My first book, Nameless, got me where I am today. It’s the reason I had fans, the book that got me an agent, the reason I was invited to be a part of LTWF, and probably the reason a majority of you follow me.
Here’s the run-down on Nameless’s history:
- I wrote it when I was 15, and it was put on Fictionpress
- At the time it was a trilogy, which I completed
- I signed with my agent in 2008
- The first book, under the name of Antebellum, was put out on submissions and did not sell. It was greatly enjoyed, but no one knew how to market it.
- My agent suggested combining the trilogy into a single book and changing it to a YA voice.
- This was a good move. It made me cut a bunch of crap, and I’d always envisioned the story as being for a younger audience.
- I sent the rewritten version to my agent. She liked the plot changes, but the voice wasn’t YA.
- It turns out I didn’t know how to write YA. I found my YA voice, however, by writing the sleeping beauty story.
- I attempted to rewrite Nameless in a YA voice
- I failed.
I’m at the point with this story now where I don’t know if the plot is inherently YA at all. It’s about a girl trying to be an adult, running her own household, grappling with sex and the pressure to have children, getting involved in politics and making big leadership-type decisions that affect a nation, and ultimately contributing to a complete social revolution while navigating the requirements and sacrifices of a mature relationship.
Now what part of that really reads as YA? Even if you’re a 15-year-old reading this and thinking, ‘That story sounds amazing!’ and wanting to read about a teenager doing all that, the fact remains that this doesn’t really fit in with today’s YA market.
Which is so unfortunate, because the genre of the book sort of needs to be YA in order to be successful. YA is amazing; it can take all sorts of things. But because this story isn’t really Dystopian or strictly Fantasy, and definitely not Literary, it seems I’ve written myself into a very tight corner from which I’m struggling to escape.
I wanted to tell you guys this so you would understand why it’s taking so long, and why I’m sort of burnt out with struggling. I love this story, and it’s my baby, but trying to fit it into something it’s not has pretty much worn me out.
That’s why I stopped working on it, and focused on my sleeping beauty story. Which I also love. Which I am also invested in. Which has also made me cry and given me goosebumps and which I CANNOT WAIT to share with you, because I know you’ll love it as much as I do.
Now, I’m not giving up. That’s not what this post is about. I’ve promised myself and I’ve promised you that I will deliver this story to you one day. I will find the right angle and I will find the right way to tell this story in a fashion that is both amazing and still marketable. I will.
But I’m also probably going to deliver you the sleeping beauty story first. As we approach the 8-year anniversary of Nameless’s first draft, I just wanted you to know why.
Thank you to everyone who still reads my sample chapter and gushes. You guys remind me why it’s so important to keep working <3