I am a planner in all areas of my life. I always joke that if I could plan out my entire life, I would. I know where I want to be in five years, for sure. This is also true in my writing.
For those of you who may not know, many writers are categorized as plotters, a writer who plans out their novel before they write it, or pantsers, a writer who flies by the seat of their pants and plan very little before setting out to write. I fall very firmly on the plotter side, as I must have an outline for every aspect of my book in order to keep everything in order, though I am known to add in new plot details and changes at the last second. It’s not that I don’t ever make last-minute decisions, but it takes me a long time to convince myself that is the right option.
Oh, yes, I’ve been dead set on several things, and now I have changed my mind, created a new plan, and I am now setting up my course.
Let’s start with my novel, True Power.
Beginning March 1st, I began the querying process for True Power. This novel has been my baby since Fall 2018, so I was really excited to begin this process. I sent out a healthy stack of queries, all of which ended in rejection or no response. I expected this because it usually takes a long, long time to be accepted by a literary agent.
Then, I got a book called Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need. This book has helped my writing become significantly better. I had heard of Save the Cat!, but I had postponed ordering it. When I finally got my hands on it at the end of April, I realized that True Power needed a better plot structure.
And that is why I decided to postpone my querying process until I can get my plot structured. That being said, I have not really worked on True Power because I have been preoccupied with a new book, one that feels a lot better at the moment, and I decided to focus on it for the time being. (This was a very difficult decision to make!)
In April, I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, a way for authors to push themselves on their projects, in preparation for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November, when writers set a goal for 50,000 words in 30 days. I began writing my novel, Double Vision, at this time.
This novel is very fun and exciting, a lot of fantasy and deep generational trauma, something I feel very passionate about in understanding our culture and society. I have been very motivated to complete this book, and on June 24, I wrote the last chapter of my first draft, bringing me to 85,333 words!
Double Vision will probably end up with a different name, but it is a novel that has helped me develop my plot and my voice in ways I had not ventured before. I am so excited to share it with the world–hopefully soon-ish! I am taking a small break from it, and I will do a read-through, then begin the second draft. And that’s not all…
Double Vision will have a sequel. I have not decided the entire plot to it yet, so I am not sure if it will be a duology or trilogy yet, but I am really excited to begin that process.
I have never attempted a sequel before because I am pretty particular about sequels in general. Many times, when I am reading for leisure, I devour the first book in one sitting, and then I take a long time to get through the sequel because it was not as thrilling as I hoped it would be. Because of this, I have always thought I would be a stand-alone novelist, never really making a series, especially because trilogies are common in the Young Adult genre that I get a little frustrated seeing so many.
But for Double Vision, I have stepped out of my comfort zone so much, and I knew that the story was not over there. My characters deserve more of a storyline, so I decided to embark on a sequel that I will begin to seriously plan out soon!
So, a lot has changed since March 1st. No more querying, a novel lying dormant, waiting for my attention, and a new completed novel, the fastest I’ve ever written one! So, what’s next?
Well, July is another Camp NaNoWriMo Month, so I will be setting some new goals for Camp. The new project I am beginning to work on is kind of a secret, but I’ll give a few more details.
Have you ever had a piece of your life you wanted to keep just for you? Maybe some trauma that has not been resolved and lingers with you for a long time?
I have a story I share with very few people because of my own issues with it, things I have been working out in counseling, allowing myself to open up to others and share the story as an important aspect of my life, rather than a burden.
For years, my family has hoped that one day I would write the novel about my story, and while I thought that as a writer, it was important for me to do that, it made my stomach squeamish to think about all these people knowing. Truth be told, it still does.
But, it’s time for me to use my story as a way to heal instead of hurt.
My project for July Camp NaNoWriMo is a memoir.
It will be interesting having to write about myself in ways that sometimes feel uncomfortable, but I think this is an important journey for me to take. And I may not pursue publication with it. It may be a story that stays just with me. But it’s time for me to open up, and I am excited to share my progress with you.
So, there’s a lot going on in my world of writing! July is coming up quick, and I have lots to do, tons to think about.
I appreciate all of the support you all have given me, even if you don’t see it through the computer screen. I would not be pursuing my dreams as a writer so fiercely if I did not have cheerleaders encouraging me on my way. Thank you for coming with me on this journey, and I hope you will enjoy my weekly check-ins during July as I begin writing a memoir.
As a plotter, I did not see this coming. 2020 has been a wild ride for all of us, and it does not exclude my writing goals. In January, I never would have thought I would be attempting all these new, adventurous stories, but I’m excited for some change, an ambition I did not realize I had. So I’m going to hang on tight and make some plans I may end up ignoring, but I’m ready to do this.