A summary of my novels (and how it’s all sorta worked out)

(Whew! That was a long post and I have terrible keyboard connection so this post isn’t quite as polished as it could be but I’m going to publish it anyway because it’s getting late and I still have a novel to write. If you’d like to know more about one of my stories, do leave a comment! I’m planning on writing separate posts for the more prominent of my stories.)  

It’s true, I haven’t always had a great relationship with writing. Yes, I have despaired more than a few times over a story. I’ve given up on writing as a serious hobby. I’ve abandoned my blogs and abandoned waaaaay too many manuscripts. I’ve started too many blogs, to abandon them and eventually start another, repeating the process. I’ve gone on long hiatuses from publishing any writing, had a moment of inspiration, then disappeared from the writing world again. 

But in the end, I would say it’s been pretty good. Yesterday, I decided to calculate the number of finished manuscripts I’ve written over my whole life and the number of unfinished novels, out of curiosity and so I can announce to strangers exactly how many novels I’ve written when they ask me about my hobbies. It turns out I’ve written –

3 Completed Full Length Novels

-Ten Teens (November 2013) ~50,000 [My sisters drew 10 different characters and I managed to shoehorn all of them into the narrative. It was my first attempt at Nano and I handwrote the entire manuscript too. I also let my brother read it as I wrote. When you think about it, this novel was actually kind of amazing in terms of the writing journey I went through to complete it.]

– Bloody Daggers (July 2015) ~51,000 [This was for Camp Nano and is one of the many evolutions of my fantasy story. This one is very different from the current evolution of that story so I think it’s more fitting to consider it an entirely different novel now. …In future,  as this is the first completed novel I still have a copy of, I can use this as an example of my early writing.]

– Happy Medium (July 2015) ~42,000 [This is another Camp novel – yay for Camp nano! It’s too short for a novel but I’ll definitely bulk it up in edits. I’m actually really proud of this novel. For a first draft, I think it’s kind of decent. A girl tries to matchmake all the students in her class but they end up pairing up very differently … The novel evolved into quite a wider story and the matchmaking part ended up being quite small, though.]

4 Completed Novellas 

– Life on a Mannarerr Farm, Four Years (~2009?) ~20,000? [These were two “novels” (well, I thought they were novels) about a family living on a farm in nineteenth century America. I was really interested in American history during the time so that accounts for the time period (and I was inspired by Little Women). I was about 11 when I wrote these and I’m no child prodigy … but these were my first successful novel attempts and started me off writing seriously so I won’t hate on them too much. 

– Mackenzie (early 2013)  ~10,000 [I’m not sure what inspired me to write this story … it’s about a girl in Canada whose mother dies. She fends for herself and her little sister until a woman finds them and adopts them.]

– Loche’s Adventure (April, 2014) ~20,000 [This was one of the earlier evolutions of my fantasy story. It involved portal travel, war, magic, and basically way too much for 20,000 words. What I wrote is a bit more like a very lengthly plot summary …]

16+ Unfinished Novels (in approximate order of the dates they were written)

– Connelle (A handicapped girl wants to become a swimmer and compete in the Olympics.)

– Peace on the Horizon (Set during the Spanish Civil War, a young man is afraid of fighting in the war while his cousin is a communist spy and his friend adopts a Russian refugee and attempts to make her a violinist. As weird as it sounds, I actually think it has potential with proper research.)

– Magnus fantasy story … (This was the earliest version of the fantasy story, and centered around a boy named Magnus who was groomed to be a murderer and a brutal king who would slaughter a race of magical humans, making them almost extinct, and start a war.)

– Stephen Farrar (A man brings life and faith to a town of deadbeats and backstabbers.  On hindsight, that novel was so preachy it’s cringeworthy. It also involved a forced romance. The only saving grace was the twins Leslie and Lillian, who I’m determined to work into some other novel one day.)

– Iris Texier (Basically a ripoff of Emily of New Moon …)

– Button City (After his parents’ deaths and the inheritance of a large fortune, Cyrus White leaves his home and job as a lawyer to find meaning in life. He stumbles upon the strangest city ever. I do want to write this novel.)

