Saturday, February 8, 2014

How Did I Come Up With The Idea For My Book Series?

So, since I don't have my next book done yet (should have it done sometime this week if everything goes according to plan), I'm going to instead talk about how I got the idea for this book series. It's an interesting story that I haven't told anyone yet. Some people know small fragments, but no one's ever heard it all.

It started after my failed attempts at getting my first novel picked up by an agent. (Ten failed attempts, to be exact.) I was having a hard time thinking positive after all those failed attempts. Every email that I got back (if I even got one) was an obvious form rejection letter. At that point, I was starting to think that maybe there was something wrong with my book. So, I stopped sending the query letters and started going through the book again, trying to find little things that I could improve on it. Soon, I realized that I had been tweaking the story for almost half my life. I would never be happy with it.

Because I wasn't getting any bites from agents, my dad kept suggesting that I self-publish and see where that takes me. Well, I had found so many things wrong with my first book and I was so determined to see it published the old-fashioned way that I didn't want to self-publish it. So, I decided to just write another book to self-publish and get my name out there. Since I had a few short stories from my time in a creative writing class, I chose one and tried to lengthen it into a full novel. Well, it didn't work. I didn't have the ideas for it and there was almost no plot line. The only plot line there was resolved within the short story so it seemed pointless to expand it.

I was in my final year of college when I began to wonder if I would ever get published. Each of my classes were giving me group projects, so I focused on those, pushing writing into the back of my head. Except for my fan fiction. Yes, I write fan fiction. It's a great way to keep my writing skills toned. The best way to get better at writing is to write and having stories that I can get instant feedback on is a great thing. It helps me develop my writing.

Anyway, how did fan fiction play into all of this? Well, I had a list of ideas in one of my documents on my laptop of possible story lines for my fan fiction. One of them had to do with vampires. No matter how much I spun it, I couldn't get it into a good fan fiction. That's when I realized that the parts of the story that I liked only had the original characters in it. I scrapped the story, but kept the original ideas and characters.

Taking what I had saved, I began developing an original story. It started with Brynn, the main vampire in my book series, and her father. I didn't have a name for her father yet, but Brynn's name I got from searching the Internet for strong female names and that one stuck. Something was missing though. Some type of conflict. I needed to figure out something that went along with vampires. Well, vampires and werewolves don't get along, so the story started with me adding in a werewolf, but that didn't work. Rather than scrapping the whole thing, I scrapped the werewolf. Then, I thought about vampire hunters. But it still didn't fit. Vampire hunters are too cliche. Besides, someone that hates vampires should hate everything supernatural. Werewolves, zombies, fairies, wizards, witches, warlocks, mummies and every other mythical or supernatural creature along with vampires. If I put in vampire hunters, I'd have to specify every single type of hunter from werewolf hunters to witch hunters. So, I dropped the specification and the group became just the hunters.

I created a hunter that would follow Brynn, intending on killing her only to get wrapped up in the world of the supernatural. There was no name for him when I created him. I threw around a few names, even looked online for something, but nothing seemed to fit him. Eventually, I got to the point where Brynn asked for his name. I sat there staring at the paper for a few moments, trying to decide what to call him. I almost gave up and even put down my pen when the name Parker popped into my head. So, I wrote it down as a placeholder, but the name grew on me and I kept it.

The story from then on flowed out of me. Sure, I hit a few blocks, but for the most part it came out easily. Originally, this was supposed to be a single book, not a series, but ideas kept pouring out and I realized that I should make it into a series. For the end of the book, I had two different endings written. One cemented the story as a single book while the other was for if I wanted to create a series. After working on both, I eventually put in the loose ending rather than the final one so I could make it into a series.

I'll admit that for some of my classes I paid more attention to my writing than the actual lecture. My professors probably thought that I was a serious note taker because I was writing on sheets of paper instead of a laptop. Anyway, I finished it within a year and, after the editing, got it self-published in the fall after I graduated. Going through it, there are still things that I wish I could change, but I guess that's part of the creator's curse.

Holy crap. This blog post is long. I actually didn't think it would be this long. I hope it doesn't turn people off of it. I guess I'll end it here then. So, until next Saturday, have a great week!

No comments:

Post a Comment