Saturday, August 23, 2014

Be Fearless

When I was in college, I hated writing short stories and sharing them with my class. My stories tend to be sweet, funny, and romantic, while the majority of my class insisted on stories with a darker, edgier tone. I apparently didn't write about "real" life, and chick lit/rom coms do more harm than good.

Author, Jennifer Weiner was interviewed about waging a war on literary snobbery, and I am behind her 100%. If the arts can't help us to escape as well as learn, then what is the point? I'm a Forget your Troubles, Come on-Get Happy kind of girl, and there is no changing that. I like happy endings and Disney Princesses.

Frankly, my quirkiness is all for the best, because I don't think my best friend and I would be close if I wasn't all about the glitter and princesses. We bonded over writing stories that were looked on with disdain from several classmates.

We rock the tiaras
That being said, I made a decision to write a cosy mystery series from the perspective of one, Betsy Banks, a Rockabilly Chef with a mysterious past. I wanted her new world to be like something out of Gilmore Girls or Pushing Daisies with lots of color, comedy, and extreme nosiness. Betsy has moved to a town where secrets don't stay secrets long, and even her secrets will come out, eventually.

Betsy is the center of the book series, which is told in the first person, but I also want to know more about the different townspeople that Betsy comes into contact with. Minor characters, but compelling nonetheless.

I got this idea from another blog that I read about marketing yourself as a writer, where you make sure to put something out every 90 days, whether its a novel or short story. I'm taking that challenge as a way to continue to build Betsy's world, and paint a brighter portrait. 

I used to hate writing short stories because they were only shared with a limited audience who didn't like them. When I tried writing like they wanted me to, they hated my stories even more. When I started writing the first short story (to take place right after the first book), it was a completely different experience than when I tried writing short stories in college. 

If you want to be a writer, you should really follow your gut. Don't write what you think others want to read, write what you'd want to read. 

It took me longer to understand that then I'm proud to admit, but now that I write what I want, and what I like, I'm gonna keep doing it. Writing is all about self-expression, and if you can't express your own views because of fear of what people will think, then you probably shouldn't be writing.

Be fearless.

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