Friday, January 19, 2018

2017: A Year in Review or How the Plot Bunnies Overtook My Life

I learned a lot of lessons from publishing my first book, and the biggest one was to just keep writing. It may seem intuitive or even silly in its simplicity, but it's one of those things that (at least for me) was easier said than done. Because after finishing the final edits on THE LAST RESORT in the fall of 2016, I had no idea what I wanted to work on next.


You see, I have a really bad habit of indecisiveness.

I still had a half-finished sequel to my pirate adventure PLUNDER to get back to (MCs Ana and Cade above - aren't they adorable?). I also had a half-finished YA dystopian waiting for an ending. There were also four potential WIPs (works-in-progress) that I had developed on a very high level. One of them even already had one chapter written!

So what was the problem?

Plot bunnies. They were everywhere, yet none of them excited me enough to commit six to nine month to writing, and another half year to revisions and edits. I also couldn't figure out what mattered to me more: creating a book that could potentially get traditionally published or writing a story that would find success on Wattpad and build my base there.

And then it happened. I don't know what finally triggered that spark, but in February of 2017 I got a new idea. It was a YA contemporary with an 18 year-old female MC who competed in a traditionally male-dominated sport. I checked Goodreads and Amazon and didn't find anything similar (this sport is really overlooked in fiction!), which made me even more excited. I have personal (although tangential) experience with this "world", but I also did a lot of research and knew that this was the project I wanted to commit the year to.

I began writing in April 2017 with a goal of a 60K first draft by September. I chronicled some of my progress on Twitter with the tag #PLP and ended up coming in with nearly twenty thousand more two months later. Reasons for the delay other than the extra words and general life stuff? Wattpad had asked me to write a flash-fic to help promote Hulu's THE HANDMAID'S TALE so I ended up writing Glass Houses. I also pitched two stories for an invite-only opportunity, with one getting into the top 15 (out of more than 150 entries). And that is where I am today.

Well, not exactly.

In the next month or so, I'll have another update about something I've known since last fall.  Do you know how hard it is for a writer to keep secrets? Stay tuned!

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