Aster

Reave has been live for…seventeen days now, and I’m no closer to accepting it being ‘out there’ as I was when I said I was trying to maintain some semblance of dissociation from it for my mental well-being. Somewhere in my mind I’m completely acknowledging the fact that, yes, it is out there and, yes, people are reading/have read/will read it. The positive feedback has blown my mind, I’ll say that again. (I’ll probably keep saying it.) Seeing people post things about it on Facebook, or randomly finding a new review has just been…fantastic. (I could make a comment here about Blades of Glory and the ‘mind-bottling’ remark.)

In a commenting back-and-forth with Ben from over at BensBitterBlog (If you’ve never seen his blog…you need to), I got inspired to post an entry. This is it, by the way. And this entry right here is entirely (mostly, knowing me) about the main character in Reave, Aster.

I’d contemplated making a post about her before, but that’s tricky for me. One of the things I’m most looking forward to as the series goes along – receiving input about it – is hearing opinions on Aster’s development. So what can I say without giving away too much? That’s the question.

I’ve felt it was almost impossible to dance around characters in a blog entry because the characters dance around themselves in the books. (Spend a moment trying to imagine how that works. If anyone figures out how it’s possible, let me know. I’m at a loss. Made sense in my head.) So what could really be said?

There’s never been much of a debate over whether I was going to write about something on here. If I wanted to, I did. If I maybe did, I didn’t. Simple as that. (An example to the contrary is the post I made about sleeping. I’d take it down if it wasn’t the entry that got the most hits off Google. And it might be a bit evil of me, but I seriously LOVE the search terms I occasionally see because of it.)

The point of that digression is: When having to ask myself so many questions about if I DID want to write about her, to let people get to know her a bit more…The answer was no, due to the questioning involved. But I think I might be able to manage it (if I could EVER get to the point in an entry).

Aster began as a product of my first series. The main character in it was……a brute, to be honest. It was fun at first, but then it was just…too much. (She was also an absolute MORON, but that is NOT the point.) So when I sat down to write Reave – putting the Reapers out of my mind and focusing on the MC – I knew…I wanted her to start weak. Now, if you’ve read Reave, or if you’ve even read a BIT of Reave, you probably already know…

Aster is ANYTHING but weak.

Mentally.

Even from the get-go, she looked at me and said, “I will not have this.” So, I wrote her how she was, then got dragged along behind her (and a few other characters) for the four books I’ve written and all the bits of ones I’ve only written in my head. I don’t have a problem saying that’s how she is. It’s apparent from Chapter One.

I’ll admit there were times during my multiple edits where I sat here in my chair, openmouthed, over certain aspects. You see, it’s probably not that noticeable with the first, but these books were made to be re-read. I know a lot of people aren’t re-readers, and that’s fine. I feel you can read through each book once and find yourself satisfied (unless you hate it/them, in which case…I’m sorry). I can’t say I designed them that way (I wrote them, but being a pantser…I only have so much to do with it), but I can say I tweaked it to make it fit the way it naturally wanted to be. And the series says, “I promise you’ll find something you didn’t the first time if you just READ ME AGAIN after you hit a certain point.”

Then again, I found things I didn’t initially find when reading through Twilight more than once. So………………………………………………………………………………………………

*cough*

The point of the most recent digression is: Aster.

I’ve written…six female protagonists, at least bits of them, depending on how far into their stories I currently am. (Seven if you count a spin-off series that goes in a different timeline where the MC is essentially an entirely different person. Please don’t ask.) I can’t say this series was my best WRITING (I can’t tell you how much I wish it was), meaning in the technical aspect or whatever. But I can without a doubt, one-hundred-freaking-percent say…Aster is, and will always be, my favorite main character that I’ve ever written/will ever write. And honestly? That’s WAY more important to me.

There’s the growth, for one thing. But for another? She SCARES me. I look at some parts of the books, and I get freaked out. And this isn’t a ‘she could kick my a**’ freaked out, it’s a ‘……how did she come out of my head?’ freaked out.

She’s damaged (we all are, and she has good reason just like any person). She has her flaws (the lack of knowledge about normal human-type things could definitely be considered one, but by god…it was fun at some points). Her moral compass is occasionally………..askew (then again, moral compasses being askew is all a matter of personal opinion). But there are so many things I love about her.

