Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Author guest post: From fanfiction to fiction by Natalia Jaster

Today I’d like to welcome author Natalia Jaster to my blog today.  Natalia, who is the author of the recently released YA novel, Touch (which is a retelling of the Eros myth), is here to talk about how she went from writing fanfiction to writing original fiction.

Now as a self-proclaimed fanfiction junkie, I have to admit that when she first contacted me, the first thing I did was go and search for her on Fanfic (because that’s what we readers do, right? I’m not a stalker Natalia – I promise).

If you, like me, are a Hunger Girls, fan – you should definitely go check out her profile and stories on the site – they’ve been getting some amazing reviews. 

Now you’d think that because one write’s fanfiction, it would be easy to write fiction, right?

Not so, she says. 

Which is why, in today’s guest post, she tells us a little more about her transition and what it was like to take a fanfic story she’d written  and transform it into something that would become Touch, her debut YA novel.

Before I hand over the reins though, here’s some more information about the book.  

About Touch (Summary from Goodreads):

The myth of Eros isn’t the truth. Her story is the truth . . .

Love is an immortal bad girl. With a strike of her arrow and a smirk on her face, she pins human hearts together against their will.

It’s for their own good, of course—silly, clueless creatures that they are.

But Love has never loved. Not until the Fates parcel her off to a small, frostbitten town littered with needy souls.

Not until she crosses paths with Andrew, a crippled boy whose gaze locks onto hers. Yet how can this be? Mortals don't have the power to see deities.

The longer they’re friends, the more Love wishes she could touch Andrew. In gentle ways. In other tempting and reckless ways as well.

It’s impossible. She isn’t a true part of his world. She’s an outsider whose fingers will only ever sweep through him.

A mischievous, invisible goddess who’s destined to be alone. And he’s destined for someone else. By order of the Fates, it’s Love’s duty to betray his trust. To seal his heart while ignoring the gash in her own.

Or she could become human. For there is one very tricky, very dangerous way to do so.

If only Andrew felt the same about her, it might be worth the risk.

*Mature YA. Intended for readers 17 and older*
 

Add it to your Goodreads TBR pile.

Buy links:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iBooks


Over to Natalia:

From fanfiction to fiction:

I should start by saying that this is my very first guest post! And so, I figured the best thing to write about was how I got here to begin with.

Over two years ago, I started writing fanfiction. Since then, one of those fanfics has become an original YA mythology romance called Touch.

The transition definitely wasn’t simple, but here’s how it happened.

Immersing myself in fanfiction had completely freed up my writing. There was no pressure to submit to literary agents (something I’d been doing for years), nor any competition amidst thousands of other writers.

I didn’t have to worry about whether my ideas or my prose were unique enough. I wrote fearlessly and without censure, spending time with characters I adored and dropping them into whatever alternative universes I wanted, which split my creative mind wide open.

One of those fanfics never left my head. In terms of plot construction, it was the least complete of my stories. Yet I loved its premise and knew that I’d barely gotten a glimpse of what it could be. The thought of it becoming its own tale was thrilling.

That’s all it took. Or maybe that’s all it ever takes—that spark.

You’d think that turning a fanfic into an original novel would have been easy, right? I mean, thousands of words were already written.

All that needed to be cut were the canon elements: quotes, character quirks and descriptions, symbolism, particular canon settings and conflicts, etc.

Wrong.

Revisiting the fanfic with fresh eyes, months after its posting, changed the way I read it. I had to get to know my characters all over again, as individuals coming from my own inspiration, not from a pre-existing work.

Also, there were tons of things that needed meticulous fixing: logic, pacing, and a more fleshed-out backstory, just to name a few.

Certain features did stay the same, like the setting (a contemporary town in the winter) and the basic, “alternative universe” premise that I’d come up with (a female Eros being forced to pair up the mortal boy she loves with another mortal girl).

And in the end, it was a balance of old and new. Revised scenes and brand new scenes. Tighter, more polished rules of the mythological magic. Intensified relationships, with their own special qualities.

True, the myth of Eros is a classic one, so Touch is a still re-imagining of something that’s already been around.

Many retellings in novels—of fairytales, legends, and the literary classics—are ultimately fanfiction, and it seems that very few tales are wholly original.

Stories will forever react to other stories.

But our imagination has an important part to play. How we react to those other stories, how they inspire and twist our own writing—that’s what makes us unique.

About Natalia:
My kindergarten teacher told my mom than I stared out the window too much, daydreaming instead of paying attention in class.

It’s true.

Eventually I learned to focus more in school (and to love it), but the daydreaming never stopped.

So after earning my master’s in creative writing and spending a bunch of fun years as a magazine editor, I’m now a writer of YA romance.

I’m also a total fool for first-kiss scenes, fanfiction, libraries, and starry nights.

TOUCH is my first book.

Where you can find her online:
Her Tumblr
Her Goodreads profile

Thanks for stopping by Natalia. I can't wait to read Touch!

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