Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Out of My Comfort Zone

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This is a re-post of a blog post I wrote on June 1, 2012. It's interesting to go back and reread my thoughts on my novel--so much has happened in two years!

Something amazing and interesting and terrifying happened today. I finished the first draft of my novel. As in, done. There's a beginning and a middle and an end. There's even dialogue. Normally I write personal essays and memoir or professional pieces. This is my first attempt at fiction. Ever. You'd think I have started with a short story, but I like to be difficult.

I'm really proud of myself for seeing this project through. From the beginning it was just something I pulled out to play with from time to time. It actually started after I shared the premise with some students. They loved it, which encouraged me to put a couple of thousand words down. I played with it a bit the next semester, mostly because I was forcing my Creative Writing class to write fiction, so it seemed only fair that I do so, too. This past Fall's CW class is where I really got serious about it, encouraged greatly by the news an essay of mine was going to be published. I wrote pages upon pages...until Fall Break. Then we went to Disney World for a week. I didn't have time (or a laptop) to write, and I lost my momentum. I didn't open the document for almost six months.

But I did go back to it. And now it's done. Well, not really, of course. It still needs revising and editing. I'm hoping to get in the hands of some beta readers soon (any takers??). But just getting the story through to its conclusion is HUGE for me. I'm the queen of unfinished projects. Just take a look in my craft room.

I'm also scared. Not that people won't like it (if they even read it), because though I certainly had an audience in mind, I was never really writing for them. I'm scared because the story is done and I'm not ready to let the characters go. I really like them. I might write some more scenes that occur after the story ends, or maybe try out the stories of some minor characters, but it's not the kind of book that calls for a sequel, and certainly not the bandwagon that is the trilogy. Basically, now that the draft is complete, I'm not sure what to write next.

The book, if you're wondering, is a YA romance, though a slightly older audience could relate (the narrator is just out of college) titled Anything Less Than Everything. It's a girly coming of age story--my favorite.

Now I think I'll go reread some Sarah Dessen or something to fill the space left by my little book's completion.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Heather,

    Good for you for starting a blog! I'd love to be on of your beta readers. :-)

    Hope you're doing well...say hi to the GHSers for me!

    Linda Wesley


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