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Writing

This is the Start of Something New

I AM WORKING ON A (NEW) NOVEL.

But let me backtrack.

I usually don’t talk about works-in-progress because I have this superstition that any mention of the story will jinx it. This isn’t a completely irrational fear. There have been many times where a story is not finished, the characters not real enough, and the concept not fully developed. I make the mistake of talking about the project. And then my excitement over it sizzles.

The other day, I had just turned in a draft (TO MY AGENT. I still can’t believe I can write words like that, and they’re actually true and not just made up in my head like most of my writing usually is) and felt a bit down. The usual project hangover you get when something is finished and you’re lost in limbo not knowing what to work on next.

Then I started reading AUTHOR IN PROGRESS by the makers of Writers Unboxed. The book is great so far (I’m only 25% in) but the editors encourage aspiring writers to announce to the world that they’re working on a novel, even if their first instinct is to keep it a secret. My reasoning for keeping it to myself is that I have this vision that when the novel enters the world, it will be with as much elegance and grace as a debutante being presented to theĀ ton for the Season. All dressed up and pretty and ripe for the plucking.

And then I remembered what happened the last time I did that. I kept CHRONICLES OF MEDES a secret, working on it behind the scenes for more than 3 years. When I finally told my friends and family that I’d received representation for it, they were like, “You were working on a novel?” I mean, they were happy for me, but it didn’t have quite the congratulatory awesomeness that I’d expected. It wasn’t their fault. It was my own. I felt like I’d short-changed my characters by not announcing them to the world when they were first born.

So I’m scrapping my usual protocol, and proclaiming that I AM WORKING ON A (NEW) NOVEL!

But that’s all I’m going to say about it. And now the world knows and I can’t take it back.