– Eleazar’s story (It’s about a man who commits a murder during an armed robbery  and struggles to put his life back together after that. He comes to fall in love with a girl, Lucy, but obviously he feels he can’t pollute her life with his presence. I LOVE the character of Eleazar and I love his bromance with a homeless guy, Mick, and how he befriends Lucy’s siblings and becomes like a father to them.) 

– Sibling saga (It’s about the lives of five different siblings from an extremely dysfunctional family. I only got around to writing the first part about the oldest sibling but I’ve transported many of the characters into my dystopian story since this novel was kind of lacking a plot.)

– Winteria (This fantasy story began as a story for a blogging tag. I ended up rather liking my character of the Summer Prince and decided the story had potential as a novel. While most of my stories are more suited to a teen or adult audience, this novel is more MG.)

– Dystopian story (It focuses on the forming of a dystopian society and how the people who helped make the government happen react once the dystopian government comes into power. It features characters from my sibling saga and Ten Teens.]

-Irish mythology fantasy (It’s basically  a fantasy inspired by Irish mythology. I tried to incorporate a curse, portal travel, and  other  strange elements but it didn’t quite work out … I  settled  on something simpler, with vampires, fae, mermaids, and giants. It still was simply too overwhelming a world and story that I abandoned it.)

– Grey Wars (The next evolution of The Fantasy Story … The various drafts mixed and matched together would probably amount to a full novel but I never could make it to the finishline due to the enormous plotholes.)

– World Warriors (A shapeshifter kidnaps a bunch of teens to help him save the world. I honestly love this story and it’s a blast to write. I gave it up because I had no idea the logistics of how they would actually save the world. I’d love to rewrite it, though. I think I’ll make the teens transform into superheroes … probably because that would solve the question of how to save the world and because I’m more than a little obsessed with Marvel superheroes at the moment …)

– I Crashed My Friends (A teenager kills his friends in a car crash and suffers from the guilt and reconciling with his friends’ parents.)

– Alex + Brittany (I decided to try my hand at a romance – the result? Mixed. It definitely needed more conflict and more of a plot, but I don’t think it was TOO bad.)

– Stranger Boyfriend (After Michelle breaks up with her boyfriend,  she decides to console herself by finding another guy for revenge. She picks up a random guy at a bar and … chaos ensues.)

****

So basically … yeah, I have too many unfinished manuscripts. Sometimes that was due to plot holes and weak premises but mostly I was just too lazy to keep on writing. But it’s not a terrible track record.  After all, somehow I managed to finish three novels! Not everybody can do that nor does everybody have the craziness to attempt it. Yes, chances are in a few weeks from now, I’ll be writing a post about how as much as I love it, I don’t love writing enough to keep it up consistently …

I guess I just want to make a tribute to writing and my writing journey. I don’t always enjoy writing, it’s true … but somehow I keep coming back to it. 

Some thoughts:

– While I could have been more prolific, I’ve come a long way since the beginning. Over the years and observing the differences in my stories, you can also see how different I was in various stages of my life. 

-Whenever I complete some piece of writing, or reread a completed story, there’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

-I have so MANY different story ideas. It’s awesome and kind of overwhelming and makes me wish I was immortal so I can write all these stories and more. 

-Ah writing …writing has always been there for me. It’s comforted me when I was upset and helped me to sort out my thoughts when I was confused. It’s freed me when I felt trapped, and enabled me to live a hundred lives in one. Life would have been infinitely sadder without writing and I am incredibly grateful that writing exists, that I discovered writing, and that I was given the opportunity to create stories and record them. I’m proud of my writing journey so far and I’m extrememly excited for what lies ahead, as cliched an ending as that is! 

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With Time and Space

It’s amazing what can happen with time and space. 

I experienced this phenomenon a few days ago when I felt the urge to rewrite my fantasy novel. Now, this novel and I have had a … tumultuous relationship. I loved the characters but that was about all I loved. My description was non existent and the world was shaky at best. The worst part by far was the plot, riddled with too many holes to count. But I wanted to love the whole story. The story was wonderful in my head – it was alive, poignant, painful, and beautiful. 

