It’s been a few days since I posted, and while I don’t feel like I have been making much progress on paper, in my head I have been tackling some of the bigger issues.
I’ll openly confess that right now I’m feeling rather afraid of the whole ‘novel writing’ thing. I’ve been working on rewriting/polishing/editing several short stories recently and the amount of time that goes in just to get a few thousand words looking their best? It’s certainly enough to make anyone with limited time back off from the idea of writing and editing a whole novel.
The writing part isn’t so hard, it’s the other work that takes a long time.
I have been writing on a novel, but it’s not my primary focus, and I’m not thinking about it too much. I figured that if I think of it only a chapter at a time, it’s almost like I’m writing a series of short stories and not a novel at all. Yup, that’s me. All about tricking my own brain.
Ultimately, it’s not the best way to tackle fear. I know that. All the not thinking and avoiding I am doing isn’t going to make for a strong novel. I confess to having no idea where it’s going and you know what? While I want to find out, I’m not such a panster these days.
Even a year ago, you could find me bumbling through a novel, short story or novella. I didn’t need to have an inkling of how it ended, I could just dive in an enjoy. These days I want to know a little more though. These days I am well aware of where pantsing an entire novel leaves me – with the need for a complete rewrite and a lot of work ahead of me.
I simply don’t have time for that anymore.
So, I’m going to do some practice, and work my way up to a new novel.
January 2009 I wrote Mocha Nihilism. A novella of 20,000(ish) words. I’ve started reading through it, and while it needs a fair bit of work, I am really enjoying the characters. I love the MC’s take on life. She cracks me up. Here is the blurb I wrote for it awhile ago:
Christy has always felt like an outcast because she doesn’t drink coffee – she now loathes the stuff, and the people who drink it. But Christy has been given the opportunity to do something about it.
Recruited to be an inside man, girl – woman – for a secret organization it is her job to infiltrate the system of Starbucks and help find a way to bring it down from the inside.
I think it will be a fun Christmas present for some of my friends, and the perfect opportunity to work through a revise/edit/polish of something longer, but not as long as a novel. Funnily enough, it’s not speculative fiction at all – but it IS fun, and I need some of that.
At the moment I’m reading through a couple of times, taking notes and outlining the story I have, and the story I want it to be. I am hoping that this helps me grow a bit in my planning skills so that the next time I write a novel I’ll be better prepared.
Because, I think my next novel will be Delaney. And I don’t want to stuff her up.