Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Writing First


Hallo, fine peoples! And Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group's August Meeting!

I'm Hart! And I'm Insecure!

(Hi Hart)

*cough*

But anyway, the IWSG is running with a question these, which is a relief, to be honest. I only have so many blogable events related to my insecurity or anti-insecurity, so this makes things much easier. The question for August is this:

What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published? 

But see... The answer depends on emphasis and interpretation...

Because I was an aspiring writer even as a teen. I had half a dozen story starts... and I was an aspiring writer in grad school when I wrote 200 single spaced pages of a horror novel that petered out.

And I was REALLY a writer when I wrote fan fiction. These were the first novel-length works I actually finished and I shared them as I went. The first of THOSE is this:

Baby Snape and his mum by Sir Aristocrat

The Other Prince: Eileen Snape's Story. It was a terrific dark tale about the sister of a man who got entangled in Voldemort's charm and it was his undoing. So Eileen vows revenge and uses all sorts of illicit magic to create and raise the boy who would be Voldemort's downfall. It was written before Deathly Hallows came out. I started because I had a theory: That to prove themselves to Voldemort, Death Eaters had to kill their own fathers... but by the time I got into it, I loved the writing for writing, remembered what I wanted to do, and woke up the tale that this blog is really about.


The first book I wrote thinking I was going to publish it and be an author was Confluence.

204,000 words at first draft. This tale was about a family that moved to a college town because the father takes a position at the University. The five-year old daughter makes friends with a homeless man who lives in the woods behind their house, unbeknownst to her parents, and the teenaged daughter gets tangled in some teenage stuff. I still love parts of this story, but I tried to do too much. It could be three books. The teenager, Jessie, trapped me. See, her voice was so fun that I started adding to the story and it just got way too complicated. I think Jessie's story, and Trish (the mom) and Hannah's stories are separate. I'd like to get back to them, but as of now, they are behind several “less to do to ready them” tales.

So go check out what other aspiring authors did first...


25 comments:

Sean McLachlan said...

Your first novel was 204,000 words??? Well at least you didn't have to struggle with your work ethic!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

You are definitely a writing machine. I struggle with writing enough words. Hence, a novel of only 20,000 words that is stuck. Short stories seem to be all my mind will do. At least those are getting longer. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I've never written fan fiction, but yours sounds awesome and so much fun to write. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hart - love Confluence's cover ... so go create your 3 stories ...and use that cover ... good luck - cheers Hilary

Tamara Narayan said...

I had similar problems with my first novel. The first draft topped out at 180K. Years later I got it down to 90K but after querying for a long time, I gave up and started writing something else. I don't know if I'll ever get back to it, but I still think it's got potential.

Crystal Collier said...

Hah! I totally pegged you for a Potter fanfic writer! LOL. Your first draft was really over 200k? Yikes! My first full novel came in at 145K, but later dropped to 90. It was epic fantasy, so those numbers aren't unreasonable for the genre.

Jacqui Murray said...

Sounds like a trilogy. An author I read, Michael Smart, told his story from the different perspective of each of three main characters--in three separate books. It was great.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Interesting twist on Harry Potter.
That's a lot of words. It would indeed make three books.

Pat Garcia said...

My first draft of my manuscript was also over 200K and someone gave me tip. They said it needed to be cut drastically. It has taken me some time to get it down to where now even I feel comfortable with the word count.
Wishing you all the best.
Shalom aleichem,
Patricia

cleemckenzie said...

I love how you can stand up in front of the group and just say that thing about who you are and what you are. Very brave and the first step toward recovery. Congrats on confluence.

Chemist Ken said...

Writing Harry Potter fan fiction was what got me started in writing too. In fact, it sounds like Rowling has been the inspiration for many a budding writer. You're in good company.

Kathleen Valentine said...

204,000 words??? Wow, that is impressive. I've never written fan fiction but it seems to be extremely popular--especially not that Kindle Worlds has become so popular. Good luck with it!

Andrew Leon said...

For whatever reason, I cannot get into fanfic, even sanctioned fanfic.

Chrys Fey said...

204,000 words is amazing. I've never come close to that word count before. I'm glad you were able to share those works as you went.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Luv the picture of baby Snape! You have so much ambition, and your energy rubs off so I am inspired to get back to work after a 2-week vacation with nothing more challenging than writing tweets or email responses and text messages.

Sandra Almazan said...

I think the longest story I ever wrote was about 170,000 words and was the basis of my fantasy Season Avatars series. I was advised to split it in two. Eventually I took the characters and setting and came up with a new plot

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

Prolific. Very.

Diane Burton said...

OMG, 204k words?! I thought mine were long when they went over 100k. I know what you mean about other stories being more pressing. Maybe someday you'll go back to that 1st one and turn it into a series.

Carrie-Anne said...

204K is a drop in the bucket by my standards! I write long, sweeping historical sagas with ensemble casts and spanning many years. My longest to date is my fourth Russian historical, whose first draft was 891K. I may put it out as one book in four volumes, since it worked out that each Part reads like its own story, with a focus on different characters and storylines. However, that was an outlier even by my standards. I generally tends towards the 300K range when I'm not writing one of my Atlantic City books, which are under 100K.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

You probably learned a ton with Confluence...tackling that kind of a complex plot must have been a huge learning experience!

Diane Weidenbenner said...

It was then that you knew you were an overachiever - 204K words?!! Ye-gads. So glad to find another cozy mystery author. I'm unpublished at this point but finding authors I like keeps me reading (and thus encourages me to write). I'll check out your books - are they available on Kindle? Just joined the IWSG - what a great group of people! I'm #256, In my own words. Have a great weekend!

Michelle Wallace said...

Your first novel weighed in at 204K words? *speechless*
Having read your work, it actually makes sense...you are such a prolific writer!

Yolanda Renée said...

I was to wordy too! Still am, unless you look at my current project. The Snowman, supposed to be a short story, I'm trying to turn it into a novel and failing miserably, plus the antagonist is a larger than life figure than the protagonist. Oops!
Love hearing about your firsts! The covers are wonderful! Great ideas, both! I hope Confluence comes about for you!

Lily Schreiber said...

Wow, I was thinking 50,000 words would be my first novel (hello NaNoWriMo). 204,000 makes me think I should reach higher.

Nick Wilford said...

Those are some impressive first forays! I can't quite imagine writing a 204k work now, let alone as a first book. I hear a lot of people start off writing fan fiction and it sparks them off in other directions.