The ability to overcome anything put in her way (maybe not in the most…fantastic way, but overcoming is overcoming). The drive and determination to fight for what she believes in. Her willingness to accept the bad but see the good (again, how did she come from my head?). She’s fiercely loyal (as long as it’s deserved). There is a whole list of things I COULD say, but CAN’T say without giving too much away. Still, there’s one more I can put on the list, and it’s up at the tippity-top.

The most amazing thing about her? She CONSTANTLY surprised me, even AFTER I’d written her. Every time I thought I knew her, I would find something and realize…I’d been wrong. And why this series will always be my favorite? Because I was constantly surprised over one thing or another, even after the fact, and I wrote it. O.o

I’ve gotten a lot of crap from people who’ve already read the first book. No one can understand my issue with it (I’m still wondering how no one understands my issue with it where the writing is concerned, but that’s not what I’m currently talking about here). All I can say to that is…

Wait and see. 🙂

Things are always better after the foundation is built, but that’s just my opinion…

By the way, I’ve heard/seen something twice that has given me the most stupendous feeling.

Our Aster. People have referred to her as our Aster.

That is….amazing. Because having anyone love her that much – people feeling connected to her? What else could I ask for?

The first week of being published.

The clock has now ticked over into Thursday, which means – with Wednesday being at an end – Reave has been live for a full week.

It’s been a very…strange week for me. Most of the time I’m somehow able to convince myself that the book hasn’t released and is still safely in the only places I had it before (Herald, HD, printed out several times for edits, the proof, and…my brain). It’s been better for me that way, trying not to stress about how much people will hate it (if ONLY the second book could be released before the first…), or even just the fact that people CAN read it now.

I never talked about my book(s) on here until just before I released Reave, past saying I’d written them or whatever was going on with them. I’ve always been weirdly protective over them, but I suppose that’s understandable and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I wouldn’t even let my sister read it before it came out, if that says anything. I just didn’t want to let this one (or any of the others) out of my sight. There’s yet another way it can be comparative to having children (I’m assuming), but…….I’m PRETTY sure I’d be less protective of any children I ever had. I’d let my sister take one of those out of my sight for a while, if I had one.

It’s silly, I know. It’s something I struggled with a lot (am still struggling with), but I’m trying to get over it. My sister is actually the one that found the typo I was writing to in Dear Typo, by the way. I should’ve let her read it beforehand. Now I know. I will just have to get over certain things.

I spent the first few days checking my rankings on Amazon randomly. I probably wouldn’t have done much of it if I hadn’t been so shocked at getting on a couple lists for a little while. That was….pretty freaking awesome. I’d never expected to see anything like that, and I DID get to see it, so that was a spectacular moment for me. I didn’t mind dropping off those lists as much as I likely should have (though, yes, I did mind because…I’m human), maybe partially due to the not-expecting-at-all, and maybe partially due to expectations of the dropping (realistic).

There have been a few awesome moments.

Reading the first few reviews on it blew my mind.

The mom of one of my best friends was reading it, asked said friend when the next would be released, was given the ideal (but not feasible) time frame. The response she had (which was told to me) was something about not being able to wait that long. I believe there was an exclamation mark involved, but I have a horrible memory and could easily be wrong.

Mind was blown over that.

I’ve seen three pictures of people holding the book as of now, and that’s probably been the most fantastic thing about it. All for different (but similar, but different) reasons. (Probably up there is an unneeded word.) Seeing those pictures made me think of that moment of holding the proof in my hand, of it not necessarily being the moment I’d anticipated for the past three years (maybe because I was sick, maybe because of circumstances at the time, and maybe because I’d hyped it up so much in my head). Seeing pictures of people holding my book has been a better feeling than me holding it for the first time. Baffling, just like it was when I held it, only in a different enough way that I’m able to actually enjoy the feeling of it rather than sitting there staring at it like it’s some alien life form.

Mind blown over that.

I’ve almost had an anxiety attack every time someone has said something about reading it. I need to find some sort of faith in myself, but…haven’t yet (I’ll say again, GAH! over not being able to release the second book first). It’s the damn characters. I have faith in them. I just….COME ALONG with them. Bad writing, lack of technicality and all.

