then I had no idea about copyright issues.

And what's teh deal with this Google Reader?