Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Emotional exhaustion etc.

So this is Wednesday, hence it's post-y day. So unless there is something dire going on, I'm posting on the days I said I'm posting. Today's post is writing related but more 'personal' I guess. Kind of more like a regular journal entry. I'm kind of just throwing this out here because it's on my mind a bit and so why the hell not? It's not like it's deep dark secrets which will later incriminate me. Well hopefully. Different people think different things are incriminating.

So anyway...some of you know I'm a fanfic girl. And yes, I only write fanfic where the author/creator has approved it. I don't try to profit...blah blah blah. I just feel like I have to specify that because otherwise someone's going to just think I'm the queen of evil or 'not a real writer' because I do something just for fun sometimes. shudder, gasp.

At any rate. I'm taking a fanfic writing break. Probably for about a month. Like fanfic is supposed to BE the break lol, but it's turning into "fake pressure." Like if I don't update WIPs in a timely fashion I lose reader interest and get less feedback blah blah blah.

On top of that though of course I'm working on two diff novels. The paranormal romance is getting into the final stages of revision and I'm about halfway through the rough draft of an erotica. The erotica will be under a diff pen name should it get published because I really want to keep those two identities separate. I know this makes it completely insane for me to blog about it here, but...yeah. I'm not super good at compartmentalizing my life into a bunch of different multiple personality bubbles.

It's enough that I keep the actual exact name I'm using under wraps for privacy's sake.

ANYWAY... so the erotica is very dark. I mean VERY emotionally dark. And it's hard to write for a lot of different reasons, that being only one of them. It's emotionally exhausting. Like I wrote this most recent paranormal romance for nanowrimo and I was churning out 3,000 and sometimes 6,000 words a day like nobody's business. The erotica however, Jeez, it's rough sometimes getting just under a thousand words done.

Good thing my daily word count goal to meet my personal deadline is just 750. Thank you gods and magical creatures for the shorter word count requirements of erotica. I'm going for 60,000 words here and that seems to be pretty standard for the genre, novel wise.

There are several challenges in this novel. One is of course the fact that it's just so dark emotionally. Another is, smut is always hard to write. And the third is that there isn't as much dialogue here as I normally write, so I'm having to develop a lot of other types of writing muscles.

I think the end result will be worth it though. I really believe I have something worth saying in the genre, blah blah blah. It's just...yeah. So hence fanfic break. Because I can't be sitting around going: "ZOMG imaginary looming fanfic chapter deadline" when I'm writing this novel.

I'm taking like a month break from the fanfic and then I think I'm going to just not post things unless I've finished them first. I just hate having unfinished things hanging out there. I mean I completely understand it's "only fanfic." And yet...real live human beings have taken time out of their lives to read it. The same amount of time it would cost them to read a "real book." So I feel like I owe it to people who have invested time in reading my words to finish what I start, even if it's "just fanfic."


Avery said...

I saw your comment on Spyscribbler's blog and decided to pop in.

I've read that Anne Rice forbids fan fiction and I never understood that. First off, it seems like it should be a great honor that others like her characters so much that they want to continue their adventures. Also, it seems to be a 'safe' place for newer writers to practice their storytelling, getting a leg up with established back-stories and whatnot.

I've never really read fanfic (aside from one BtVS story a long time ago), but in theory I can't see anything wrong with it. In fact, I hope someday someone likes my characters enough to try them on for size.

Zoe Winters said...

I agree Avery. If someone wrote fanfic about my stuff it would ROCK!

Edie said...

Zoe, I've avoided erotica for the same reasons you mention. I love dialogue! And then there are the sex scenes ... I love fresh and different sex scenes, and it's hard to do when there is one sex scene after another.

Good luck!

Zoe Winters said...

edie, the best erotica I've read had a plot and not just sex. The difference in erotica and really steamy romance, IMO is that the plot is ABOUT the sex rather than the love. There are still characters involved and when writing for women, characters matter. A lot of erotica IS for women, since most men prefer pictures or pornographic movies.

I've also read some kinky erotica with very LITTLE sex. Like the sleeping beauty books by Anne Rice. LOTS of spanking, very little sex. I think that could have been a bit more balanced...but the point is, even in erotica there are varying "levels" of how much actual sex one has to write.

I think too much of it without any character development gets really boring. Especially to women readers. I think too often even women writers of erotica try to write for a male only audience. There's more variety though within the genre than one might at first be led to believe.

While smut is hard to write, it's mainly the darkness of this story itself that is so draining for me. :)

But I think the end result will be worth it. And I have notebooks of both paranormal romance and erotica ideas. :)

Zoe Winters said...

edie, Also, a lot of erotica has a lot of dialogue, it just doesn't fit the particular story I'm writing. :)

spyscribbler said...

I'm not good at compartmentalizing, either. I'm sure you haven't noticed, LOL. :-)

Writing sex over and over is hard. I have to have some sort of character arc pushing me onward, or else.

Zoe Winters said...

hehe Spy.

Well the good thing about GOOD erotica, IMO is that there ARE character arcs. It's not just meaningless sex for no reason. While the sex itself might be primary to the plot the characters are not just interchangeable bodies. Not if you're writing erotica for women, because that's not how the female mind works.

Liz Kreger said...

I gotta agree that writing erotica is HARD ... no pun intended. LOL. I don't think I could do it. Plus the fact that readers seem to want darker erotica ... nope, not my forte.

Good luck with the two personas. I know some people who manage to keep the two separate, so it is doable.

Taking a break from fanfic isn't a bad idea (unless you're going through withdrawals). You don't want to stretch yourself too thin. Plus write the stories that are speaking to you. Fanfic will always be there. Your stories won't always be cooperating with you. IMO

Zoe Winters said...

hehe Liz, it's a good thing then that I write dark erotica. :)

I write quirky paranormal romances and dark erotica.

I don't think I should have a problem separating the two identities. :)

Actually my fanfic break will likely continue indefinitely. Unless I really feel an urge to keep writing it here in a month. I hate to leave stories hanging like that, but really I don't have the energy for that AND this. I'm writing so much original fiction now. And it's getting to the point where I don't want to waste ANY of my ideas on any level on fanfic. ya know?