Monday, March 16, 2015

Why I wrote 3 short stories before my first novel by Lilly Avalon + Giveaway

Hi! It's Lilly again. Today I'm going to talk about novels, novellas, short stories, and how I ended up writing the books I published in the last year.

Why I wrote 3 short stories before my first novel

After publishing a short story and two novellas, some people have been wondering why I chose to do that instead of putting out a full-length novel. Is it because I'm a wicked little tease? Or is it because I like to taunt you with unfinished tales of the sexy kind?

It's actually neither. Near the end of 2013, I decided I wanted to write erotica. It had been on my mind for awhile, but I was afraid to jump into it. So I started small and wrote Here All Along. The first draft was about 5000 words (and written in third person). I expanded in it and added a scene to make it 8000. Then I hit publish and crossed my fingers. I felt really good about it. I mean, yeah, it's a pretty short story—but I was proud of it.

Over the next few months, I started working on the full-length sequel to Here All Along (titled Here We Are). I came up with the basic plot and wrote several scenes, but I wasn't getting into it. A few other ideas came to mind, so I decided to give HWA a rest while I pursued something I could get into. I started writing a new adult story called Unexpected. That one started out as a novella, but it kept changing and growing. I loved it, but I couldn't focus on that one either.

Then Resist came along and my writing was flowing again. The idea started originally as a short story, but as time went on and I learned about Allegra and Devlin, I knew there was more to them than just simple attraction. And even though they were going to have their one story, I knew that wouldn't be it for them. Resist ended at about 21,000 words, which was enough to tell the first part of their story.

As soon as I published it, I got to work immediately on Longing, the full-length sequel to Resist. I just broke the 10,000 word mark when I was suddenly inspired. A story idea from a couple months back started running through my head and it was just so persistent and demanding that I had to listen. So I did. And for the next 12 days, I wrote 12,000 words. That writing blitz became my third book, More Than Words. I didn't set out to write it. It just happened because it had to.

As I edited More Than Words, I kept plugging away at Longing. Luckily for me, the story was coming along nicely. I had high hopes to have it written by the middle of October so that I would be able to publish in December, but then real life got in the way. My focus was thrown off and I didn't want to rush the story. I gave myself an extra month, delaying the release until January instead. I felt awful about postponing Longing, and I even had a brief moment of feeling like I failed. But I had to tell myself that I didn't—I took in the situation and acted accordingly. If I hadn't, Longing wouldn't be what it is today.

So, why did I publish three books that weren't full-length novels?

As a writer, you have to go with what's working. For me, it ended up being three shorter stories before I finally published my first novel. Am I a tease? Inadvertently, yes.

The point is, you never know where your books are going to lead you. You can have every intention to write only full-length stories, but sometimes the shorter ones end up happening. You never know which story is going to stand out to you the most, or why it does. You may wake up one day, change your mind about your WIP, and start a new one. I'll tell you something, though: If you don't follow the inspiration when it strikes, you might regret it.

Trust your instincts.

Just because your current WIP isn't working for you today, doesn't mean it won't work for you tomorrow, or in a month, or maybe even a year. Sometimes the best thing for a story is to let it breathe, let your mind wander over time, and then you'll be truly ready.

As writers, we need to write. So, when you have a story that lets you do that, hold on to it and keep at it. I know you can make it happen!

Lilly Avalon is the author of the RESIST series as well as other erotic romances. She's somewhere in the midst of her twenties and lives mostly in the stories in her head. When she's not enveloped in the worlds she creates, she's out in the real world making stories happen. That or reading other romances. It's a toss-up.


I'm offering up an ecopy of both Resist and Longing today to TWO lucky winners! Both winners will receive both books.

(Click on the title to read more on Goodreads)
| Resist | Longing |

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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