27 March 2007

Update on the raccoon story!

I've been working on the raccoon story today. (I'm up to chapter 19.) I just discovered something about my MC, Thorn, which I'd kind of suspected. Except this secret was the tipping point that caused my story to change audiences, from MG to YA. But I was like, for Pete's sake, if the story needs it, put it in, and let it be a YA. So what if animal stories are supposed to be MG. Just do the Watership Down thing and be done with it.

The story had already been scooching into YA territory because Silverlady, the other MC, wanted to get married and start a family, which is more a YA concern. I was trying to keep it MG by saying, "Well, what she really wants is a family, since she never had one." Well, so much for that!

But I'm happy that the story has decided to be a YA. It's strange, but I always felt a little constrained by the MG label everyone kept putting on my story. It's not that MG is less good. It's just that I kept thinking, "Well, I can't say that, I can't do that" -- like I had to censor myself because of the audience. And that I didn't love the novel as much because I couldn't let it be itself.

Anyway, Thorn's secret is awesome. Oh, the ending, you're going to love it! I changed it in light of this new knowledge, and now it's just so wonderful! I am so happeeeeeee! Okay, enough exclamation points.

Only problem is, I just finished writing the cool scene where he admits this secret, but just as soon as I finished that scene, the following scene seemed so utterly trite and pointless that I immediately felt stuck. I'm a wimp.

22 March 2007

Sending stuff out.

I've sent out only two things in the last eight months: a query to an agent and a full MS to FSG. And that's it. Everything else I've been sitting on.

Editors' slush piles are overflowing because we're too busy sending out stuff, seeking stardom and fame and everything publishing promises. And a lot of stuff that's going out is premature. Or unfinished.

I have one finished novel. I thought my other projects were finished, but I looked at them again after my growth spurt and discovered they aren't.

I thought I knew that it took a long time to write a book. But then I discovered I really didn't know. That you gotta dig in and work on one book for months at a time, instead of flitting from project to project.

Granted, it is nice to have an extra project to work on if the main project keeps running you into that brick wall. But some days you have to keep slamming into that brick wall to make progress. Which doesn't make sense. But it works. It's one of those creative things that Maslov likes to talk about. (That Maslov! He's really a lot of fun, and super-helpful in teaching me all this useful psychological stuff.)

Today I'm going to hunt down some agents to send my Symphonians novel to. I should have started marketing it to agents when I sent it to FSG, but that was about the time the apocalyspe hit. Dang it. I'm such a slowpoke. That's my other failing.

(The apocalypse is over at work, btw! And it's so nice.)