I had made the decision that I was going to write. Not only was I going to write, but I was going to write a whole book. My first fiction novel. I'm a great story teller, surely I could come up with enough content to fill several books, let alone one little novel. How hard could it be?
So, I sat at my computer, stewing. And stewing.
I wanted to be original, unique. Every idea I came up with had been done before, some had been done several times. If I did come up with something somewhat original, it was never on a topic that inspired me. For my first book, I definitely needed an inspiring topic.
Having recently been on a reading binge, I asked myself what kinds of books had I been reading? Those topics had interested me enough that I read several books. If I focused on a particular genre, that would at least narrow things down.
I went through a mental list of the books I'd read and zeroed in on Paranormal/Urban Fiction. In other words, vampires. Not only had I just read the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, I read the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris and the Anita Blake series by Laurell Hamilton. It was vampire after vampire with a dash of werewolf. To be honest, I was burnt out on vampires. Not only that, but vampires and werewolves have been done and redone in every conceivable way. I would need an extra special twist if I were to write a vampire story. For my first attempt, I really didn't feel confident about that.
So I found a genre, but I was utterly sick to death of it. I needed something that was still paranormal/fantasy in nature, but had no vampires or werewolves. Dwarves, elves and the like had all been done to death as well. I was truly hard pressed to come up with an idea. In the meantime, I was still staring at that blank page on my screen.
Okay, something that's not vampire or werewolf and not a Lord of the Rings knock off. Faeries are also starting to get a lot of play these days. My mind buzzed for several days, pondering what to do.
Eventually, I made myself narrow my plot even further. What did I want it to ultimately be about? How about a woman? Well, that was a start, but what about this woman? Let's have her be introverted and somehow she gets dragged into some sort of fantasy world. In the end, she sheds her shy side and finds out who she really is. (Because that plot hasn't been done before...yeah right!)
Once I got that much, the rest started to flow. I started to make notes. I wasn't writing just yet, but the page was no longer empty. It was filling with ideas.
In the end, I decided to write about this woman and how she stumbles across a world of elves. These aren't your typical, arrow chucking, tree hugging, pointy eared elves. No, these were a separate race of beings whose ancestors were the same as ours. The book would explain how the separation of our races happened and why elves appear in our folklore as they do.
There would be trolls, dimensional portals, and, of course, a love story. Who else to help her out of her shell than some handsome elven prince?
Then, the writing began. I wrote and wrote and wrote. Then I wrote some more. Once I started, it was hard to stop. It was horrible stuff really. Not the slightest bit interesting to anyone but myself. But that's not the point.
The point is, sometimes you have to force yourself to just pick something and start writing to get the juices flowing. The idea I had in itself was a good one. It was the writing that stunk. Looking back, I've got about 30,000 words out of 50,000 that I'm probably going to junk and completely rewrite.
That's okay. I wouldn't have traded the experience for anything. I learned and grew so much from just sitting in front of my computer, merrily typing away. Proper grammar and sentence structure will come later. For now, getting the story out of my head and onto paper is a huge step in the right direction.