What do I write about?

First of all, thank you for all your likes, comments and questions! It was a surprise to find so much support and encouragement after just a few posts.

Some of you have asked me about the actual contents of my notebooks. In other words, you wanted to know what I write about. I don’t know if you meant everything that makes it into my notebooks or what may become a book one day, but I’m assuming it’s the latter.

I’m still reticent about giving details because I’m not sure about anything I do… and I’ve changed plot and characters too many times to ignore the very real possibility that it may happen again. I’m aware that nothing is set in stone… but I can give you (and myself) some general ideas.

These are the stories I’d like to finish one day:

  • A fantasy romance with a disabled MC.
  • A paranormal/historical romance set in Madrid, Spain.
  • Another fantasy romance with an MC trapped in someone else’s body.
  • A paranormal/historical romance set in Alcalá de Henares, Spain.

Since I love fantasy, historical and paranormal romance, I want to write those, but I keep having ideas for other contemporary stories with main characters and situations that’d be fun to write. Perhaps even a superhero romance…

Maybe I should start with those, since the research wouldn’t take that long? I could write a short story first….

As you can see, I can’t make up my mind.

 

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Alcalá de Henares. Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons

Books that changed my life

I’ve always wanted to give credit where it’s due, so before I answer any more of your questions, I thought it would be good to give you a bit of a background. For me, reading comes before writing, and I learn something new from every book, but I wanted to share a list of the books that had the biggest impact on me and why:

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The edition of “The Hobbit” my parents have. Photo taken from elbiblionauta.com
  1. The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende: In hindsight, this is the book that made me want to become a writer, even though I didn’t dare say it out loud. I know I’m not alone here; this book is really inspiring.
  2. The Hobbit” + “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien: A classic, right? But these books did not only fuel my love for epic fantasy… they also helped me decide I wanted to study English Philology. I was very young at the time, so I didn’t really believe I’d go through with it, but at 17 I realized (again) that it was the best degree for me.
  3. The Nightrunner Series by Lynn Flewelling: These novels belong to the fantasy of manners subcategory and are to blame for the longest book hangover I’ve ever had (over a year and a half!). Yes, they are that good. I’d never read anything like this series, and I thought I never would again. I’m glad to report I was wrong, but it was the first time I’d read a fantasy book in which the main characters ended up being LGBTQ+, and I didn’t know where to find more.
  4. Widdershins” by Jordan L. Hawk: It turned out one of my friends did know where to find more, and wisely told me to read this book (which is the first in a series). It cured my book hangover, made me want to read and write again, and helped me rediscover a genre I thought was too homogeneous for me: Romance. The book was a real eye-opener, the kind that makes you ask “Wait, people can do that?!”, and my life has fortunately never been the same afterward.
The covers of The Neverending Story, The Hobbit, Glimpses and Widdershins.
The four books that have changed my life the most.

This list is chronological, as you might have guessed. Of course, there are many books I love just as much, but reading these were life-changing experiences, and I hope this post will help you understand what I want to write one day.

How did I start writing?

I got asked this question and the short answer is: I’m not sure. I’ve been thinking about it, and I remembered I used to write diaries and very long letters, but I wasn’t very good at keeping diaries and people tend to stop replying to handwritten letters, so that was it.

But then I started what I didn’t know was a self-insert fanfic when I was 10 or 11 years old. As you might have guessed, I’m very glad I never shared it online (I didn’t have a computer and AO3 didn’t even exist back then!), but it must be hidden somewhere. And it shall remain that way forever. It was an animorphs fanfic, if you have to know, and all my friends were in it, of course. Together we were fighting the Yeerks, saving the Earth, getting Tobias to open up about his feelings…. the usual. There was no romance because I wasn’t the only one who liked Tobias, so I didn’t want to make him choose. Better to keep all options open and all parties interested.

I was 13 when my parents heard about a writing workshop for kids. I went there every Sunday for a while, but they cancelled it. Some years later, they decided to open one for teens with the same teacher, and I joined again. And after a while, I joined the one for adults, even though I wasn’t an adult yet. There was a a very intelligent boy who was even younger than me, a goth girl that fought ignorance and intolerance in every way, a Tunisian girl whose writing flowed as beautifully as her drawings, a journalist that hated journalism, a historian that loved auctions, and lots of mate (the drink). One day I got to touch a piano score handwritten by Chopin. It was amazing.

We even published a few books, but nothing too long or elaborate.

