Saturday, August 29, 2015

When It's Time to Let Your Novel Fly the "Nest"

Writing a novel is a little bit like raising a teenager. Or, so I assume. I haven't yet had the pleasure of raising a teenager. But, from what I gather, they're pretty much the same thing.

Pretty much.

Every parent gets to a point where it's time to take a deep breath, drop your kid of somewhere far from home, and pay someone else a buttload of money to turn them into a respectable member of society. To me, that's bares a terrifying similarity to the author/novel relationship. It's where I find myself right now, in fact.

Think about it. You've coddled and cooed to your "work-in-progress" for so long now that people have started staring at you in the self-checkout line at Stop & Shop. Sometimes, you let others look at your novel (kid) and half-heartedly listen to their concerns and thoughts on possible improvement. Maybe you've even bragged about your book (kid) on social media so much so that your closest family and friends have blocked you. No one wants to see pictures of your kid anymore... or hear about the novel you've been working on for the better part of the last few years. It's time to let go.

You've done enough.

Whatever will be, will be... right? At some point, you just can't edit anymore. You can't show it to anymore betas. You just need to open up the front door and say, "We need your room for our new craft-space/Ebay-room. So, get out."

While I'm not 100% there just yet (and who ever really is), I think I'm super close. I've nurtured this thing and pushed it along the best I know how. It's time to put it in someone else's hands and see what comes back. Sure, on some cold winter nights, I'll be sitting at home wondering what kind of shenanigans my novel is getting into. I'll be worried that it will connect with the wrong crowd and come back home to me unrecognizable and a total waste of my time and money.

God, that sounds awful. That's not going to happen, right?


Ah, well. The point is, sometimes it is just freaking time. Enough is enough.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Yup, I'm Still Writing

Well, hello. Been a little while, huh? I know that I can, at times, neglect this blog and my readers, but I always manage to find my way back. Someway, somehow. Rest assured, I have still been at it. I've actually been writing, editing, reading, and revising so much that I've not had time to talk about writing, editing, reading, or revising.

You get the picture.

At first, I started with a legit break for the #AmWriting world and community. My book has been through two full drafts/rounds of revision. I've had the first pair of eyes grace the pages of the novel that I've been working on for, going on, two years now. As I've said, time and again, I find that I need to rest my eyes and "break" from my work-in-progress. I actually haven't returned to the book for the past few months, but that doesn't mean I haven't stayed busy.

For starters, I've been reading. To me, reading is the ultimate homework for an author. In particular, I wanted to read works of some new, semi-undiscovered, authors in my genre (YA SciFi) to see if my novel would play nicely in the current market and how it might compare to other books out there. After that, I made a strong attempt to read works that were completely different from my own. Classic works, a couple of Stephen King, and two more mindless Robert Langdon adventures by Dan Brown. I even started reading drafts of some friends' respective works-in-progress. Honestly, I have loved everything I've been reading and it has made me all the more thirsty to get back to my own writing.

But, I haven't immediately to returned to my novel. Instead, I've done something I claimed that I would never do. I have started working on a totally new project, of a completely different length, genre, etc. It's been fun and has given me the break I've so needed.

(more on my mysterious new work, coming in a later blog, on some other day, when I'm feeling like elaborating.)

And this brings me back to what I'm always going on about. Take breaks. Read new stuff. Write new stuff. It'll end up making your old stuff, more than just stuff, all over again.