Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I was talking with a dear friend this week about my writing, and some of her words of wisdom have caused me to do some thinking.

I am too scattered in my creative projects to really do any justice, but I worry that if I trim down my list of projects, I'll get bored and not work on any.

But do I really need four rough drafts in progress at the same time (not to mention the three partially finished rough drafts of other novels)?

It's time to prioritize my craft. Leaving my poetry out of this, because poetry and fiction are two different beasts entirely and I don't really believe one influences the other in quite the same way as multiple novels, I need to make some choices.

Novel 1: I hate it right now. 100 pages YA novel in multi-voiced verse that feels contrived and trite. Started this novel four years ago, when I was in a very different space. This one is easy: shelve it for now and forget about it.

Novel 2: Historical fiction retelling an old testament story with a twist. I like the premise behind this novel, but I have been waiting to really work on revisions until the Egypt trip at the end of this month (I need to see desert lands and pagan temples before I can polish this novel).

Novel 3: My NANO attempt from last year, a difficult to classify work of women's fiction. This is the novel I revised in three days and submitted to an agent after the conference, the one who sent me a kind rejection letter. I am kind of sick of this one as well, and what's worse, I feel stuck: the ending third of the book seems trite, and I don't know how to change it.

Novel 4: This is the one I want to pour myself into. YA historical fiction in verse, this novel tells the fictionalized autobiography of a woman from the 20th century who fascinates me on so many levels. I wrote this novel in just under three months, but I haven't touched it since I completed the first draft. Again, I am relying on the Egypt trip to provide inspiration and color to this work.

So I guess I answered my conundrum. I'll work on Novel 4 and focus my energies on submitting it to just the right agent. As to the rest, I will simply leave them alone for now.

But either way you slice it, I'm taking a break from fiction writing until the new year. And out, world!

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