Monday, November 8, 2010

What I Did On My Blogger Vacation

I've been gone from here. A lot. As usual, no small part of it has to do with me being an infrequent blogger. But for once, I have a decent reason, too.

In October, I accidentally did my own personal NaNoWriMo.

See, I was plodding along through a decent project that I like, and I'm still fond of, but it just wasn't coming easily. Meanwhile, I was struck with inspiration in one of those bolt-from-the-blue moments.

I have an older project that has made the querying rounds with lots of requests, lots of positive feedback, but no offers. A lot of "great writing, not enough of a hook," "love your characters, love your dialogue, but this plot isn't original enough to be a debut." Which was really hard at the time, because I love those characters, too, and I felt like they weren't getting a fair shake (from their story, not from the agents).

Now, over a year later, I finally had my Aha! moment: I was telling the story from the wrong character's perspective. The idea stayed with me, and all but stalled progress on my other work-in-progress.

"I'll just write a few pages to get the basic premise down," I thought. "Get that first scene out of my head so I can concentrate on the other one."

Twenty-two days and 74,000 words later, it was done.

And it feels right. My wonderful crit partners have already given me the thumbs up and the first 50 pages have been through the ringer in my crit group. If I had a Magic 8 Ball, it would be reading 'All Signs Point to Yes.'

It doesn't feel like a first draft, or even a second, third or fourth. It feels like the final edits on the story I told a long time ago. I guess it just took a year, a leave of absence from work, and that final spark to give me the chance to absorb all the input I got on the query trail last time.

So, I'm not doing NaNo this year. I need a break! My wonderful friend Ryan made me my very own certificate though, for doing my personal NaNo a month early. It's at the top of this post. Pretty awesome right?

Fingers crossed, people! And for those of you doing NaNo--It can be done. Trust me!

- Liz


Kristan said...

WOWOWOWOW go you!! Congrats. And good luck!

Mary said...

That's so exciting! Go You! And congratulations. Hope to hear more good news from you soon. :)

Eleven Eleven said...

You spoiled your crit partners with a new chapter to review almost every day for a whole month. Now they are going through withdrawal. It's very sad.

But the book is awesome. Agents who reject it...well, you can't fix stupid. :)

jasouders said...

Yeah. I feel the same way from what Eleven Eleven said. Though I'm not going into withdrawl. I'm too slammed. But I guarantee next month I will. Should've taken that month off like you did.