Goals, Writing

The One Where I Wrote A Novel

I totally wrote a novel.

In the final year of my undergraduate career I had a really good idea. I was in the middle of completing coursework for a basic linguistics class when I thought –

I want to make aliens scary again.

It was such a powerful notion that I had the good sense to write it down. I grew up in the 80s and 90s when aliens were a force to be reckoned with. Every strange light a spaceship and every shadow a slippery Grey. In the 2000s aliens are either meddlesome pseudo-gods, benevolent space brothers, or homicidal freak-shows.

#nope

I decided I wanted to breathe new life into an old sub-genre. I wanted to put a new take on the alien abduction phenomena. I ended up thinking along the same lines as X-Files creator, Chris Carter. The latter, in an interview in the mid-90s, spoke about how television series like The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits influenced the creation of The X-Files.

Carter wanted to bring a new generation a paranormal series on par with those from his youth. I want to do the same, which is why in 2011 I decided to take my writing seriously. I started making a post-graduate – as in post-Master’s degree – plan for pursuing a career as a writer. This blog is a culmination of that groundwork. I also decided to start honing my skills as a wordsmith and write a novel.

In the final year of my undergraduate career I started writing – a lot. Every day I started stretching my muscles in poetry and flash fiction. I set a goal that I would write at least one book-length manuscript – a novel – before I graduated. I thought about doing NaNoWriMo or some other writing challenge, but settled on an old favorite –

Fan-fiction.

Yes, I write fan-fiction when I’m in school to keep my skills sharp as a fiction writer. No, I am not going to tell you what series I write for other than it is a children’s show. My husband knows. My sister knows. My best friend knows. Everyone else?

I wrote the first draft of my novel in ninety-six hours. It was the ugliest thing I’ve ever given birth to on paper. Once I stopped dry-heaving I rewrote it. Each time I noticed the ancillary characters were gaining lives of their own. A stand-alone universe morphed out of the source material, and I realized I had created an entire world.

A d—– good one.

I decided to abandon the fan-fiction material and write it as an original series. I completed the first draft of the manuscript exactly one week before my graduation, and have since written three additional books in the series. I will be editing the first book, the one I wrote in 2011/12, over the course of this year.

I am a non-fiction writer by trade due to my academic background. I use that skill when I am freelancing. When I am not freelancing I write fiction for adolescents and adults. Specifically, I write science fiction with a heavy emphasis on body horror.

Yes, I write the grisly stuff.

My goal is to have, once again, a complete manuscript before I walk in May of 2018. The difference is this time it’ll be ready for submission to agents, editors, and publishers.

 

(P.S. I’ll totally tell you what it is about in a future post 😊)

-RJK

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *