Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Unpopular Stories Are Best?

I'm going to confess it - I like my unpopular stories better than my popular ones. It's not like I dislike them getting popular, not at all. I feel satisfied that Inamorata as 1.8 million reads, and I'm tickled pink that The Child's Father and Three Anniversaries have done fairly well for themselves. Though I want to throw up every time I see The Cabin Boy, Lifelines, and the The Child's Father series, it's nothing to do with their relative popularity (keep in mind, this is RELATIVE popularity. Ain't nothin' so popular as Inamorata, and I have literally no idea why).

So why do I like unpopular stories? Good question!

I like my unpopular stories better than my popular ones because of the freedom I have with them. For example, I could kill Dr. Stephen Byrne - from my wildly unpopular story The Storm-Grey Sea - in the next chapter and I wouldn't hear a squeak from anyone. I could also decide that, fuck this relationship of Stephen/Rosalind I'm setting up, I'm going to start shipping (aha, a wild pun appears!) Stephen/Vice-Admiral Marlowe instead.

Or Stephen/Isaac.

Or Stephen/his surgical tools.

The possibilities abound, really. But with Inamorata, the moment it started to get popular, I lost that freedom. I was quite at my liberty to chuck major character death and unconventional relationships around like confetti before I got featured. I was also able to spend four pages describing a book if I damn well pleased. Now, I love that I was featured, but the moment that happened, along came this whole idea of making my story not too shocking. I had a responsibility to write well and to please everyone. In fact, Nightingale's eventual romance with Robin was too much for a lot of people (see: "lol shit characters shit ending great story", or something to that effect, a comment I received on Inamorata that will eventually be carved on my tombstone for how much I love it).

So with my shockingly unpopular The Storm-Grey Sea and The Fires of Spring (both being two of my favourite things I have EVER written), I've got more freedom. I can freely write about Christopher's sexual debauchery, and spend an obscenely long time lovingly describing a forty-two pound carronade.

Don't take this the wrong way, as I'd love to have all my stories at the top of all the lists, and I hate it when popular authors bitch about their popularity (I love my fans, seriously, I LOVE YOU GUYS), but I'm just pointing out the level of freedom and lack of responsibility that comes along with an unpopular story.

So if you have an unpopular story, work it. Love it. Do whatever you want with it. Buy it dinner, take it home, and then make sweet, sweet love to it. After all, it's your story, and no one can tell you what to do with it.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Surprising Revelations

So, the other day, just for the hell of it, I did my own "Which Inamorata Character Are You?" quiz. And I could tell I really set up that quiz well (if I may be so self-serving) because I did not end up with the answer I expected. I sat there, full on expecting to come out as Robin due to the fact that I relate the most to him and have even used some of my personal witticisms in writing him, but then I had a surprising revelation:

I'm most like Caroline Bure, according to my own test.

I needed a moment to process that. Could I really be like Caroline? I was immediately appalled.

Now, I'm not a Caroline-hater like most people are. I'm not the type to scream, "OMGZ CAROLINE'S A BITCHASS SLUT AND HATES NIGHTINGALE OMFG" as I have heard it so elegantly put. As a matter of fact, I actually agree with many of her opinions and her actions. Not to mention that she's drop-dead gorgeous and is intelligent, loyal, and hardworking, to boot. She's one hardcore badass bitch, ladies and gentlemen, and for that I admire her.

But Caroline has flaws that I don't like. She is unnecessarily and unfairly cruel to Nightingale, she pines too much after David, and let's not even get into her manners or the whole business with Steel.

However, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. When I step back and look at Caroline, and when I consider what other people have told me about myself, I actually see the similarities. I do the ice-cold bitch thing very well, I dislike people who use only their sex appeal to get places though if I could I'd probably use mine to get what I want, I am very loyal, I am not initially trusting of people, the list goes on and on.

It's actually gotten to the point where it's alarming. I look at Caroline and see a huge number of similarities. And that's scary because of the way I've written her - only a mother could love Caroline, and I've been very unkind to her in my writing of her. She comes off as a bitch, as an ice-queen, someone whose anger over someone else's success comes across as petty jealousy.

And though it sounds crazy, it really makes me wonder about myself.

Have any of you had surprising character revelations like this one? Either for one of your characters, or for one of mine? If so, tell me, because I don't want to think I'm the only person insane enough for this to have happened...

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Let's see if I can get my Wattpad followers into this blog with some (fun) facts about my story Inamorata! Here you go, here are some useless (but possibly interesting? I'd like to think so) factoids about Inamorata:

  1. The title Inamorata is based on the names for the female slaves, which come from a word for a female lover, derived from an Italian word meaning "beloved".
  2. I had three alternative endings planned. I won't tell you what they were, but they were very surprising, some of them.
  3. Most of the characters come from my own ideas, but some are inspired by things I see. Caroline's appearance, for example, was inspired by a very beautiful girl I met in class one day. She was red-haired, blue-eyed, and a walking incarnation of beauty.
  4. I never anticipated that I'd actually ever finish Inamorata.
  5. My earlier drafts were far more profane and violent. I've cleaned it up for Wattpad consumption.
  6. Robin is the only character to be fully inspired - looks and all - by someone I know. So, to those of you who love him, his personality, though I've modified it, is based heavily on a real man, whose name I WILL NOT GIVE YOU.
  7. I cried when writing Clarence's death and then hated myself for a while.
  8. I secretly enjoyed torturing David emotionally.
  9. Steel, though it's never written in, will eventually forgive Caroline and David, even come to love them.
  10. Nightingale outlives Robin, and never recovers from his death. To say anything else is a spoiler for The Fires of Spring.
  11. Nightingale meets her mother, something I didn't have time to include in the story, but something I wrote as an extra scene.
  12. Sparkle and Glitter had been in love for a long time, but had kept it a secret, even from each other. The kiss after the raid was their first.
  13. David never stopped loving Nightingale. He died in her arms.