My experience writing my debut book…

Avalon, as it came to be named, was a kingdom I created, mainly to escape my own life. Not that my life was particularly bad in anyway, it was just boring and uneventful.

Characters creeped into my head every now and then, before I knew it I had created an entire cast of different vampire breeds and humans. In total, it took around 4 years of on again off again writing to finish the book.

The only problem with my volume of work was that I had created, edited and proofread it entirely on my own. I later discovered that this solitary method blinded me to a lot of the grammatical mistakes hidden within it. With the help of a few relatives I managed to iron out some, but not all of the errors. I recently received my first and only review which pointed out the book needed some extra work. I have no arguments there.

I started writing the book when I was around 16 years of age. Overtime I needed the story to mature and develop as I did, without steering it too far away from my original idea and my target young adult demographic which wasn’t easy. Throughout college, part time and eventual full time employment the characters, random light bulb moments and my commitment to writing kept me coming back to finally completing the book. It was certainly a bucket list achievement.

The world I created and the people within it are (I’m proud to say) like nothing else, sometimes I worry I may never come up with anything as original and ambitions in the future.

With many lessons learnt, I would advise every first time writer to get editorial help from the earliest point possible. Once you reach the stage I did, 600000 words, it’s pretty impossible to correct everything and it’s a real shame. I am disappointed I didn’t allow time for such corrections, I have considered removing my work for editing but I’m daunted by the prospect, but you never know.

So, there you have it, briefly. Thank you for reading. If I haven’t completely lost your confidence in my work, here is the preface from my first book Avalon by S L Dixon.

As we all marched in perfectly executed synchronicity towards absolute ambiguity the screams were deafening. The overrun territory was alive with intruders as violent and deadly bolts of blacked electricity darted in every direction. Striking repeatedly through the air as though sent from angry merciless gods; momentarily obstructing our view of the once glorious chambers, holding within it both the souls of brave and treacherous beings. If you accidently blinked you might just have missed the repetitive blasts.

Be brave.” I whispered to myself just “Be brave.” But no matter how many times I reiterated the mantra to myself, my scrawny knees kept on shaking, my palms kept on sweating and she kept on running towards me.

Between snarling lips her sharp teeth continued clenching and snapping together. She was ready to tear me to shredded lumps of meat, dangerously close to my petrified pale face. Until inevitably her avaricious hands wrapped around my vulnerable throat, my palpitating pulse pounding against her cold fingers. I trapped a swell of air between my lungs hoping it would give me a few extra seconds of consciousness. My eyes staring at the orange blood which coated every part of her ravenous body. Her red dress exhibited the stains of her weaker less fortunate victims, so many that I had to close my eyes to stop myself from plucking a very plausible number of victims out of thin air.

In these diminishing moments I began to hear his charming voice, as though he was stood beside me. Screaming a message of strength louder and louder beside my listening ears, furiously demanding I fight not allowing my exhausted bones to wilt and shatter beneath me. His words guided me to the untapped power within me, finally I found the courage to lift my sluggish foot from under me and with one brutal unrelenting blow to her solid abdomen she was propelled to smithereens and with that my skin was no longer host to the residue from her frothing starved mouth. This was only the beginning. The start of what was to be a vicious and heart plundering conclusion.
I fell hard against the cold pavement the cement instantly crumbling beneath at the mercy of the abrupt force. My knees did not surrender to the sudden impact I had finally found my way home, his bedroom light flickering between the partitions of his closed curtains swaying in the breeze. I could just about hear the monotonous back and forth ramblings of his family, his face formed a block between my delusions and indefinite reality.

This man would one day risk his life to bring mine back from the brink but of course I didn’t know that yet.
The only promise regularly enforced in life is that one day it will end in my exclusively mortal existence. I took comfort in the understanding that we were all headed in the same direction. Now that I had ridden this world of one of its greatest evils, had this action granted me privileges or sanctions?

Final thoughts rattled around my head like a bee trapped inside a thick drinking glass desperate to find a way out, and failing repeatedly.

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