Wednesday, August 8, 2012

On Beliefs

Cover made by inktwister.

It may sound obvious, but being a writer has made me think differently about things in life, particularly abstract concepts. Things like hope and love. Take writing Delusions of Fate, for example. Before, I'd never thought much about Fate or destiny or anything like that. It didn't matter all that much to me, and so I didn't bother thinking about it. But because Fate/Destiny is such a big part of DoF, I had to think about it, and in thinking through things from my character's perspectives, my own opinions become more varied, more differentiated.

For example, in The Webs They Weave, there's a scene in which a character  (it would be a spoiler if I told you who :P) asks Jia what her view on soul mates is. Since one of my friends is a hopeless romantic and loves to talk about soul mates, my view was pretty much They don't exist, it's just twaddle and romantic crap, etc. But I had to think about this through Jia's eyes, not mine, and this is what I came up with: it doesn't matter if they exist or not. What matters is if you're happy with the person you love, even if you're not soul mates. I mean, it's really unrealistic to think that everyone who's been happy in love has ended up with their soul mate. There are so many people on this planet, and what are the odds of someone finding their 'other half'? It's an answer that I think is way more true to me, and it took looking through someone else's eyes to see it. 

So I guess you could say that, using these people I've made up, I've changed my views of the world. Which is basically saying that I've changed myself. That's one way to think about it, I guess, but it's more than that. Because when I get into a book idea, into a character, to the me, the character becomes a real person, not just a figment of my imagination.

And writing's also helped me discover beliefs that I never knew I had. Take, for example, love. In every single one of my stories so far, love's been portrayed as a curse, a poison, or something that drives you mad. I guess I'm a bit jaded. :P

Just think of it: the power of words. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

On Endings

Although it's inspirational and kind of true in real life, this quote doesn't work in fiction life at all. Some types of fiction life, anyways. Some types are perfectly all right with HEAs (happily ever afters). But some books, though, sacrifice everything for the HEA, and that isn't cool. Let me explain:

A week or so ago, I read the final book in a trilogy. Throughout the second book, ever since the main couple had gotten together, there was always the question of "How are we going to be together?" This was because one was the heir to a dukedom, and, for complicated reasons, if he wanted to be with the girl, he'd have to give up the land we was 'so drawn to.' (insert the eye roll here). The guy had accepted the fact that he'd give up the land to be with the girl.

Fine, whatever. Cheesy and corny and whatever, but fine.

But at the end of the third book, as the father lays on his deathbed, he decides that he won't disinherit his son if he marries the girl. Then he dies, and the book ends.

This was my reaction:

WTH?? WTF???? You have got to be kidding me. -books flies across the room-

Rule number #2467 of writing: don't break a major rule for the sake of a happy ending. (And yes, that's a totally random number.) In this case, what prevented the guy from getting his land and his girl was his father. Two pages from the end, the father can't suddenly change his mind, all so the guy can get the girl and his land. It's just creating drama for the sake of creating drama, but when the drama needs to go away, it conveniently does so.

I know this is fiction, but not everything in real life ends happily. Your book doesn't need to, either. And even if it is a HEA, not every aspect has to end happily. A few loose threads and such create a deeper ending. 

I think what happened with this book was the fact that the author was so in love with the characters that she wanted them to have everything they ever wanted without sacrifice. But to break a rule like this two pages from the end is just cheating the reader.

And so that ending dropped the book's rating from a 4.5 to a 2.25.

Ending are important.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

On Finishing Books

The progression of covers that Delusions of Fate has had. This was the first inkpop cover, made by CL Dean. The second was made by RaeLee on inkpop. It was my Wattpad cover until the title changed. And the third was the official cover until the title change, made by me. The last, also made by me, is the official cover today.

So I've been writing since I was ten. And countless numbers of plot bunnies and started-then-scrapped beginnings later, I've completed just one book, Delusions of Fate.

At first, I couldn't really believe it. The night I finished it, it still had yet to sink in that I'd finished my first book ever, that I was truly done writing it. I'd started it in October, scrapped it in November, and wrote furiously all through December. I took January off, and finished the first 66k draft on Valentine's day. My dad was yelling at me to go to bed, I had school the next day, and when I finally jumped into bed that night, I couldn't believe it. As Truman Capote once said,

"Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.

He couldn't be more right.

Because yes, I had absolutely no idea where the plot was going and felt like tearing my hair out on several occasions because of it. And yeah, I had no idea what one of the central character's roles would be. And Delusion totally did start out as a ghost story that I promptly scrapped except for the characters when the plot got too boring. (True story: Girl who draws people and they die somehow turns into Girl finds out she has horrible destiny and wants to figure out how to stop it, yaddah yaddah yaddah.)

I could list all of the things that went wrong when writing this book, but then, I could also list all of the things that went right. Like the fact that Jia's voice was so natural to write in that even when things were tough, that's what kept me writing. I was just about to give up on it in December, when nothing but Jia was going right.  A month later, her voice wouldn't leave my head, telling me to just finish the darn thing. Like the fact that some of the characters surprised me in the roles they took. It wasn't me writing the characters and them obediently following, it was the them taking , and the fact that I love the world that I wrote this in. Like the fact that I got further on it than I ever have on a writing project, mostly because of my inkie supporters and the Word War thread. 

Anyways, to explain the quote: even though there's still so much revising to do, and even though there's still Books 2 and 3 to write, the writing of Book 1 is finished. And even though revising is way more fun than I expected it to be, I still prefer writing. It may sound obvious, but I'll never write Book 1 again, will never again discover this world and all its annoying-yet-wonderful characters again for the first time. And that makes me sad. 

(I know, I know. I'm talking about a book character and a world that's just a figment of my imagination...I know I sound crazy. But it's true. The curse of being a writer, I guess.)

And even though I'm done writing it, and pretty close to finishing the revising portion, Delusion/Delusions of Fate (whichever you want to call it) will always have a special place in my heart, no matter how many books I write. (Many, many more, I hope.) It was my first book, and I believe that it's what truly made me want to be a writer more than anything.

So for me, I guess, finishing my first book was bittersweet. And I think that's the way it is for most people. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Delusions of Fate

(This post courtesy of Sam, who found my blog and demanded another post. xD)

That cover on the side over there is the new cover for my baby. Yep, DELUSION got a name change. Why? you may ask.

1. There's a book coming out this year called DELUSION. Completely different storyline, but I wanted my book to be different.

2. DELUSION didn't really have much of a unique spin on the book. DoF suits it way better.

3. I like it more. :P

4. To me, it sounds more intense. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I like it more.


  • As of now, ALIGNED's title has been changed to THE WEBS THEY WEAVE. (Thanks to Rae for the awesome title! After I thought about it, it suits Book 2 much better than it suits Book 1.) INFINITE is still INFINITE, but I have no doubt that that'll change. (That is my favorite title of the original three. So maybe not. If it does, that word {or variants of it} will probably be worked in somehow.)

  • Because of editing/revising, this book has gone from DELUSION (66k) to DELUSIONS OF FATE (79k). Me is very happy with the revised version (and yet, there is even more revising to do!)

  • For Kris who wanted to find out who dies: 2 people die. (That are mentioned specifically. More people die who aren't mentioned specifically.)
It is useless to try and talk sense into the insane, Julianne. My sisters and I have made sure of that.

I wonder who says that. ;)

Also, the working first sentence of TWTW:

The first sign I know that life as I know it will never be the same again is the letter propped up on my front doorstep.

And I hope that the next time I post, there won't be this long in between.