From the Mind of Master Imaginationist Crystal Connor ~"A Trusted Name in Terror."

The Darkness, Artificial Light, In The Valley of Shadows

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

At all cost stay true to yourself, and your vision

So we’re back on track with The Darkness. One of the 1st things that was said to me at the very beginning of this process was how writing the story is the easy part, now the hard part begins. I cannot tell you how painfully true that is.

Once your story begins the transformation from story to book you have a ton of other crafts involved to make that book come true which means there are a lot of other creative forces involved.

The last two months has been extremely stressful because someone else’s vision started to creep through and it's a very different vision than mine. Though I have been writing for years this is 1st book and I am very excited and humbled to be here and I was not prepared for this process.

So when suggestions and ideas were made that I wasn’t 100 and 10% supportive of, I tried to be accommodating. Before I knew it these other creative forces started to eclipse mine and I was losing the control over what I wanted The Darkness to look and read like. This person has been in the industry for decades and was only offering different points of views and visions. However knowing that did not prevent it from feeling like a hostile takeover.

Because I was so afraid of hurting someone’s feelings I did not say anything and I was miserable, I was bitching to my friends, my sister lost patience with me and basically told me to stop calling her to whine and deal with it and I had a headache for almost a week straight.

Everyone knows that I’m Stephen King’s # 1 fan, and that my admiration for Dean Koontz boarders on stalker status and because the late Octavia E. Butler lived in the same state as I do…well those records have been sealed. There are books written by them that I’ve read and didn’t like, and a few I didn’t finish and there is no way in hell that I can read more than about 6 pages of Clive Barker’s work. But do you think they give a rats ass about what I think, I mean who the hell I am?

My point is no matter what you need to fight for your voice and your story once you get to this process because if you don’t you’ll release a book you’re less than happy with. The author’s mentioned above took and still receive tons of criticism and bad reviews…but they wrote stories that are true to their vision and idea’s, and where are they now? Living in gated communities protected from stalker fans like me.

I spent almost six days trying to find a way to explain to the powers that be that our creative visions are different and don’t fit well together because I wanted to be careful. I didn’t want to express my concerns the way I did when I was venting to friends or be as frustrated as I was right before when my sister hung up on me.

So after rewriting and rewriting my concerns, explaining how I felt and requesting that my vision...mine, be realized I sent the email.

I tried; I really did do the best that I could not to step on toes or hurt anyone's feelings. I spent six and a half years sailing with the 7th fleet along side some of the meanest men in America and I have learned how to use my words as weapons, so I really did try not to be mean or hurtful so that no one would be upset and that my point was made and heard …but it happened anyway.

My friend told me that “Telling someone you're not 100% happy with their work or with your working relationship is never easy and it’s expected that someone’s feeling will be hurt. You just say what you have to say to get your story written and published the way you envision it and everyone will be Happy in the end.”

It was extremely hard to send that email, I’m not happy that I made someone feel bad, but it needed to happen so that I could stay true to family, my friends, myself and to The Darkness, so I had to step up to the plate and say something and as my fellow writer or artist I hope you do too and because that’s my wish for you, in closing I would like to quote my friend once more because it just doesn’t apply to me.

It's YOUR Story. You’re a GREAT Writer. Have Faith in that.

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