NaNo at the last minute

Contrary to my first post on this blog I ended up doing NaNoWriMo after all. I actually decided it last-minute, on October 31st. The reason was because I had been working on a re-write of Goodbye December, my first novel. I was giving it an overhaul. As it turned out, despite it still having good ‘bones’ it wasn’t salvageable.

Really I didn’t know what I was doing when I wrote it and it shows. The story, while I still liked it, was just a little outdated. I ended up re-doing almost every scene and even then I did not really like it.

In the end, while I still love the characters, I just don’t feel as connected with the story as I did when I wrote it. I decided to use the characters and write a whole new story around them. It still will have the same themes, mental illness, trauma, first love etc but the story itself will be all new and all different.

I started writing and so far it’s been going good. I just hit 22 000 words today which is great! Of course as with any NaNo project this will be just a first draft, it will need a lot of work because I had little time to prepare.

I basically cobbled together some story points that I wanted to hit, a bit of background info on all the characters and events and started writing. The story is developing as I write, new characters are emerging. The original group of characters is developing beyond what they were in the first book as well. I really like the story.

As I mentioned in an earlier post I’m not much of a planer when it comes to writing, but I usually do a little more than just story points on a piece of paper. I can already tell that the second draft will take a while to do, but that’s ok. I finally have a story I am excited about and feel I can finish with a good result at the end.

Its raining – rejections

I’ve had a bit of a tough week on my quest to have my book published. Every writer who’s trying to go the traditional publishing route knows that when you sent your query letter of to an agent there is a high chance of it being rejected. This week, after 2 weeks of no responses to any of my queries, I got four rejections.
Rejections usually, at least with me, lead to dejection. You don’t want someone to tell you that what you’ve written and what you have poured your heart and soul into is not good enough for them. Even if you try to keep it in perspective. There are after all thousands of writers who have written books, all looking for agents. There is no way that every writer who’s ever written a book will find an agent. Still, when you open your email and you see yet another form letter telling you that unfortunately your book is ‘not quite right for my list’ or  ‘unfortunately not what we’re looking for at this time’ it’s difficult.
But unfortunately that is just the nature of this stage in the journey to get a book published. It’s a journey full of ups and downs.
The best thing you can do is just carry on. If the rejections stack up maybe looking at your query letter is a good idea. As for me, I will wait to see what happens with a few queries I still have out. If I continue to get rejection that’s what I will do, redo my query letter again. But of course I’m hoping that won’t be necessary. I do have a full out now with an agent based on my current query letter, so I’ll wait and see what happens with that. Fingers crossed!