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On the Brink: CAN-CON Celebrates New SF Writers

I went to a CAN-CON event celebrating newly published science fiction writers last night.

When I arrived, I didn't know anyone but the hostess, Marie Bilodeau. I wasn't worried about it as events with Marie are fun.

A published author sat at the table next to me and placed a stack of his books on my table. For a brief moment, one of the other authors in the room thought they were mine! "Someday, I hope," I said. Marie helped clarify and called me a 'rising star' and while I'm not sure that's accurate yet, it made me feel awesome! I informed the lady that I follow her blog. Someday I'll read her Grigori Legacy books also. We had a funny chat about gardening where I admitted I enjoy gardening, but the squiggly bugs often cause me to jump out of the flower bed and take a breather. Not efficient gardening, I know.

Eventually, people came to sit with me. I was the stranger in the room, I supposed that was why most sat elsewhere. I enjoyed the conversations at my table. One of the writers, Eric Guindon,  and I were talking about indie publishing versus traditional publishing. He asked if I knew which way I was going. I mentioned that I learned recently a lot of authors are starting out with indie and going to a large publisher later. He made a great point about whether or not the work is commercial enough is what can help determine it for him. He said his most successful series was not something a larger publisher would be interested in, but that didn't mean it wouldn't sell enough for him to make a profit, which it has. He also asked things like if I knew how much more I had to write. I said that I really didn't know, but I'm working on Part II of my first novel, and who knows there might be a Part III. He figured out since I don't know exactly where it will end yet, that I'm writing a series. His wife was fun too. We talked about writing and knitting and how it's unfortunate that one cannot do both of those activities at one time. She's an aspiring author as well.

I keep hearing that the romance writers make the most money in the independent scene. I do have an idea for a romance in my head for some point in the future... It's not all about making money though. It's a little about money, but it's more about sharing something I've created with the world and hopefully entertaining them while making them think about something. That's what it's about for me, anyway.

What's neat to me about the indie scene is that people write whatever they feel like writing. The same writer will have books of different genres. No one tells them what can or can't be in their story. The freedom allows pure creativity to happen.

I'm thinking for my series, I do want to go traditional, but for other works, likely not.

I bought 3 books that sound wonderful, though I'm not sure when I'll squeeze them in as I have my own writing to do on top of work, roller derby, and martial arts. Luckily, two of them are compilations of short fiction, so I can read them casually. The authors are Geoff Gander, Mary Pletsch, and Hayden Trenholm.

My book is part of a sub-genre that hasn't had a lot of well-known work published in it. I'm also writing it in first person, which isn't a common thing to do. Only one, of about 15 readings last night, was in first person, and that was by Matt Moore. I tried writing my novel in third person, but it didn't feel right. I want it active and happening right now. I want the reader to be a fly-on-the-wall as the events of the story unfold. It starts from the point of view of a different character and eventually the protagonist becomes the main view point, except when events are happening on another planet. Perhaps my point of view element needs work? I think I've been  careful to ensure the reader knows the ball has changed hands. Someday I hope to have a "writers group" I can share with and they with me, to help each other with constructive criticism. This blog post talks about viewpoints and makes me feel better about my decision to write in first person. This article called, "You're Doing It Wrong: How Not to Write a Novel" has a plethora of seemingly good information. I say seemingly because I'm a newbie writer and can only go by what makes logical sense to me. Another article called, "3rd Person vs. 1st Person - Which Is Best?" leans towards third person. The omniscient point of view sounds interesting, but I can see how that can become quickly overdone and annoy the readers. It might be fun to write something from that viewpoint someday (ie. once I'm more experienced as a novelist). If used in a well-balanced manner, it could be awesome and I enjoy making old things fresh. I suppose it could be possible to tell my story as third person in the present tense. I'm going to stick with first person multiple viewpoints. While there is some danger in that as an inexperienced author, if I do it properly, it won't matter. There are many notable works that have been written in first person perspective, such as "The Catcher in the Rye", "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn","The Hunger Games Trilogy", "Twilight", "To Kill A Mockingbird", "The Vampire Academy Series", "The Great Gatsby", "The Perks of Being A Wallflower" , "The House of Night Series", "The Vampire Chronicles", "Life of Pi", "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist", "Memoirs of a Geisha", "The Host", "Great Expectations", etc.

I have a lot of writing to go as I'm only 29,500 words into it, but I'm working on it a little every day.

I'm doing things that I never thought possible like playing roller derby. I'm single, but that's no biggie. I'm the happiest I've been in a long time and I know it's because I'm steadily working on making my dreams a reality. It's scary at times, sure, but it's the most rewarding and fulfilling feeling. It's as if a love deep in my soul has been realized by the rest of me and I feel an inner peace combined with a budding excitement. I feel the most alive I have ever been.

Ciao
R~

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