Becoming A New Author

I’ve started to write my own young adult fantasy novel. It’s partly out of frustration at the numerous contemporary/urban fantasy cliches being constantly published by the fantasy/sci-fi industry and partly to get the thoughts out of my head. Don’t get me wrong, at one point in time I loved to read urban fantasy – couldn’t get enough of it. But in the last decade the urban-fantasy sub-genre has completely usurped the high/traditional fantasy sub-genre that I love and grew up with.

Of course within urban fantasy there are different levels of weirdness for lack of a better term (think Anne Rice vs. Kim Harrison). But for right now I want to get back to what makes fantasy, in particular young adult fantasy, great. Tales of adventure, magic, fellowship and courtship. No planes, trains, or demons dressed in Dolce & Gabanna will cross my pages. I much prefer cloaks, daggers, markets and irritatingly know-it-all boys. I started this book in August 2011 with a dream but no vision. It has grown from nothing to 30 pages but still has so far to go.

I’ve learned that writing a book is not easy. I used to scoff at authors on Amazon with less than 400 pages in their book. If I was going to buy something it was damn well going to be long and worth my $10.00. I wouldn’t even touch anything less than 300 pages unless I could get it Used with Super Saver Shipping. I considered 600 pages my sweet spot and huge books like George R.R. Martin my gold mines.

Now that I’ve started writing it’s taken me roughly 4 months to get 30 pages on paper. I certainly don’t scoff at a paltry 300 pages anymore. Easy to read but less easy to write. Granted I do this in my spare time, often only writing for two hours each weekend IF THAT. Hey, I do have a full-time job (in a pretty demanding field), friends and a life. But this book has become important to me. Both as a way to improve what’s available in the fantasy world and to prove to myself that my ideas are worth publishing.

So my goal right now is 350 pages and publication by January 2013. I should mention that I’m not the type to bust out one draft by hand and then six drafts later have a finished product. As I write I continuously go back and edit. Each time I open my draft as I sit down to write, I re-read the book to catch grammar errors and get a sense of how the characters are progressing.

In 2008 Orbit Publisher Tim Holman published this graph. At the time Urban Fantasy was 14% of the market.

If anyone out there has access to the 2011 Business of Consumer Book Publishing report please send me a line algardisbooks gmail com. It costs $3,250 to access the online download and quite frankly it’s scale and broad outlook is of more use to publishing companies than individuals. I just want the data on the fantasy sub-genres. The Romance Writers of America have done a good job of compiling relevant information from the report. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America on the other hand haven’t done anything.