Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Writing a story that scares you

By Cate Masters
Sometimes an idea for a story hits out of nowhere. More and more cool elements begin to add in and fit together so well, they seem as if they were made for each other. Soon you're jotting notes all over the house. The more you think about it, the more it seems like a killer story.

Almost too much of a story, beyond what you normally write. It's a little scary. Maybe a little beyond your capability? You begin to think of other writers who could do the story justice.

But could another writer have invented all these unique characters? Their abilities? This world? Possibly, but not the same way you could. Plus, the damn story won't get out of your head. It's demanding you write it.

So you give in. Start assembling those notes, researching a bit more for setting, character background, history, and other elements.

Once you finally begin writing, it's like your fingers are addicted to the keyboard. The story's playing in 3D in your head, and it's all you can do to keep up. You can't stop until it's finished. Even then, you realize it's not finished. This world keeps calling you back, and the characters keep on doing what they do until you give in, pay attention and start taking notes all over again. Soon you're back at the keyboard again, and another story's in full swing.

But even when that's finished, it's still not over. There are issues to resolve. Other characters that want their say. A world that needs to be put to rights. So you get to work on the third story.

Still beyond you? Maybe, but that's a good thing. Scaring yourself. Challenging yourself. Reaching for more.

Buy Cursed HERE
That's what happened with Cursed. It started out as a 15k story, but a storm broke out in my head after I subbed it. It wasn't done. So I pulled the sub. (Thank you, Decadent editors, for being so patient!) Even at almost 30k, there was still more to be told. So I wrote Charmed, which (yay!) Decadent accepted, and it's now in final edits. But it still wasn't over. Claimed is the final installment -- for now. Subbed, and fingers crossed.

And I admit, I was a little bit afraid to write this series. I envisioned it as a bestseller in another author's hands. It has so many amazing elements. And no, I'm not patting myself on the back. Sometimes I think stories are gifts - they come to us, some assembly required, and it's our job to put it all together in a way that makes sense.

I hope I was able to do that. I hope you'll read it and let me know.

Tourwide giveaway!
By the way, Cursed is now on tour! I hope you'll visit me along the tour stops. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway! Find it on this post at Jessica Subject's blog (thanks for hosting me, Jessica!): http://www.markofthestars.com/wp/?p=14403

Ten days of freedom. That’s all Fate had allotted me each year. In the streets of Venice, I could walk among them. Mingle. Belong.
During Carnevale, they had no idea who I was. What I was.
For ten days, it didn’t matter.
Until I met her.

Bruno diCesare lives alone by necessity, not choice. An experiment performed by Leonardo da Vinci, who believed having a dual DNA would grant a person immortality, used magic to render Bruno a chimera – the head of a lion, body of a dragon. The only time he can mingle with people is during Carnevale, ten glorious days of masked anonymity, frivolity and intimacy.

Melina Weaver learned fire dancing to enliven her dull existence. A scientist, her long hours at the lab leave no time for a social life. For ten days at Carnevale, she can pretend to be someone else. Someone sexy and daring, who lives on the edge.

Once she meets Bruno, her wish comes true, but everything goes terribly wrong. Beneath Bruno’s costume lurks an alpha male, but is he dangerous? Worse, can she return to an employer who sells her research to the military to make an army of efficient killers? Her only hope may lie with the man she’s just met and never seen.

And I hope you'll check out the book video, Casting Call (who I imagined as Bruno, Melina and more), reviews, excerpt and more on my blog: http://catemasters.blogspot.com/2013/04/cursed-vitruvian-man-book-1-paranormal.html


Arlene said...

I'm glad you weren't afraid to pour such a fantastic world out in more than one novella, and I lack the imagination or desire to think of Bruno and Melina's story being told by any one else. Can't wait to see Cursed out there as well.

Kathleen Ann Gallagher's Place to Reflect said...

What a great post, Cate! Congrats on a fabulous series! Your determination motivates me to do a series.

Happy touring!

Cate Masters said...

I can't imagine being able to do it without the support of wonderful friends like you, Arlene. Thanks!

Great to hear, Kathleen! Series are a great way to stay in a world you love. :)

JoAnne Kenrick said...

yeay for stepping out of your comfort zone to write these stories...i really enjoyed hearing about your adventures in getting CURSED 'right'. OMG fancy that - realizing the story had more to give after subbing it. I've GOT TO read these stories!! Thanks for sharing such intense behind the story deets. LOVE IT!

Cate Masters said...

lol thanks JoAnn! I can laugh about it now that it's over. :)
Hope you enjoy the stories!

Taryn Kincaid said...

Great post! I always wonder if I'll regret putting something in...or regret it more if I don't

Cate Masters said...

I hate second-guessing myself. I'd much rather stay in the "zone" and just write! :)

Barbara Elsborg said...

I've got one of the stories that I need to write, that won't leave me alone but I still keep pulling away every time I try!!
Well done on getting Cursed out there! You already know I like it!!!!

Cate Masters said...

Sounds like you have one that's challenging you too, Barbara. Keep at it, they're the best kind.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I do have an idea for another story, but I'll have to go way out of my element if it's to be more than average.

Cate Masters said...

Go for it, Alex! You never know until you try. In my case, try and try and then revise like crazy, lol