Thursday, August 5, 2010

Book Three, First Draft... Done.

This book, my third, could have been done inside of a month if I'd really tried to meet a deadline. But since I don't have an editor breathing down my neck I took my time, went slow, enjoyed myself and made notes for when I get to revising. And then last weekend a funny thing happened. Well, not funny at all, actually. I got my heart broken. More like trampeled on, but it's really the same thing, no? I didn't want to face the hurt so I did what any writer in my place would do. I dove into my writing. It's avoidance, I know, which, along with procrastination, I am a master at. But it actually ended up being really productive because in my attempt to avoid my feelings I turned around and wrote about thirty pages and brought this book to a close. I have no problem dealing with characters' emotions, just not my own. But that's normal, right? Right?

This book is the first in a series of five. I've been wanting to write the first book for a few years now, but it just seemed so daunting. It's a long story, covering nine months and I knew if I wrote it in the usual book format of He said this, She said that it would be three hundred pages. At least. So I tried something different, wrote it in a different style, and it just poured out of me and is now done (well the first draft, anyways). And that's crazy to me because that means that the next book, which is already written in my head, could be done by... Christmas? Craziness! That's assuming I really push myself and don't get caught up in Glee and Gossip Girl and Grey's Anatomy when they all start up in a month. My only worry is, so maybe I finish these books wicked quick - what's the point if no one finds them interesting?

I don't know yet if people outside of my friends will enjoy these books (they're totally biased and would probably read anything I wrote even if it's total crap). To me this series is hysterical and sad and ridiculous and real. But I'm just not sure yet if they'd mean as much to other people as they mean to me. The series follows a girl, Elliot, from her senior year of college through her twenties and into her thirties as she tries to navigate friendships, romantic relationships, and trying to find a balance between pursuing her passion and being able to make ends meet. I love her more than any other character I've written because she is hugely flawed (although, now that I think about it, aren't all of my main characters flawed?). She's honest and naive and a good person, but she tends to throw herself head first into things without looking. And that's when drama happens and stories become more than just an everyday thing.

I'm going to write the series no matter what because it's important to me, but I'm hoping that there's potential here for other people to enjoy Elliot's ridiculous adventures and not just me. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how my faithful first draft readers respond.

And as for "Loving Maribel", I'm still in the querying vein. As usual. I promised my cheerleaders (and more importantly myself) that I wouldn't give up and I don't renege on promises. But I got a couple more No's the other day and that's just as hard to take as the first time. It really never gets easier. I revised my query letter, trying a different tactic, and I only wish I had done that from the beginning because I think this version captures the heart of "Loving Maribel" better than the first version.

So there you have it, the latest on my writing and me. I'm only halfway through Jodi Picoult's "Change of Heart" so look for that review in the next week or so. I'm loving it, of course, but Jodi really can do no wrong in my eyes. She's simply amazing.

Now, on to the edit...
Stephanie
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3 comments

  1. dude, i can not tell you how hard it is for me to finish anything, let alone a full draft. i have a notebook full of random story bits and ideas that will never be fully realized, so i admire you just for being able to say that you completed a full length novel. go you, chica. and i cant wait to read it!

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  2. D - You should just pick one of those stories and mold it until it's complete. I know you can do it. I swear it's not as difficult as it might seem. And maybe in the end it won't necessarily be NYT's best selling list worthy, but it'll make you realize you can complete any of your stories. Get on it girl!

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  3. Hey Stephanie! Congrats on finishing the 1st draft...sounds like a great story and I love protag's like Elliot! When I'm going through some emotional turmoil, I usually try to infuse those emotions into one of my characters...it's cathartic for me and adds character depth..Win-Win situation. Good luck with Loving Maribel and keep querying :)

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