S. Elle Cameron

All love is a tragedy...

Filtering by Tag: J.K. Rowling

Starting Over:Theme From RED

"That's your only way out...wrecking who you once were and rebuilding yourself from scratch."-Mason Taylor (RED)

Starting over is hard but sometimes it's the only option we have. The only thing harder than starting over is staying where we are because it eventually will tear us to shreds. Last week I spoke about forgiveness and how important it is to forgive others and yourself. Well, after you forgive you need to learn to move on because that doesn't happen on its own. Starting over is another major theme from my upcoming novel, RED and it's a topic that needs to be discussed almost everyday. Each moment that goes by consists of someone trying to hit the reset button. 

The characters in RED are both beautiful and flawed. This is what makes them so realistic. The main character, Peyton is on a journey to find herself and make a better life. She hits tons of bumps in the road (some she caused, others not so much) and there comes a time in the book where she needs help with becoming someone new. When asking Mason what should she do, he gives her the quote above. This is one of my favorite quotes from the book because it's some of the greatest advice anyone can give. We can't get out of our situations if we're not willing o wreck a few things.

Wrecking things may mean killing your bad habits, letting some people go, or moving to a different zip code. At some point we all have to wreck ourselves or the things around us in order to truly let go. There's no such thing as truly starting over unless you wreck something. You can't build a new home without tearing something down.

It may seem counterintuitive to talk about destroying something if you want to start fresh with a clean slate but sometimes you have to get messy before you can clean up. This is something Peyton, Adalyn, and Mason have to learn for themselves. All three characters are caught in very different situations but they all must learn the same lesson. It's a lot like life. we all have different journeys and issues but most of the time we're all learning the same lessons. Life has a funny way of teaching that way. 

After you're completely wrecked the only other option you have is to start over and rebuild. It's almost like hitting rock bottom; the only place you have left to go is up. This is why the wrecking phase is so important. You can't build over a cracked foundation...life is no different. 

Take Mason's advice and call the construction crew; tell them to bring the wrecking ball because you need to start over. Once the walls are down and the debris is clear, start cleaning up and rebuilding. Once you begin to start over you'll learn to find yourself. You can't truly find out who you are with years old mess surrounding you. You know what? Finding yourself sounds like a great topic for next week! 

In the meantime, here's a song all about feeling stuck and trying to start over:

typography life startingover Quotes

Native Tongue: A Post for Literary Agents

"Living in a city of sleepless people
Who all know the limits and won't go too far outside the lines
Cause they're' out of their minds."

"Generally the agents seem to dislike anything too violent or depressing, and stress that writers should "sell a solution, not a problem." This is a comment under a literary agency's information. A few days ago I expressed over Twitter and Facebook how I find it troubling that agents shy away from topics such as suicide, rape, and drugs because these are real issues that happen to real people. We all don't live in a fairytale land where the leading character finds love in the end and the only issue she had to deal with was bullying (not that bullying isn't a serious issue). No one wants to go there. Everyone wants to play it "safe" and not cross the line that will possibly cement them a spot in history. 

Another troubling aspect about the comment above is how do they know if the author is selling a solution or a problem if they're not reading the material? I sent in a query letter along with sample writing at 11:51 am and by 12:12 pm I had my 12th rejection letter in my inbox (by the way, I received #13 a couple of hours later...one more and I'm tied with J.K. Rowling). You would think these literary agents would have learned their lessons by now. If you were to go to www.literaryrejections.com you can see how some of the most iconic writing pieces were rejected and slammed by literary agents and publishers only to leave them kicking themselves on their backsides in the end. Want to know the real problem? They don't know what the people want and they only go by the "standards" they were taught in school. A true visionary and writer can see past "school standards" and know that crossing lines is necessary sometimes. Sadly, all of my rejections have said the same thing: "I'm not enthusiastic about the concept", "I can't grasp the concept", "You deserve an agent who is passionate about your concept".


So you're basically telling me that my writing skills, plot, setting, OR character development are NOT the reasons you're rejecting me but because I choose to share a personal experience in a fictional manner that touches on issues needed to be spoken about? See, I can write the generic love story and get bashed by "the people" and I can become a basic "writer" like most but I choose to take risks because I believe in building my own voice. I'm not here to write about what you want me to write about, I'm here for MY art and eventually someone will like it (actually NOT ONE reader has been disappointed...and that's what matters most). I refuse to change my topic or story because the world is simple minded and unoriginal. You see, I can be generic...but that's not me! To quote my favorite band, "I got a light that won't go out, been burning since the day I was born! So I cry just a little then I dry my eyes 'cause I'm not a little girl no more!" Basically, basic isn't in my vocabulary and neither is generic or safe. I always liked the wild rides anyway.

"They think we’re crazy ‘cause it sounds like noise to them. Ain’t it strange all the things you hear when you sit and listen?"

But really, imagine all of the things you can hear and learn when you sit and listen? Maybe if these agents gave something a little outside of their comfort zone a chance, they would love it. Or maybe they just don't speak the same language as some of us. I wrote this for myself but I also wrote it for all of the broken ones out there. A Tragic Heart was meant to give others something to relate to. There weren't (and still aren't) many books that talk about self-mutilation, depression, or any mental illness for that matter. Why should I change my story because they can't speak our language? Maybe if they read more stories like it, they can speak emo too (hahaha, but in order for them to read those stories they would have to start accepting them...oh, the irony!). 

We feel like no one understands us, like we're the only ones in the world going through it even though we know logically it's not true. All I can say is that it would have helped a lot if I had more books like A Tragic Heart, Scars, Impulse, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower growing up. Haven't these people heard of Cheryl Rainfield and Ellen Hopkins? They're best-selling authors who saw success through writing about some of the most touchy subjects. The reason why they were so successful: people related. It's simple, really. 

Nicholas Sparks is a great writer but how many of us can honestly say we lived The Notebook or The Last Song? I'm sure more people felt the way Charlie did in The Perks of Being A Wallflower. If everyone accepts the same things how can anyone find room to be different? Rejecting taboo topics is like rejecting life and people's personal struggles. It's like saying "your experience isn't good or interesting enough". It's like saying "your hardships and conquering isn't something worth writing or telling about". It should be common sense that feelings of rejection, loneliness, and unworthiness are things that should be written and spoken about. 

Now, I'm not saying that all literary agents are generic and close minded because there are a few that speak my native tongue, I just have to find them (or maybe they will find me). As Paramore says, "...if you give up, you get what you deserve!"

"How can they say that it’s one way when it’s the opposite? And how can they know the end of the story before I tell it?