Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just for Me

Last night instead of training, I went home and enjoyed a hot bath. I gave myself a mini-facial, a pedicure, and a foot massage. It was wonderful.

Then I got to thinking, why don't I do more "just for me" stuff? Yes, 'stuff' is the technical term.

Right then it hit me. I do tonnes of stuff just for me. I keep this blog and I write about whatever I want to write about, just for me. Frankly, and please don't take offence, I don't really care if you read the post through or not. I'm not that concerned whether or not you like what I write here. If you don't like it, don't read it. I don't have a huge following, and I'm not that bothered.

I do Martial Arts four nights a week (except last night... oh, and the night before because it was a public holiday and there was no class), just for me.

Most importantly, I write just for me. Sure I have this overwhelming drive to have my book published (albeit traditionally) and widely read (please universe), but the content, the characters, the themes, and yes, even the alliteration, I do just for me.

I was thinking about this very thing after a conversation with my sister (and then reminded of it again after reading fellow author Jenn's blog post). I was telling my sister how my latest series The Seraphimé Saga ends. She asked me if I could write something happy for a change (granted, I can get pretty morose in my writing).

I probably could, but it wouldn't be for me. It was be for her, and for everyone else that wants a happy ending. I'm sorry guys, 'happily ever after' just doesn't do it for me. It doesn't fit. It feels awkward and wrong when I attempt a happily-ever-after-type ending. Most usually because such an ending is forced, written over the ending that developed naturally in the back of my very twisted, melancholic mind.

Sure, if that's the way the story develops in my head, then that's the way I'll write it. If it doesn't, however, and another tragic ending develops, that's the one I'll write.

Is this foolish of me? Will publishers overlook me because I can get dark when I write? To answer my own question (sorry), I very much doubt it. Tor and Bantam Books both published Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series, and if you want dark and twisted, he can get there. Bantam Books also published George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series, and that can get really depressing (of course it can, it's George R.R. Martin).

That tells me publishers, some publishers at least, aren't afraid of stories that don't end with the hero overcoming all and getting the girl and everything else completely unrealistic and irrational. So, The Great Man series, which is an extremely dark, almost Shakespearian tragedy epic has a chance of being picked up. The Seraphimé Saga, slightly less dark, but no less epic also has a good chance of being published.

The question then is not my content, but the style of my writing, the flow and, perhaps most importantly, its saleability. My biggest challenge is not the fact that the material is dark, but that I am an unknown, without an established readership and, being as such, an enormous risk to take for publishers.

I can only hope that my writing style and my plots are enticing enough for publishers to want to take that risk.

Fingers crossed!

Now I'm off to judge short stories. Until next time, take care.

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