Archive for the ‘YA novel’ Category

Onwards and upwards

Posted: August 27, 2012 in YA novel

The very next day after I last posted, Cornerstones came out of the woodwork and sent me my report on the novel. They must have heard me – or read what I said here (I wish!).

Anyway, lots of good things were commented on, and the issue is, as suspected, mostly with the two main plot lines vying with each other and not being well-enough linked. (That’s my brief version – I don’t have the time or the inclination to post full quotes here as would be required, but I am delighted they never even mentioned lots of things I thought they would pull apart, so it can’t all be bad.)

But it is going to be an uphill journey for a few months while I redraft. The good news is, I have been cogitating on how best to do it and have a PLAN!

Everyone should have a plan for when a novel has to NOT resemble real life. In my experience (gained from wearing my child therapy hat), a young adult would most definitely have these two problems (plot lines) running concurrently and both equally important, vying in their mind for attention and affecting each other. Yet I suspected somehow that it would not be allowed. I think the reader does need to know which is the main plot. And it’s been hard for me to sit back and think and make that crucial decision, because quite frankly I am not writing a crime novel, and over-emphasising one of the plots could push it that way. But I now have a plan and can sleep well tonight.

I only started writing this book last October (2011) so it really feels okay to be doing another draft right now. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in. I really mind about this book.

And if I’m silent here as a consequence, so be it. You must just listen out for the cogs turning. And if you don’t hear them, please nudge me.

It’s May 28th 2012 – I have just written THE END. My new novel is finished. Or maybe just started. Depends how you look at things.

So OK, this is the beginning – of the redrafting, the working out of things that don’t work too well, the rectifying of inconsistencies (though I’ve tried really hard to monitor and check as I was writing), a serious tidying up, and the ongoing debate about a suitable title. The working title makes it sound like fantasy fiction, when it’s not. It’s a real headache.

But this post is to mark “an” ending. I wrote it. I got there. I’ve drafted a whole new book. And now I must polish it over the coming months.

In the meantime, I’m going to celebrate today  – or, more probably, sink down exhausted to munch on some nuts and cheese.

Before I go, I want to register some gratitude:

For my MacBook Air that has lived with me on my bed for the past seven months, recording every word of this drafting.

For my trusty work tool, Scrivener, that has made the task such a pleasure.

For my lovely daughter Esther, who has read and commented as I worked (send her some virtual hobnobs please).

For my tarot decks – especially the lovely Dragons Tarot, that is so crucial to the story – for their inspiration. (How come my middle grade novels had dragons in them and now this one has a dragon deck? *message to self to grow up*)

For friendly SCBWI folk, a few of whom (at the last conference and in York) have seen a couple of excerpts and given really useful feedback.

And now I’m tired. I hope to be back here regularly in future, with comments on the editing process and other wonderfully imaginative posts for your delectation, but right now, I’m out of words for the while. All 74,000 are written elsewhere!