It never fails, I just can’t write in the fall. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because I’m going back to work (being a teacher pays the bills) and the idea of balancing writing and starting a new school year terrifies me. Maybe it’s because, by summer’s end, I’m tired of writing. I don’t know. But come the end of December, beginning of January, I always hit the ground running–err, typing–and start working on something new. This is just how I roll and I really don’t know why.
2015 was a terrible, horrible, no good year for me filled with the sadness of separating from my agent, losing my mother-in-law unexpectedly to cancer, surgeries and hospital stays, car accidents on the interstate, and depression. But I’m determined to make 2016 better. The first way I’ve decided to do this is by WRITING.
When my Winter Break started, I decided to pull out feedback I’d received from editors who had read my YA LGBT Thriller (bisexual MC) and based on that information, I sat down and reworked the novel. It a matter of days, I’d rewritten major plot points that shaped the novel I loved so much (and had gotten my agent with) into something more…something better.
This was only the beginning. I became hooked on the idea of making what I’ve already written that much better.
I have two more novels that I love dearly, they are my babies, after all. One has never seen agents besides the one I had at the time, but the voice was too similar to my first novel and there were some characterization issues I needed to address. I’d shelved it because at the time I didn’t know how to fix it. Two days after Christmas, it hit me what I needed to do. I started outlining because I’m a plotter and for two weeks straight, I wrote every chance I got. The story quickly evolved into something so much better than what I started out with. When I finished, I couldn’t believe it. Sure, I’d salvaged some of the scenes I wrote originally (even if they needed to be heavily edited for voice and tense purposes), but I managed to write 70K in two weeks.
Now, I needed a new title. I needed a new pitch. I needed a new query. I’m still working on the latter right now while I let the writing simmer before sending it to my CPs and beta readers. It wasn’t the same novel anymore (same is true for the LGBT Thriller I heavily revised) and I, for one, was glad. I felt accomplished, I’d done something, breathed life into something I thought could never be salvaged and resurrected it from the shelf of doom.
I can’t help but wonder, now. Am I a writer who has to write and then go back and rewrite it again? I hope not, but I’m the kind of writer who doesn’t want to give up on my older novels. If it means they need to be rewritten to become better and more marketable, I’m game. As a teacher, I know I have to evolve my teaching style to match the type of learners I have in my classroom. As a writer, I’m willing to do the same. But rewrite or not, I’m just happy to be writing again. I can’t wait to start my next novel, whether it’s a rewrite or something new, it doesn’t matter. As long as I’m writing.