The blog has been on hiatus for the past couple of weeks in preparation. I entered Project 2016 in Pitch Wars this week. For those unfamiliar, this is a contest where published/agented authors or teams of authors select a mentee based on a submitted work to help the mentee get the work ready for agents. Mentees won't be announced until later this month, but what this means for me and my writing in the meantime is that I've got to set Project 2016 aside until I've heard one way or another. I might do some formatting tweaks and make some notes, but it's time for me to work on other things.
It's been a pretty long time since I've written a first draft (for a novel, anyway; I've pounded out a couple of short stories in the last few months). I wrote the first draft of this part of Project 2016 (remember, I ended up writing the second book in the set first) last October and finished it in November. Since then, I've adjusted and revised. I've written plenty of new material--more than one chapter got a total overhaul in the last round of revisions, and even more have had scenes added or reworked. None of this new material, though, has been written under the same blank slate circumstances I'm working with now.
"Blank slate" may actually be a little misleading. I sort of already know what my next project is. I haven't written a true outline yet, but I know the main goal and the main conflict. I have a decent idea of who my protagonist is, what she wants, and how she'll change through the course of the story. I'm not flying completely blind.
But there's a lot I haven't figured out.
It's amazing how the process changes each time. This is, if we count my false start with Project 2016, my fourth time writing a first draft of a novel. I've don't this before. The muscles are built. But I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm not even completely sure where to start with the outline.
I'm not worried that I won't figure it out--at least, I'm no more worried that I actually don't know how to write than I normally am (who needs background noise when you've got screaming self-doubt?). But the thought that this whole thing should be easier has definitely crossed my mind.
I'll work it out--I've done it before. It might be as simple as just pounding out a few words and getting moving.
The prospect of a new project is exciting. And terrifying. I've learned so much from the process for Project 2016. I've got a ton of new and useful tools at my disposal. But I also know better than ever how much I don't know. It's a daunting thing to realize how much you might get wrong.
I'm excited about my new project. It's a different age category and genre from what I've been working in with Project 2016. Ultimately, the excitement outweighs the nerves.
So I guess it's time to dive in.