As 2017 began, I was deep into revising and editing one book. As 2017 ends, I am nearing the end of writing another book. A lot happened this year.
Last year, I wrote a YA fantasy novel. In January, I was revising and getting feedback from beta readers. Once I was satisfied with it, I began the querying process. In late February, I began sending out queries to dozens of literary agents.
By mid-April, it was beginning to be obvious that I did not have an instant bestseller. I lost track of how many rejections I got. Suffice to say, if an agent responded at all, it was with a rejection. Dozens of them. After some negotiation and interplay with a couple of agents on Twitter and via email, I finally, finally got a rejection that actually told me something. Multiple reasons could be found, but the primary one was that the market was still a little flooded with that particular sub-genre. For now, the best thing to do was to set it aside until a more opportune time.
That led to the next book. I had envisioned the YA novel as the first in a series, and I have rough outlines of at least two more novels. But to work on those when the first one isn’t going anywhere would be somewhat pointless. Instead, I began looking for my next unrelated novel.
I have numerous story ideas piled up here and there. Some of them are sketched out in notebooks, some on documents on my computer. Which one would be best, however?
After careful consideration, I settled on a concept that I’ve had written down (and mostly forgotten) since 1991. A friend and I brainstormed it one crazy college night. Needless to say, it needed some work. I started serious world-building in May.
With the start of summer, I began writing the new novel. The writing was slow and difficult most of the time. Bit by bit, it took shape.
Then Hurricane Harvey came along and derailed everything in everyone’s life.
By mid-October, I had hit 50,000 words, and I really needed motivation. Fortunately, NaNoWriMo came along. As I’ve written previously here, I wrote 50,012 words in November.
Since then, holidays and other factors have slowed me down again. I was hoping to be done by Christmas. Or New Year’s Day. Neither of those are happening. As of right now, the novel currently stands at over 120,000 words.
How much is left? If you had asked me in September, I would have said, the novel will be around 110,000 words. If you had asked me a month ago, I would have said it will be 130,000 or so. Now? I’m not sure. I’m entering the climax of the story, but there’s a lot left to tell. I’m thinking closer to 140,000.
I can finish this in January. I know it. Will I finish it in that time frame? I’m not 100% sure, but I’m confident that it will be done within the next few weeks.
Then I start revising. Then beta readers. Then more revising. And probably more revising. And then… then we’ll see if this novel can generate more interest than the last one in the publishing industry.
Welcome, 2018. This year, things will be… different.

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