I thought I would be obsessive over rankings (as obsessive is a fitting word for my personality in general – if you add ‘mild’ before it and turn obsessive into the first part of an acronym that’s followed by CD, we’ll be set), but I haven’t been. I think it’s understanding that this is going to be an uphill battle regardless of anything, which I knew from the get-go. I’ve felt a little lost at multiple points, but it is what it is.

I’m just thinking about how the people who ordered the physical copies of it are getting them in the mail now, and that’s…yeah.

Anyway, I expected myself to be feeling a lot more crazy than I have. Maybe it’s losing a bit of the attachment I had to it from keeping it so much to myself for such a long time. It’s…out of my hands now. People will either like it or they won’t, which I accepted several years ago with the books that will never see the light of day. I’d imagine some people won’t be able to make it past the prologue. Some people won’t ‘get it.’ Some people will want to punch me in the face for it (I’ve already got that one – that someone wanted to punch me). Some people will say, “I can’t wait that long for the next one!”

The latter of those is the only one that confuses me, and I’ve already heard it several times. It’s so weird.

It’s also so weird realizing that everyone has always been right about me. I DO expect the worst. Understand that good can happen, but expect the worst because it seems the most likely thing to occur in any scenario. In trying to change my outlook on things, I can see that’s not a healthy thing to do either because…I don’t believe it’s as realistic as I’ve always thought it was. So in telling myself that one of every ten people might PASSABLY enjoy the book…I’m doing myself – and my work – an injustice. And that’s a shame.

Maybe I’ll figure all that out along the way as well. I had to let go of it in order to feel like I wasn’t living half the life I wanted to be living (writing them and keeping them all to myself). Maybe the ‘faith’ thing will happen eventually. I just don’t think it’s fair to keep telling myself that everyone is ‘too close.’ Someone being close doesn’t mean they’re lying to spare your feelings. Someone complimenting you doesn’t mean they’re doing it with ulterior motives or being dishonest. It also does’t mean that they’re crazy (which is the first thing my mind goes to…sorry to anyone who ever says anything nice to me – I’ve probably thought you were crazy at some point or another. >.>).

Like everything with this, it’s just…a journey.

Too bad you can’t ever prepare for a journey like this as much as you think you can.

Does someone have any pants I can borrow? I think I forgot my own.

I am a mess.

I lost the file where I had the list of topics to cover on here before Reave goes live in a couple of days (Wednesday, *fingers crossed*). By lost, I mean I didn’t save it (I was sure I did, I remember typing in the save name and everything…), meaning it’s lack of existence in the world is as much my fault as the fact that I can’t remember what was on the list. It might be somewhere on my computer, but if it is, I can’t find it. Lost. I typed up another entry several days ago and didn’t post it for whatever reason(s), and I don’t believe I’ll do so now because there’s another topic that seems more pressing. The title says it all, I believe.

I’ve been dealing with some major things the past several months (we all have those times), and the ‘book’ aspect(s) of the struggles have been the easiest to say. After all, “I’m freaking out about my book,” IS easier than, “I’m having some significant problems right now, but I’d rather keep them all to myself so please don’t ask me what they are.” The usual response is something like (pardon my language), “The book isn’t sh**.” (If that tells you what usually comes out of my mouth and maybe how hard I am on myself in general, also maybe that I have a potty mouth [I do]…) But things obviously go a lot deeper than that.

The past few months have been……..very difficult. I feel like I’m walking an extremely fine line right now, trying to keep this a certain way. Book things are usually what I talk about here (and blogging about not blogging), but book things aren’t my entire life right now. I would rather play all of this off as ‘I’m nervous that people won’t like it,’ but I don’t really feel that’s fair to myself. Clearly I want people to like it, but I understand that not everybody will and I’ve understood that from the get-go. I’d be happy if one person did, and more than one person already does, so in a sense…I’m kind of content. (More people reading and liking it would be awesome, but I’m still surprised by one.)

As difficult as the past few months have been, they’ve also been beneficial, in some ways. I’ve had to do a lot of self-evaluation, a lot of questioning, a lot of realignment. I’ve had to ask myself some very difficult questions and came up with a lot of answers that I really didn’t care for. It’s easy – sitting in a shed by yourself, writing your life away. Then you wake up one day and realize that so many things have changed around you and you have to try and figure out where you actually are. Three years. I’ve had to catch up with three years. And I’m having….a very difficult time. I’m having a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that… have changed. Easy not to know as much when you don’t focus on yourself, or would most of the time rather ignore your own existence in the world.

