Finishing Edits…but Are They Really Done? 

Hello all. I’ve Ben away for a while, mainly because of schoolwork and the fact that I wasn’t really doing anything writing related. I had only 15 pages left of edits for my novel Knowing You’re There, and I finally finished that, along with formatting the whole thing and putting it into a Google doc for beta readers, which is a whole different story in itself, because when I told everyone I was starting my publishing journey they were all volunteering, and now everyone is either not interested or too busy. 

Anyway, the focus from the beginning was always the length of my story. I managed to increase the word count from 42K to 46K with a few new scenes. However, that’s still not enough. So I found myself suddenly making an outline of 7 chapters that would definitely not be fluff and would actually further plot and character development for Kurt and Lia, my starring couple. 

Now the big question is: do I go through with it? A large part of me thinks I should. However, I’m a tired and lazy college student. But since a novel is trimmed down anyway I the professional editing process, I’m going to say that it would be a good idea to extend it. Now all I need to do is find some committed beta readers who will work for free…

From Hate to True Love

My good friend gave me the idea to write this post.  We’ve all seen it in stories, movies, plays, and wherever else.  But in real life?  Not at all for me, personally.

You know how it goes.  Guy and girl hate each other.  They’re science project partners/dance partners/have to kiss in the school play/are just generally in a way where they’re forced to be together and there’s no way around it.  And instead of ripping each other apart, they realize that they’ve just been in love the whole time!  Then they live happily ever after…

Let’s rewind for a moment here.  Two people hate each other and then fall in love.  It just doesn’t make any sense to me, especially if they are forced to be with each other for a period of time.  What do we do in the real world when we have to be around other people all the time?  We lose our minds.

I’ve worked with other guys several times in plays and school projects.  Of course, we didn’t fall in love.  We did the project or tried to get through whatever we were doing as quickly as possible so we’d be done with each other.

Even if people hated each other and fell in love, how would that relationship possibly work?  I could never imagine dating one of my high school bullies and just ignoring all the names he called me or amount of times I was spit-balled.  How could they move past the hate from all those years beforehand.

I guess this is just another mystery if the clichés, right?

Your Gender-Neutral Story

Yesterday I found yet another story on Wattpad where a strait girl and strait guy were living in the same dorm room, sleeping a few feet away from each other. Of course, they didn’t know each other and hated each other. 

I’m just going to go right into a numbered list about gender neutral housing. Here are some facts and debunking methods to ensure that your story is accurate and relatable:

1. Yes, two strait students can live in the same room or suite…

This one surprised me after doing some research yesterday. According to Cornell, two students of different genders can share a bedroom. BUT

2. They HAVE to fill out a special aplication 

Not only can students live with a person of the opposite sex, they MUST agree to it by filling out a special application. Only then will they be in gender-neutral housing. 

3. AND they have to know each other! 

The colleges I researched had special selection processes where after student fill out their special aplication, they have to select their roommates BEFORE they select their room. 

4. Open room change does exist, too

One issue I’ve noticed a lot is the line, “How will they survive living together for an entire year?” Well, they won’t, because open room change happens 3 times a year and they could switch out if it was that bad. 

5. And so do waitlists 

If open room change doesn’t work out, many colleges offer waitlists into other dorms. With people dropping/moving off campus/getting kicked out, there will always be SOMEWHERE else to go at some point. My suitemate was on a wait list and moved into my room at the end of November. 

My First Solution: The Off Campus, 2 Bedroom Apartment

This solution is not only more realistic, but can keep the two in one place where they literally can’t move out, mainly if they’re stuck in a year lease. In fact, they’ll spend even MORE time together, since they’ll be doing all of their cooking and studying there, instead of leaving said dorm room to go to the cafeteria or library. 

Create this situation by having one person already in the apartment, their roommate bailing, leaving them desperate for a roommate in order to pay rent; having the other move in since they applied late and don’t have a room on campus. 

Second Solution: the Live-in Boyfriend/Girlfriend

College students do this ALL the time. Two of my friends have a roommate and suitemate with a boyfriend who never leaves, and I lived next door to someone in the same situation last year. 

PLENTY of drama can happen between a roommate and a significant other that is always there. And wait–plot twist! She’s falling for her roommate’s boyfriend, but can’t date him because it’ll ruin their friendship! *gasp* 

Heck, I might even use one of these ideas myself. 

What About Writing REAL Romance?

I promised a romance-related post today, and a sudden entrance into my room by my distressed suitemate served as a good inspiration. On Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about writing REAL romance.

Throughout my teen years, I’ve had a lot of friends, and I’ve seen a lot of people go through boyfriends. Most of the time, relationships DON’T work out! But yet, for some reason, love stories today somehow focus on two different extremes. Either someone dies (TFIOS, Romeo and Juliet) or they live “Happily Ever After” (The Notebook, and every Disney movie). Go figure!

Let’s go back to the real issue here. Relationships stink sometimes. Someone may cheat. Maybe the guy is possessive, or the girl is crazy. Couples get separated by distance. One partner may be lazy, while the other could be too controlling. And, most of the time, to no one’s surprise, people break up.

But yet, I don’t see these stories. Personally, I love stories that I can relate to, and the main course of my writing is trying to relate to others. Where are the stories where a couple has a pretty good relationship, fights every once in a while, then breaks up after a few months/years, and they have to recover and try to move on? Because newsflash–things like this actually happen.

This, in my opinion, is what I call “real romance.” I’d like to say that most of the time, handsome young teenagers don’t die, and most “happily ever afters” are unrealistic. Even the most picture-perfect couples can have issues. My boyfriend and I have gotten praise and complements from people about how “cute” we are, and although we don’t have fights (we try our best to talk calmly about things instead of yelling), we still have issues. (The things his parents do really drive me nuts, and he usually backs them up).

So, I think it’s time to change the notion of today’s romance stories. No more perfect/dead boyfriends! Get to the nitty-gritty of relationships: struggles, fights, making up, and working together to power through issues. Or breaking up, because that happens a lot too.