Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Stubborn Side Of Writing (2)

Before we kick into the entree portion of this post, let me give you a little appetizer on the other two projects that are taking up my non-blogging time.

1} Dandelion Tears: Just finished up part 5 and decided to put it away for awhile until I can get my act together for my main headache. I have no worries about this book turning into a trunk novel as I still got a basic idea on what I want to do with this thing.

2} Line 21: As we speak, I'm still psyching myself up to write the query letter. I'll probably do it much like I did the synopsis, in which I basically spent three weeks driving myself to the brink of insanity before saying, "F it." and sitting down in front of my computer and hammering out the first draft in three days and the second draft in one hour. Not sure why that kind of process works for me, but it does.

And now, the entree.

In part 1, I had laid out the background as to why I decided to take a second stab at self-pubbing and what story I ultimately decided to publish. In today's post, we talk a little bit about the background of the story I chose to turn into a reasonably fragrant piece of structured chaos for public consumption.

After deciding to take the original version of Betrayed!, which was called "A Betrayal of Vows", and self pub it, I was faced the unenviable task of turning that original 43 page story into a coherent piece of fiction. The original story really was a mess, in that I wrote it without really having a clue on how to properly write it. The sentence structures were wrong, too many words, incorrect punctuation, bad plotting, you name it, the story probably had it.

I did have a couple of things going for me this time around that would make turning this story into a coherent piece of fiction a bit easier to do: One, I had picked up quite a few tips on how to write (courtesy of the blog world); two, I was blogging, which allowed me to practice what I learned in a safe and completely vulnerable environment; and most importantly was number three, I had the original story to use as an outline for the new and improved story.

Being that I love a challenge, no matter what I'm doing, I decided early on while writing this story to make another attempt at writing two distinct plot lines that would eventually come together at the end. I first tried this normal approach that others do with my first self-pubbed book, but it came off clunky and amateurish. The second time around I made a concentrated effort to have that second plot line seamlessly transition into the main plot*.

*note: over the years my ability to write multiple coherent plot lines from beginning to end in one story has improved to the point where it has become my preferred writing style of choice.

What helped facilitate that seamless transition was the topic of choice that the story was about: infidelity.

Infidelity has always been a tried and true plot device for a countless amount of stories, with usually the man cheating on the woman or the woman cheating on the man (in straight fiction that is). But this time around I thought I would add a different twist to the story, in that one of the characters cheated on their spouse with another member of the same sex (yes, I know that is probably commonplace in gay fiction, but maybe it's less so in straight fiction, and I'm sure that someone will correct me on that point), which in this case it was the wife doing the cheating.

Unlike the recently completed Line 21, in which I was able to successfully keep track, write and intergrate three distinct plot lines, Betrayed! was my first real attempt at writing a multiple plot line that not only made sense but also met at the end (my first self-pubbed book doesn't count as both plots never really met at the end). And since I still hadn't a clue on how to properly write a multiple plot line within a story that met in the end, I did the next best thing.

I broke it out and had both plot lines play out in their own seperate chapters until I got to the last chapter, in which they then did meet, merge, and finish. Plot number one was the disintergration of Cheyenne and Ray's marriage, while plot number two was Cheyenne making out/fucking her girlfriend Bobbi. And just to make things interesting for myself and confusing for anyone trying to read it, the make out/fuck session was actually taking place during the final chapter of the book, while the rest of the book covered about a nine month time frame.

Up next: why I chose the various components that went into the creation of this story.


  1. You put me to shame: I have totally been neglecting any kind of fiction writing. Glad you have the juices flowing.

  2. They are to a certain degree. I'm still trying to get myself going with that query letter. Been going over that Agent Query website with a fine tooth comb picking up all kinds of proper tips and advice for writing a synopsis, query letter and properly formatting the manuscript should you make it further along in the process.

    The good thing about Agent Query is that (on the surface at least) it doesn't talk down to you and it actually treats you like an equal.

    Sad to say though, Dandelion Tears is really the only thing I've worked on with any consistency for the past six months or so.


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