New Adult Resources Wanted

There are sooooo many people posting writing tips on the internet. So how is it that I cannot find the advice that I actually need?

How to get an idea for a story is not my problem; I have plenty of ideas that pop into my head all the time.

Struggling to reach a 50,000-word count is not my problem. The first book in my current series is at 200,000 words! PLEASE don’t encourage me to multiply my words or tell me how to lengthen my story! I want to know what to condense, what to cut, and what to move to the next book.

“There are plenty of online resources.”

WHERE IS THE NEW ADULT COMMUNITY?!?!?! Seriously, Young Adult is everywhere. But when it comes to New Adult, all a Google search does is turn up lists of NA books, or YA writing resources. Can somebody please point me to where I can research the NA Romance and Fantasy genres specifically? Or where I can find an NA forum community? Or an NA critique partner? Everyone is promoting publishing for NA. Great! But I’m not there yet! I want stuff to help me get there! I want people to point out what I don’t already see. So where are those people?! The writing community is so big, I don’t understand why this is a problem! There is only one book I have been able to find about writing New Adult fiction, by Deborah Halverson, and I own it, and it’s uber helpful. Am I to believe that this is the only book marketed on the subject?

Alright, I’m done ranting. But this isn’t just a rant; it’s a cry for help. I’m mostly past the my-story-is-my-baby-please-don’t-slaughter-it sentiment; now whenever someone offers constructive criticism on my story I’m ecstatic, because it’s so rare. So if you know of a writing community, or a conference, or a workshop, or something that can help me with writing New Adult Paranormal Romance set in a fantasy world, I would LOVE for you to comment. Blog recommendations, book recommendations, forums…anything.

Surprise Responses: Likes & Dislikes

It’s interesting how things I think will be tumultuous, actually end up being…good.

For instance, I thought people might be upset over my revisions (though, admittedly, I haven’t gotten to the major one yet–almost there). And I thought people would be glad for shorter chapters. (Mean, toward the middle of the story, I hit 12,000 words the first time around, for several chapters in a row! Yikes!) And starting off with multiple long childhood chapters? That was another thing I was told was a no-no.

But one person told me they are glad for the childhood chapters, two people have told me that they didn’t think the story could get better but it did (in the revisions), and three people have told me they like and want the longer chapters. Wow! Not what I was expecting! But I’m really, really glad for it. 🙂

But there is one more thing I’m hearing from more than one person, and that is a dislike of the name change. I’ve had two people tell me they like the “Rome” spelling better. Maybe that’s because it’s less like the nobility in the story (who are rather capricious and corrupt), and more familiar in terms of real life (carrying certain connotations)? I don’t know.

Honestly, when I’m writing “Rohm,” it comes out as almost a different persona than when I’m writing “Rome.” Rohm is everything I like to read about in a character, but Rome is somehow more…my character. Writing Rome feels like writing passion and fire, like an untamable being come to life (to the point where I had trouble controlling him sometimes), while Rohm feels so…contained, out of necessity. I’m not sure if this split persona is a good thing or a bad thing, because I did mean Rome as a complex character (so this could be part of it) but I don’t want to dumb him down either.

Maybe none of that makes sense to anyone else. So let’s just say I had some reservations about the name change before I did it, so if more people tell me they liked the old spelling better, I might change it back.

Ring Box

Yesterday I met again with my writer friend who has an agent. We talked about the vast amount of marketing involved in being a successful self-publisher, and the dangers of trying to navigate through publishing house contracts on one’s own. We talked about how whether or not a person can land an agent might a good indicator of whether they are ready to be published.

One particular question of mine that she laid to rest was about paying an agent. For me, this was a big question, because most consultant-types tend to charge hefty amounts for their services–which means that I would have to wait quite awhile to be able to afford an agent. But she assured me that agents work off commission only, and that if I have to pay an agent up front then it’s a scam. This is why agents are so picky about the works that they choose to support, and why they are so dedicated to making those works sell. My friend also said that the reason why many publishers only accept agented submissions is because those submissions tend to be more polished.

And then we delved into my story itself.

I expressed to my friend my concern that my first volume does not have an actual plot…and after I summarized the course of the book, she agreed with me. She told me there is a difference between a story and a plot, and not all books have actual plots.

