Finding Myself … as a Writer

A few weeks ago, we were cleaning our storage room, and I found box after box of my writing stuff – some of it dated back twenty years, some of it was awful, and there were some beginnings without endings. But what I found more interesting was the variety of topics and genres I’d explored early on: poetry, short stories, cookbook ideas (I’ve always been somewhat of a foodie), children’s crosswords, nonfiction articles, and on and on it went – Clearly, I was trying to find myself as a writer.

My first novel was in there; I probably spent ten years on that thing, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever pursue it further. I was a huge V.C. Andrews fan at the time, and I infused family saga with my love of the 1920s. But over the years, when I tried to reopen it and edit, I realized the story just wasn’t me anymore. Maybe it never was – it was V.C. Andrews’.

About ten years ago, I started the rough draft of my second book, Jaclyn’s Ghost, and started out the same way I had with the first book. At the time, I was reading Anne Rice, and I’ve always loved paranormal. I was going to write a scary ghost story … but I did something different, I let my characters lead the way and it came out as a romantic comedy – and that was when I finally found the genre that inspired me – quirky paranormal romance.

My short stories started out kind of simple and pointless, and now I know exactly which story sparked a turning point:  “Phone Calls and Dwarfs.”  I had discovered fairy tales and how to purposely use something as inspiration to ignite my imagination. I started a website, Supernatural Fairy Tales, and, for a couple of years, I gave myself a challenge each month to write and post a short story with two criteria – fairy tales and paranormal. (Later, I wrote four YA novels inspired by some of these stories.)

A couple of years ago, I decided to go a different route and write a contemporary romance (The Trouble with Snowmen) without fairy tale inspirations or anything supernatural … wrong. Albeit they aren’t the main genre of the book, but they still snuck in there.

So, after many years of trial and error, I believe I have found myself as a writer – or it found me and won’t let go. And if you happen to pick up a copy of The Trouble with Snowmen  (Soul Mate Publishing Summer 2015) you’ll know the origin of all the elements (romantic comedy, fairy tales, and paranormal) that wiggled their way into my story.

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana

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5 Comments

  1. Neither of our first solo works will ever see the light of day. 🙂 As you have proven you just have to keep writing until that certain story clicks as ours did and now we’re working on our fourth book in our Turning Stone Chronicles Series.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Resonating post! We must all have these boxes full of old ‘books’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. C.D. -Right – and I don’t think that first books that stay “under the bed” are a waste of time – I learned a lot. And Congrats on your four-book-series – I bet writing as a team is really interesting and fun. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  4. Shehannemoore: I bet – another thing I kept are notebooks – all with little research notes and rewrites and doodles – I’m not normally a pack rat but I can’t seem to part with any of my writing stuff – I might need it someday … lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Don’t part with it. You never know when you might use it some other way.

    Liked by 1 person

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