Every year, I try to write the first solid draft of one novel. I always have a plethora of ideas and write scads of first chapters, but I wait and only flesh out the best of my ideas. When I start to write a novel, I already have a few chapters written and a solid outline. This process has developed over the years, and it is continuing to work for me, so I'm sticking with it.
On the first local SCBWI meeting of the year, I take the first chapter of the novel I've chosen to write. Our chapter of SCBWI has an event called the Great Critique. I was blessed to have Janet Lee Carey as my mentor and several other talented writers in my group. I always use this event as my first shot in the arm for writing success.
This year was the debut of Chapter 1 of the Big Thicket. The spark for this book came from an editor rejection. Some years ago I sent out a picture book manuscript about a cat called El Gato. The rejection letter mentioned the manuscript was strong but read like a middle grade novel. A simple suggestion was included that I might expand it into an early chapter book or novel. I don't think I've ever had a rejection letter that struck such a deep chord. I stopped sending out the picture book manuscript and put it on the back burner and let it simmer. I slowly developed an outline and wrote some more sample chapters. The Great Critique confirmed what I'm feeling and what I think that editor had glimpsed. The reaction of the group was soooo positive. I do think that this book is going to be something special.
It just amazing to me that editors take the time to write a positive words of feedback on our manuscripts. I know how precious time is, and I so deeply appreciate the encouraging notes and provocative thoughts that have come my way.
So begins the NOVEL PUSH 2007. My current word count is 4037. If you want join me in on a novel writing adventure. Post your word count, your frustrations, your success and I will commiserate with you, cheer you on, and celebrate the creation of good works.
As always, enjoy the journey and seize the day!
Quotes to think about as you journey forward:
“Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. Not all things are blest, but the seeds of all things are blest. The blessing is in the seed.”
"The universe is made up of stories, not of atoms”