Recently I was invited to be a guest author on Draven Ames’ blog. I was beyond honored as Draven had lined up some of the best authors around. His blog was profiling authors who had won numerous awards, who were well known and had sold tens of thousands of copies of novels. They had millions upon millions of fans and readers. Sure, I have readers, but after being in the ‘underground’ erotic writing arena for so many years, no one in the mainstream community really knows my name, or my work. I have four novels in publication, my own publishing label, and dozens of short stories, but no claim to fame. My biggest accomplishment to date was seeing one of my short stories hit more than half a million reads in just over 30 days. But having readers does not mean I have buyers, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I have any claim to fame. So I was greatly shocked when Draven invited me to join the ranks of so many prestigious authors who were all sharing their “Biggest AHA! Moments in Writing.” I felt as though I was way out of my league, but decided I would submit my article just the same and hope it would live up to the high standards that had been set by so many prominent authors.
“Wherever the Wind- and Your Characters- May Take You”
We’ve all been there. The character we painstakingly crafted to perfection through character biographies and outlines do a complete one-eighty after a few short chapters into the story. The proverbial bad-boy turns into a mushy pile of goo as soon as the leading lady hits the stage. The soulless monster learns to love after witnessing the heart-warming smile of a child. The greedy, selfish executive shows his softer side by giving his lunch to the stray dog that comes around from time to time.
One of the more important things that I have learned over the past thirty years of writing is that no matter how hard you try to keep your characters true to the way you have envisioned them, the characters and storylines will eventually develop their own voice. Your characters are going to show you sides of their personalities that you had not consciously decided to write into the storyline. Characters, even those that may not be homo-sapiens, are going to grow over the course of a story. They are just like humans, multi-faceted with many, many layers. The more human they act, the more they grow, the more realistic they become, not only to you, but to your readers as well. It is these characters that often endear themselves to us as readers. Learning to let them find their own voice throughout the course of a story can be hard to do. Writers are much like parents, guiding their creations along, nudging them back onto the right path from time to time. And like parents, it can be very hard to let your creations go to pursue their own lives.
Read the complete article: http://dravenames.blogspot.com/2013/10/wherever-wind-and-your-characters-may.html
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Through the years I had always been a bit nervous to let other people read my creations. My closest friends in high school knew I ‘dabbled’ as a writer, but no one realized just how serious I took my craft, or that I was actively trying to turn the heads of a publishing company, any publishing company, long before I had ever graduated high school.
Ten years ago I took a huge leap of faith and decided that I had been a closet writer for far too long. Encouraged by thousands of readers who tuned into my blog for my para-erotic ventures week after week, I finally took the big dive into independent publication. I began posting to an adult website and slowly over the next six years I managed to amass a few million readers. I didn’t have the reads or the hits that some of the most popular writers from the site had, and much of that was because I was itching to write more mainstream para-sci and gothic horror. Hoping that at least some small fragment of those readers would choose to follow me into a more mainstream setting, I left XN about two years ago to take on my largest challenge to date: to go up against some of the most talented indie authors out there. Today, it has all paid off as I received my very first professional review from a well known blogger and book blogging tour host, Readthat Smith from the Read That! book review blog….
……” WOW! This book was filled with so much action that it will leave you positively breathless. I can honestly say that this is one of the most interesting and unique paranormal books that I have ever read. The plot is fast paced and unique. It isn’t a carbon copy of any other vampire/wereanimal books that I have ever read before. There is such great detail in this story that I felt like these characters were real and believable. The author truly has a fantastic imagination to create such a fictional world. I wasn’t for one second bored as I was reading. And I was left wanting more. Much more.”……
As a writer, I live off of knowing that other people have read and liked my creations. The feedback I receive from my fans makes me eager to write more and more tales, keeping me afloat in a sea awash with uncertainty. But at some point in every writer’s life, we must put our hearts out there for the reviewers and critics to take a whack at, begging for brutal honesty and praying that we are thick-skinned enough to handle whatever criticism they have to dish out. It’s never easy for a writer to put their work out there, work that some have spent years on, and ask for any type of review, much less an honest one. I’ve been writing for decades and I have received more than my fair share of bad reviews from readers when I was posting on XN. But to have this caliber of a review from a blogger that has reviewed dozens of books from some very well known authors is mind-blowing. I feel like I have finally been legitimized as a writer.
I invite you to read the full review of my latest novel, The Red Fang, the first in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series, and stick around to read other reviews from one of the best book review authors out there.