Writer / Reader / Fandom Extraordinaire
Chiara / June 16, 2016 , Thu / writing

I’ve mentioned previously that before I finished my first novel, JB, I had tried and failed with a number of other stories. I started out excited about every single one of them, but inevitably (it seemed) there would always come a point where I didn’t like the story anymore, I didn’t like what I was doing with it, I didn’t like what I had written, or I just lost the passion for it.

All of these unfinished projects were about girls. All except one, which seemed to capture my heart above all else. It was a vampire story (oh yes), and the protagonist was male. I loved diving into his head, for it was such a darker place, a more morbid place, a more sexy place, a more confused place than I had ever written about before. I wrote quite a bit of this ‘book’, and always intended to finish it, but I didn’t, for whatever reason.

And then I wrote a fanfic. About Merlin and Arthur, and again I felt that feeling of rightness, I suppose, when I wrote from Merlin’s perspective.

Cue hundreds of fics for several fandoms, the majority of them all written from a male perspective, the majority of them also including m/m relationships.

There was something about these fics that I was writing that just gelled with me. I felt more free in my writing, and more open, and all those good kinds of words. And then I decided to write JB. And, for the first time, I actually finished a book. I had an actual book, fifty thousand or so words, a hundred or so pages. And it was mine. These were my words on the page, and my hours of writing that had created them, and my characters, and my beginning and middle and end.

It was incredible. I had started to believe that perhaps, even though I wanted to write books, I wasn’t going to be able to.

And then I wrote my second novel, FA the following year. Two books now. Both about boys in love with boys.

It seems that writing boys is what I was supposed to do, and writing queer boys is what I am supposed to do. I don’t know if I will always write about these queer boy characters (I do have some queer girl stories in mind), but I know that when I write their stories I feel some sense of rightness. I worry sometimes about whether I can write a boy accurately, as I am not one myself, but I try my darnedest. I try my hardest to give these queer boys inside my head the love and attention and respect and words that they deserve.

Because their stories need to be told. For them. For me. For the real queer boys who need to see themselves. For the real queer boys who can find a book boyfriend. For readers looking for diverse books. For readers looking outside themselves. For you.

Their stories are important, and I am only one voice among many, and a voice that has yet to be heard. But my boys are here, and they’re queer, and they are the labour of my love. And they are the ones that have made writing an actual dream almost come true. I will love them endlessly.

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8 Responses to boys, boys, boys

  1. Inge says:

    I’m glad you found what works for you. ♥ It can be tricky to discover what works and what doesn’t. It’s funny that you found out through Merlin/Arthur fanfic! :D

    • Chiara says:

      Me, too! I had so many years of unfinished books, and it’s so great to know why they didn’t work! I know, right? I have that show to thank for a lot :D

  2. Romi says:

    I’m really glad you’ve found a place in your writing that just makes sense/clicks/works for you- whether you end up writing queer girl books or not, the fact you’ve found an array of characters who speak to you and force you to tell their stories (because we both know how tirelessly they force us) is so fantastic, and I know that I definitely want to be meeting the rest of your characters because all of them sound glorious. I’m pretty sure you should dig out that vampire novel, though, because seriously? Chiara? You could write an LGBTIQA+ vampire novel with brooding and ALL OF IT and it would be amazinggggg. And I really want you to do that now. ACCEPTABLE BIRTHDAY PRESENT. 109% I also hope you write some queer girl stories at some point, because I would heartily love to meet those ladies and I know they’d be divine. Also I would probably fall in love with each of them.

    I love that you’re writing these stories, and you’re wanting to publish them, because they mean so much to *you* and they’re necessary and PASSION. And one day, they’re going to mean so much to a whole range of people. And it will be a very teary day for all of us and emotions will be everywhere.

    For my part, I used to write stories that were primarily conceived because I wanted to be elsewhere, and I could create better places for me. I mean, I only really started writing when I was… 12ish, which was my unfinished fairy book, and it was just an anchor because things were starting to get really hard for me at that stage. And since then, I’ve written more books and they’ve all helped me stay okay, no matter how difficult and miserable and treacherous the world around me was beginning to feel. And even if I don’t have a passion for some of the early ones, and my style changed from writing happy-happy places to writing happy-but-not-really places, I still look back fondly. And with slight embarrassment because really. My fairy princess had strap on wings. *shakes head*

    • Chiara says:

      I am so incredibly happy that I found these boys, and that I am the person they chose to tell their story to. I DO have some queer girl stories up my sleeve, and it would actually be a little scary writing them! Especially the fantasy one. But I would like to tell their stories one day, for sure. Oh dear god. The vampire novel was the most angsty thing I have possibly ever written XD And no one shall ever see it, even you, sorry to say. But it would probably be fun to write a queer paranormal story just ~because~.

      I really hope that one day does happen because it would literally be EVERYTHING. And a little bit more, too.

      I love that writing was your escape, and that you can still look back fondly at the ones that you’re not actively writing at the moment. I think writing can be an equally amazing escape as reading, sometimes more so because we get to pick every single thing that happens and make it exactly what WE want. *cheers for writing* Strap on wings sounds amazing, though. It means that anyone could be a fairy :D

  3. Topaz says:

    What a wondrous revelation, Chiara. I’ve always found that it is much easier for me to write girls – queer & straight – perhaps because I am so passionate about giving girls the voices & outlets they need in a society so bent upon stifling them. But finding one’s own genre & POV passion is, I think, so incredibly important. How lovely that you have stumbled upon yours after so many years of trying. <3

    • Chiara says:

      I think it is a somewhat wondrous thing to know what suits you. I always thought that I should write stories about girls because I am a girl, but none of them worked. They all seemed to lack a certain essence. And I’m so happy to have found that essence in my boys <3 I am happy that you know your narrators, as well! I think it opens up a whole new world of writing when we know what we are best at. <3

  4. I have yet to finish an actual book so far. I hoped to complete my current WIP this year, but to be honest I can’t really see it happening. Seeing other people finishing their own projects gives me hope, though.
    I’m very glad that you have found stories you want to tell! <3 Personally I enjoy writing POVs of all genders, but I think perhaps I'm most attached to the queer girls I write. I guess they're a little more personal to me, and it's partly driven by my desire to see more queer stories in books. *nods*

    • Chiara says:

      Even if it doesn’t end up happening by the end of this year, definitely don’t give up! I finished my first book seven years after I started writing books at all, so keep faith in your writing, Eve :D

      Thank you! <3 I have to say that I have no desire to write cishet stories at all. I adore my queer boys more than anything, but I do have some queer girl stories up my sleeve, too. And, like you, it's definitely because we need more queer stories out in the world!

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