I starting this blog because I am working on a novel, a series actually. Something that has been going through my head for years. On and off since I was a child, I had these ideas, I always drew them out in a comic form. I even wanted to be a comic book writer, a desire with rejection letters as I discovered I am not that good of an artist. I sketch well but I cannot render anything decently. I tried years but my talents never were there.
In the written word, I always received high marks and praise from my teachers and in college, my marks were better than my major. One of my professors said I should have gone into English as a major and ditch my History major at the time. I of course did not listen, but my first time in college ended because of a psycho ex-roommate who I ended up getting a restraining order against. It took me a long time to recover from that but I did go back to school as I was working as a temp. The bottom fell out there. It seems someone kept telling me I was on the wrong track.
In my despair with no job, no college and mounting debt having recently gotten engaged, I had no place to go. Nothing to do, I was lost. Then I discovered a subculture on the net known as E-Fedding. For those of you not familiar with this it is a writing contest between people, you make up a wrestling persona and you write a story of your character. There are judges and they say who wins. You do not know if you won until you read a written out show where you found your wrestler won in the results.
Many times these places have a max of 3-5 stories a week. So I got into it. At first I stunk, I had not written anything seriously in a long time then I started to sing on the boards writing getting better. Soon I rarely lost, I was producing about 10 pages a day easily. I was enjoying what I was doing, I even created another character then I was making 40-50 pages a week!!! I was having fun, getting up being happy. I kept being told by many people as my writing got better I should try a shot at writing a novel.
I toyed with it for a long time, after I quit E-Fedding, it got too easy. My stories were better than those I faced most of the time and I won. I started to work again as well but the stories kept returning. I missed my hands on the keyboard, so did my wife.
She says I am happiest when I am writing that I am a pain in the ass when I do not put fingers to keyboard. The thing is she is right. I hate not writing. I hate not trying to produce work and see my pages up. I love seeing how my stories go, but how do I write a novel? This is not something I was taught in school.
I grabbed books from the library and bought some books that writers posted on their websites saying these books helped them out. I looked over book structure, outlines, etc. I read through notes published by some of my favorite authors. Lately two of my favorite writers have posted helpful hints and how they work a book. I discover with each writer it is different but some techniques are the same.
I discovered that through my research, a novel is a lot like putting a pen and paper role playing campaign together or at least how I put them together when I am a Storyteller. Each of the characters, I create I have to come up with challenges for them like I would for my players’ characters. I started to compare my RP books on game structure against my books on writing they have very similar.
You have to work on the history of your world, the limits of that world, what are the rules. Just like the games I have played for 20 years. From there you make the characters fleshing them out to fit in your world. This is not just the main characters, this includes minor to even your villains. You need to figure out what your books are about, what is the theme you are going for, what you plan to do with it.
Now I am doing an alternate history series. I plan to expand through out the ages from the American Wild West to Modern day. I have always read the Paranormal books and history of myths and monsters since I was a kid. Dracula was an eye opening book for me, a love of Stoker that ended after reading Lair of the White Worm. I read about history loving the Wild West to World War II. I loved the Cold War when I grew up in it until it fell. I remember and re-researched those times.I always knew I wanted to write about the Paranormal but there was not an official genre of that at the time. Everything was fantasy, a genre I hate to this day. My influences are varied, I read everything from the classics to spy thrillers to historical fiction to paranormal romance.
The first Paranormal book, I read that had an influence on myself was a book I picked up at Osco Drug, it was the third book in a series, it was Necroscope 3: The Source by Brian Lumley. I had read Robert Ludlum, another writer I loved, I read Stephen King, who had not? But Brian Lumley was my first writer’s crush. I could not get enough of him. I read everything I could of his in the United States, which was limited at that time. Luckily, I grew up in Aurora, CO a suburb of Denver, CO which is the home of every book lover’s favorite store the Tattered Cover. There I was able to order Brian Lumley’s books from Great Britain. The man is a genius became an influence to me, his take on history, spy thrillers and vampires mixed together is genius. He is Robert Ludlum mixed with H.P. Lovecraft all wrapped together. His original Necroscope Series as the Psychomech series are both worth reading a love I have to this day.
Lumley of course was overshadowed by Anne Rice when I grew up as Interview with the Vampire and the sequels were all the rage. Good books, Rice is a good writer but Lumley was more original. When I got older one of my roommates passed me on a book called Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K Hamilton, I was hooked I loved the sass and character of Anita Blake in the beginning but as the series as worn on, what I loved of the character is lost. I read the books still, I hope for a glimpse of a character that evolved away from what I loved. Hamilton is a talented writer one of my heavy influences as a writer. Her recommendations on her website have been helpful for me and I love finding out that even as I struggle in some things she does the same. Except she is a major powerhouse in the Paranormal novels, while I am an unpublished writer doing his best. I am not in her league nor do I think I ever will be but I plan to do better than she. You need goals even if you may not attain them, or if you do then what do you do then?
I wish to be published and make a decent living at this, if my work becomes as popular as my idols good. If I have people enjoy my work I will be happy. I am not writing for fans I may never have or the money that may never be made, but myself. I need to get this fire out on paper. Now if I make living off of then I am doing something I love.
My idea is to follow an organization I have created called the Regulators through out their history. Where fans are introduced to different characters of different eras of history. The main two eras I will be writing about will be the modern day, where the organization is today. The heroes the fans I hope will like with plot twists that people should enjoy. If the modern stories work and sell well; my second series will take place in the Wild West about the origins of the Regulators.
What I have is ambitious but I see having fun with this. My goal is to get a series of good plots together. Characters that people can identify with, which are fun to write. I am working on the character bios today using a sheet I found online. It has helped.
Wish me all the luck.