So I’m kind of looking at it as waking up one day and discovering that the entire world is different, and you’re stuck having to catch up, to find some place where you can fit. The old place where you fit….it isn’t there anymore.

In the past several months, I’ve hit some majorly low points. Hence the neglection of the blog/social stuff in general. A lot of the time when I disappear for a week or so, it’s because I have too much going on in my head to interact with people. I have extremely bad anxiety, and almost every time I interact with anyone, I get stressed out (even if it’s a pleasant interaction). Not to mention that I’ve generally been run ragged, between being sick with that cold-from-hell that is still making me cough, book stuff, and personal life matters (chicken with no head). Just….ragged. I’m sure everyone knows how effing difficult it can be to do what you feel you need to do – or even what you want to do – when you feel like you have absolutely nothing left. That’s where I’ve been. I’ll admit that.

Saturday was a new low for me. I was unfortunately not alone at that point, so my sister got an earful of things I wish I’d kept to myself or put down on my keyboard (though the keyboard could PROBABLY use a break…). It’s startlingly difficult for me right now – interacting with almost anyone. At dinner today, my mamaw asked me, “Are you excited?”

There are some things I’m excited about. I’m excited because I know someone out there will enjoy my book, and that’s what it’s all about. And, if you read it and do, please feel welcome to tell me. (PLEASE.)  I can’t tell you how much I would love to hear that. But it’s hard for me to throw it out there, especially right now when it feels like the ground I’m standing on is so unstable.

Of course it’s scary, of course I’m nervous, of course I’m stressed. And, of course, yes, part of me is excited. I’m just trying to accept some things that I’ve been ignoring for a very long time.

I am a person. I have a life outside of writing books. Or…I should have one.

I know I’m not the only person out there (far from it) that would rather keep their personal business to themselves, especially in a world where half the people in it want to be (pardon my language again) assholes, just because they can. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from being on here, it’s that almost everyone is extremely……awesome. And there are some people on here that I might call ‘blogging buddies’ but would actually consider something closer to friends. I’m kind of a bad friend when I isolate myself, and a bit of isolation has been … necessary for me lately. I apologize for that, sincerely – even to my ACTUAL friends, which I’ve isolated myself from as well. I know some of you are worried about me, and I’m sorry about that.

I’m waiting it out until Wednesday. Wednesday will inevitably be a turning point for me in some way or another. No matter what happens, after that point, I will be a ‘published author’…

That’s….whew. That’s something.

I can’t tell you how badly I want to bury myself in work right now (or hide under a rock). That’s all I want to do. But I’m forcing myself to not, even if it would cover up a lot of the stuff and, in a way, make me feel better. I’m not working at all before Wednesday because I want to make sure I’m dealing with this. Facing down personal demons, which is EXACTLY what I’ll be doing between now and then. I might be on here, and everywhere else, and I might not. I’m not sure yet.

Tomorrow night, I’m going to have to click two ‘approve’ buttons. One of my personal demons is going to stare me in the face and ask me a question it’s been asking me a lot lately. “What made you think you could ever do this?”

And I want to be positive that I can stand up on my tiptoes to get in its ugly face and say, “Because I can.”

I’ve been working on that response for the last few months. Catchy, huh? I figured I’d leave out the copious amounts of cursing that will likely happen after and also the copious amounts of violence I would love to inflict on said personal demon. Then again…I don’t want the others to gang up on me.

Anyway, I really, sincerely hope that everyone is doing well out there. I really do. I wouldn’t wish the way I’m feeling right now on anyone in the world. If you have some good things going on with you, it would be fantastic to hear about them. Just saying…

Bucket List

When I was younger (probably 17-18 or so), I wrote up a list of things I wanted to do in my life. That list, unfortunately, has been lost – along with any and all the endless amounts of notebooks I’ve had throughout the years. Shame. It’s an even bigger shame that I can’t remember the things on the list. Not really.

