Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Creatively I have hit my pinnacle

For the past week I've been doing something that I might have said that I would never do. I'm taking a writing class/workshop. The reason why I decided to do it was that I didn't fell I was a good enough writer and that was why I don't sell as many books as my peer in English. To address that, I signed up for a couple of UCLA extensions.

Combining this with my constant planning on writing my New Adult series, I decided to take a class where the goal was to write the first 50 pages of a novel. That seems perfect, right? I thought so. I figured that I would finally take the time and start the books that are supposed to be my legacy.

There have been a few hangups though. The first occurred about a day after I signed up for the class. I signed up for the class because of my insecurity that I wasn't a good writer. Well, right after signing up, I got this review for one of my books featuring large women: "I enjoyed all the series it made me think there is a guy out there that would love a big girl the way she wants to be loved...."

It seems pretty basic, right? Wrong! It was for a series that I actually mentioned on one of my blog posts. I had blogged about this book series because I was very proud of myself for figuring how to shape the way people viewed life using the context of erotica. I was convinced that with the first book in the series I could reshape the way that heavier women viewed who they were.

That's not a small challenge. Let's remember that the primary purpose of erotica is to get people to masturbate. Comedies fail if they don't make you laugh; mysteries fail if they don't keep you guessing; and erotica fails if it doesn't make you want to have sexual release. So while I was writing a story that made women want to touch themselves, I managed to strategically insert something that also shaped the reader's view of themselves, their life and the world in general. 

Do you know how incredibly hard that is? I have always thought highly of myself, so I didn't doubt that I could do it. But thinking you could do something and actually having proof that you have done it is two completely different things. 

Now let's look at that review again. My goal was to reshape the way that the reader viewed herself. The person who wrote the review said "...it made me think there is a guy out there that would love a big girl the way she wants to be loved..." There it is. I did it. I changed the way that she viewed herself and the world. 

Do you know how difficult that is? It is hard enough to do it within a self-help book, and people who buy those books are predisposed to want to change their thinking and life. It is hard enough to do it with a spiritual book, yet, again, the people who buy those books are buying the because they are in search of answers and change. But I did it within the framework of erotica.

So, what do you do when you meet your own objective criteria for brilliance? I'm not sure.

The reason why I signed up for the class was because I felt insecure about not being a good writer. I no longer suffer from that insecurity. Perhaps I could get better at describing scenes or creating characters. But in my mind, there are a few definitions of "good" when it comes to writing, and I'm good at the thing that I care most about; using writing to reshape the reader's view of life.

Now, having said all of that, I'm not sure which book I will actually work on in the class. I'm still not done with my 4 part werewolf novella series. I going to try and at least finish book 3 this week. If I do that, I will probably write the long awaited novel for the class. 

I would like to say, though, that being a good writer isn't really correlated to making sales. And I'm really starting to introduce real complexity into this werewolf erotic romance. These characters are getting really emotionally rich, and I'm going to be using some very interesting plot twists to achieve the standard 'will they or won't they get together' troupe. 

This sucker is getting really quite worth while. Add that to the realistic way I deal with race, and the fact that the story is about a heavy girl who experiences what it's like to go from the reject to the girl who all of hottest guys want, and you really have a unique story. 

Is it as good as the first erotic story that I ever wrote? Probably not. That story was unadulterated romance with a protagonist who would do anything for their love. This new story is not that pure. But what it is is a well told interesting story. It's less romantic, and much more relate-able. Will it sell as many as my first story? Who knows. I guess I would have a better idea if I actually read books in that genre. We'll see though.

On another note, one of the things that the class has done for me so far is that it helped me to see that I actually know enough about the long awaited story to start writing it. And more than that, I have the most awesome opening scene.  The protagonist and her crew are being chased by a dragon made of fire. The protagonist is running under a canopy of trees and the dragon is flying through the air, so the dragon explodes into thousands flames. These individual flames fall in among the trees looking for the girl. When the flames find her, they swirl back together into the firey beast and the chase is on. 

I love that opening. I absolutely love the way the final book ends. I love the message of the series. I love how the character changes throughout the series. And I love, love, love love the construction of the series. In another blog post I had referred to the construction of the story as genius. I still think that it is. 

Is it Issac Asinov genius? Geez, probably not. But if I ever finish it, it would be my greatest work. The "brilliant" accomplishment that I mention above would be child's play in comparison. And again, no one may ever read the long awaited series, but god damn, it would be proof to me that I lived up to my greatest potential. Maybe I will fail to change the entire world for the better. But I will be able to say that I wrote that, and that books series would stand as a testament to the best of who I was. 

Now the only question is, will I finish book 3 of the werewolf series this week so that I can start the long awaited series? I guess the way that my life keeps slipping by me, I'll find out soon enough.

Oh, and on another positive note, the software that I've been developing is really close to being done. Barring some other crazy unexpected thing, it is finally days away from completion. After all of this time it almost seems unreal.

And I have to say about the software, I think that it will me my masterpiece. This software will be my 'Wordperfect'. Decades ago, someone said 'you know what? I'm going to make a software that makes it easier to write letters and memos.' No one had ever thought to do it before, and he did it reshaping the world as we know it. 

My software is no 'Wordperfect', but it's my masterpiece. I'm thinking that it's safe to say that I am in the creative prime of my life. I don't know how long anything that I'm creating now will last in the consciousness of the world, but I will feel proud to allow the things that I'm doing now to represent me and to justify my existence. 

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