I’m a stickler for goals. I love them.
I love achieving them more.
But sometimes life gets in the way, and goals need to be realigned.
I’m currently 70,000 words into a 50,000 words YA science fiction novel. Yup, that was right – 20,000 words over goal, and I probably need another 15-20,000 to finish.
This was problem #1: I carefully planned out when I needed to finish my novel before my edits came back for ASHES IN THE SKY. Yes, I achieved my 50,000 words on time… but when I got there, my story wasn’t finished. So I kept writing—Even took a writer’s weekend in hopes of finishing the book before I needed to start editing again… but even that only got me smack up against the beginning of the climax, where my main character is staring down at her worst nightmare come true.
A very BAD place to stop writing.
At the most important place in my novel to KEEP WRITING, I was forced to stop for a two-week marathon run of editing, which in of itself would have been fine. But then life problem #2 happened. A huge project at my day job had me working through my precious lunch breaks, and even far into the evenings, leaving my precious characters stagnant, facing horrible trauma and impending doom for an additional two weeks.
An entire month without writing something new
It was a month to the day when I finally got back to my story, and I sighed seeing where I had left my characters. So I did the only thing I really could do.
I opened up to page one, and I did an editing run.
You should always finish your book before editing! Yes, this is true, but after being away for so long, I needed to re-familiarize myself with the characters, the plot, the tone, and the voice (Especially since I had spent a few week’s back in Jess Martinez’s quirky head)
The deep edit on those 70,000 words took about a week, and even then, I found myself at a loss when I came to the end.
Was this book still inside me? With the kind of tension build I created over all those chapters, would I be able to deliver the goods in the climax?
I knew I had to shake it off, but instead, I kept going back to earlier chapters and revising something else.
Then, finally, I got back to the last scene that I’d written a month ago. That first sentence was the hardest sentence that I’ve ever written. It took me about an hour to type 100 words. Horrible.
Welcome back, muse!
But then the magic muse finally took hold. The characters reignited in my brain. I jumped back on the rollercoaster, ready to sprint to the finish line with them.
Yes, I am excited about this story again. I’m excited to get it out in the world.
All I had to do, was force myself through those pesky 100 words to get myself started.
Yup, feels good to be hanging out with imaginary people again.
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