After the workshop ended for good, I tried writing a couple of things. But not having a teacher who would tell me if they were good or not… meant I just decided they weren’t. To be honest, my fantasy story was too childish and still a bit of a self-insert, so I think I was right to abandon it. Still, I didn’t want to let some of the characters die, and I kept thinking about them… until I got that notebook I told you about. That’s when I decided to rewrite the whole story now that I know what I want. More or less.

Years have passed and I’m still not confident enough, but I’ve decided to keep writing. Mainly because I enjoy it. But also because these stories and characters are eating my brain until I let them out.

Books don’t write themselves, yes, but they also take a lot of space until you do.

 

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Taken from Wikimedia Commons.

 

Second Notebook

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Another notebook that I can finally put away! I bought this one before leaving on a trip to Switzerland in 2015. It’s bigger than the previous one because I  was expecting to spend a lot of time travelling by train and writing.

And I did write a lot during that trip, so it was a good choice, but it took me a while to finish it because it was too big to carry around. Once I went back from my holidays, I only used it at home because my bad shoulder doesn’t allow me to carry too many things.

Anyway, its contents are now part of my Scrivener projects, and I have to admit it was an interesting process. At some point during that trip to Switzerland, I must have decided to change the main characters of the story I was rewriting (again, and hopefully for the last time). I thought it had happened much later and I was expecting to find a ton of obsolete information, but it wasn’t so. Most of what I’ve found in this notebook is still usable, and I was pleasantly surprised.

It took me a lot of time to type all of it, but most of my notebooks are much smaller, so I hope the process will be faster from now on.

Why did I choose that pen name?

Yes, Sol Vera is a pseudonym, and I have to use it for various reason. I have a day job, I use my real name for other kind of publications, I’m terribly shy…

I wanted so use a short name that shared my nationality (Spanish) and sounded familiar. People who know me have said it reminds them of my personality, so maybe I chose well after all.

I chose Sol because it means “sun”, which is something typically Spanish. A vera can be the bank of a river or somebody’s side (as in she stood by my side), but also half of the Spanish name for spring, “primavera”, which is the season in which I was born.

I can still change it if I find something wrong with it, so let me know if you think it’s a bad name for any reason!

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Taken from https://www.flickr.com/rrnavero/17127683158

First notebook!

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This is the first notebook I filled with my own writings. The notebook was a present from a friend who lives mainly in Singapore, and it made me want to rewrite a story I’d started writing years ago.

I started rewriting in 2014, so it has rained a few times since then. I’ve also found lots of notes for other stories inside, including several fanfics, and even tips for wannabe writers.

At one point, I started using different colours each time I sat down to write. That way, it’s easier to recognize when another story (or another part of the same story) begins, so I’ve been doing the same ever since. I use pretty colours like purple, teal or crimson because I think they help with creativity. Or, at least, I do get bored when everything looks the same. And my handwriting is terrible, so let me have something that makes reading it acceptable.

I already have this notebook in my (several) Scrivener projects, but this was the notebook that started everything, so I wanted to post a… memorial, I guess.

Thank you for everything, little notebook!

Do I have a writing process?

My gut reaction would be to say “No”.

If I think about it a bit, I’d reply “Yes, trying to make sense out of Chaos”.

And that’s true, but after years of reading, introspection, trial and error… I’ve realized I prefer writing on paper. Thus, I have several small notebooks, and I always carry one with me wherever I go. Whenever I start writing something, I make a note of the story/idea it belongs to. Each notebook has parts and pieces of various stories, and my mind doesn’t quite grasp the meaning of time and chronological order, so I have to make sense of that mess eventually.

This happens when I type everything I’ve written. I use Scrivener for that, and it’s very useful to be able to jump from folder to folder within the same project, but I can’t use it as my sole tool because I keep revising the text every time I open the project instead of writing anything new.

So I’ve decided to stick to my notebooks. But first I have to type everything I’ve done until now because the queue is turning overwhelming. I’ll let you know each time I finish with one, as a kind of reward.

 

Notebooks
My notebooks

The First Step

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but I never had the courage to attempt what feels like an enormous undertaking. I’ll still be on the low while I finally start writing what I want to write, but I thought creating a blog would be useful for me. I’ll try to keep track of everything this way, and maybe it’ll help me visualize that I’m getting something done.

So here we are. Now I have a writer blog and it feels kind of official. I can’t back away. There’s nowhere to hide. I mean… I’m glad to be here, hahaha, why would I want to run away? I’m fine. Everything’s fine. Not having second thoughts at all.

Anyway, this is the first step on my journey to become a writer, and I hope it’s a fruitful one.

See you again soon!

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Taken from http://gunshowcomic.com/648