Another Writing Update

Courtney, Jamie, and I.
Hello there my beautiful friends!

It was a sunny day here in Portland this morning! I walked around downtown with my roommate and her family. We got some yummy hot chocolate and cart food. Today is my roommate's birthday, so happy birthday Jamie!

Today, I sat on a bench and written on it in black sharpie was: What if your best friend is actually your grandchild who used a time machine to spend time with you?
This is why I freaking LOVE Portland!

So, anyhow, today I present yet another writing update.

A couple weeks ago, I sent two short stories out to Chicken Soup for the Soul. One of the stories I sent was actually a story I've sent before, but it was for a different book topic and it did not get chosen for that particular book topic, so I'm trying it out on this next book topic, which is "Lemons to Lemonade."

Here is the link to me reading that essay if you would like to hear it: https://soundcloud.com/theyancenator/pain-reveals-you

Also, I've been quite busy with school, so that's why you've seen those really short blog posts about random things like which one I prefer: coffee of tea? They hardly take any time to write and keep life interesting for me, which is always nice.

On the weekends, I work on Novel #2, which is coming along slowly, but nicely so far. It's a much tougher story to write for many reasons.

  1. It's my second novel. 
  2. There is a lot of my own personal life crammed into this story.  
  3. It's much more complicated than the first novel. It's told in flashbacks. 
  4. And it's a lot more emotional than the first novel. 
Now, some of you might be asking: Why is your second novel tougher? 

And that's a good question. You would think that if I completed one novel the next novel should actually be much easier, but I don't think that's entirely the case for me. In some ways, yes, it is easier because the writing muscle in my brain is significantly stronger than it used to be when I first started out. But it's tougher in some ways because sometimes I forget how hard writing the first book was.

I think it's like a second time mother who forgot how excruciatingly painful child birth was the first time.

When I finished writing Novel #1 (a process, by the way, which took four years), it almost felt like an accident. 

Yes, an accident! It was like: Holy crap! I've written a book.

Before, I started Novel #1 I just wrote introductions to stories that sounded really cool in my brain, but  would only crank out like 10 pages and then I'd be like, Well, I don't know what the heck happens next, so I'm just gonna quit. When I came up with Novel #1, I was 15 years-old and something different happened. Once I got to 10 pages, I knew exactly what was going to happen next and then suddenly the characters were starting to take a life of their own and the process was so much fun and kind of magical... I became addicted. 
I wrote late into the night on the weekends during school and every summer.  
I had my friends read it and they loved it. I had my Nana read it; she did not like it at first (mainly because I hadn't really found my voice yet and, honestly, it was pretty dang ridiculous and mushy and yeah... it was scary). But after I revised it, she loved it! 

I completed it at 18 years-old and immediately sent it off to literary agents. 
Bad idea. 
I was just too dang eager to get it published. 
Then I had a couple of writer friends help me edit it to perfection. I LOVE it now!

But it's kind of weird now...
Because now, I'm done with it and it's time to move on.
It's weird because I worked on and thought about that story all the freaking time. I'm not even kidding you. Four years of Novel #1.

I've been sending out query letters to literary agents for almost 2 years now and haven't had any success yet.
But I guess that depends on one's definition of success.
I've had very nice responses to my stories and lot's of comments like:

  1. You have talent!
  2. This book will be published one day. 
So, I wouldn't say that I failed. 
These professionals are telling me great things! 
I shouldn't get down on myself. 
Also, Richard Dane Scott will kick my butt if I do, so I won't. Hahaha. 

Sometimes, I wonder if this book will even get published. 
Because I know that sometimes writers write a novel and that first novel never gets published. 
Or, I wonder if Novel #2 will get published before #1. 
My mom thinks so. 
And I'm beginning to agree with her about that, too. 
But, even though this is what I think, I still send out a bazillion query letters.
Because you never know. 

Plus, I live by this Isaac Asimov quote:  "You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success--but only if you persist." 

So, this is what I do.

I also like the most recent quote from Neil Gaiman: "Write. Finish things and get on with the next one... You'll learn more from a glorious failure than from something you've never finished."

I really, really like this quote!

In which Maggie Stiefvater helpfully illustrates what novel-writing looks like...
So, now, I'm working on Novel #2 on the weekends... (along with looking for a job and filling out scholarship stuff and homework and other life stuff).
And the difference between this story and Novel #1 is that it's not as fun to write at the moment.

And maybe some of you are thinking: Well, if it's not fun to write then don't write it.


But that's not the case. I said it's not as fun because of the subject matter and also because it's so similar, in some ways, to my own life. It's not as fun because I have to dig a little deeper with this one. But it's a story I desperately want to tell. I have the whole thing charted out in my mind and I love it; it's just that the tough part now is translating that story so that you can read it and experience it for yourself.
That's all.

Ok, I think I've rambled enough for the night.
I need to fix myself some dinner.
Get some homework reading in and write.

I might even watch Pride and Prejudice tonight. Ooooh. I like that idea.
Tomorrow I do Zumba! Which I will talk about later.

Blog to you later!
Love,
Manders



P.S.
I've got a Twitter account now. Shoot, I'm getting all technologically fancy now!
Twitter link: https://twitter.com/MandersYancey

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