“When did you start writing Alex’s Girl?”
“How long did it take you to complete Alex’s Girl?”
“Where did you get the idea for Alex’s Girl?”
A lot of people have been asking me the above questions so I figured I’d just write a post and explain how Alex’s Girl (and my presence on Wattpad) came to be.
Warning: I’m going to say ‘technically’ a lot.
So technically Alex’s Girl has been in production for a LONG time. Short answer? Three years. Basically, I posted Chapter One of Alex’s Girl Fall of 2012 and marked it complete summer of 2015.
But it’s actually a bit more complicated than that, because I technically could’ve written Alex’s Girl in a year or less (90% of the story was finished by mid-2013), but life got in the way. I didn’t write anything for almost an entire year (2014), but once I started up again it only took me a few months to finish that remaining 10%, and that took longer than it had to because as you probably know, I like to space my updates out and won’t post a chapter immediately even if it’s finished/ready to go, not to mention that one of the chapters (21) wasn’t even an actual chapter, but instead a teaser for book 2.
But anyway, from the beginning:
So, sometime in late 2011 (I was probably 19 at the time, a sophomore in college) I had a dream one night, the description of which can be found on my FAQ page but I’ve also copied & pasted below for your convenience ’cause I know you’re probably a lazy fuck like me:
I had a dream about a homeless girl (running away from something) that got a job at a salon sweeping the floor. Her boss was a hot blonde woman who owned the salon. The girl makes enemies with a hair dresser there, who finds out about the girl’s situation and tells the owner. Instead of being mad, the owner ends up driving the girl to her place, where she promises to let her stay until she can get back on her feet. It’s worth mentioning that ‘Alex’ and ‘Val’ have been in my head for YEARS before this dream, and were at the center of several other stories and plots. But for some reason this dream was so memorable that I had to write it down. In the process I made it more interesting (because bars are way cooler than salons) and voila, Alex’s Girl.
You know those dreams that stick with you for a few days and for whatever reason it has some strange effect on you and you just can’t get it out of your head? This was one of those dreams. What helps me get ‘rid’ of these kinds of things is just writing it out and moving on. So that’s how I started Alex’s Girl: Unintentionally!
I wrote it while I was on a family vacation, and was bored out of my mind. I was sitting on the floor of our hotel room with my laptop in my lap, and just typed up the first few pages of my dream, of what would one day have the ill-thought out title of ‘Alex’s Girl.’
Now, at 19 I had already been writing and working on three separate story projects at the time, and was posting my writing on a different website. I didn’t have time to start a new story, and definitely never intended on turning ‘Alex’s Girl’ into anything other than a quick drabble meant to get my dream out of my head so I can finally focus on other stuff.
I don’t normally write in first person, and hadn’t in years, so it was sort of like an experiment for me, a writing exercise even. I only wrote a few pages. I didn’t even get to the part where Alex’s invites Val to stay with her/AKA write out the whole dream, I think I only got to the description of how hot Alex is before I got bored and closed the document, leaving it to sit in my computer indefinitely. I never intended on ever opening it up or working on it again.
If someone had told me back then that I would not only continue writing Alex’s Girl, but also end up developing what would one day be my first completed story from that terribly written 4-5 page drabble, I would’ve laughed.
So anyway, Alex’s Girl (which was not called Alex’s Girl at the time) sat on my computer for maybe a year, a year and a half? I totally forgot it existed.
So then it’s 2012 I think. It’s the end of the year. I had just gotten back from spending a summer semester in LA and had just broken up with my then girlfriend. It was my senior year, I had barely any classes or responsibilities. Basically, I didn’t have much going on that I needed to worry about. Aside from a few easy classes, life was relatively stress free.
One day I was browsing Reddit and someone had posted a question on r/writing asking about websites where they can post their stories to to get some feedback. Someone in the comments mentioned Wattpad.
I decided to check it out. The platform I was writing on at the time sucked, and Wattpad’s concept of being the ‘Youtube of Books’ intrigued me.
I obviously couldn’t post anything I had already been working on/had on a different site. Soooo what do I post? I looked through my computer for something I could post that vaguely resembled a first chapter of some story.
Lo and behold! I dug up the document that would one day become Alex’s Girl.
Fun Fact: the original Word document was titled ‘Avalanche Flow’ at the time. What’s Avalanche Flow? It’s actually an exact bit of dialogue I remember from the dream. In the dream, the girl is handed a blue drink, and another person (I guess dream!Gabe?) tells her he invented it himself! I included this minor moment in a scene in Alex’s Girl, actually.
Anyway, I realized Alex’s Girl/Avalanche Flow was perfect for testing out Wattpad. It’s the beginning of a story, which is always the hardest part to write, it’s not written too long ago so I didn’t feel as though it was a poor example of my writing quality (these days I would disagree, it’s terrible), and it’s written in 1st person which is ‘all the rage’ these days, as the kids say.
I quickly picked up where I left off, added a few more pages, finished the chapter and presto! Had a very short chapter to a new story.
At this point I still hadn’t planned on continuing it, I just wanted something finished that I could post up on the site and see what the Wattpad community was like (AKA would something I post get any traction or would it disappear into the masses of stories?)
Anyway, I remember being pretty excited getting like, maybe 10 comments!!!
Maybe less than 10 actually. Maybe there were only 20 views and like 6 comments.
Ahhh such humble beginnings.
Anyway, six people seemed to like it, so I wondered how long I could keep the story going, just as an experiment. Anyway I ended up enjoying writing the story! I got really into it. I was writing 20-30 pages weekly, and posting every other week or even every week if my readers hit a certain vote limit. The frequent updates kept Alex’s Girl from falling into obscurity, and each month meant more followers, more views, and more comments! It was awesome. I was on a roll.
Then I met my girlfriend, HLC, and updates slowed down (because honestly I was too busy getting laid and falling in love to write, sorry guys.)
THEN I graduated college in 2013, got a shitty job, left my shitty girlfriend (fuck you, HLC), got a new girlfriend (what up Hillter!), and for an ENTIRE YEAR I didn’t write anything. I couldn’t! My job drained me. My crazy girlfriend drained me. I would stare at Microsoft Word, angry that I was so close to being finished (CHAPTER 18!! Of a planned 20!!) and then would give up.
So I worked there from Fall 2013 to Fall 2014. Broke up with my crazy girlfriend (bai Hillter) and quit my shitty job in the same week almost.
BAM. Everything was better! I started writing again, finished the final 2 chapters plus a Book 2 Teaser (which is truly a miracle because I was almost 100% certain I would not write a sequel, and yet here I am.)
So there you have it. TECHNICALLY, I could have finished Alex’s Girl in a year, but I took almost an entire year off before finally writing the final chapters.
Alex’s Girl took a very long time to get ‘popular’ if you can even call it that. At it’s height it was ranking extremely high (top 50/70s) in the romance category on Wattpad’s Hot List, but that required lots of frequent chapter updates and I’ve learned recently that taking longer between chapter updates allows me to provide higher quality writing!
Once I finished Alex’s Girl and marked it as complete the views SHOT UP, which is pretty cool, but I also fear I lost a few readers somewhere in that nearly year-long hiatus.
Anyway. That’s how this all started! From a 4-5 page drabble that was never meant to see the light of day to my first completed (and most popular) story!
And now I’m working on a sequel, I can hardly believe that still.
But I’m glad I wrote Alex’s Girl. I learned a LOT during that entire process, a lot about myself and writing and even about you beautiful, impatient fucks that I love so much.
In Lost Then Found news, a snippet of the upcoming chapter to follow once I can find a worthy part, so stay tuned 😉
Until next time!