Sent out the revised version of my middle-grade novel to my agent. I feel really good about it. In my first few drafts, all the focus was on the plot and situation–the main character was sort of an everyman who was just caught up in the events. With this draft, though, I’ve fleshed him out and refocused the book on his emotional journey. And, in the course of revising the book, I actually found myself liking him. He’s kind of whiny and pathetic, but the flip side of that is that he’s very sensitive. He’s alive to the world, and to all the nuances of the behavior around him. I look forward to someday having this thing out on submission and, hopefully, selling it. So strange to think that even if this book sells, it won’t come out for more than two years, probably! In my mind, it is 100% done.
Actually, it’s also strange to think that I probably have a lot more revision to do on this book. My agent will have one more round of comments, I bet. And then if the book sells, my editor will have comments. The editing you do after you sell a book is crazy! I can’t believe the amount of rewriting I did on Enter Title Here. Is this normal? Do you have to edit all your books this way? It made the book a lot better, but the editing took easily just as much time as originally writing the book did.
Now I’m working on some short-story things. Going to revise two more of my Burning Man stories (out of six, I’ve already revised and submitted two of them, and I’ve trunked two o them). It’s a lot of effort, transcribing a handwritten story.
In general, I’m not fully convinced re: writing a story by hand. I feel like my handwritten stories are a bit thin. I get so tired of writing that I go hurry up, hurry up, and leave out some of the detail and the interpolating events that I normally have in the first draft. In general, I think it’s better for first drafts to be thick rather than thin, because the extra things you put in can spark new ideas. Whereas a thin draft has the danger of simply running out of steam.
But anyway, what is done is done. I have to revise these two suckers, and then I’m on to the biggest writing project of the year! Revising my novel for adults: Hugs and Kisses. Not certain how or when or why this will be published–things are complicated since my agent only reps children’s literature–but I still really believe in this book, and I want to get it into ship shape.
After that, I’ll someday, I hope, be able to write my second YA book for Disney.
And then, finally, my docket will be clear!
I haven’t writen an original novel this year, which is kind of a bummer. I mean, I’ve learned a lot from revising the MG novel and Enter Title Here and from working on my proposal for Disney. I think I’m a much better novel writer than I was eight months ago. But I still feel a little thwarted. There’s nothing like actually creating a world from scratch. It’s shocking sometimes to think: you can just sit down and make up literally anything and then there it is, right on the page.
I’ve also got a few ideas–ideas for novels of all kinds. Someday, too, I’d like to get back into writing speculative novels.
I thought that I was done with speculative fiction, but this year I’ve written and sold a spate of speculative stories, and now I feel like I’m solidly fixed in the speculative world for the long haul. It’s a little awkward, though, to exist in two places. People in the spec fic world are like, “We can’t wait for your novel!” And I think, huh. You know there’s no magic in it, right? Or any advanced technology, either? It’s just about a girl who really wants to get into a good college.
But we’ll see! We will see! Sigh, the writing life. I think it’ll very possibly be next year before I can write something truly new.