This year, I narrowed my writing-focus down to three novels in various stages of progress. Three may seem like a lot, but before narrowing it down to these specific projects I was zinging off willy-nilly from one brand new idea to the next, writing handfuls of pages here and there and not focusing on anything. So in that sense, choosing ONLY three to work on has proved successful, thus far.
I know it’s confusing when I blog about them because I’m too chicken to divulge details, so here’s a run-down:
1. Contemporary YA fantasy set in Scotland. I’ve been working on this one the longest – it pulled me out of my post-King’s Rose writer’s block (along with listening to A LOT of David Bowie). The book has recently undergone a global revision, and the main character has grown from 13 to 15 years old.
2. My Nano book, which I first-drafted last November for National Novel Writing Month. Also contemporary YA fantasy, set in an ordinary suburb. This is the one that I need to revise. Right now. I need to start, like, yesterday. Seriously.
3. A brand-new project in it’s absolute infant stages. Something a bit different: an ensemble cast, a younger protagonist. The opening pages (which I wrote as an experiment because the voice wouldn’t leave me alone – I hate it when writers say that, but sometimes it’s true) were met with enthusiasm from my writing group, as well as Lauren and Tom. So this has been sitting in my head all year, waiting to be first-drafted this November.
Now I’m having doubts. Is this really the project to work on in November? Will I even get a chance to first draft something this November if I don’t get myself in gear and start revising my Nano book from last year? I also suffer the plight of historical novelists everywhere, who fantasize about writing about particular people in history and fear that moment of opening up an email from Barnes & Noble and seeing YOUR BOOK about YOUR CHARACTER written by SOMEBODY ELSE on the front page. (And it looks SO good – why didn’t you sit down and write it first, for pete’s sake?)
I’m getting ahead of myself. Fretting about future projects is a neat trick to distract myself from the real worry, which is what I’ll find in the pages I promised to revise. I need to put these worries aside and and read my Nano book. Take notes, ruminate. Bake an apple crisp. Then: start revising.