So here I have a story, but no plot. Because I’ve had so many ideas over the last several years (even when I wasn’t actually writing them down), I’m not exactly stuck with having no plot. But the difficult part about implementing a plot into my story (beside the fact that volume 1 is background) is that my story is not an adventure. Many fantasy novels and romances feature an adventure as the plot or subplot. My story does neither. There is no heroic journey, and you may question whether there is even a true protagonist. This is intentional. I’m illustrating that there are no true “protagonists” in life; everyone has their faults, and a few have their glory moments. But volume 2 (or 3, if I stretch it out) is different. It becomes about fighting off Pandora for the sake of the world–which, in all honesty, my main characters only care about where it concerns saving their friends’ and their own hides.

Volume 1 is background. And as my writer friend said, every good first book has an untold backstory. I already know that every volume could stand alone as a complete story in its own right. So I stepped back from my series as a whole, and considered what could be taken out or linked together to narrow the entire trilogy down to one plot? I had an immediate list of take-outs for volume 1, seeing as it is backstory. I could cut out the childhood and teen years, and begin with Labriella dodging suitors without any effort at all. I could take out the entire “ladies of the evening” saga, and switch to my original small-role idea for the “prostitute” who helps Rome with his female-oriented problems. I could mix the nobles and Pandora and the temple conflicts inextricably together, and eliminate the time gap between these events and the final volume.

What would suffer?
The entire tone of the story would change.

Originally I meant for this to be a fast-pace story. I had no trilogy plans, and I was experimenting with a more abrupt style of writing (as those of you who have been with me since 2008 may remember from the first draft of my prologue). But I grew older, traveled, and started helping a friend correct college essays. I took two British literature classes, a freelance writing class, a theatre appreciation class (in which we read plays), an Ovid-centered English class, a philosophy class, and a psychology class. My writing style changed, and with it my focus onto the emotio-psychological, tempering the OCD in Labriella and allowing me to delve deep into my characters’ psyche (to put you, the reader, there as well). I developed an imagination-triggering fixation with nature, which finally rounded out Rome as a character.

My publishing major friend once called my story a ring box (as opposed to another’s “teddy bear” fantasy story). I never understood what he meant, until now. The purpose of my story is to showcase my characters, and all their living facets. I am only now starting to grow into this style. If I focused primarily on plot movement, it is the psychological embellishments that would disappear, and the heartstrings-pulling events of volume 1 that would become obsolete. If I were to take out these features, would my story still be a ring box? Would my ring box sell even without those modifications? Because I get the impression from my reviewers that it is my character development and my voice that are unique. Unique is important to me.

There are things that I do not want my story to become just for the sake of selling. Plot-oriented is not necessarily one of them. In fact, I always meant for my story to have a plot. It is slightly disturbing that volume 1 does not. How can my own book not have a plot, when I know so well what a plot is, and I’ve spent so much of my life looking for it in others’ works?! But maybe that’s because the plot is meant to span the two volumes, not be individual to the first?

I may try editing out some things, and see what happens to my story–whether it makes it better, worse, or just plain different. But it’s already going on a week since I posted chapter 6. I need to get on chapter 7.

How Much is “Too Much”

Okay, now I’m kind of worried, because I’ve been typing up my chapters and I think my attention to detail is making a lime into something explicit. D: Now I’m not sure what to do. Should I post the chapter-as is, figuring the FictionPress people might cut me some slack (since it’s the last two chapters, my story is 150,000+ words, and I have to top the past kiss scenes)? Or do I censor (cough*butcher) it, and post the explicit chapters elsewhere? Uggh apparently my MIND is explicit. DX

How much is too much?

Feedback?? Anyone???

New to WordPress

Hi there!

I’m new to WordPress, so I’ve spent the last two days adjusting to the layout.

For those of you who are following me from my other sites–either Angelfire or LiveJournal: I am shifting everything to this site. WordPress seems to be very popular right now, and it appears to be more user-friendly than Angelfire and more customizable than LiveJournal, so I thought I’d give it a go. Notice that I’ve transferred over my old posts from both Angelfire and LiveJournal. So there are 31 old posts on this page, but this is my first real post here on this site

For those of you who are newly following me from FictionPress or MediaMiner: Welcome to my homepage! This is where I will post chapter updates, sneak previews, maps, charts, and anything else that pertains to my stories that you might find useful. Currently the only writing project I am working on is my Beauty and the Beast trilogy, so everything on this site will be related to that in some way. I have included some of my older posts from previous websites, but plot summaries may not be entirely valid since a few years have passed since they were written. However, the basic scope of the series should remain the same.

 

Use the tabs across the top or the side panel on the right to explore my new site.