As much as I wanted to make it work, I decided the novel was a lost cause and I was simply beating a dead horse. So I moved on to contemporary novels and I did manage to finish one of them, which is pretty impressive for me, given the sheer number of unfinished manuscripts languishing in my drive. 

If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know I fell away from writing prose for a couple months. But just a few days ago, I began to miss that fantasy story. I have to say – and this isn’t just the drama queen in me – that story is truly the story of my heart. I can’t seem to let it go. I formed the idea at 13 and while it’s gone through numerous evolutions, it’s still here and I’m 17. 

And I think it’s not going anytime soon … which brings me back to my little anecdote.  I thought, casually, that I’d try to rewrite it and take things as I went along. It probably wouldn’t work … but I couldn’t resist the story so I reckoned it would be a fun hobby. 

Well, before writing, I made a list of all my characters then I began to summarise the main plot lines of the story and characters’ back stories so I would at least have some clue where the story was headed.

Annnnnd ….. it was honestly like magic. Everything somehow fell into place. The solutions to plot holes I’d been slaving over trying to fix for months came to me so naturally. And each solution would make so much sense, explaining other points I’d been questioning. 

It was amazing and frankly exhilarating. I was mostly just glad as well that my problems were solved!

I didn’t blame myself for not seeing those solutions before either, because I knew it wasn’t from any lack of thought on my part. I’m quite certain I couldn’t have found those solutions earlier. I needed the distance. 

I guess this experience showed me that even if a story seems hopeless, it might not necessarily be, AND that time and distance can really work wonders for writers. ;)

ALL DEM STORIES 

I’m back! Long time no see.  I’ve got holidays now and after just finishing “Shiver”, by Maggie Stiefvater, I’m getting the writing bug again. Looking at Stiefvater’s novels –  like how many has she published exactly? and how awesome do they all sound?! – never fails to depress me but it also wakes me up from my normal person coma and inspires me to become a writer person once again. 

I’m not sure how long this will last but I’ll grab the chance while I can! 

Everything about writing is like really really hard and choosing a story to write is no exception. Over the years, I’ve formed lists full of story ideas and it’s always growing, much faster than my typing can keep up with. So, partly to clarify my story ideas and hopefully come to a decision (but mostly for pure fun), here are some of my top story/novel/novella ideas:

1. Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling

The original story has always intrigued (and sorta frustrated) me because there’s so much left untold. Why was there a magical world down there with jewelled trees and handsome princes? And did the princesses really agree to stop going there after they were discovered? Wasn’t the soldier or the king curious about the world? 

There’s so much potential waiting to be explored. 

2. I Crashed My Friends 

This is about a teenager who kills his friends/girlfriend in a car crash and suffers from the subsequent guilt. 

3. My Technological Lover 

A girl falls in love with Siri. It’d be hilarious and probably the main reason I want to write it is so I can test out Siri’s responses myself. 

4. Dystopian Trilogy 

I haven’t figured out the finer details of this one but I do have several characters who are horrible people but I love anyway and it’ll be a totally dark and gloomy and depressing story with intrigue and secrets. It’s more about a dystopian government forming rather than a dystopian government that’s already there. We already have lots of stories like that but where are the stories about the people who let that government come into being?

5. A paranormal novel

I would love to write something really beautiful and haunting and supernatural. I’ve got a couple ideas. There’s the one about the werewolf posing as a clueless dad. There’s the one about the ghost girl. 

6. Murder mystery 

It’s about an uber dysfunctional family and the father is murdered and …. you can probably guess the suspects.

7. A script with a twist

I’ve been really enjoying writing scripts lately so I’d love to build my skills in that. In fact, I’ve always preferred writing dialogue over description, and actually my description skills kinda suck. So scripts are perfect for me. And even better if I can add awesome twists to them! 

8. We Are Happy 

It’s a dystopian story set in a world where no one is allowed to show sadness. It’s creepy as hell.

9. “Wallflower Social Club”

This might only be a short story. It’s based on a title prompt and basically the title says it all. 

***

Well, that’s about it I can think of for now but I have many more half baked ideas and old skeletons of stories. I also have a handful of scripts I want to write for film projects. 

I always love hearing other people’s ideas, so now tell me: what are you planning to write?