Tuesday, January 10, 2012


When writing, one thing that comes to mind is, "Am I being original?" I wrote about this before, but the Mageri series began with a really horrible vampire book. I mean, it was bad. In every conceivable way I found myself writing about things I'd read in other books to the point where it felt like something I'd read before. So I trashed the incomplete book in a file on my drive and got upset with myself.

Originality isn't about a new concept no one has ever thought of before. Try it, almost everything's been thunk. Well, not everything, but close. Ultimately, it's about a story that resonates with you as a reader. Some of my favorite books aren't that original, but for reasons I can't explain (or maybe I can), I'm drawn to them. Usually there's a spark of originality woven into the characters or plot that breathes it to life. Something daring the author writes about that makes me gasp and want to throw the book down, something that makes me feel, or laugh, or find myself thinking about it a lot. It's not to say that I will never write a vampire novel, because that's not the point. I was writing to cater to an expectation. I needed to step back and just say "eff it", and do what's in my heart. We need to do that in every aspect of our life.

Each time I publish, I'm going to get those pterodactyl's in my stomach when i reach the jumping off point, because I'm not writing under the influence.

How far will that take me remains to be seen. I hope its far, because I love writing more than those evil little gingersnaps that are sitting to my right.

On a personal note, I need to take my Christmas decorations down. It's pretty sad that I haven't had time, and I'm sitting here at my table staring at table full of Christmas cards. On the upside, hippie neighbors have moved, and I no longer have to listen to his atrocious guitar playing. I'm still working overtime, and haven't grocery shopped in over a month. I've basically been living off of caramel coffee, gingersnaps (Thank you World Market for selling crack in a can), and soup. I need time off. Writing is the easy part, it's the editing that knocks the wind out of your sails.

And a word from our sponsor....

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  1. You're not alone, hon. I've still got a pile of wrapping paper in the corner of the living room. LOL

    And, as for vampire novels, yes, writing something 'original' is a pain in the ass, just as it is for every genre; But I think not getting those ideas out at least in outline form, wouldn't do you, the author, justice. You'll find yourself sitting there one day thinking "Ugh, I had this great idea for something, what was it?". I've been there. At least if I have the outline somewhere to look at once again, I can remember how awful the idea was, laugh at myself, and move on to something better.

  2. Even though I am not a writer, I am a voracious reader and I have to agree with every single thing you said above. Sometimes there's just a little spark in the book that makes me love it - usually humor, for me :)
    Take better care of yourself Dannika. Can't afford to collapse at both ends.

    Eagerly awaiting the release of Twist!

  3. ol sarah ;) My fear is that Valentines day will roll around and I'll still be worshipping my 2 foot snowman. I think for me, writing the vampire novel was going in the wrong direction because I was writing as if someone were going to read it. I decided to write a book as if no one would read it, and see what happened. I've created a million stories in my head, because that's the "safe place" that no one can see. But one you start putting it to virtual ink, you look over your shoulder wondering if you need to conform it to outside expectations. As it turned out, the Vampire was replaced by a Mage, but it could have easily stayed a vampire. I think it doesn't matter what you write about, but you need to just write something that inspires you. Originality is thinking for yourself, and not looking so hard at what others might think. It's not necessarily about creating a character called Snarples who have the ability to shift into other people..lol

    Christy, don't you find that to be true? I can read a regular vampire novel that reads like any other, but there's something special about it. It could just be a single character in there that captures me, or the way the writer is bold enough to kill someone off, or do something completely unexpected. It's like baking: you think you have to follow the ingredients for the best result, but remember how grandma never wrote down her recipes? She mixed to taste, and just knew when it was right. Geez, that's a little deep, pulling out the grandma card..lol

  4. Sorry to keep bringing up vampires, obviously the comparison can be to any story or supernatural. I think I just have vampires on the brain because i'm in the midst of finishing up "Drink Deep" (which I LOVE this series btw)