Origin Stories: Boys in Bands

Whew, it’s been a while since my last Origin Stories post! But, to be honest, it’s probably a good idea that I held off on this one for a bit, considering I took this story down from Wattpad for a while. Now that I’m bringing it back (and I’m determined to finally finish it) it seems like the perfect time to write this.

I suggest checking out my previous Origin Stories posts for an idea of what this series is about and for a background on my writing journey so far.

Now, let’s get into Boys in Bands…

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Acronym: BIB
Genre(s):
 New Adult, Romance
Summary: ❝I always wondered how normal people became friends with superstars. Then I found out for myself.❞ It’s all about who you know. Thanks to having a best friend in the fashion industry, Zora finds herself partying with Four Thrones, the world’s latest and greatest boy band sensation. But when one of the charismatic members with a devilishly handsome smile starts to pay her a bit too much attention, Zora is thrown into a world she’s not so sure she’s ready for.

Past Origin Stories Posts: Once Upon a One Night Stand | All That is Gold | turnpike | Arabian Nights

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I originally started this story back in August 2015 on Wattpad. A few days before I posted the first chapter, I had gone to a One Direction concert, which was what set this whole thing into motion. And boy oh boy, I had not been expecting a story to come out of that experience.

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A friend and I had bought tickets all the way back in November of the year before, a purchase that may have been a little impulsive. We also sort of did it as a joke. These tickets were meant to be a laughable birthday present for me, because I was turning an age pretty far outside of your typical One Direction fan. Okay, so maybe not that far outside, but boy bands hadn’t really appealed to me or my friend since the days of *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, back when we had been little children with stars in our eyes over Justin Timberlake and Nick Carter.

Needless to say, neither of us were huge fans of One Direction or anything. Sure, we liked a couple of their more popular songs, but I couldn’t have named more than a few songs by them or any of their albums. In fact, if you had asked me to correctly identify all the members, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. It literally took me months to be able to tell Louis and Liam apart.

By the time the concert rolled around in early August, Zayn Malik had already left (I was a little sad about that, I will admit) aka the only member who I could actually name and knew what he looked like. I was also vaguely aware of Harry Styles, but I didn’t understand why so many people were obsessed with him.

So my friend and I went to the concert, cackling all the way through the opening opening act (it was Icona Pop) until the lights finally went down and the screaming began. And when I say screaming, I mean screaming—the eardrum shattering, can’t hear yourself think kind. No lie, I was partially deaf for three days after the concert because of it.

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My first thought was, “Oh my god, I’ve made a huge mistake.” Have you ever heard more than 50,000 (mostly) girls scream in absolute joy at the same time? It’s both terrifying and exciting, and it had me covering my ears for a few seconds.

But when the intro started and the opening notes of “Clouds” rang out… wow. I was in for the surprise of my life.

Okay, I know this might sound crazy considering some of the concerts I’ve been to in my life (like Elton John, Adele, Kanye West, Panic at the Disco, to name a few) but One Direction was truly one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to.

I know. I KNOW. It’s wild. I can’t believe I’m admitting that, but it’s out there. It’s done. I said it and I stand by it.

I must admit something else, though…

Ever since August 8th, 2015 I have been mildly in love with Harry Styles.

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I said it!! Harry Styles has a piece of my heart!! He stole it the second that he accepted a container of cookies from a fan. It wasn’t long after that moment that the idea for Boys in Bands came to me when a girl sitting in the row in front of me screamed, “I just want to hang out with them!”

I’m not sure if I started thinking about it then, or if it was something that came to me later that night as I was trying to go to sleep, my ears still violently ringing from the show, but it wasn’t long before I began wondering how do you become friends with famous people? Not just that, but famous boys in bands.

That got me thinking about my own history meeting boys in bands.

***

Back when I was a teenager, I went to a lot of concerts, both big and small. I was lucky I had the kind of parents who were supportive of my love for music and wanted me to have those experiences, just like they did back in the 70s and 80s. For me, it was the late 2000s, a time when the whole emo/scene thing was still going strong and those Fueled By Ramen bands were all over the place. What a time to be alive.

In fact, here’s a playlist of some of my favorite songs/bands of that time.

I have this vague memory of being at the 9:30 Club here in D.C., up on the balcony overlooking the crowd and the stage. I was hanging out with some friends of friends, watching a few bands perform, and then all of a sudden one of the bands was just… standing next to us. I won’t say which band it was just in case I’m misremembering, but I do remember how it wasn’t before long that we were all laughing and talking about how much we all loved the band that was currently on stage. It was strange and thrilling and probably the coolest thing teenage Simone ever got to do.

I also remember how two of the girls in our group were invited to keep hanging out with them after the show.

These girls were just acquaintances of mine, not people I knew very well or ever really saw again, so I don’t know what really happened after that. All I know was that when the show was over, I had to meet my parents outside and go home so that I could be up for school in the morning. I was only 15, after all.

I got to meet a couple other bands and band members throughout my teen years, usually just by chance at smaller venues. Some of those bands went on to be really successful. Some of them just faded into obscurity. Looking back, I’m still sort of amazed that nerdy little me got to do all of those things.

