Back from a break that was both good and bad for my writing aspirations. Good, because I had time to reflect on where my story was going and flesh it out a bit more in my head before I put it down on paper. Bad, because I read so many great examples of what I am hoping to achieve that the project has taken on even more daunting overtones. My friend Jeanne’s useful material on kidlit turned out to be inspiring and paralyzing in equal parts; there are so many people who are so much further ahead in the process who are still struggling with very basic issues like structure and theme development. It is so easy to give up when you see what challenges lie ahead.
While I was reflecting on where to take my YA story, another idea, this one geared for the 8-12 age group, popped up and I began writing it yesterday. I found my voice is much better suited for this age at this point in my writing career; the words just flow, and the dialogues seem much less forced. New, interesting ideas and characters keep popping up effortlessly, and the knowledge that this will be a much smaller book seems so appealing to someone who wants so much to get a book under her belt. Coincidentally, (or is there no such thing as coincidence? Da-da-da!) I came across this interview with Maurice Sendak yesterday where he talks about being stuck writing for children because that’s where he felt he belonged. It is part of a series of interviews with the beloved children’s author where he ruminates on the point of living, being ready to die, and how it makes him happy to write. ” (Writing.)… is the only true happiness I’ve ever enjoyed.” I challenge anyone to listen to this wise man without tearing up.
So my New Year’s resolution is that I will write this smaller book as it comes ( I seem to be able to write this is short bursts in between the daily routine) and keep developing the other one in my head till it makes sense.
Looking forward to reading your book. Congrats on this wonderful vision and goal.
Much of writing is trial, error, revision, redirection, and reflection. Never feel that you’ve used your time invaluably. Middle grade novels can be as absorbing as a YA novel. And never discard anything you’ve written … you may find a purpose for it later on.
BTW, after a three-week hiatus of my writers’ group, we had our post-holiday write-in last Tuesday. I can’t tell you how energized I was because I hadn’t written a word during the time off – not even at home. I chalk it up to having gained a new client who demanded much of my time [which is a good thing], the holidays, and moving forward on a couple of other projects.
My 2012 goal had been to finish Draft 1 of the YA novel I’d been bashing around for some time. I didn’t make it, but I’m not disappointed in myself. Had I not discovered that I changed the POV three chapters earlier and found it flowing so much better, I might have set it aside for good and started something else.
Things happen, things change. Discovery is good and healthy.
(I love Maurice Sendak. Stephen Colbert had a wonderful 2-part interview with him.)
Jeanne, you are my one-woman cheering squad..thank you for being there. I am making good progress on this kiddie novel that I am writing. Will keep you posted when I get to a point where the end is in sight. Hopefully that won’t be too long, since this is a shorter book.
😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 ❗