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Yes, She Has a Novel

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader

2015-10-02


I think about the things that I’ve tried in my life. I think about the things that haven’t worked out, and I also think about people who say I give up too easily. Part of my problem is that I am terribly impatient. I want results yesterday.

But September 21, 2015, I finished writing a novel. Whatever anyone says about me, I can say that: I finished writing a novel.

It may not be any good. Maybe it will never be published by a traditional publisher. It would be nice if I got representation, which seems to be what you need in order to get a publisher interested in you. Well, either that, or be a celebrity. But even celebrities need representation, and it’s assumed that if people know your name, you have a story to tell. Everyone has a story to tell. But having everyone know your name helps a lot. That’s why Tori Spelling and the Kardashians can get book deals. I wonder how many creative writing classes Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney took before they started drafting Dollhouse. The novel has no star rating on Target.com, and the description sounds like a fictionalized account of Chez Kardashian. Well, you gotta start somewhere.

I don’t have that much experience with book publishing. For years, I’ve uploaded excerpts of my work, and full short stories on a website. I guess I was looking for feedback, and at the same time, building a “platform.” I have over 130,000 views on the erotic fiction, so I think someone is reading it. Lord knows I don’t have the time to keep clicking on my own work to build hits. I guess I’m working on my “brand.” Years ago, someone was trying to convince me to become this sexy, mysterious, confident, erotic fiction writer. “Fake it ‘till you make it.” I’ve heard and read that so many times, but I can’t stand phoniness. I can act, but I feel better doing it on a stage. I feel ridiculous putting on a sexy persona. Did anyone know what E.L. James looked like before her first interview? She wrote Fifty Shades of Grey, and when I saw a picture of her, she looked pretty ordinary. I wonder if anyone told her to “fake it ‘till she makes it” or to put on a sexy persona. She was a television producer, so I’m guessing she already had connections to the right people in order to get her book published. She’s the envy of the thousands who write fan fiction, putting their own spin on characters from books, television, movies. James didn’t think Twilight had nearly enough sex, so she ran with it. I’m willing to bet no one told her to write up a raunchy ad for Craigslist, in order to get more followers on Facebook.

I’m just me. I was in a costume shop the other day and realized with a shock I could be an older, fatter Ugly Betty for Halloween—all I need are braces on my teeth. The hair and the glasses are about the same. The reasons I write erotic fiction are very personal, much like the collection of short stories I put together a few years ago. One of those reasons is about control. Certain things in my life have not turned out the way I thought they would, and I’m not happy about that. I should have stood up for myself more. I can’t change anything about those experiences, but I can use them for story material, and change the way they end. At least making the endings go the way I want to gives me some sort of satisfaction, but it doesn’t change the past and never will.

But when I had the manuscript printed out, and the sales associate handed it to me in a box, I carried it around the store. I was smiling. I couldn’t believe how many pages it was. I wasn’t sure if I could write a novel. I had to break it down so it wouldn’t scare me. I’ve read lots of books, lots of novels. I will not say it was an easy process. Some parts came easier than others. But I was well aware of keeping the story flowing, moving from one character to the next, one set of characters to the next. Where would be a good place for a break? Is it time to start a new chapter? I ran two storylines parallel, then had my female antagonist die in a car crash. (She’s based on a former acquaintance, so that was sort of satisfying.)

I started writing a novel with no sense of where it was going. I had no outline, I had no idea where or how it would end. I just wrote. And wrote. And wrote. I learned that to make progress, I couldn’t write it at home. I also learned some scenes I just couldn’t write in public. I learned a few things as a writer. I think I’m a bit OCD, and I think I have trouble concentrating. I get bored easily, so working on writing just ONE thing can be a problem. So working on multiple projects is something I think is good for me. When I get bored with one, I move to another.

I worked on it when I felt like I had something to write about. And eventually, I came up with a conclusion.

And no, the female protagonist doesn’t hook up with a billionaire. She actually goes through some character development, and because she is who she is, she ends up okay, with a new lease on life.

I also read somewhere that if you write something down often enough, it will come true.

I’m writing a novel. The novel is almost finished.

The novel is done.

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