There were probably things like, Get a tattoo, or Travel to [some unknown place]. I’m sure it’s baffling to at least one person out there that I can’t even remember where I wanted to travel to seven or eight years ago. I can say that it likely included destinations where my friends were located then (as I used to have a LOT of friends scattered across the country, and still have a few of them, actually).

I can say that, since that time, I’m sure I’ve done a lot of the EASIER things on my list. I didn’t do things like, Bungee jump, or Skydive. I don’t want to do those now, and it baffles me why I ever wanted to.

I have several tattoos. I’ve been a lot of places (outside the continental US, but haven’t had my feet off American soil). I’ve lived in five states since age 17, and right on the border of another. I’ve visited more states than I care to count right now, for one reason or another (almost always involving seeing people that I knew more so than doing THINGS). I’ve gone snowboarding more than once. I’ve been to the top of a mountain (driving, not climbing, but that’s one experience I don’t care to do again as I was nearly having a panic attack the entire time). I’ve seen the northern lights in person. I’ve gone whitewater rafting. I’ve been in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. I’ve gone snorkeling. I’ve driven to the point of being utterly lost and found my way home without a map or GPS or smartphone, both literally and figuratively.

I’ve written a book (quite a lot more than a), which was always on the list.

I’ve done some things in my life. I used to do so many things on a whim. I’d get an idea in my head and just . . . do it. It made for some amazing experiences, I can’t deny that, but it also made for some amazingly bad experiences along the way.

I’ve realized that – most of the time – when you reminisce with people, you filter through the memories. You laugh about the good (laying on a blanket around a bonfire with some of your best friends, staring up at the stars, while people play guitar and make up ridiculous songs sang in a Schwarzenegger-like voice), and skirt around the bad. You skirt around the bad and the REALLY bad is rarely ever acknowledged.

It’s better that way, I think. You know what happened and why talk about it when you can laugh instead?

BF and I often reminisce, as we have about 16 years or so of life spent (mostly) together to reminisce over. I realized that . . . most of the time, when I speak with people who have been in my life for a long time . . . reminiscing is involved (as long as there’s time to catch up and get past the ‘how have you been the last several months?’).

I have a lot of things that I still want to do, rather than talking about things that I’ve done before. They’re different wants than they likely would’ve been when I sat down however many years ago to write the old list. Then again . . . I wouldn’t know.

I’ve seen a few people have those sorts of lists on here, and it made me really think about it.

Rather than randomly spout off the things I still want to do, I’m going to make a new list and put it on here. I will cross things off when I get to them. I may never get to most of them, but I’m going to try.

It’s much more difficult to do when you get older and have so many things to take care of, but it’s not impossible. It’s much more difficult when you set your sights higher, but it’s not impossible.

It might take me a few days to get it up, but that’s the goal.

Aim for the stars.

Self-publishing.

Yeah. I’m doing it.

I know, I know. I said I was going to attempt querying and do the whole shebang (get an agent and we all lived happily ever after with a picket fence and 2.4 dogs, er, kids).

Anyone who’s been following my blog for a little while knows I flopped back and forth about it (don’t we all?). I spent so much time weighing the pros and cons of each – carefully and meticulously – until all cons blurred with pros and pros were cons and cons were . . . um . . . what’s going on? That was basically how it went in my head for a very long time, so I told my husband to make a decision on it. I was content with that for about a day or two, and then the mental-flopping began again. I didn’t want to blog about it because I wanted to get it sorted in my head.

I realized, after speaking with so many people, that this was a decision only I could make.

I started looking into cover artists just for curiosities sake and found one that I LOVED.

For about four days, I did nothing but flop around mentally afterward. I mulled over the word author. I’ve said it before that I will NOT call myself one unless the word aspiring is in front of it. Not yet.

One night, I looked up the definition of it. I kind of had a moment. There was no ‘traditionally published’ in the definition, of course. For one of those days, I contemplated over the word – what it meant, what it meant to other people, and what it meant to me.

Rather than focus on pros and cons, I started focusing on why. Why did I want to be published traditionally? What was drawing me to self-publishing despite the stars and rainbows and glitter of the P and the T together?

When thinking about the why . . . it fell into place.

I don’t need a publishing contract to accomplish what I’ve wanted to accomplish with this. All I want is for ONE person out there to love my books – to make an impact on a person the way that some books have impacted me. I don’t need a P and a T together for that. I don’t.

