June 1, 2011

writing journey thus far

A new month, a new blog background. I enjoy shaking things up every now and then. A change of atmosphere gets the creative juices flowing. My desktop background changes every ten minutes to keep me on my toes. I’m motivated by change, by the unexpected. I think that’s why pansting held such an allure over me for so long. The writing process is in a continuous mode of discovery, always changing, always surprising. Now that I’ve changed to a plotter, it would be logical to guess that the surprises have vanished.

But that would be wrong. I know the general gist of the story, but even then, even knowing what scene comes next, I still surprise myself. When I write, I’m constantly looking for a way to change the status quo. In a nutshell, that’s what a scene is supposed to do – change the preconceived notions of the story. I’m not happy until I surprise myself, drawing from those years as a pantser. I push myself to find that nugget lurking in the shadows of the narrative, that little easter egg that’s been hiding in the margins for the last three scenes, just waiting to pop out and surprise the reader. I won’t settle for the expected, the predictable. These nuggets of change drive the plot forward, posing questions and enticing the reader to keep on with the story.

Since envisioning Chroniker City in all its steampunk, clockwork science glory, I knew what story I wanted to tell – the tale of a young girl in pursuit of her dream. What I didn’t know was how she would achieve it. Yes, I plotted and formulated scenes in my head, but all the plotting in the world can’t take away that experience of discovery. The story isn’t in the end; it’s in the means to that end. The story is in the journey, and what a surprising, unexpected journey it’s been so far.

I hope others enjoy the journey, too. I’m aiming this book toward people like me, people who love forgotten worlds and the escapism they provide… people who love science, who love learning how things work and are fascinated by the simplest inventions… people who aren’t fond of ray guns and aliens… people who love stories about ordinary people. Narrowing my audience to that point leaves me a few dozen people. That’s okay. If those few dozen people stumble upon my story and love it, then I’ll be happy. I already am. Words can hardly express the joy that has come to me through writing this novel, and it’s likely there will be many more posts to come about this novel-in-progress.

So stick around as I weave my way through this steampunk world.

And you tell me: what are working on right now? An epic fantasy? A paranormal thriller? A space odyssey? or a swashbuckling romance? Share your ideas, your hopes and dreams as a writer, and your place in the long road to published author. I want to know.

Happy writing! :)


  1. I like the new background!

    As far as what I'm working on... studying for the GRE. :(

  2. Oh... that's not fun at all. When I took the test, I did alright, but by the time I got to the verbal section, I just wanted to take a nap. I will say, however, that I got a perfect score on the essay section. Boo-yah! Looks like a major in creative writing is good for something. ;) Good luck on the exam!

  3. I guess White Pickups would fit as a paranormal story, set on a post-apocalyptic background. I'm making one more pass before engaging beta readers, and then I'll see what i have to do next. (I'm fully expecting "cut" as part of that next step, as it's 95000 words & there's a sequel needed to finish it off.)

    I'm planning to indie/self-pub it this year (the story starts on Sep. 14 of this year, so that would be a great release date), along with an anthology of short stories. Then get the sequel out next year along with an older novel that never got past first draft because this one wouldn't LET GO.

    As for my hopes, I just hope people enjoy the story. In the "dreams" category, I calculated that sales of 3000/month is a minimum to quit my dayjob.

    Su, good luck iwth the GRE!

  4. That's really exciting! Once I get to that point, I'm sure I'll be an emotional wreck, but then again, I'm an emotional wreck 78% of the time anyway. I think a book a year is a good goal for self-publishing. My husband thinks I should crank out one every six months, but I'm not so sure that's realistic. 3000 sales a month would be phenomenal. What is your price point? I read somewhere that selling an ebook at $3.99 and getting 1600 sales a month would garner up $53k a year. When I self-pub, I'm planning to sell at $4.99. Good luck with it!