But the thing was, none of these bands were that famous. None of them were selling out stadiums or massive venues. So how do you go about meeting them once they’ve hit it big?

Honestly? You don’t. Unless 1) you have the right connections, and 2) are in the right place at the right time.

And I wanted to write about someone who manages to pull off both.

***

With that inspiration and background, I began Boys in Bands the night I saw One Direction. My brain refused to let me sleep once I was back at my hotel, even though I was exhausted from the show. That post-concert comedown was seeping through my veins and I couldn’t just sit there, trying to figure out my emotions.

So, I did what I always do when I’m overloaded with feelings: I started writing.

***

There are a few things you probably already know about me if you’ve read my writing posts here before. One of those things is that I got my start writing online by writing fan fiction. Harry Potter fan fiction, to be precise. However, I’ve always had a weird hangup when it comes to writing fan fiction about real people.

I have absolutely nothing against others writing it! Do you what you wanna do! But, personally, something about it makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I don’t know that person. I don’t know what they’re really like. I have no concept of who they are besides their public persona, which is never their whole personality. So the idea of taking this real person who exists in this real world and projecting what I think they’re like (or should be like) onto them doesn’t sit well with me.

Maybe a “normal” person would have just written some fanfic about Harry Styles and been done with it, but… it’s me. I clearly don’t do normal. I have to write a 100k novel for some reason, don’t ask me why.

So if I was going to write about boys in a band, I knew I was going to have to create my own original characters.

That didn’t mean they couldn’t be strongly inspired by real people, however.

Okay, what I’m trying to say here is that Weston Brewer, my MMC, is very much inspired by Harry Styles. I’ll admit it! But he’s also not Harry. He’s whoever I want him to be, and I don’t have to worry about staying completely true to what I know about a real person.

I’ve worked a surprising amount of my own life into Boys in Bands. I won’t go into detail, but the FMC, Zora, is probably the most “me” FMC I’ve ever written. That said, she’s not me, just like Weston isn’t Harry. These are fictional characters with fictional lives and fictional backgrounds. They aren’t meant to represent anyone from the world we actually live in. The same goes for all of my other characters.

The one thing I love about fan fiction, though, is that you already have that background built in. The reader already knows the person or character you’re writing about, knows their history, etc. You don’t have to “world build” (not the term for it, but you know what I mean). When you create your own characters, you have to do all the background and building yourself.

In my case, that meant I had to invent a whole dang boy band: Four Thrones.

Are they One Direction inspired? Obviously. But they’re also inspired by other bands and band members. Again, they can’t be boiled down to just one person or one group.

***

A major part of Boys in Bands are the chapters that revolve around a gossip site and a social media site.

That’s how most people get their news and information about celebrities. Is what we read on those sites always true? Absolutely not. But we don’t always get to know the truth because we don’t actually know those celebrities personally.

So I wanted to show both sides: what the public sees/hears and the celebrity’s actual truth.

When I write those “Four Thrones Gossip Daily” blog posts, not everything in there is true or accurate. What I noticed the first time around when I was posting this story was that… some people took what was written there as truth. They didn’t question it, or at least they didn’t until we found out the real story from the characters’ POVs.

A lot of people do this in real life too. They’re quick to believe the celebrity news/gossip they read online. I’m guilty of this. But, again, we don’t know those people. We only know the statements/interviews they put out and the rumors that circulate.

I guess one of the messages in this story is don’t always believe what you hear. And remember that we’ll never know these celebrities personally. Plus, they’re still real people with real feelings. Sometimes when we discuss famous people, we tend to forget that they’re just that: people. Writing this story helps me keep that in mind.

***

I wrote the bulk of Boys in Bands between 2015 and 2017. There are some bits I look back on and I’m like… wow, I literally predicted some of the things that Harry Styles would go on to do. Very cool, very fun.

It’s a little disappointing that I couldn’t finish this story back then. I was in the middle of working on the Fairytale Series (I was still writing Arabian Nights when I started this story) and I knew I had to finish that before I could really dive into this. Plus, it was always a side project, something I worked on whenever I was getting a little tired of fairytales.

It’ll be interesting to get back into writing this story after a few years away from it, but I have a lot of new ideas I want to explore. Plus, I’m going to see Harry Styles live on June 28, soooo…

I guess we’ll just have to see where it goes.

***

Random Facts

  • The title for Boys in Bands comes from the track “Boys In Bands Interlude” by Gym Class Heroes from their album As Cruel as School Children (2006) and from a quote from Niall Horan where, in reference to One Direction, he said, “We’re boys in a band. We’re trying to do something different from what people would think is the typical kind of boy band.”
  • I grew up listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac, another band that inspired this story. It was the soundtrack of all of my family’s road trips. I was raised on Stevie Nicks’ voice. Like, I was literally listening to her while I was in the womb.
  • I have a very musically inspired name (my middle name, Simone, is after Nina Simone) so I figured Zora Rhiannon might as well have one too.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this latest installment of Origin Stories! I’m still going in chronological order, so the next time I’ll be talking about Cheater, Cheater.

Is there anything else you’d like to know about Boys in Bands and its origins? Leave a comment below!

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