Feel The Fear

First posted to ‘of Altered States’: http://www.ofalteredstates.com/blog/September 6th 2012

My first book has just been published by Firedance books.

It’s a novella, or short novel (the differentiation between the two is grey as shaded erotica), of forty thousand words.

But it’s my first published long form story. In much the same way that ‘A Posturing Fool‘, published in the first volume of of Altered States, was my first published short form story.

So the dreaming is over, I am now a published author. It’s a strange thing to realise a dream, even if it is only part of a larger dream, which is to be a ‘successful’ published author—though how I will measure success is unknown to me. (Pantser in life as well as in writing. I make this stuff up as I go along).

A Posturing Foolwas a story I feared, a story I had to write despite the fear. Semi-autobiographical, liable to upset people I care about, and difficult to edit. A scary thing to write something like that, but all writers must write those stories; it’s the only way we grow as writers.

The ‘Tales of the Shonri‘, which can be found here and here, started in a similar way, though not quite so ferociously fearful. Simply put: I was challenged to write erotica. The story A Warrior’s Goodbye was the result. Not sure if it is particularly good erotica, but it is certainly a good story and it led to the ‘Tales of the Shonri‘, which led to ‘The City of Lights‘ which is my first published eBook.

I was scared of writing erotica. Battle scenes are easy, but sex scenes (which are also action scenes) are scary as all hell. Mainly because you have a punch-up in public but you generally get your kit off in private. So, for a writer, the only knowledge you have is your own. You don’t get to watch real people having a delightful time in bed in the same way that you get to see people having a rambunctious time outside the pub every Saturday night.

But still. I wrote it.

And lost my fear of sex scenes. To be honest, I am still more inclined to show curtains blowing in the wind than go all slot A into tab B, because showing sex is pretty unimportant to me, showing the results of sex, how it changes the dynamics of a relationship, how it changes the path of a story, that is much more important. Fight scenes change character dynamics in a much more direct way, particularly if one of the characters ends up dead, and even then you don’t go all parry, thrust, move a foot, on the edge, on the flat, move the other foot, either. Action works best if you don’t describe it too completely.

However, if I need to write a sex scene, and with Medina as a character I pretty much do, then I know I can write a sex scene.

Then again, ‘A Posturing Fool‘ has a sex scene in it, but that was different because when I wrote that story I never intended to publish it. It was catharsis not storytelling. Whereas ‘A Warrior’s Goodbye‘ was written to be read by others, it was meant to be published.

A step-change that.

So I feared to write ‘A Posturing Fool‘ and did it anyway, which led me to a place where I could write another story I feared to write ‘A Warrior’s Goodbye‘, which led me—because that world had to be explored—to write ‘The Tales of the Shonri‘ on Writerlot, which led me to create ‘Tales of the Shonri: The City of Lights‘ as a long-form story constructed from several of the Writerlot stories, which led me to sub it to Firedance Books (albeit as part of the collective already, so foot already through the door), which led to my first published eBook.

Fear see, it just gets in the way, but it’s a hell of a spur to good work. Feel it, push past it, and see what opens up before you.

PK’s Caveats: Caveat 1: I may not know what I’m blathering about. Caveat 2: There are no rules about writing, there are just things you can get terribly wrong. Caveat 3: If people apply the words never or always to storytelling techniques, ignore them.

First posted to ‘of Altered States’: http://www.ofalteredstates.com/blog/September 6th 2012


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Filed under Storytelling, Art, and Craft

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