Mar. 27th, 2011

azn_jack_fiend: (CAESAR!)
So this is the first time going public on this. I'm so excited.

[ profile] heddychaa and I are working on an original fiction book!

It's an m/m paranormal romance provisionally called "The Hollow Hills" and it's going to be totally fucking awesome. We've been doing research on the genre and think we could rock it.

I don't want to give away too much of the concept, but it's going to be EPIC. There will be hot gay druids and bisexual Sidhe and terribly tragic Irish history. Influences include Torchwood, the first Predator movie, [ profile] heddychaa's in-laws and C.J. Cherryh (I LOVE her Celtic stuff).

I'm really optimistic about finishing this project. I'm projecting the inevitable burnout points, but as long as we don't burn out at the same time I don't see why we can't finish it. And when we finish it, it's definitely going to be published.  We'll start at Carina, and have lots of backups in mind if they don't want it.

I don't read romance. In fact, the last romance book I read was a historical called "The Wolf and the Dove" that I snuck from my grandmother's collection when I was 13... it's still in print! One of the reviews is titled "Repeated Rape leads to Nagging Marriage" which rings true to me. Damn, that book had a lot of rape. So that gives you an idea of how much I've kept up with the genre and its evolution and specialization away from bodice-rippers. [ profile] heddychaa has much more knowledge of it, though, and I've been catching up by studying it and reading first sample chapters of stuff and Amazon reviews of bestsellers and taking lots of notes.

What I'm bringing to the table in the initial stage is project management stuff. We're structuring this exhaustively. We've got a whole shared private website with character bios, backstories, chapter breakdowns, setting files, and so on. We've got a calendar with milestones and scheduled sessions and everything in place so that it's going to get done the right way, which means as efficiently and stress-free as possible.

I'm picking this apart and looking at it very rationally in terms of constraints and tropes and meeting certain expectations so we can write a story that sells and makes some money. But at the same time, I really believe in this project on an artistic level. I want to write an m/m romance that I myself would actually enjoy reading. The kind of thing I'd pick up and think "this concept sounds intriguing, but so over the top, I'm sure it sucks, I'll read the first sample chapter to see how it...goes... and... HOLY SHIT I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW GOOD THIS IS!"

I've always had the goal of writing original fiction, and I've tried to keep up practice on the skills that tend to atrophy in fanction: OCs, settings, action. I've learned that setting is especially crucial in romance. I don't have anywhere near the fiction writing experience of [ profile] heddychaa but I'm looking forward to getting that experience in such a fun way... and it's really fun working with her, and makes me a way better writer.

I've learned a lot from writing fanfiction this last year. First of all, writing in general. I never would have started writing at all if not for fanfiction. For decades I've had many, many ideas for original science fiction and fantasy stories, but not nearly enough confidence that my writing skills would do them justice. Second of all, fanfiction as an end in itself is something equally as beautiful. I LOVE this stuff, and I have no intentions of quitting (I have fanfiction writing improvement goals too). I can't wait for S4 fic.  I want to take all the good stuff I've learned in fanfic and put it into our current project. The relationship is going to be fascinating and conflicted and twisty and satisfying; the sex is going to be ridiculously hot.

We're going to try to avoid some common pitfalls of the genre. Of course it's going to be geared towards a female audience, but also written so a hypothetical gay male reader won't be rolling his eyes all the time. We're also avoiding the frequent misogyny; this will not be a book where women are conspicuously absent, or there solely as icky obstacles to the leads getting together.

I don't want to give away spoilers, because the plot is so awesome, but over the next months I'll be bragging and/or stressing about our progress on probably a weekly basis. Then when it's done, I'm going to promote the hell out of it. I'll reveal my awesome pen name at that time.  Seriously, this is going to be awesome.


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