Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The one you can't let go.

Everyone has that one story you can't let go. The one you don't want to get away. The one that means the most to you. Your book baby.

This special darling stays with you long after the last word is written. Maybe it's the story that made you think you could be a writer. Maybe it's the story you really want to tell. Maybe it's the one that rings most true but you're too scared to say the words in real life, so you let your characters say it for you.


The problem with most book babies is that while it's a great story, it's not always marketable. It's personal, for any number of reasons, and that makes it harder to mold into a sell-able shape.

I know lots of writers. The one in the drawer is usually their book baby. And that totally sucks. Mine won't go in the drawer. I stick it in there and before long those characters are whispering to me in the dark, begging for one more chance. This time it will be different. This time it will work. This time we won't let you down. But the rejection is always the same.

We love the premise.
We love your voice.
We can't sell this damn book.

So Monday I had the super long drive back from Spring Break. The kids were reading, the music pumped, the breeze blew in the windows whipping my hair around making me feel alive. The music happened to be the playlist for my book baby. Every song that played made me miss those characters, expand on their story, think of funny things they would say if this happened. Or this. Or that.

And that's when it hit me. I was doing it wrong.

Josey was never meant to be a one book character. I already have two written and more planned, but what if I just reversed their order? It would start as New Adult and we follow her and grow with her. By the time it got to the book with the not super happy ending(the unsalable one), people would care enough to see if she could find her happiness. They would be invested in the characters and the series. She would have legs to walk outside her book and into many more novels and around in other people's worlds, not just mine. And that's where I want her to be. Out there. Not just in here.

So I'm going to do something radical. Something I haven't seen before and I may fail, but is that really any different than my book baby sitting in the drawer? No. I think not.I'm going to try a series that starts as New Adult and as we follow Josey and grow with her, the series will change to Adult. *bites nails*

So wish me luck as I try this crazy endeavor. It will be a while as I have an R&R and my alter ego has a book coming out soon. But after that, I'm going to try this. There is a system we are taught to follow, but I've never been one much for rules. Who knows? Maybe I'll write a few new ones of my own.

                                              Obligatory Somerhalder gif. You're welcome.

16 comments:

  1. That's where rules came from - someone had to write them first! I'm wishing you luck as you write this new one, and hoping your book baby sees the light of day! Great post!

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    1. You're absolutely right. Thanks! new rules - for the win!!

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  2. Woot! I love this idea! Do it!

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  3. I think this is a fabulous idea and I will be anxiously awaiting more Josey and Drew and Alex in my inbox.

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  4. Go for it! I think it's a wonderful idea. New Adult is this grey area anyway. Don't try to break the rules, instead realize there are no rules. :D (Sorry, watched The Matrix again this weekend). Good luck!

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  5. Angi, this is EXACTLY what I've done with MY book baby! I started the MC's story in the wrong place, and without all her background, her coming-of-age moments, the events that shaped her as a person, her story was too slippery to grasp on to. A month or so ago, someone suggested I go back and tell her whole story.

    I'd researched and compiled her entire life story in my head, so going back to the beginning and actually writing it all down has been fantastic! There are three, or possibly four, books that will all take place before my precious book baby. By the time a reader gets that far, hopefully they'll know and love her as much as I do.

    I'm THRILLED that I'm not alone on this insane journey back in time. HAIL, FELLOW TIME TRAVELER! :D

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    1. We already talked, but yay us! We can do it!!

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  6. That's awesome! Such a good idea : ) I'm doing something a little bit similar w/a series I'm working on...hopefully it will work out. In any case, I bet yours is going to be great!

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  7. If your book is only collecting spiders in a drawer, any move at all is a move upward. Self-publishing, reworking it into the middle of a series...anything. Good luck!

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  9. Too funny . . . I just decided to do this with one of my book babies. (Only MG to YA). So obviously, I think this is brilliant. ;) Best of luck!

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