March 5th, 2021:
Hello! A little writing update:
I’ve spent the last few months working hard on my WIP, a YA Mystery I’m calling NETTED CHAIN CREEK (or NCC). I’ve filled an entire three-subject, college-ruled notebook and an 80,000-word document with notes, trying my best to get to know NCC’s new characters and their stories. That is some novel-length brainstorming there. Sometimes I’m certain I just need to write that shitty first draft already, nanowrimo-style, but this one seems to be such a complex story in the making…a really difficult maze that would be hard to pants without running in circles or hitting walls.
I’m around page 100 in my first draft so I am moving along. Slowly. It’s not easy being creative with the state of the world the way it is right now, and I’m sure other writers understand how hard it is to emotionally disconnect from the last book you wrote. (Note: I’ve dealt with all this before, so even though I know for sure that there are more characters and stories inside of me, sometimes it can take a while for your heart to catch up with your brain.)
I have two POVS and two timelines in NCC—one in 2018 (pre-pandemic) and one in 1987. This story is fun and dark and exciting and full of unique side characters and impossible to wrap my head around much of the time. Creating two complete story arcs and character arcs seems like a 200,000-word book in the making, so I’m reminding myself that I’ll deal with darling killing and streamlining later. And, while I’ve been trying to stick to a basic outline, my characters regularly have other ideas once I get writing. But that’s one of my absolute favorite parts of creating a story—that I made every character, that maybe I am every character, for better or for worse, and I don’t truly know them yet. It’s magical how things start to unfold to surprise me.
The other magic is writing The End, no matter what draft. I’m looking forward to the day when I’m sending this thing out for beta reads and biting my nails (I’m so grateful for my writer friends!), absorbing their feedback, revising and revising, maybe more beta reads, then handing off this new book to my wonderful agent, Rachel. This seems so far away, but I've got this.