I realised I haven’t been very forthcoming with my writing progress over the past several months. I’d love to say it was because I was working on some top secret project that I could only now reveal. Alas, it was simply because I was so focused on the writing I never considered telling you about it.
That, my dear readers, is about to change. Brace yourselves for a no-holds-barred update on where my writing career is at.
At the end of March the textbook people told me to hold off writing the teacher’s guide until they could get me the revisions for the student workbook. I was a little frustrated by this (I’d wondered about the wisdom of writing the teacher’s guide before the student book was set, but the contact only gave me two weeks between the two deadlines and I didn’t want to miss it). I’d hoped this contract would be fulfilled by late March so I could go back to writing fiction.
Given my forced waiting with the math stuff, I decided to finish my NaNoWriMo novel. I promised my cheerleader a sequel to The Firestorm Conspiracy, and I got 55,000 words into it during November, but December led to agents requesting Nikko and eventually the excitement around signing with Brianne Mulligan at Movable Type, so I never finished it.
Oooh, I also had to do several edits and proofs for Firestorm in order to get it ready for publication, and those took a tonne of time. Thankfully, I wasn’t also textbooking.
Life is funny sometimes. I was all excited about my ‘free’ time – I was going to finish my sequel and make my cheerleader ecstatic (or insane, depending on her reaction to the grand finale planned for the book), and then my agent sent me an email. She wanted to let me know she felt the sooner we got Nikko out the better – before all the publishers filled their YA dystopian quotas for the year.
I broke the news to my long-suffering cheerleader and set to work on revising Nikko with my eleven pages of editorial notes as a guideline. My goal was to increase the book’s length by about 20,000 words and change the ending, leaving the story more open to a romantic sequel (I’d left it open for further book[s], but I hadn’t planned on carrying a love triangle through, so that had to change).
I’ve been working steadily on Nikko for three weeks now, and I’ve added close to 13,000 words and four entirely new chapters. I’ve fleshed out one minor character into something of an antagonist, and I’ve gone far deeper into both my main characters’ pasts as well as the world building.
I’ll be honest, it’s hard. My brain does mental gymnastics every time I sit down and tackle a new element. I’m always saying, “Let’s see, how can I…” and then I’m gone – lost in a universe of my own creating. I love it. I love, love, love it. I wanted to get the revisions done by the end of the month, but as I’m only half way through the original version I think I’ll need more than the week remaining.
During a moment of procrastination I decided to submit a short story to a couple of magazines. I’m not expecting a reply for at least four more weeks, but I will let you know as soon as I hear anything.
I am expecting the revision request from the textbook people to arrive sometime next week. As this is something I am under contract for (and they’ve paid me a third of the agreed upon amount), I will have to set Nikko aside to work on them. Hopefully they won’t be too time-consuming and I’ll be able to get back to Nikko shortly thereafter.
On top of all this, I am also planning a launch party for The Firestorm Conspiracy. I can’t believe it will be available to the general public in just over three weeks. My first novel. Published. People other than my husband and mother buying something I made.
Phew, I told you this would be quite the update. You may relax now, it’s pretty much over. At the risk of becoming boring or tedious, I will endeavour to update you more often.