Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hating your stories...

I'm in the process of writing the first draft of my novel and as I type I find myself looking at my work and hating everything.  The style, my characters, the descriptions, everything.  It's really frustrating.  It makes me go back and rearrange whatever I just typed.  This is the problem.  

I'm only in my first draft.  

The first draft is supposed to suck.  That's why it's called the first draft so when you finish it you can revise it as much as you want.  My mind can't seem to grasp this concept.  I've been working on this book for too long and I'm ready to finish it.  If I could I would write it in one day but unfortunately I'm not that talented.  My goal is to get the first draft finished by the end of august, start the editing process, find beta readers, have a cover, and get the book out before next year.  I know I can do it.  Of course having these ambitions is not stopping my mind from hating everything I write.  

I just have these fears that once my book is released NO ONE will like it.  No one will buy it.  No one will like my characters and no one will like my style of writing.  I realize no matter what people aren't going to like my book.  That's perfectly normal.  I'm just worried everybody will hate it.  I have a feeling this is normal for "first time" published authors, in my case self published.  I've written many books in my life and published them for free online but I've never had these kinds of jitters.  But those weren't meant to be perfect just entertaining.  

The only thing I can do is keep writing.

My goal is to write at least 2,000 words per day but so far I'm only getting to 1,000.  It's annoying, I keep getting stopped by bad thoughts.  Once I stop it's hard for me to start againI get side tracked.  I'll want to write but I'd get distracted by the Internet: Youtube, forums, Facebook.  I can't escape.  I'm realizing what I'll need to do to finish is shut off the Internet, ignore bad thoughts, and type like there's no tomorrow.  Hopefully this plan works.  I already have my next book in mind.  It's going to be a fantasy YA series, I've been writing down random ideas for it and I love the concept.  Then again I might change my mind.

Plots live in my head.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How shoujo manga inspired my writing!

If it's not obvious enough my writing will be/is inspired by manga or Japanese graphic novels.

Specifically by the genre Shoujo Manga.

Growing up I was that weird quiet girl who didn't have a lot of friends.  I hated school, I was an extreme introvert, and nothing seemed to be able to make me happy.  Until I discovered manga.  Of course with the first discovery I tried to get my hands on whatever manga I could find.  Most of it was geared toward boys.  The first stories I ever wrote were horrendous action adventures that were just all over the place.  They didn't have a real focus, it was more about getting from point A to point B without many obstacles.

Around middle school I found out about Shoujo manga which is geared towards girls/women and depicts dramatic life situations.  Reading Shoujo manga inspired me to start writing more "dramatically".  For example it'll depict romance, friendships, even action but with a higher level of emotion, intensity, and drama.  Strangely my all time favorite Shoujo happens to have a boy as a main character and it's packed with violence but it's still amazing.   After reading mountains and mountains of Shoujo manga I realized my writing needed to be dramatic, it needed more juice to reel in potential readers.  This in a way is how I developed my writing style, from Shoujo manga!

 Here's some scenes from Shoujo manga! (these are all different)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Highly Annoying YA Fiction Tropes!

As I stated in my last blog post I'm writing a young adult novel from the point of view of a girl.  I've noticed in recent years some patterns in YA that have been popping up in A LOT of books.  A LOT.  It made me reevaluate my story and make sure that I don't have any of these tropes in it.  I'll admit I've been a "victim" of a few in the past.

1. Insta-Love/Soul-Mates ❤ This has to be my ultimate annoyance when it comes to the YA genre.  I understand teenagers are hormonal, emotional, and over dramatic but at the same time it's extremely unlikely that a person will feel love for someone they don't know.  Lust, yes.  Love, no.  It's silly, stupid, and really makes the story unreadable.  Just imagine two 15-year-olds in a YA story professing their everlasting love after knowing each other for a few weeks.  Gag me.  It's nice for teenagers to have strong relationships but let's not go crazy.  Also there's never a good reason why the characters are so in love, they're just in love because the author wants them to be. 

2. Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu ❤ Twilight, the King of YA tropes is the biggest culprit of this.  Bella is perfect Edward is perfect, no depth, no interests, no flaws.  It makes for an annoying read.  Don't make your characters perfect, so many authors do this especially with their male characters.  They not only make them overly gorgeous but also write them to be as perfect as they can imagine.  It's not realistic.  Humans are flawed!  Be creative and make a special flawed character.  Just because a character is clumsy doesn't make them flawed, that's not a character trait.  Most human beings are clumsy for Pete's sake, it's not a real flaw!  It's not endearing and it's not sweet!  It's just annoying to read about a person who constantly falls or faints.  This happens in Fantasy as well with overpowered main characters. 

3. Weak/Whiny Main Characters ❤ This is also quite common in YA, for some reason the girl main character can never protect herself, can never make her own decisions, and needs to rely on her love interests.  She's also overly whiny, faints, or maybe cries a lot.  And for some reason these characters never have any real interests except being with their boyfriends/soul-mates, etc.  Please if you're an author I beg you to write a strong female who can take care of herself.  It's not appealing read about a person who constantly needs to be saved or treated like a 5-year-old.  Frankly it's insufferable. 

4. NO DIVERSITY!!!! ❤ I can't stress how sad it makes me too see how there is virtually zero main characters in YA who are minorities.  Zero.  And when there is a character who is a minority they're usually the best friend or a side character not worth mentioning ever again.  I'm so tired of seeing brown hair, brown eye, pale girls as leads.  The main character of my debut novel will be African American and the book will have absolutely nothing to do with her race.  Let's break the mold, go crazy with your main character!!!  I feel like people are waiting for more minorities to surface in YA that focuses not on the race but on an actual real plot.  With action, romance, fantasy, drama, come on! 

Here's a few more which I've condensed into one line sentences.

5. Self-Conscious main character whose actually beautiful...SHOCKING!!
6. Tortured hero who gets away with being abusive/controlling because they're handsome.
7. Soul mates who can't touch/have sex, happens a lot surprisingly in YA fantasy.
8. Plain main characters = relatable...not true.  At all.
9. Blond popular cheerleader is the enemy, just because a person is a bitch doesn't make them evil! 
10. Lastly, people gravitate toward the main character for no good reason.

As you can see I have a lot of problems with some of the YA that have been coming out nowadays but I'm working hard not to allow my debut novel to have a lot of these tropes.  I'm going to admit my story does have some tropes which are not listed above but they're for good reason...I hope. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Rougher Draft

I've been working on my current book title for the past FOUR YEARS...okay it's not technically four years just on and off for the past four years.  This past year is when I've started to become extremely serious about finishing it.  This story has been in my head for years, it was inspired by a mixture of Cruel Intentions and a certain Manga series (Japanese comic).  It's set inside of an "elite" boarding school with the main character being a girl not use to the wealthy environment.  The genre is young adult with a touch of new adult since my main character is eighteen.  But that's all the information I'll give out for now, I still have a long while before my first draft is even finished but I've been working hard.  

My goal is to be finished with the first draft by then end of August, I have my fingers crossed that I will.  I want to release this book before next year but I don't want to rush, rushing can result in a terrible product.  But I'm so eager to finish it, this story has been in the rough draft stage way too long.  I started thinking about it in high school then completely ignored it when I got to college but now I'm ready to finish.  After I'm done with this book I already have a YA fantasy series brewing in my mind.  This series more than likely won't take as long as my first book since I now have a pretty good process, it's taken me four years to develop.  I want to base it around Japanese mythology but I'm not sure how, I need to get inspired!