An Update on NAMELESS

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

15 thoughts on “An Update on NAMELESS

  1. You’ve gone down such a long, weary road, and it’s amazing that you still have this drive for writing and wanting to share your stories with others. I admire you SO MUCH. It makes me feel stupid for complaining that this draft isn’t working for me and I’m never going to get an agent wah wah wah.

    I can’t wait to read your Sleeping Beauty story! <3

    • Aww, don’t feel stupid! Every part of the process can be as terrifying as the next part. I remember the fear that I wouldn’t finish anything I started, then that I would never sign, then that my agent would drop me for never selling anything :-)

      As time goes on I feel more and more grateful for my experiences on FictionPress and FanFiction. They really showed me that there IS an audience for my work. I’ve never doubted that I can entertain, and so my drive is both for my own entertainment and the entertainment of my readers. I believe in traditional publishing, but when it comes down to it the worst part of ever having to give up that dream is that I’d get to self-publish and share my stories with you all anyway :-) I become less desperate to get published as time goes on. I just want to do it right, and wow the industry with the best book I can.

  2. Eight years is a super long time to be working on one project… I’m actually really close to that with the first novel that I ever wrote. I started it as a National Novel Writing Month project, finished it in the new year, edited and re-wrote it at least a dozen times and sent it out to far too many literary agents to count and there were no biters. I’ve now realized that while I love that story, I’m going to have to put it on hold for a while…

    …so I totally get what you’re saying. Best of luck with both projects. I’m super excited to follow the progress of your sleeping beauty re-teling!

    • Giving you lots of psychic love and support for setting down a story. It doesn’t mean forever, it just means maybe your time is better spent doing something else right now. <3

      And thank you! :-)

  3. Mariko says:

    It is unfortunate that your story has to undergo so many changes. I read all three parts on fictionpress when it was still up and running back in the good ol’ days. It’s been years since I read your story but it’s what brought me back into fictionpress to find your story. I wanted to relive it all again. I absolutely loved reading them and enjoyed every bit of it. I remember spending countless of hours on my computer reading your story, sinking it and living in the moment as if I was one of the character. Ah, I hope I can read it again. I would miss the original but I would be more than happy to purchase it as a novel. Good luck!

    • Hey Mariko,

      Thank you so much for your comment. It’s that type of experience I try to bring to my writing, and thank you for understanding why it’s taking so long to deliver that :-)

  4. Minnie says:

    Savannah hi, my name is Minnie. First off, I would just like to tell you that you’re astoundingly beautiful. Like omg, you’re just gorgeous. Secondly, on fiction press, I found your nameless series, a month ago. I saved it on my reader list on my iPhone because I didn’t have time to read it ATM, ant then this morning when I started reading it I literally felt my heart clench when I found out that there’s only two chapters. However, I got reply happy when I found out on your profile that you were publishing it. YAY. I’m so sad that it’s currently not being published, but I can understand where you’re coming from. You’re got so much talent and ou deserve a name as big as your skills in the industry and you’ve gotta do whatever it takes to make a memorable debut. Gurl, you’ve got a thg for writing. I can’t wait for you to Get published, because gurl you might just be my new favorite author. Oh yes. I usually CAN’T STAND fanfiction/fiction press writers-turned-authors, but you’ve got it going on. You actually do though, and I will be waiting anxiously for when your books, especially Nameless, is In ink. Until then, I guess I’ll be spreading the word of An up-and-coming author named savannah, and I’ll just dream of the film version of nameless’ first two chapters. See ya later gurl!!!

  5. Sarah says:

    Can’t believe it has been eight years. I have to say I really miss your characters. Every time I find a story I love, I always reread it to get to know the characters again. I can only say that I can’t wait for Nameless and your other stories to come out.

  6. Jacky says:

    I read your series when I was fifteen and loved it. I honestly believe that it would be sell-able to any market with it’s original voice. I’ve checked your blog on multiple occasions to see if Nameless has been published and wish you the best of luck!

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