It was the end of 2012. I started to write a YA about a girl and her mom. They needed to runaway because of some family trouble their dad endowed them with, some real mobster stuff. I wrote what I thought I should write. Hence the word THOUGHT.
My understanding then was YA is the shiznit. You want to be published? Write YA.
Every time I'd look to my writing friends for input on my progress, it was either met with "keep writing and fix it later", "you can't do that, it changes it to paranormal", or "it's good but..." It was super frustrating since this was the first book I'd written in YEARS. I knew I had it in me to write, dang it. But then, why was I struggling????
If thesaurus wanted to make money, they just needed to charge me per time I used it.
Through work, kids, and church stuff, it took me two years to finish that book from day one to edits done. Two years! It felt like FOREVER. And then, I shelved it. Immediately. Never to query. Never to open again. It shamed me.
Suddenly, my writing life spiraled, to the point I told my friend, "Dang it! I'm going to write about this bull crap!" (I probably said other words in my frustration but lets not go there.) And I did. I wrote the bull crap. I aired out the dirty laundry. I gave my MC a true villain, one you love to hate. I gave her a husband, and kids. I gave her true writer's drama. I gave her sex. Good sex at that! I told my triumphs, frustrations, tears, and pity parties through her, and filled her life with some extra twists for plot's sake. And she's snarky as hell, requiring not one thesaurus use.
I'm writing her as much as she's writing me.
Here I am, not following the norm. Not writing the YA, science fiction, romance, etc. Nope. I'm writing what suits me. I thought I had a clue what a teen would say or how they'd respond, but hearing teens nowadays, I can admit I don't have a CLUE. But, I DO have a clue what I would say. The best part is, my betas that have returned my MS so far, LOVE my new voice, the characters, and the story itself. They loved hating my villain. My first beta ever even told me, "you finally found your voice!"
Yes, yes I did.
Once I get the rest of my beta notes back, I'm combing the MS one last time, and this will be my FIRST QUERY EVER! I'm expecting 100's of rejections as I know it's the total norm, and will wait for that "one agent" that gives it a chance. I'm just excited to finally get the right story, and the right voice to even WANT to query.
QUESTIONS TO THE READER:
1. How did you know when you found your writing voice?
2. How many genres did you write before you found your niche?
3. If I get laryngitis, will you help me find my voice again?