It’s Not Writer’s Block, It’s Fear

Fear is a four-letter word. I like four-letter words.

F*** is a four-letter word.

Writing a sequel is harder than it sounds. Or maybe it sounds as hard as it is. Yes, I know, “Silly newb, you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. It was always this hard, you just drank the Kool-Aid too early.” But still. I know where the second book in my series is going. (Well, technically, there have been about three versions of where I thought the second book was going.) I’ve written two books now. The settings are already created. The characters already living entities. The conflicts are present and waiting. This book shouldn’t be this hard. And yet, it is.

Many people don’t believe in writer’s block. They know it for what it is: Fear. Fear of producing a lesser product. Fear of missing the magic of the first piece of work. Fear of going in the exact opposite direction from where everyone else was hoping you’d go. And then, *poof*. Curtain pulled back, magician exposed, the writer is seen for what she is: a one-hit wonder. This isn’t a mythical creation, this is some bimbo fumbling around in the dark trying to put one word after another to form a story that some people somewhere might actually want to read.

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Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

If my parents thought this was my life in a public high school, I'd have been home schooled.

If my parents thought this was my life in a public high school, I’d have been home schooled.

Remember when you first heard that song on the radio? I do. Very specifically. I was in my best friend’s bedroom, somewhere in the early hours of a summer sleep-over. Previously that night, there had been nail-polish, a pillowcase contest, and reruns of Step By Step.

Sex? On the radio? They’re talking about sex? No freaking way.

Oh, and I was nine years old.

What did I know about sex at nine? Well, not a whole lot, and that song and all it’s talking about it did nothing to provide me a glimpse as to what it was. I knew it existed. I knew adults loved it. I knew my schoolmates made jokes about it. Imagine the amount of information ABOUT SEX I learned in the following eight years until my high school graduation. No, that’s not a hint as to when I really learned about sex, that’s just about the point when the reality of sex really hit home. I mean, high school.

Who reads Young Adult fiction? High schoolers! *shudders* (Chuck Wendig wrote a fabulous article about how teenage characters should suffer teenage problems in novels.) I’m writing a Young Adult Fiction series. There will possibly be a point after my novel is published that those young adult readers will find my blog and read through these posts (and then find one with the word ‘sex’ in it and go all bat-shit because ohmygodshesaidsex shealsosaidbatshit adultsgonewild). And you know what? I want these young adults to read this post for some insight as to why I’m choosing to write sex into my novel.

Yes. You read that right. I am writing sex in a Young Adult novel.

Hang on, I’ll get the hand fans.

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Stuck in the Middle Again

Spontaneous combustion is a real thing, folks. I saw it in a movie once.

Spontaneous combustion is a real thing. I saw it in a movie once.

There’s this weird thing going on with my manuscript. She’s defying my authority. (Is it weird to refer to my manuscript as a female? It’s totally not weird, just go with it). My MS has gone through this sneaky-like-a-rebellious-teenager defiance stage ever since I decided to expand the story into a trilogy. And by defy, I mean, create diversions and a false sense of cohesion and story truth and basically run off with the mistress and all of our money and assets. 

I take no responsibility for the actions of my manuscript. Okay, maybe I must take some responsibility because it was under my supervision during the time of the crime, and had I been paying attention maybe it wouldn’t have thought that sucking all of reality into the stargate portal, packing it onto the TARDIS and sending it through a wormhole to the end of the universe was the BEST IDEA EVER. (Hey, that’s actually a pretty cool story idea). Nevertheless, my MS decided one day it was going to up and leave the building like a queen at a drag show, finger-snap and all, and make itself comfortable in some alternate universe where everything is backwards, inside out and upside down. And I’ve been trying to wrestle it back ever since. Continue reading