Welcome back and happy 2017! A couple news items:
Firstly, I’ve started going by my middle name, Noel. (As in, the Christmasy pronunciation of Noel. NOT the one that rhymes with *roll* which is what my eyes do whenever someone says it like that, hehe.) My full name will still be listed on my blog and Twitter, as that is what I’ll be published as, but amongst friends and such I’d like to be called Noel. 🙂
Secondly, I’m adopting a new system for how I’ll be blogging each week of the month:
- The 1st Tuesday of the month will be a personal update on how the writing, querying, and/or (fingers crossed!) publishing is going. Maybe also what books I’ve read and other sundries.
- The 2nd Tuesday will be about craft, or a topic within the publishing world.
- The 3rd Tuesday will be creative writing, whether that be a story, a poem, or something silly. (You know me.) With how consuming it was to edit my novel, I let short stories fall to the wayside, so I want to get back into the rhythm of penning new stuff, even if they’re small or just practice.
- The 4th Tuesday will be about a nonfiction read, since many of you enjoyed last year’s “Let’s DEWEY This!” series. I decided to keep that up, only I won’t be going in Dewey Decimal order anymore, just picking books that intrigue me.
- For those wily months that sneak an extra Tuesday in, I’ll post something random and fun, such as surveys, pictures, quotes, etc.
For this month’s first post, I’d like to announce that I FINALLY AND OFFICIALLY completed revisions on my novel and will soon be querying agents! Woooo! On that note, I’d like to talk about what comes after finishing a novel, and my goals for the future. Yes, Mr. Stricty McTechnicalPants, I know today is not the first Tuesday of the month. But I was on break last week so we’re starting now. Hmph!
Sending a novel into the world is a lot like (I imagine) sending a child off to school. You dress up your book in its crisply ironed uniform, with its little unicorn lunchbox and little rocket ship backpack, and wave tearfully goodbye as it steps onto the bus heading towards an agent’s slush pile.
Okay, the analogy isn’t perfect, because a parent doesn’t traipse home from the bus stop on the first day of school and think, “Welp, time to make another kid!” But you get the idea. Once you send your book out into the world, you start thinking about what to write next. (Unless of course you’re a multi-tasker with two or three or fifteen WIPs at once.)
My current novel has become that little lunchbox-toting schoolkid, and ideas for future books are rolling in. I haven’t settled on anything, but I have inklings for what I’d like to include or experiment with, if not for my next book then at some point in the future. I call it my “writer bucket list” and it goes as follows:
- Write a more intensely flawed, unlikable character. Explore the darker edges of humanity.
- Be more daring with ethical ambiguity. Place characters in situations where solutions are muddy and either side could be right.
- Make mental health the central subject matter of a story.
- Write a contemporary story blended with a touch of the otherworldly or surreal, like Aimee Bender did in “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.”
- Try my hand at a psychological thriller.
- Write an original fairy tale.
I have more, but those are the biggies. I’ve got a few plots floating around in my mind, but I haven’t decided on one yet. One thing is for certain: I’m not jumping into another novel immediately! My current book put me through the wringer, so I need a break. In the meantime, I’ll be querying up a storm, writing short stories, and maybe reworking my first novel, which didn’t do so well with agents.
Tell me, what are some of your writing goals or things you might like to try someday?