Thursday, February 21, 2008

Writing Update

I've been reading a lot of (literary) agent blogs lately, as motivation and education. They do a lot of contests, and I am excited to participate. But I want to be ready with a completed novel and solid query before I start submitting anything.

This year's NaNo project, The Really Good Guy, was not my first attempt at a novel. I intend to finish that book, and I intend for it to be really good. So while I pluck away at it as the mood strikes, and I have very good notes for what I want to change and where/how I want it to grow, it's not my primary writing focus right now. I don't want to push on through a finishing/polishing/revising process when I'm not feeling passionate about the work, just to have it "done." I want it done right, which means that I need a little more practice at this whole novel-writing gig before I go back to work on The Really Good Guy full time. It's too important to me for it to be my training novel.

In the meantime, I'm back at work on an earlier attempt at a novel, Seek Ye First. Long-time blog readers might have read early chapters of an early draft of this one, before I petered out a few years ago. I had trouble finding my character's voice, and was uninspired by the mystery. (This was a real problem, in what was supposed to be a "cozy mystery" novel.)

As Paul and I were working down in our basement last week, I was moving around both my writing references and my Agatha Christie collection, when, bam! Inspiration. I've been working on parts of this book subconsciously for a while now, and have been having more success with the main character's voice. The mystery, however, is only now coming into focus and beginning to excite me. So we'll see where this goes! I'm not revising; I'm starting over from scratch. I keep telling myself that I'm not throwing all that previous hard work away; it's all there in my head somewhere, enriching this new draft. I hope.


  1. I'm excited that the mystery is coming together for you. Thats cool. I'm an aspiring writer myself. My big block is that I can never seem to nail down a focus at all. I get nebulous ideas but they go nowhere.

  2. Beach, have you ever tried something like the Morning Pages approach? For me, often starting to write something, anything, is what helps the ideas to coalesce. Good luck!

  3. S--only majorly late clarifying my long-ago comment, but yes, what I meant was, do you want to be long-distance critique buddies? I'm working on a few chapter/mg/YA things right now, but also a short-story collection.
    You still have my email/phone #? Let me know if you wanna trade!