Fist Shake, and Writerly Journey Thing

Hmm… Blogger will not let me reply to individual comments. This vexes me.

On the blueboards, a couple people asked about the journey to publication. My awesome, fantastic writer sister wrote a hilarious blog entry over here with some of the details.

In short, I started writing right after I graduated college in 2006. Wrote about 90k of a story I’ll call Three, then abandoned it, since I assumed my lack of attention span meant I’d never finish a story (plus, 90k was halfway through– I hadn’t realized yet what an abnormally loooong YA novel that would be!)

In 2007-8, I cowrote a story with my good friend, Poosen (could write a full-length novel. So, yay!

This inspired me to resume writing number three.

In the meantime, I heard of NaNoWriMo, so I gave it a shot (in August) and wrote number two in 23 days. Two proved that I could write a story in less than a month, and I could crank it out even if I was uninspired. It also taught me it was better not to crank it out when I was uninspired, since three was a melodramatic, love-triangle-featuring abomination.

(In the meantime, I mentioned to my sister, Meredith Duran, that I liked this romance novel she’d written years ago and abandoned. My sister submitted it to the Gather First Romance Novelist contest, won a contract, and the rest is history. As of this present moment in time, she’s authored five novels!)

So, anyway, finished number three, the book of my heart. I loved this one. Loved, loved. It had humor, it had fiendish twists, it even had Stalin jokes (
Wrote number four in about nineteen days, a silly one with lots of humor, no real substance. To be fair, though, the humor was pretty awesome in a heartless sort of way.

Wrote number five which was a contemporary version of number three, and really quite soulless. Five taught me if I wasn’t enjoying what I was writing, it simply wasn’t worth it. Oh, and it taught me the value of writing in scenes, not word counts.

Then came six. I loved six. It was dark, incredibly dark, and twisted in parts. It was the first manuscript I’d loved since number three, and it got me my absolutely fantastic agent. It even caught the attention of my absolutely fantastic editor, who was impressed with the rewrite she requested, but ultimately had to pass. Six got me into writing again, and six was the one that enabled me to finally look back at three and realize, “Hey, this one WAS fatally flawed!” And honestly, getting over that story I was once obsessed with was a pretty major step for me.

And then, along came seven.

Seven was an idea I had in the back of my mind all throughout six, and I wrote seven during a time of intensive academic pressure when I really had no right to be procrastinating with a story. Seven, I loved every bit as much as three. Seven brought the humor back, but unlike four, it had a heart. It had the plotting of six, the fiendish twists of three, and honest to God, I was pretty sure when I finished this one that it was the best story I’d ever write. This seriously felt like the Fabled One writers speak of, and I couldn’t imagine topping it. This was the first one I even shared with my awesome writer sister, the first one I felt was strong enough to be read by her.

How absolutely awesome that my agent and ultimately my editor agreed.

So, that’s my writerly journey, in short. Tyson? Hope that’s what you were looking for!

  1. Oh wow, you used my name in this post. That’s the most attention I’ve ever gotten from a woman I don’t know. Thanks so very much. πŸ˜‰

    I must say, this was as every bit as awe-inspiring as I thought it would be. It leaves me with a fresh sense of optimism that it can be done (and with mind boggling results, too). Thank you so much for posting this. I will most definitely be keeping tabs on your writing journey, and I sincerely hope this is the first step to many more awesome feats.

    I raise my figurative champaign glass to you Flor.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Shelli and Your Highness πŸ˜‰

    Tyson– thank -you- for a blog entry idea!

    Hey Stina– Remember critiquing ‘Sam’? That -was- six. This was my last one before, you know, working in places like Haiti.

  3. I’m so glad you’re blogging. This was a great post – lively and humorous. Made me forget the blood and tears that go into writing seven whole novels. I’m so glad you stuck with it!

    And is this news public yet? Can I gush about you on my blog?? πŸ™‚


  4. Thanks for sharing your “writerly journey.” I love reading them, especially when the first novel isn’t the one. I have a sister who writes, and while I’ve read two of hers, I haven’t let her read any of mine yet.

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