Guest Post: Five Things I Learned While Writing Pretty Little Dead Girls By: Mercedes M. Yardley


Publisher: Ragnarok Publications

Publication Date: September 29, 2014

Synopsis: "Run, Star Girl."

BRYONY ADAMS IS DESTINED TO BE MURDERED, but fortunately Fate has terrible marksmanship. In order to survive, she must run as far and as fast as she can. After arriving in Seattle, Bryony befriends a tortured musician, a market fish-thrower, and a starry-eyed hero who is secretly a serial killer bent on fulfilling Bryony’s dark destiny.

Guest Post: Five Things I Learned While Writing Pretty Little Dead Girls 

1. Scrap what you “should” be writing and write what you want.

I originally sat down to write the sequel to my first novel, but my heart wasn’t there. I wanted to write something peculiar and lovely with exquisite language. I wanted to play in the literary sandbox instead of sitting at my desk. So that’s what I did, and the end result was that I wrote my favorite piece ever, Pretty Little Dead Girls, in three weeks. Three weeks of eating, sleeping, and breathing this work. Wait, scratch that. There really wasn’t much sleeping involved.

2. Tell that voice in your head to hang.

“You should be working on your sequel,” that voice told me. “This story you’re writing isn’t like anything else out there. Who will publish it? How will you market it? Danger, Will Robinson, danger!”

No, it isn’t safe. And it was, indeed, difficult to publish and market. But it was fun, and free, and written in a screaming, joyous manner. It was worth every single second of it.

3. Nonwriters might never “get it”, and that’s okay.

I wrote a good portion of PLDG during the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving and I haven’t been friends since childhood, and it only became worse when my close friend died during the holiday later. So while other people rejoiced and ate turkey, I hissed and spit and sulked and even cried. Except for the year that I was writing Pretty Little Dead Girls. I snuck to my hotel room and wrote while others thought I was being antisocial. And I was, but I was doing what I needed to do in order to get through the holiday and be happy. Spending time with the in-laws can really be nice, but creative create. It’s not easy to explain to others, but if it helps you and your art, W carve out the time you need for yourself.

4. Writing should be fun.

Did you somehow forget that along the way somewhere? Perhaps it started out as a hobby and then turned into a job. Don’t forget the joy and whimsy and drive that interested you in writing in the first place. It writing isn’t fun anymore, then take a break. Or quit. Start a new project. Whatever it takes to remind you that you’re writing for pleasure. Trust me, there are other easier ways to pick up a paycheck. If you’re struggling through writing for money alone, and hating every second of it, find something else to do.

5. There is beauty in humanity.

The news and Facebook and everything else I see tells me that humans are a doomed, hateful species. Writing Pretty Little Dead Girls allowed me to write the characters that I wanted to see. They’re simple and straight-forward. They love with their whole hearts. They link arms and protect the Star Girl, and each other. I fell in love with these characters, with their goodness. And considering these characters are based on real people I know it brought to mind how wonderful and hopeful we really can be.

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