When I talk to people about writing, or ask them questions, I always try to avoid talking about what I'm actually writing about. I admit, I feel a little ashamed.

I am writing a werewolf story.  Yes, werewolves.

Perhaps you don't see the issue. Perhaps you are one who instinctively grits their teeth.  Perhaps you are a concerned sort.  "But Dae!" you cry, "Werewolves and vampires are being done to DEATH. Why would you do this?"

Well, for starters this is no Twilight book full of vegetarian monsters.  The plot started years ago.  I actually remember checking out the book Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause when I was in Junior high, 5 years ago.  I read the book and thought to myself, why do werewolves and vampires always have to fall in love with a human or want to become human?  Don't get me wrong, I loved the book (refuse to watch the movie) but yes, this started as an anti-Blood and Chocolate plot.  I wanted to completely turn it on its head.

I started building my characters and plot about 4 years ago.  It was simpler then. Or not so much.  I worked out the entire family of werewolves meticulously - their names, their origins, history, personalities, relationships, desires, physiology, strengths and downfalls.  I wanted my FMC to be strong, thoughtful, deep, intelligent, disconnected from the human world, anti-social, fiercely loyal to her family, and with an urge to go run free.  She was born in Russia -- she spoke French.  Yes, that was absurd and it got dropped quickly.

My secondary character started as just a girl labeled as a "slut".  The girl with the bad reputation, and she hated it so much she embraced it.  I didn't know what else to say about her.  Here was this girl who would wreck my FMC's world. I didn't know what her parents were like, or her home life.  I didn't know what her goals in life were. I still sort of don't.  But I guess that's okay - when I was her age I wasn't sure if I'd ever see a future. I couldn't imagine one for myself.

Then I realized I wanted to make this story about BOTH of them.  Somehow shove them both into the single spot of Main Character. Leave them each morally ambiguous and deeply flawed. Let the readers decide which one was the hero, and which one the villain.  I kept feeling like my human MC was the villain... and then that she wasn't, and so on back and forth. But how would I ever balance both?

A friend of mine helped me come up with a subplot. While the book would continue to deal with my human becoming infected, there would be another issue - one of the wolf FMC's brothers (who had never had a big feature) hated himself and his family. He considered them monsters. He wanted to forcibly stop the spread of disease.

I had these two amazing plots to twist together.  Now how to write?  Nothing worked. I've been through a dozen different rewrites of the opening scene.  How will the human MC and wolf MC meet?  How will the infection happen?

It took me a while and I realized that my human girl needed a dad.  She'd previously had a bitter mother who was divorced.  Now I gave her a dad.  A police officer - the only one in their small town - and she loved him. Her parents were still estranged, and seemingly about to fall into a divorce.  The dad solved how I would introduce the two characters.  But a new problem arose.  With a dad, my character became a whole new person.  She loves her dad, I realize.  She went from the sexual, aggressive character I needed to becoming a shy, reasonable person. She was lovely.  I needed ugly.

I had to kill her dad.

Not just take him away again.  I realized I had to introduce him... and then kill him.  It was what I needed to make her snap.  I also realized that my human girl and wolf girl shouldn't be enemies from the start.  They had to be friends.  Perfect friends.  In fact, I think that they need to fall in love.

My ultimate revelation thus far was this:  my human MC is the main character.  IS.  No sharing lime light.  No huge subplot.  Her story needs to be told, from begining to end.  And this shocked me.  She started as such a minor character, and a stereotype.  She was nothing more than an addition to the story of a family of werewolves.  But no.  This actually wasn't about them at all.  Which made me cringe in fear -- if I wanted the other plot to ever be printed, I'd have to go for a series, or at least a sequel.  If the first fails, the second will likely never be told. The story of the werewolves I labored for years to create will be nothing but background noise for a character who came out of nowhere.  And I suppose I would be okay with that. I'm not upset - I'm amazed.

My book is strange.  The characters are in the YA age group, yet I'm not sure if the book will be suited for it.  Maybe I'm wrong - I haven't read many dark YA books for a while.  The entire book is mired in blood, death, insanity, murder, blackmail, betrayal. 

I have it plotted from beginning to end and back again.  But what have I written?

5 words.  My title.  I'm afraid. But I feel that inevitably, it will happen.  I have a fully written novel in my head, and not a lick has yet come out of my finger tips.  I'm carrying a werewolf novel around that doesn't exist. I'm ashamed. But also so astonished.
6 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    I feel the same about my writing. And it's not that it's a subject that people think has been done before...it's just a difficult thing to talk about, I think, whatever you're writing about. Fiction is really personal, even if it's not in any way related to your life - it's yours, words by you.

    Try not to worry! The best thing you can do is write what you want to write :)

  2. Dae Dreams Says:

    You're right, edgeacuity. It's just hard to talk about, period. Like when someone asks you, "So what are you writing about?" and there's a moment of dread trying to think of how to sum up an enormous plot into a sentence. It always seems to sound silly in my circumstance.

    I also feel like such a loser, not having this novel written yet. Seems like everyone else is at least doing revisions by now, and all I have are failed attempts. But I'm just amazed at how I've gone from having that feeling that my story is special and perfect, to being able to admit that something is wrong and completely change a plot element or character in order to fix it. I must be growing up!

  3. John Hallow Says:

    A part of me really, rally wishes I didn't understand what you're talking about XD

    Ah well!

  4. Dae Dreams Says:

    Haha. I wish you didn't either, for your own sake, John.

  5. Start writing!!! lol. You're story sounds great. I used to be very nervous about telling people I was a writer. So few people understand what that means, but everyone thinks they know the book market.

    Don't be ashamed of your book idea. Books about vampires, werewolves, zombies ... etc, are not new. They've been around for a lot longer than Twilight and they're not in any danger of being shunned from bookstores.

    You have a good blog here, well done!

  6. Dae Dreams Says:

    Thanks for the support, Steven! :)