My Complicated Novel I Don’t Know How To Talk About

2 minutes to read

I’m a writer who has, to date, only put one short story online. That short story is being re-written because after I had it Beta-Read, I decided to make some things a little more clear. I’ve never been print published, although I ran an online music zine for 10 years and have written the occasional article or review for online magazines. A lot of writers these days self-publish something like six books a year. And everything’s a series. That’s insane. I’ve been working on a novel (well, two novels) for just under a year. It’s all connected, but I don’t know how to talk about it without giving away the secrets.

People ask me all the time what my novels are about. It’s complicated. Not George R.R. Martin Complicated, but I’ve realized that when I try to explain it, it sounds a little juvenile. It’s not. My story is about Goths, but it’s not really about Goths. I suppose, at its core, it’s a coming of age novel the way Lost Souls was a coming of age novel. Except there are no vampires. I think what I have here is actually some of my best work. It’s honest, it’s unflinching and it tells a nice story I hope people will enjoy.

I want to talk about my novels, but I haven’t quite figured out how to put that mature spin on it. My elevator speech is like a 12-year-old talking about her friends who did this thing and then something happened. It’s a tiramisu turducken and it’s complicated. My husband says it’s sophisticated, but he loves everything I do. When I say it’s complicated, I don’t mean there are academic equations, although you might pick some up in vague references along with the occasional socio-political commentary in an off-hand sort of way. There aren’t 1500 characters, but there is a strong cast with lots of supporting players. It takes place in the real world and that’s complicated because the real world is complicated.

Both novels are finished, but I do some of my best work in the editing process. Just when I think I’m done for good, I see or read something and think, Oh! I gotta put that in somewhere. I walk away for a bit and do a re-read. It’s during the re-read where I put a little spit and shine on it. OK, a lot of spit and shine. Good writing becomes better writing. Some people call it sprinkling fairy dust, I call it adding a little poetry. 

Everyone knows today’s world exists online. I have to talk about what I’m doing and build hype. I have to Tweet and post regular status updates. I can’t just say it’s a love story, because I hope it’s more than that. I’m also becoming more comfortable with the fact that I’m not just quirky, I’m an outlier. How does that translate into a marketable novel? It probably doesn’t. I’m not writing War and Peace, but the first of the two novels is currently 175,000 words. I’m writing the story I need to tell. For reference, War and Peace was 587,287 words.

That’s all. I’m writing this thing I can’t really talk about because I don’t know how. Are you excited about it yet?

Photo: http://www.post-punk.com/big-hair-fishnets-and-eyeliner-a-gallery-of-80s-goth-and-deathrock-culture-part-ii/


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