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From make believe to fanfiction to publish…?

Updated: Feb 19

Inspired to publish

I was born a writer or maybe a better term is a dreamer but then again isn’t that what all writers are? From the moment I was a baby I would create worlds and wholes stories that often seemed more intricate than simple games of pretend. But I didn’t confidently make an effort to become a writer until my late 20s. What do I mean by confidently you ask? Well, I always wrote short stories when I was young especially when I learned English (which is not my first language) but all the stories weren’t…readable. They had so many grammatical and spelling errors that even I had a hard time reading them at the time. The plots weren’t great either, I mean I was fourteen so you can just image what I wrote about…let’s just say there were a lot of rich hot guys or celebrity crushes and ugly ducklings involve (don’t judge me!)

Not publish but a start

Suffice to say that my first attempt at putting my ideas into paper did not encourage me to continue writing. No matter how much I liked doing it (I was raised to believe that you can’t do something just because you like it, I had to think about what was financially stable. Growing up in poverty does not afford you that luxury.) But my brain did not get the memo and ideas just kept filling my brain. so what did I do…? Write them down like a normal person? No, I acted them out alone in my room until the inspiration left my head. That’s right, you read that correctly I played out my story ideas like a pathetic game of pretend even as I got order…don’t judge! I can heard you giggling, stop it! It was perfectly normal…okay, maybe it wasn’t but I’m a high introvert…does that help my case?

Publish? Never!

Back to the purpose of this blog, the birth of my hopefully first published story. A friend of mine at the time introduced me to fanfiction (which still is one of my guilty pleasures) and told me that she had wrote some stories on it, but she was an awesome writer so that didn’t inspire hope in me. But I noticed that some stories were worse than mine which I didn’t think was possible. This made me, in a moment of weakness when the hope and optimism peaked through the pessimism and logic, create an account. But it wasn’t until my first year of college that I posted a story, which wasn’t as horrible as I though although still not great, plot was a little better. What I did notice was that with each chapter my writing got better and it flow more naturally, not only my spelling and grammar but my descriptions and world building. The story ideas still came and I still played pretend in my room (which was easier when my brother left for the military) but I was getting a lot better and just that made me immensely happy. So if I had to give you guys one advice (if anyone is reading this) is celebrate the small wins because they are usually more powerful than the big ones (we tend to get desensitize by the time we get a big win and they don't feel as big…No? Just me? Okay)

Anyways, with fanfiction my writing was getting much better and this was making my confidence grow. But my first story wasn’t born until I was out of college, while I was reading fanfiction for my favorite tv show at the time (The Tudors- A historical drama about Henry VIII) I came across a time travel fanfiction which I enjoyed very much, it planted the idea of Henry the VIII’s court with more strong and outspoken women. Then as I dove into the internet rabbit hole of research, I realized that religion was a far too strong and oppressive presence in those times for any of my ideas to work or make sense and I wondered what that time would be like without it as a major player. What would happened if there was no religion or at least religion wasn’t an oppressive factor? It was an idea that circled around in my head and as I played it out unlike other ideas it only grew.

The one that was publish

After a while it hit me ‘can I really do this? Can I really write and publish a story that people would actually pay to read?!’ It seemed preposterous to me and almost arrogant to believe that I was that good, a girl who still has issues with grammar and spelling when I write things by hand (thank god for spell check!) I can honestly still not say where the confidence came from but I began researching some more mainly focusing on medieval era and King Henry VIII’s court, the real one not the one dramatize for TV. But I didn’t want it to feel like a fanfiction about The Tudors so I continued researching Medieval times in a broader sense. I watched YouTube videos on fashion and food at the time, read published articles about hierarchies, even articles and flashcards on old English words and insults for good measure.

My publish baby

I noticed that originality is often inspired by existing work but I didn’t want to let myself get swept away in what was already out there. It’s easy to believe that you have an original story or idea then later figure out that it wasn’t as original as you thought but just something you read about at some time and forgot long enough to think it was your idea, especially in these times with technology and the internet. So how was I going to make my story original without copying what was already out there? That was an easier choice, I’m a lover of fantasy and all things mystical but there were so many stories about magical creatures that I had to really think and research to figure out how to write a version that hadn’t yet been told…Remember originality it often inspire by existing work. My piece of originality came in the realism I try to put in my story. I wanted my story to feel like it could be found in a history book (not in the sense that it was boring but more than its realistic), that if you stepped outside you would see this creatures and it would be completely natural, that a royal palace would have a picture of an old Queen that just happened to be a magical creature or that your best friend was one or a family member. To do that I tackled social issues going on right now near and dear to my heart in a way that wouldn’t insight violence or cause outrage…I hope.

Once I had the base, the story began to write itself, as cliché as that sounds. The ideas just kept coming and it made my confidence grow. The new found confidence made me giddy (I used some down time to write at work on my down time so you can image how that looked) and brave. I spoke to others about my story and while I couldn’t quite explain it in a way that would sell it (still working on that), they still showed support and excitement and that fuel the story even more to the point that in a matter of just months I had enough story for one whole book and it all started with an idea, a game of pretend and daring to do something just because I love it.

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