This week has really kicked in for me with the ‘I am the master of my fate’ mentality. While I did do quite a bit of writing last week in preparation for NaNoWriMo, that stands for the National Novel Writing Month, it’s nothing compared to the kick in the butt November 1st brought.
Last week I finished up with a proposal to my agent. I sent her a series I’d been sitting on a long time. The first book isn’t quite done and the language isn’t quite finished. It’s epic fantasy with a romance quest at its center and while I shelved it so very long ago because of there being no market for it, I don’t know why it set there because the market changed.
Sure, I know the book isn’t quite done yet but it has won awards and every editor I showed it to asked about it. But still, I sat on it. And sat on it. And then some more. When I talked to my agent over the summer about my contemporary erotic romance series, The MacKenzie Clan, she reminded me that it was time to also think of my next big project.
Ugh, I thought as I was already struggling with Book 2, Deceiving the Scotsman, in the series because I just couldn’t feel the characters or the story. Not like the first one. I’d already done the synopsis, the blurb, long and short log lines. I knew where that book was going but it just wasn’t coming to me. I had worked on it a few years ago for NaNoWriMo and afterwards edited it and tossed over 50% of what I wrote. Man did that hurt.
Sure, the story had gone through a major rehaul, which it needed, a new title change and basically, a whole new set of characters because what I first proposed to my agent got nixed. I had actually wanted to kill off a character in the first book. I was told by not only my agent, but several critique partners, that readers would have a vested interest in that character and there was no way I could kill him off so his wife could go with another man.
Hence, the chopping and trying to put together a manuscript that just might have some redeeming things that can be added to this second book. And that is probably the problem. I had a whole other book in mind and suddenly, it’s not the one that’s going in the series. To say I was bummed in the least is an understatement. I definitely needed to think about a whole different series.
So, I pulled out the epic fantasy romance and read it again. Somewhere along the way, I realized just how good this story was and why I loved it so much. I read through it and fixed some minor things as it had been thoroughly scrubbed and clean when I shelved it. Then I did an amazing thing. I started working on a second proposal that is another fantasy romance. It too had won writing awards in its day but it was another I shelved because my first agent told me it read like a young adult novel.
Uhh…no…it read like a fantasy novel and I didn’t realize at the time the woman had no experience with a novel like that. It took got put away, thinking I’d never finish it. Yet, I’ve decided I’m going to work on it too. Matter of fact, I plan to submit the proposal tomorrow. It had a little more cleanup to do as only the first chapter was really 100% in my mind. Also, it was a little bare in the synopsis, blurb and tag line areas that I had to put some time into.
I know you’re wondering just why I’m tell you all of this at all. The very fact that I’m participating in NaNoWriMo is embracing the whole ‘master of my fate’ thing to the fullest. If I hadn’t been planning to participate here, I wouldn’t have started looking at Deceiving the Scotsman to try and figure out how to tackle the problems of learning to love the characters again. I wouldn’t have been thinking about submitting not one but two proposals to my agent.
I wouldn’t have thought that I could do any of this until I totally grasped the concept of ‘I am the master of my fate’ to the fullest. Again, only I can change the lack of writing. Only I can make the magic happen again.
Right now, the best thing that NaNoWriMo has done for me is to create a passion for something I love. Sure, reading all the craft books doesn’t hurt but there is nothing like NaNo to get your but in the chair because you are competing against yourself to finish a novel in a month.
Heck, if I do it right, I can have this thing cranked out in about 10 days at the max. That means I’ll be able to start another book as well. Today I’m into it for over 1800 words and that’s more than my NaNo minimum. But to do this project well and start a second novel, I’ll need to be doing about 9k a day. I’ll keep you posted.
See you all next week. Until then…