Didn’t She Say She Was Going To Publish?
It’s 2016 and the question keeps coming to me…
“When are you going to publish?”
I’ve seen many of my fellow authors publish–both traditionally and self-published–and I keep saying that I’m going to get it done. Yet, life keeps finding ways to throw obstacles, issues, and stumbling blocks in my way by means of family crises, health issues, money, time, change of jobs, etc.
I looked at my original draft and realized that it’s so close to FSOG that E. L. James would have rights to get an injunction against me. So I’ve been editing it ever since. There are two huge problems with that.
First (which would probably be second), I never seem to get a copy of it that is acceptable and ready for publishing. That’s becoming a vicious cycle.
Second (which should probably be first), once it’s published, my original baby is dead. Just like “Masters of the Universe” may have copies floating around on someone’s hard drive and among die-hard E.L. James fans, it’s not on any site and it’s not being updated. Why? Because it’s been published. Once I definitely hit that button to “upload to Kindle,” the story has to come down off of the blog. There’s no more updating it. There’s no more weekly chapters… it’s done. Once Miles is in print, Dr. Steele dies… and I think that scares me most of all.
I had one of my oldest readers unsubscribe today. She wasn’t mean or nasty about it all. She was truthful. She said that she was no longer interested in the story because there was too much drama and it had strayed from the original characters. It did get me thinking, because I had a similar experience.
When you’ve written about the same people for so long (in this case, it will be three years on Valentine’s Day), you realize that there’s only so much you can put people through before you have to start focusing on other aspects around them and other characters around them. Look what I’ve done to these people:
We started with Christian’s usual tragic backstory that didn’t really spill into this story as much except to indicate why he is who he is and why the Pedobitch is in his life anyway.
We added Ana’s tragic backstory, which is continuing to spill into this story in so many ways and taking on a life of its own as it’s constantly hiding in the background waiting to blow up.
We’ve got Ana kidnapped by her psycho ex-boyfriend;
Ana’s been beaten by one of Christian’s disgruntled ex-employees;
Christian nearly starves to death pining away for an angry Anastasia;
Christian almost loses his best friend and his girl in Anguilla;
Ana decides to help someone with dignity therapy only to find out that it’s the same person who recorded her beating and after watching the damn thing, she clocks out for three days (or was it four…);
Christian and Ana both are stalked by a psycho asshole–the son of the man who tormented Christian’s childhood and many of his nights as an adult–claiming to be Christian’s brother;
The same asshole orchestrates a break-in of Ana’s condo and the stealing of her gun;
That same gun was used to shoot Jason, who actually took a bullet for Christian because the psycho blonde Pedophile couldn’t live without him;
Psycho mom Mini Morton is not worth the air that she’s breathing, but keeps harassing Ana for a relationship now that she’s dating a billionaire and when Ana finally gives in, she discovers that she was right all along and it’s a lost cause.
All that and I haven’t even finished with the drama that was Book II and what’s happened to them in Book III… you know–hacker, amnesia, fundraiser fiasco, psycho Val…
At this rate, my main characters will be stressed to death by 35! At some point, you have to step back and start to focus on different storylines and how they relate to the main characters–which means that the main characters may not always be the focus, or that a storyline may drag on until a point is made, or it may end prematurely because the point is made very quickly. You have to constantly come up with fresh material to keep readers happy and engaged, and if you don’t, you lose your readers. Unfortunately, sometimes if you do, you still lose your readers.
This is not a complaining post, because I completely understand this dynamic. I went through the same thing with Grey’s Anatomy. I was watching the series for 12 or 13 seasons, and then I saw all of the original characters start to fade away. When I looked up, most of them were gone off the series. When the main person that I was watching the series for was killed off the series, I didn’t want to watch it anymore. So I completely understand when the story takes a turn that someone may not like and they decide that it’s not for them anymore.
I also understand that after a while, the characters do have to change as well as the storylines in order to keep the story fresh and new. So I may go back and check what’s going on with Grey’s Anatomy.
Like Shonda Rhimes, however, I also understand that there may be a need for new stories, like How To Get Away With Murder and Scandal and Private Practice. To that end, I’ve decided unequivocally that the first story that will be published this year is the love story about Devin and Jordan. That’s a fresh story straight from the imagination that ends much differently than it begins. For those who may not be familiar with it, you can find a taste of the story in the Lemon Drop post. That’s only one of the love scenes. I’m working on a blurb for it right now, and I’ll try to get it posted to see if it draws interest at all.
I hope I haven’t disappointed anyone with this decision, but if I have, c’est la vie. If my writing chops are worth anything, this story will be worth reading, too. If they’re not, then I’ll find out soon enough. Either way, I’m not ready to kill Dr. Steele just yet…
Love and Handcuffs,