Saturday, August 29, 2009

Maybe I should quit this stupid writing obsession.

I apologize ahead for the following rant but I need to get it out and see what others think about the topic.
I'm pissed. I just read an editor's thoughts on writers who create series before they've even sold their first book.

Series Potential, Seriously?
by Editorial Anonymous.

Now let me be clear. I know the quality of the writing is the most important thing. I know we must write self contained stories and I realize we do not query about plans for a series.
Agents and editors take a risk every time they sign up a new author. Most of us do not know the full extent of the business. It's all about making money and if we as authors come off with these large plans I guess it scares away the businessmen cause they see us as risks who only live in our little worlds.
So she/he is of course right. But this quote hurts and I wonder if it's a dream killer.

"More than that, experience has proven to most editors that the authors who are all excited about writing a series are either:
a) people who are under delusions of the millions of dollars there are to be made in children's books and who are uninterested in the quality of their writing in their pursuit of those dollars, or
b) people who are unhealthily obsessed with their creation and whose last interaction with reality was passing it in the street months ago, when they couldn't quite place where they knew reality from. It looked familiar... did its name start with an "R," maybe, or a "D"?"

From the very beginning I've seen this book idea as a series. I see the characters growing and learning throughout the books and I see the readers enjoying their stories. Maybe learning something from history at the same time.
But it's never been about money. Of course I need money to get out of debt, but that's what my day-job is for. Writers don't make much money. Sure, there are success stories but you cant measure against them. It's like winning the lottery.

A writer should write because they have a dream or passion that drives them. Writers should write because they love to share stories. Writers should write because they want to lift or entertain others.
Writers should never write to become richer than the Queen of England. Yes, lightning strikes, but that is based on many, many others feeling what you feel about your ideas and quite frankly that's up to what they need. If they need your story, great, but if they don't, it doesn't matter how well you write it, they wont read it.
That being said, I can swear to you point "a" in the above quote is not me. I never wrote a word in the hopeless expectation to receive cash.

But what about point "b"? Am I obsessed?
OK, she/he said "unhealthily obsessed with their creation and whose last interaction with reality".

I have songs from Lastat the musical. I have vampire themed music to get me in the mood for writing. I read vampire books because I want to make sure I'm not copying other authors. I Draw Annabelle pics for the Writer's Blog to break up the monotony of the text. I have pics of my characters for my screen saver. My blogger ID is "Scribe of Annabelle". I joke about the muse driving me and refer to it as Annabelle.
So yes. I'm obsessed.

Have I lost my connection with reality? I work a 40 work week as a drafter. I focus on my job and work very hard. I come home and help with the kids homework unless they're finished. Then I do dishes, help my gorgeous wife with dinner and enjoy a meal with the family. I watch TV or movies with them and then read my son a bed time story (and no, it's NOT my novel) then walk the dogs for a block or more. I close off the night with quality time with my wife, and then go to bed to wake up at 4:30 am to start all over again. I pay my house mortgage, car payment and other bills. I meet with my kids teachers to make sure they are doing well.

OK, so even though I act normal, I'm obsessed with my story because of the reasons above. I'm lost because I happen to love my characters and see so much in their future.
Rowling was obsessed because she had plans. Shan, Meyers, Hunter, so many others must've been obsessed too then. After all, in their first books they had seeds planted for future books. Did they have notes, too?

I know the first book may never sell. I realize it may die on its feet. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't dream of a series. I shouldn't have a bigger plan.
Writing this novel has made me a better writer. I’ve learned so much and continue to try and improve my skills. I do plan to write other things. Just because I have planed for a series doesn't mean I'm deluded or out of focus with reality.

I don't know. I guess that's why all the agents reject me now. My query doesn't go into any of this. It doesn't even mention a series. But maybe they've seen me on the web going on about Annabelle and they said "No way in hell we're representing him."
Guess I'm screwed. I blew it and all I wanted to do was share it with the world.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Claudia isn't the girl I "knew"

Years ago (five years next month) I watched Interview With a Vampire. As you know, all the Claudia scenes struck a chord within me that I couldn’t identify.

After some probing and finally some writing I discovered it wasn’t Claudia that truly struck me, but the concept of a child vampire. Of course from there we have Annabelle.

But all this time I’ve wondered about the “real” Claudia. Hollywood changes things to better fit the medium and I knew Kristen Dunst couldn’t have been absolutely book accurate.

Well, after all this time I’ve finally bought Anne Rice’s book and come to discover that “book Claudia” is different.

It’s amazing what difference size can make. Claudia was six and much shorter. Louis holds her in his arms as he walks but her power over him is very much like the wrinkled up tiny Voldermort in Wormtail’s arms. She’s more commanding and malevolent.

There are a great deal of similarities. She loves to read, is very smart and enjoys a good “meal”. She is tired of toys and wants to be older.

But the tiny size in my mind is a bigger difference than the hair color (“book Claudia” is blonde, not red). She’s just so wicked. I guess Rice was showing how innocence can look corrupt.

I wonder, if a CGI Claudia was used to show a six year old terror instead of double the age, or if Dunst played her more malevolent, would I have been inspired to create someone as completely different as Annabelle?