A couple weeks ago I sent my first revision to my editor! Hooray! Now it’s just a matter of not melting into the earth as I wait for her to read it. I am excited to get some distance from the book so that I can tackle my next round with refreshed eyes and brain.
So what am I doing now? I’ve started working on a brand new novel. I was originally planning to go back to one of the other two projects I’d been tinkering with before… But then these new characters popped into my head and I could see them so clearly, and suddenly there was this whole story spinning itself out. I haven’t been this excited in a long, long time. It’s super secret and I feel like I can barely talk about it, because speaking too much about a project often ruins the magic for me. Or it makes me feel super anxious, like I’m going to fail before I’ve even given it a fair shot.
BUT, what I will say is that I’ve decided this is officially going to be my NaNoWriMo project. I’m SO EXCITED for this year’s NaNoWriMo to start. Camp NaNo is never quite the same. If you’ve been following my blog for years then you’ve heard me say it before: there’s something about all these writers all over the world writing at the same time for a whole month that really fuels me. It’s like we’re all channeling our collective energy into each others’ brains to make it to the finish line.
And this is my first year doing NaNoWriMo as a full-time author under contract, so it feels strange and new and terrifying. I mean, it’s always terrifying. No matter how many times I’ve done it before. But this year there’s a new dimension to that fear of failure.
I struggle a ton with the beginning of a story, so I always prefer to start writing my novel before the November marathon actually begins. I know this breaks the official “rules” of NaNoWriMo, but who cares? I use the exercise how it best serves my needs. This way I can slowly tinker with the first few scenes and set up the first or main conflict. I try to climb my way up to the top of the hill, so that when the first of the month comes I can push off and let the easier stuff roll out. Except, of course, it’s much more laborious and never quite as simple as that sounds. (Also, I only log the words I actually write in November for my NaNoWriMo word count, so that at least is not any kind of cheating.)
I haven’t quite gotten this novel set up to where I want it to be — in past years I’ve usually had a good 10k or 15k words on a story and the main conflict well established by the end of October. But part of that is because this idea is so fresh that I’ve barely had the time for it. Still, I’m hopeful, and I’m determined to push myself hard. My next round of edit notes is coming from my editor around the 22nd, so I want to maximize my productivity on this before I have to turn my attention back to revising ASTONISHING COLOR.
If you want to follow my progress, here’s my official NaNoWriMo page: http://nanowrimo.org/en/participants/exrpan