My novella reached 30k today. All I have is two more scenes and an epilogue left to write. Then it will be edit, edit, edit and edit again, probably a dozen more times, with the help of my dear new friend C. who is, in her words, ‘looking forward to the racy bits’.
I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited about printing out those 100 pages, getting busy with pens and highlighters, maybe scissors and tape.
When it’s all done, it’ll be time for the next step in the journey: writing a synopsis, selling the story, selling myself. The last bit is what I’m dreading most of all. It keeps me up at night.
I know at some point I’m going to have to climb that mountain that is social media. I’m going to have to think of a brand and lots of other things (what if someone wants to talk to me!) that terrify me.
When I tell a story, it’s those fictional characters that the reader, I hope, will fall in love with. They’re the ones I hope will draw the crowds one day. As for me? I live a quiet life. I don’t have much to say that I feel warrants a blog post or a Facebook or Twitter update. I feel shy about following, commenting, liking and so on.
One of the things I’ve noticed about the fiction I’ve written so far is that all of my protagonists are on personal journeys. My stories are almost always character-driven. Whether it’s a lesbian romance (the current novella!), a grieving son, a happily widowed wife… They all have in common a change, a challenge, some kind of personal growth or rebirth.
In many respects, that’s me and the way I’ve chosen to live. I’ve been a science teacher, and continued to be one as I also became a wife and a mother. I moved from the UK to the USA with my family and after settling them, became a self-employed telecommunications consultant (quite by accident). When we moved back across the pond, I found myself in the wonderful position of being able to dedicate my time outside my family commitments to writing. Which is where I am now, and the happiest I’ve been in my life.
I realise for everyone, life is ever-changing and changes can often be unexpected. I’m the kind of person who courts changes and challenges, chases them and embraces them. My interests wax and wane, come and go, my roots have never grown long enough to hold me down more than a few years in one place. The only constants are my husband (who shares my nomadic tendencies), my children, and to a lesser degree my friends and family.
That breadth of experience, of travelling, meeting and befriending people from so many places and walks of life is what’s enabled me to write what I write, and what inspires me to keep writing. I love people.
I don’t think I would have been able to write when I was young, even if I’d tried. My voice wasn’t clear enough. And while I can’t say I’m only going to write romance or sci-fi or YA or adventure or any combination of any or many things, what I can say with certainty is that all my stories will share one thing:
love as motivation
It really is that vague, but it’s all I can say with conviction right now.
And, there! I did it!
(Now, how the hell do I set up a business Facebook page…?)