So I made the decision about a week and a half ago and I haven’t looked back since.

There hasn’t been one single flop from me, or even one second of doubting the choice I’ve made.

I don’t like posting things on here unless they’re set in stone. I’m feeling comfortable with sharing now.

I’ve been arranging things with that love-inducing cover artist and the photographer. I love them both. Seriously. Details are being figured out and things are being put in motion.

My editor had to extend the date of finishing my novel, so I won’t have it back until early to mid-October. I’m trying to get everything done that can be done until that point.

As of now, I’m shooting for early December. That’s going to depend on how everything works out, but now . . . I’ll be able to keep you all updated.

It’s so freaking weird having things moving. I spent such a long time feeling like my entire world was at a standstill.

Anyway. No more waiting. It’s time to start letting them go. I’m worried, of course, but . . . I’m feeling good. I’m excited. I never thought I’d be more excited than stressed/nervous, but . . . I am.

Wish me luck. I’m definitely going to need it.

O.O

A Word

The word moment is a tricky thing for me. There’s really not any other word that be used in replacement to prevent over-usage. Instant only seems applicable under certain circumstances, as does second or stretch of time – things of that nature. Sometimes only one word can be used – should only be used – when all other words would fall short of doing justice to a situation, a message you’re trying to get across, something you’re trying to explain the right way, or some hidden thing that you might be the only person to notice.

Words are a big deal to me. If I told people how many words I’ve written over the last several years, I would get The Look – the same look that I had on my face yesterday when watching YouTube videos of a guy getting scared while playing video games (it’s the, “You need to get out more,” look). Most numbers, when thinking about it, should usually be kept pretty close to the vest when they pertain to personal things. It’s taken me a bit of time to realize that.

Words are my entire life. I wake up, I read the ones I wrote the day (night) before, and then I write more. When I’m editing, I read the ones I wrote, add more, take some out, and move them around, trying to make all of them as close to perfect (my perfect) as I can get.

I don’t know how many times I can say, “I fail words constantly, but they never fail me,” or some variant of that with the same message.

And moment has always given me headaches. It took me an extremely long time of writing stories to realize what I said up top. Sometimes . . . nothing else fits. People might criticize you for it, but you know what fits in your own writing, and in your own life.

But, if we’re getting technical, I should explain.

Writing is like . . . medicine for me. It’s my way of coping with stress, and struggles, and life. It is for most people who do it, but then again, I think most people who do it manage to balance life better than I do. I go and crawl into my shed – sometimes almost literally when I’m just waking up – and I stay in there. I force myself to come out sometimes, just to do things I need to do. More often than not, it takes me several days to manage some things (which things I’m talking about shall go unmentioned past mentioning). I put things off because something inside of me says . . . I need to. For myself.

I spend my life – almost every second of it – writing the moments of people’s lives that only exist in my head. It prevents me from having my own moments. It’s healthy in ways, but not in others. Is anything in the world ever ENTIRELY good for anyone? I don’t think so. A new study comes out daily, contradicting the one before it. This is just me. It works. It makes me . . . better.

The point of this is that I had my own moment two days ago.

Normally, I would explain – rattling off for 2k words about events leading up and the like. I don’t feel I should.

I’ll only say that I realized two days ago that, well . . .

Words don’t mean the same thing to everyone that they mean to me. It’s easy to say the things that you mean and mean the things that you say, but when words are thrown in to any situation . . . the possibility for failing them is almost inevitable. The difference between, “I have faith,” and, “I hope,” is the difference in saying you believe something will happen, and that you believe it won’t.

Words.

I’ve been waiting three years to hear certain words. I hadn’t known – not exactly – what they were. But I heard them two days ago.

My father said, “I think you could’ve been a [INSERT MEANINGLESS WORD] and it would’ve just been a stepping stone. You would’ve ended up here. You’re doing exactly what you should be doing.”

There were more words said, but the last sentence up there was the one that got me. It was the only one that mattered.

I cried.

I cry over the lives of the characters that I write. I do. Often; I’m not ashamed to admit it. I laugh, and I cry. I cry about my own life a very small handful of times a year, if even that.

It was kind of amazing, having my own moment.

Just thought I’d share it. It’s funny how a moment can seem insignificant to some people, but can be the furthest thing from it for others.

