Guest Post: Natasha Whearity – Why Do I Write? (Pt. 2)

Author Natasha Whearity
My latest project is a book called Idiot. The title is not supposed to be offensive to its readers or anything, if that’s what you first thought when you saw it. I did have a slight dilemma when I came up with the title, because I was thinking about walking into a bookshop and seeing my book on the shelves with the word “IDIOT” scrawled across it, and I realised it may put people off buying it. But, I called it Idiot nonetheless because the word is very significant in the book.

Idiot started as something for my eyes only. But, as the narration progressed, I realised that I was really enjoying writing the story. Then, when I sat back to read what I had written, I found myself enjoying reading it, too. Even having read the book about seven times, I still enjoy it. It’s the kind of story that never grows old. It doesn’t have an expiration date.

As a writer, I often find potential scenarios interesting. Say a fight broke out, or a guy didn’t return my affections, I would sit and write the alternative “what-if” scenario. What if that fight hadn’t happened? What if that boy had felt the same way? This was the same for Idiot. I’ve always wanted a friendship like the main two characters have in the book, and so I wrote about a friendship I wish I could have had.

Idiot follows the lives of Dennis Wellington and Susannah Watson who meet at a train station when they are thirteen-years-old. Their lives become inextricably ensnared as the book follows their lives at random points in time.

Idiot is not a love story. It is about friendship. Whenever I give anyone the synopsis, they always laugh at me.

“It’s about a boy and a girl, and they’re best friends,” I’ll say.

“And let me guess,” they’ll say in response, “they spend the entire novel hating one another until they realize they’re supposed to be together and live happily ever after.”

Well, no. My story is about a boy and a girl who are best friends, but showcases the more realistic side to friendship. I’m not saying that films like When Harry Met Sally, or books like One Day are not very good because they’re not realistic. Not at all. What I am saying is that sometimes things don’t turn out the way you planned. Sometimes you think you know someone, but they’re not who you thought they would be. Sometimes you spend your whole life thinking something will happen, but it doesn’t. That’s life. My book isn’t based on a true story, but I wanted it to seem like it could be.

Dennis is from a poor background. His parents don’t earn very much. He lives in an ex-council house on the dodgy side of town. He can’t afford to buy new trainers, even though his have huge holes in the toes. He’s small, but good-looking for his age.

Susannah is from a rich background. Her parents are divorced, but they both still earn a lot. She buys new clothes every week, and can afford to go on holidays to exotic places. Her boots cost her a hundred pounds. She’s tall and slim and has tacky blonde hair.

They are from two different worlds, but have many things in common. They both like reading, writing, Star Wars, and arguing. They both hate Chinese food and books with disappointing endings. They think of each other as best friends, though they would never admit it.

As in real life, there are sad parts, and moments that will make your heart crack. I found myself screaming at my computer screen when reading through the first draft, wanting something so badly not to happen, but then there were the good parts to balance it all out. The happy moments. The amusing conversations that anyone can relate to.

It may seem ironic to call a book about the importance and closeness of friendship Idiot, but sometimes the people we love the most can be the biggest idiots. I think the sign of a true friendship is being able to call someone an idiot and having them say it back. We’re all idiots sometimes, and this is the story of two of them.

Unfortunately though, I am now facing a challenge that stands in the way of my book being completed: I do not have an editor. I do not have someone to tear the stories I have created to pieces. I have many proof readers. I have teachers who are willing to sit and read my manuscripts for hours, picking out the occasionally sloppy punctuation. I have many brilliant author friends, such as David, who are willing to give me the advice and support I need, but I don’t have an editor.

You’re probably thinking it’s not that important, and I was the same. “I don’t need an editor,” I told myself. “I’ll edit my own work.” I wish it was that simple.

Editors are very awesome people. They help you tidy up that masterpiece. They tell you the bits you should cut, and the bits you should keep. They’re not afraid to tell you when your writing has lapsed, or where you need to improve.

Editors are important, and it’s only now when I’m a bit stuck in a rut that I’ve realised how much I really need one. However, as I am a student just managing to afford to go to university, paying an editor is out of the question right now. However, without an editor I’m going to have all of those weeds of text that I don’t need, or I might miss that vital splash of water that will allow my apple tree to soar. It’s a bit of a catch-22 situation, really.

I don’t mean to bum you out. I’m just trying to explain where I’m coming from. Editing is essential for my writing, and writing is essential for my happiness.

So, where do I go from here? I guess I’ll have to wait and see. I’m trying to contact as many agents as I can to try and get myself out there. Usually the things we want most are often the hardest to get. However, I’m not the sort to give up easily. I’m going to fight for my place on those bookshelves, or those spaces on the Amazon website. I’m going to fight like there’s no tomorrow. So, watch this space. You haven’t heard the last from me!

Over and out,

Natasha Whearity

Follow Natasha on Twitter: @NatashaWhearity

About the Author

Natasha Whearity is a published independent author and teenage phenomenon living in the United Kingdom where she attends college. Her debut short story, The Endgame, is featured in the anthology, Kindle All-Stars: Resistance Front. When not indulging her love of Harry Potter, or reruns of the television show Friends, Natasha can be found out on the Go-Kart race track, or spending time with her close friends and family.

Part two of Natasha’s guest post will be featured later this week, in which she discusses her latest project, a novel entitled
Idiot, which explores the complicated lives of two best friends, and the trials and tribulations they must face.

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