So I left myself writing 500 or so pages of a fan fiction story of a guy I didn’t care too much about at this point. I was heady with the thrill of having groupies follow me around on the website breathlessly anticipating my next romantic installment. However, romance can only last so long. Really, 500 pages or so is a lot of romance. A lot.
I got into some kind of manic argument with some other woman on this fan fic board. She accused me of plagiarizing part of her story. I was pretty indignant because 1) I did NOT plagiarize anything 2) I didn’t need to plagiarize anything as I considered myself to be a better writer than she was. (Remember, I was manic, and had a pretty big ego at the time.) Anyway, as I recall, this whole thing took the wind out of my sails and I stopped writing.
Now throughout this process, people (women actually…I don’t think there were any men on this board) suggested that I should write and publish something. Some of them even suggested I should publish my fan fic. Whoa! NO one would want to read that but die-hard fans of this guy. But anyway, I figured I must be an excellent writer with 500 pages under my belt of romantic fiction. I knew I could do it. However, instead of writing some nice romantic novel I decided to write ANOTHER fan fic about this guy. I didn’t publish it on the board…I just wrote it for myself and maybe a friend or two… things are kind of blurry here.)
I think I wrote again about this guy because I knew my character. The heroine changed but I didn’t have to mess around with the guy too much. The big difference in this story is that there was a real plot, a twist, a resolution and the whole thing. Instead of meandering on and on about true love and the noble character of this guy, I actually really developed lots of characters in this story. I do think if I messed around with this story and dropped the celebrity out of it and replaced him with a fake celebrity this would be a decent story. Not to publish, but to throw up on a fiction website.
About this time, I fancied myself somewhat of an author. I joined a writing group in our town and started going to the meetings. I met this girl that lived pretty close to me and we carpooled. She had actually published some stuff, so I was in awe. I got my hands on one of her books and started reading it. Wow! It was pretty darned smutty. I mean seriously. It was strange, because she looked like anyone you’d see on the street. But she had quite the imagination.
About that time I started writing A Calling of Light. (Once again, not sure of the timeline in here, I was still pretty hypomanic and was doing lots of things.) You know how people always say “Write what you know!”? Well, I knew about Leenie. Part of her was me. But she was fictionalized plenty. This book just flowed. Just like my other stories. It just poured right out of me. I didn’t think about plot (maybe I should have!), character development or any other old thing. I just wrote and wrote.
I was working retail at the time. It was part time, and something I could do while manic. I kept writing and one of the girls at work mentioned that she knew an editor in New York. She offered to show her the first chapter or so of my book. Of course the book was unfinished, but I sent off the chapter anyway. And the editor liked it! She said to send it to her in the next few months when it was done.
Few months? Suddenly I panicked and got writer’s block. I could hardly write anything and time went by. By the time I cobbled together a bad ending eight months had passed. I was too embarrassed she’d forget who I was if I sent it now.
But I still had fun with the book. I entered it in contests. I never won, but got some really positive feedback. And here I have to tell you a funny story about contests.
My best friend is a writer. So we somehow wound up judging or giving feedback on some short stories. We went off to a cabin prepared to act all academic and get these stories objectively fixed up and ready to go. So we started in. And wow, were these stories terrible. I mean bad. We started laughing and could not stop. We were screaming hysterically and could hardly get through them. But we tried. And that was one of the funniest times in my life.
There was one story that was decent but had some serious issues here and there. We gave a bunch of recommendations on how this person could fix it up. We practically re-wrote the thing.
Later on, this whole group had a banquet. They gave out awards for the best story. And guess who won? The story we re-wrote. So we didn’t feel like crappy writers, after all.
Anyway, it was around here that I started crashing. I hit bottom bad. And I put my writing away. I not only put it away, I threw it away. I didn’t want to see it anymore and I didn’t think it was very good. Especially the fan fic. I was embarrassed I had written it. And I switched computers and lost it for good.
My friend had a bit more foresight. She figured someone would want it sometime. She had most of it on a flash drive. The long fan fic was coming up in a weird format, but the others were good. She sent me A Calling of Light and the second fan fic (the that had the plot). I sat there and read them and cried. I vaguely remembered the stories, but could not believe I had written them. They were pretty good.
And there is the story of the manic author. I’ve written nothing else but this blog since then and that was ten years ago or so. Long time.
I’ll put some more of Leenie’s story up on the other page here if anyone wants it. I know a few of you did, so we’ll see what you think. Leenie is a neat person.