I really can’t explain how much I hope all of you are having your own moments out there. That’s not me saying, “I don’t believe it will happen.” I’m saying that I hope it does.

Sometimes . . . a word is just a word. It’s everything behind them that matters – feelings and thoughts that hardly anyone can ever do justice to, express correctly, or truly get across.

When we fail with words, it can be so much worse than anyone ever thinks about. But if we fall, stand up, and try again?

It might be the one thing someone needs to hear, or see.

Words are never just words to me. They’re my life. That doesn’t mean I’m not falling.

Fail, Fall, Stand up, Try again.

Everybody hates prologues.

Why?

Someone, please, tell me why.

I’ve heard it before. I read it somewhere a long time ago and have seen multiple things on that subject over the last several years. What’s bringing it up right now is that I read an article about it again a few days ago. I can’t remember from where, though I’m assuming I somehow found it by tap-tapping away on Twitter, as Twitter and Instagram are really the only things I check somewhat consistently. They’re both right next to each other on my phone, what can I say?

Anyway, I’m not really one to take things that I read on the internet at face value (WTF does that even mean? I’ve never even questioned the saying until right this second. Maybe it’s the Writer in me, but seeing something in front of your face doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re looking at it in the right way. Just saying!), but there seems to be some general consensus that agents, and the like, hate prologues.

Again, I ask anyone out there in the vast expanses of internetdom who can actually communicate back with me . . . WHY?

As a reader, I have no issue with them if they’re done well enough. The only one that’s ever made me stop, tilt my head, and make some sound that Scooby Doo tends to make (at least in my head), is the book that I was complaining about in a previous entry, which you can find here. It was out of place and made no sense whatsoever to what I actually got through in the book, but that’s neither here nor there and is only relevant whatsoever right now in me saying that, as a reader, I’ve never had an issue with them (apart from that one instance, at least that I can remember, which – knowing my memory – isn’t saying very much).

In fact, AS A READER, I tend to like prologues.

Take for example the beginning of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. The first few words in the actual BOOK part of the book are, The demon exploded in. That’s enough to get my point across, I think. That was enough right there to make me smile and think, “Yeah, I’m gonna like this book.”

Prologue.

Don’t smack me if I’m wrong in saying that it was a prologue, but I’m almost positive that it was. That book is currently in a box right now so I can’t take two steps and check for sure. I’d rather make an as– *cough* . . . butt out of myself.

Anyway, perfect use of a prologue right there. That scene was extremely relevant, but did not fit perfectly with the beginning of the STORY story.

I loved it.

Now, as a writer, I will also say that I CANNOT understand the issue with prologues.

When I was sitting down several years ago, writing the first scene of my first book . . . Well, um, I wrote it. I wrote it, and then I went to the next CHAPTER and, after the fact, realized that – while one could not be done without the other – they did not exactly . . . mesh, you could say. Hence my first prologue was written into existence.

Every single book that I have ever written has a prologue, and an epilogue.

In my (we’ll say HUMBLE) opinion, I think they’re great. And that has absolutely nothing at all to do with the fact that I write them, and everything to do with WHY I write them.

I can understand the issue with them when they’re used for info-dumping, but at the same time . . . I don’t know.

Maybe I’m the only person seeing a difference between bringing a story up to speed in a way that doesn’t fit 100% WITH the story and info-dumping. I know some people are fond of flashbacks (one of my very good friends is fond of them, in fact), but I only am to a certain extent. The first book in my first series has flashbacks out the as– *cough* wazoo. I hated it. I absolutely hated it. I would rather have a prologue with JUST THE RIGHT information than those flashbacks. That’s personal preference, both in writing, and reading.

I just don’t understand why a book would be entirely disregarded (as that was the statement made in the article I read) for having a prologue. A prologue doesn’t mean that it’s info-dumping. A prologue doesn’t mean that the story will be horrible, or the writing atrocious. Where in the world is that stigma coming from? Can anyone out there fill me in? Because, honestly? I just think it’s a load of bulllll- *cough* bologna.

Am I the only one that thinks bologna is a funny word?

I’m giggling a little right now, I’m not gonna lie.

My Point:

When written well, and done well, a prologue can add fantastic things to a story, in my opinion.

That’s all.

And did anybody get the whole Lost reference? Or no?