Find your Writing Happy Place here

🌙 There's a reason you haven't finished (or maybe even started on!) your novel yet. If it's one of these reasons, I've got some great news for you. Fiction Alchemy is a brand new way to think about writing.

Find your Writing Happy Place here

I’ve been seriously writing (or trying to write) fiction for 13 years. In that time, I’ve written over 1,000,000 words of fanfiction, 5 drafts of my first novel, the first third of two other novels, and 3 short stories. I’ve finished a lot of fanfics, most of them over 40,000 words, and one over 450,000 words, and I’ve been happy with how those turned out. But if you look at my 5 novel drafts, spread out over the last 10 years, you can clearly see I’m not happy with my original fiction. I needed some author alchemy.

What is it about writing a novel that stumps us?

For the past 7 or 8 years, I’ve spent a lot of time and mental energy studying story structure. This is the key to figuring out my novels! I kept telling myself.

And to a degree, that’s true, but it’s not the whole story. And if you’ve ever written fanfiction, you’ll know how much easier a story’s plot comes together when it’s ‘just fanfic’ than when it’s your baby.

But it shouldn’t be this hard, and after so many years, I think I’m starting to finally figure it out. Why spend the next 13 years trying to figure out how to tell your story the way you want to tell it, when you can pick up some tips here and save all that time?

So that’s why I’m here—that’s the purpose of this brand new adventure: Books * Alchemy (or as I lovingly think of it: The Place to Make Your Author Alchemy—a nice little homage to my roots).

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Photo of two women leaning over a balcony in a library
Flatlay photo of a keyboard, pens, and notebook.

What is author alchemy?

The ancient art of alchemy was a precursor to chemistry. Scholars like Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel, Zhang Guo the Elder, Paracelsus, John Dee, and even Isaac Newton, studied and practiced alchemy. Their goal was to purify or perfect different objects and aspects of themselves. 

They tried to transmute base metals into the noble metals (lead into gold), yes, but alchemy was also an “inner” working—not just early chemistry!

When writing isn’t going how you want it to, that’s the “lead.” It’s heavy, dull, and it weighs you down. But what if you could have the “gold”—the bright, easy, shining words that come sooo much easier than before—instead?

? THAT is Author Alchemy! ? Taking a dull writing life and turning it into a golden one!

So I created this place to help other writers transmute their leaden writing lives into golden ones, just like I did.

How do you know if you need author alchemy?

  • You thought you were a good writer, but now you’re starting to doubt yourself
  • You have no idea how to make an outline that WORKS
  • You’re stuck on endless edits and revisions
  • You’re just starting out, and you don’t know where to start
  • You need help with story structure, character arcs, or thematic elements
  • You’re looking for a writing community, and the ones on FB are all full of people talking at you instead of with you
  • You want to indie publish
  • You’ve got writer’s block—AGAIN

I’ve got a few ideas.

All these things? I’m going to cover them here at Books & Alchemy.

Maaaaaybe I’m a little biased, but my favorite writing website is Fiction Alchemy. I made it to fill a void for writers—it’s the website I wanted when I was really getting serious about writing a novel I could sell.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ? When writing isn’t going how you want it to, that’s the “lead.” It’s heavy, dull, and it weighs you down. But what if you could have the “gold”—the bright, easy, shining words that come sooo much easier than before—instead? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ? THAT is Fiction Alchemy! ? Taking a dull writing life and turning it into a golden one!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So I created this place to help other writers transmute their leaden writing lives into golden ones, just like I did.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ❓ How do you know if you need fiction alchemy?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ‣You thought you were a good writer, but now you’re starting to doubt yourself⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ‣You have no idea how to make an outline that WORKS⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ‣You’re stuck on endless edits and revisions ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ‣You’re just starting out, and you don’t know where to start⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ‣You need help with story structure, character arcs, or thematic elements⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ‣You’re looking for a writing community, and the ones on FB are all full of people talking at you instead of with you⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ‣You want to indie publish⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ‣You’ve got writer’s block—AGAIN⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Want to know more or pitch a guest post? Link in bio. ?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #writersofinstagram #writersofinsta #writingcommunityofinstagram #novelwriting #writingvibes #amwriting #amwritingfiction #aspiringauthor #aspiringwriter #writingbuddies #instawrite #instawriters #writergram #writerscommunity #writerscommunityofinstagram #writingcommunity #write_on #writers_den_ #instawriterscommunity #instawrite #writersociety #writersconnection #writerssociety #keepwriting #amwritingfantasy #amwritingscifi #amwritingromance #amwritingmystery #amwritingya #writersfollowwriters https://www.booksandalchemy.com/make-fiction-alchemy-write-your-novel/

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It’s my goal that we can create something really amazing here. We can take a bunch of lead and turn it into fiction gold. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Books & Alchemy is a place where we can grow as writers and not hide the roots we’ve come from.

Become a Fiction Alchemist right here!

Here’s what you can expect from Books & Alchemy.

They’re subject to change/expand as the site and community grows, but I think they should stay pretty stable.

Author Alchemy

Posts in this category are going to focus on the community as a whole. Anything and everything related to the website, community, readership, etc. Mostly announcements.

Writer Lifestyle

Posts on how to maintain a real life and still get your writing done.

Story Structure

I’ve spent a lot of time learning it, and it’s one of the things that’s helped me immensely with both fan and original fiction. I’ll condense the many varied options down into easy to digest lessons and share new things I learn.

Publishing

Traditional publishing or self-publishing? I’ve got to admit, I’m totally biased in favor of self-publishing, but we’ll explore the options here. I’m planning on a number of interviews with other authors, agents, and editors, as well as covering the basics and how-to’s. I queried my first novel (the third draft of it) for 6 months. I wasn’t successful, but I learned a lot in the process (and am grateful I didn’t sign with an agent then because now I can publish my way instead.)

Marketing

I can take a wild (likely wholly inaccurate guess) here and say that 70% of writers are introverts. You hate self-promo. It makes you cringe. I’m a 51/49 Extrovert/Introvert and even I hate it. But it’s one of those things we all have to suck up, and I promise, it gets way easier! There are also totally non-cringy ways to go about it. So we’ll talk about marketing, which is vital for all authors, no matter how you choose to publish.

Writing Mindset

The final and possibly most important topic: the writing mindset. In other words: Getting shit done. If you can’t find your writing mindset, you’ll never learn to be a consistent writer. Without consistency, there are no finished stories. I’m willing to die on this hill. We’ll talk about the mindset here.

Want to contribute?

Have you got something you want to say on one of these topics? I’m looking for a handful of consistent contributors as well as the odd guest post. Want to be considered? This is where to go.

Share Books & Alchemy with your friends

This is how we get the word out. See, I’m doing self-promo and asking for a share. 😉 We’re brand new here, and I want to make this site into a successful community for all the amateur writers out there who want more.

Who want to do more with their writing. Are you that person? Is your BFF (or your fandom BFF)? Share this post with them and let’s build an amazing community together.

What do you think? Are you excited? Let me know!

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Holly Ostara

Holly Ostara

Holly Ostara writes mythical contemporary fantasy and fantasy romances. She loves positing how magic works, and her stories always explore the workings of the universe in the real world, weaving theories and lore from quantum physics to magic to mythology—both real and imagined—in a brand uniquely her own. The landscape and magic often become the most important character, alongside her heroines. You can connect with her on Instagram (@hollyostara) or find her author website at www.hollyostara.com.
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