Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Putting SPY CHICK on hold means working on a new novel, one that I've spent my writing time this past week planning. It's a revamp of the nano (NaNoWriMo) I did last year -- you know, the novel I wrote 36k of before realizing it was total crap and deleting it?
Yeah, well. It was horrible. It deserved to be deleted. But still, never delete things. It just makes picking the idea up again even more difficult. Although in this case I'm starting to think starting from scratch again was a really good idea.
For any of you who don't remember/know of last year's nano, I'll just say that it's YA contemporary (of course) about a girl whose nickname is Stalker. OOH, INTRIGUE!!



step one. THE INSPIRATION! it is shiny. it is new. it is all full of sparkles and rainbows and oh look! the rainbow is made of skittles! taste the rainbow! ta-dah! 

step two. OH CRAP HOW DO I WRITE THIS THING? time for panic.

step three. GIVE UP. *tear hair out* it is just so much easier to work on this other idea that i have had for ages and ages and is like a good old friend instead of this weird new thing. 

step four. TIME PASSES. weeks, months, years, whatever the case may be. what was once your shiny new idea is now sitting in the attic of you head, collecting dust and cobwebs and it is under three huge boxes of other ideas now and you can barely even FIND IT.

step five. OH HAI, REMEMBER ME?? you accidentally bump into the old idea again! maybe because you've just abandoned yet another new idea and now the first idea is the old one you're going back to. or, you know, maybe you're just driving your car or sitting in class or talking to someone and something they say reminds you of the old idea and it's like hellooo again.

step six. THIS TIME IT'S DIFFERENT. the first time around you were so excited!!! sooo excited!! and you wanted the idea to spring, fully-formed into your writing program. because it was JUST SO PERFECT. but now you're smarter. you've lost a few ideas along the way, you've given up a few times, written hideously bad prose, and this time you're not going to rush things. you are going to WRITE THIS BOOK, DAMMIT, even though it's going to take so long and there's so much to do and there will be fights and sometimes maybe you won't talk to each other for weeks. but, um, that's not the point

step seven. BABY NAMES!! or, erm, character names. from the beautiful wonderful amazing cool names for babies, which is one of those books that i love love love love thank you baby-naming-people for writing it. anyway, yeah. names. for characters. awesome names, i mean.

step eight. DANCE PARTY!! playlists, i mean. music. 

step nine. HELLO NOW FILL OUT THIS PAPERWORK. i do character bios but some people do outlines, summaries, whatever it is that helps plot the book. this takes way longer than it probably should, ending with me spending over an hour on each character's flimsy little character card. SO YEAH.

step ten. WORDS. finally i get to write something.

(i'm still in step nine, btw)

And yes, in case you're wondering... steps 2-5 happen for me in nearly every single novel I write. At least in all the ones that are any good and definitely in all of the novels I've queried or plan on querying. It generally takes over a year for me to figure out an idea well enough to really set out and write the novel. SO UH, HOW DOES YOUR PRE-NOVEL TIME GO LIKE?