One woman's Journey to becoming a fiction author.
As a little girl, I loved the world of books. I vividly remember loving to read, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”. The thought that humans had to feed mice cookies and, of course, a glass of milk left me tickled to no end. Of course, I graduated to more mature books as I aged, but I love those silly zany books of my childhood.
In school, I was the goodie too shoes. I did all my homework and tried to stay out of trouble as much as possible. My grades weren’t perfect, but they were above average. Even though I received decent grades on all my homework, I rarely did well on the state exams. It’s the time clock issue. It just gave me anxiety.
I tell you this because it shaped my journey as a writer. The time test exams made me believe I was not good enough to be a writer. My teachers loved my stories, but the test said I wasn’t that great. My grades told me I was a good writer, but the state test told me otherwise.
It’s these false narratives that play over in our heads as humans that shape who we become. They become our mental roommate, constantly telling us we aren’t good enough. Which is why we must evict them from our minds. For every negative thought, we need to reinforce them with a positive one.
I’m not saying evicting our negative mental roommate is easy. It’s not. But when they keep us from achieving our goals, we must try to be better. Better for ourselves, our families, and for the next generation.
My First Writing
The first thing I wrote without school prompting me was lyrics. They were songs about the Looney Toons characters. My favorite was Tweedy Bird, but I wrote about all of those zany characters in my songs. It was fun, and I found it freeing.
The second thing I wrote was a very rough script for a horror movie. My friends and I even recorded ourselves acting it out. It was fun, but our acting was far from Oscar nominated and so was the script.
The third thing I wrote was actually school related, but I was completely free to make up my story. So, I wrote “The Dreams that Haunt You.” It was a series of short stories that will never be published, but I literally thought at that moment, I would love to be a fiction author. But then I did the math.
The average fiction writer of that time only made $20k a year. There are always exceptions, but until the self-publishing explosion, those exceptions were few. Every year, I’m hearing more and more authors actually making a decent living with their writing.
But because self-publishing wasn’t really a thing back then, I didn’t pursue writing as a career. I was deterred by the math. The battle uphill was long, and the rewards were even less. But one thing I failed to consider was my passion.
I started writing blogs for my husband’s construction business. They were just little helpful tips about maintaining doors and how to hire a contractor. But really writing these blogs brought me back to those early days of writing.
The blogs took a bit of research because I wanted to make sure the information was accurate. Each blog took me a few hours to research and about an hour or two to write. They were fun and informative. Though I needed to learn more about SEO, I was happy and content being a blogger. It was around this time that my husband met an author. She was retiring and needed new doors for her home. I’d told my husband how much I loved writing. He told my story to his client. That night he came home with a surprise. A link to a podcast called “The Creative Penn.”
At this point, I wasn’t really looking to publish the book that was floating around in my head. There were a few scenes written, but I didn’t think about publishing it. It was supposed to just be a side hoppy. But I was in charge of the blogs and social media for the company. I needed to learn more about writing and creating. If you’re a writer or creator of any kind, you really should check out Joanna Penn’s podcast. Not only does she talk about writing and the publishing industry, but she also brings the future of writing and technology to those in the writing community.
After listening to her podcast and looking at my own scribbled down ideas, I wrote a book which turned into a series.
I’d already had this idea of a galactic space fantasy in my head. It would bring the question of technology versus nature. I would include elements of Star Trek, Star Wars, and the Lord of The Rings all in one book. But I had only a vague idea how to bring it all together.
I took online classes, listened to podcasts, and read craft books. The place that got me every time was the midpoint of a story. Everyone said the same thing, it was the middle of the story. The hero would find out something at this point and then work towards the climax. What?
I tried to read my favorite books again to find the midpoint of the story. I found them. But still had no clue how to create the midpoint in my own books. That is when I found Ramy Vance. He finally told me the midpoint is where the villain wins, and the hero is set back to zero. Ping! Lightbulb moment.
With this new information, I created a reverse outline and found my midpoint. YAY! If you must know, the midpoint in The Progenitor happens in chapter twelve. Now, when I watch television or read a book, I am mentally creating a reverse outline in my head. I smile when I find the midpoint of the story.
But what writing fictional stories has really brought me is purpose. For a really long time, I felt directionless. I had a career and goals, but they didn’t fulfill me the way writing does. In finding this new direction, I found another love—editing.
While I will never edit my own books, I am taking classes to become an editor. I’ve recently taken copy editing courses at Emerson College. With the Editors Freelancers Association, I’ve taken developmental editing classes. Though it was a lot of work, I thoroughly enjoyed the classes. They’ve expanded my horizon on what it means to be an author and editor. I have a new respect for the book community. But what I love most is the amount of imagination it takes to create fictional worlds, especially the ones in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. But the creative process doesn’t stop when the author hands over their manuscript to their editor. It continues until the book is ready to share with the world.
For this reason, I’ll eventually dip my toes in the editing world beyond my own books. But as with anything new, I’m taking my time to learn the craft as best I can. Because I know the labor it takes to produce a book, I want to handle each fiction book with care and knowledge. I won’t wait until I’m perfect because that won’t happen. But with a little practice and knowledge, I know my passion for the fiction world will help authors produce outstanding books for the future.
No one knows what the future holds for us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t plan. For me, I plan to write more fantasy books.
At least for the next few years, I will be immersed in a world of fantasy with dystopian undertones. Which means my dreams will be filled with Lord of the Rings type worlds with hints of defunct technology that no longer exists. And then, of course, altered DNA that gifts some with the ability to manipulate fire.
I will continue writing blogs for as long as I am capable. Who knows, maybe I will start a travel blog or maybe one for my dogs.
One thing that has always stayed with me from "The Creative Penn" podcast was her focus on creating multiple streams of income. That is something I will always plan to do.
Now that I’m a writer and fiction author, I can say writing has truly changed my life.
If you're reading this right now, thank you! I appreciate your time.
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The Progenitor by Sara Wright
Peace was all Xendara desired, but her enemies hunger for her power. Princess Xendara is the heir to the throne, but her life is turned upside-down when a mysterious spaceship attacks. She learns her father had secrets. With his untimely demise, she must uncover them before her enemies remove her from power. In her quest to keep peace within the Six Systems, she discovers a power she didn’t know she had; a power that everyone is looking to exploit. With the help of her childhood friend Darijus, she unlocks long lost memories of her past, only to find his destiny is intertwined with her own. A prophecy guides her choices to the correct timeline. But can she trust a prophecy that foretells the death of a loved one? With the destiny of the Universe on the line, who she chooses to trust will divide a galaxy.
With powers her enemies aim to exploit, will she risk galactic war?
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Time Crystal by Sara Wright
The Progenitor Chronicles
Time Crystals are forbidden for a reason, but King Oren must use one to save a civilization.
King Oren’s only goal was to be a peaceful caretaker of the galaxy. But when a girl falls through a portal into his courtyard clutching a forbidden Time Crystal, his life changes.
With a cataclysmic event imminent, he must lead a group from his home system to the opposite side of the galaxy. Everyone looks to their seemingly immortal race for aid, but even with their elemental powers, they are far from perfect.
Armed with the Time Crystal, they seek to stop an exploding star from decimating an entire population. The problem is, he doesn’t know how to use the crystal. Even worse, he might die trying.
Will King Oren stop the star from exploding? Or will time unravel?