I have written many novels in my life. No really, I have! The only thing is that I’m never satisfied enough with how they turn out to actually do anything with them. Therefore, it’s a constant struggle for me to decide whether to polish up old writings or work on new ones, as I’m always getting new ideas.
Following the publishing of my book of short stories, I had to make that decision again! However, after a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to work on the roughest novel I have on the back burner: the book I’m referring to as “Project Pea.” (Yes, I do have a real title for it, but that’s a secret for now!)
Project Pea was so rough that I didn’t even have anything typed up on the computer, just about 40 pages written down in a notebook. I didn’t know who the villain of the book was or how the story would conclude; basically, I only had a rough sketch of the first half of the book. Everything past that was just a hazy idea.
But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. The original idea came about in college. It hit me one day that my two cats, who are sisters and have completely opposite personalities, would make great main characters in a story! So I had that idea brewing in my mind, but nothing to attach it too. Then I got into things like Doctor Who Series 10, Stranger Things, re-read The Chronicles of Narnia and the Dragons in our Midst series…and somehow, this amalgamation of things turned into the beginnings of a plot.
I didn’t even write anything down for a few years. The idea rolled around in my head but it never really got anywhere until I came up with the catalyst at the beginning of the novel that would send the main character on her mission. It was so devastating (for my character) and at the same time so wonderful (for me) that the single idea spurred on several others until more of the story came together.
So now, here I am, beginning my serious work on Project Pea! When I write novels, I typically go through three stages: pen, typewriter, laptop. I do edits as I move to each stage, making big edits going from handwritten to typewritten and then smaller edits as I make the next transfer to typing it up on my laptop. Then I usually go through another stage of big edits purely on my laptop, and then the book is done!
Though, like I said, it’s hard for me to really be “done” with a book.
In the past year, I’ve had to learn a lot about self-motivation and goal-setting as I’ve become a full-time freelancer. This has helped me in a lot of other areas of my life besides work, including my own personal story work! Therefore, I set a goal to have the book completely finished by March of next year. That way, I can start looking for publishers in the Spring (thanks to Authors Publish Magazine, which has really comprehensive lists of publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts)!
So here’s to goal-setting and novel writing! You’ll be hearing more about Project Pea as I continue, because I always learn new things when I write a new book!
Project Pea, here I come!