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Last Friday, was my deadline; time for me to submit my novel for a peer review so that I can get some feedback on what I’m doing right and what I need to work on. It is the first time I have done something like this and it is both frightening and a relief. The plan was to stop writing for a bit, read a novel written by a fellow author to provide my own critique and to catch up on my reading list so that I don’t fall behind on my reading goal for 2013. But as anyone who has been paying attention knows, plans and I don’t mix well.
A series that I had attempted to write several years ago, even before my first foray into NaNoWriMo, has been gnawing at me lately. It first started just before this year’s NaNoWriMo but I put the thought aside to focus on my NaNo project. These last few weeks though, it has been difficult to ignore. “You’ve ignored me long enough,” it says. “I’ve waited quietly and patiently while you began your new series, but it is my time now,” it insists. “Write me before you forget!” it pleads. Refusing to be ignored any longer, it has been increasingly persistent, getting louder and louder each time and so, I can no longer push it aside. I must give in to the story before it consumes me and I can think of absolutely nothing else.
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Yes, I know how that sounds. And no, I’m not certifiably crazy; no need to call for the padded wagons, I don’t actually hear voices in my head. But, if there is one thing I have learned over the last several months, it is that there are plenty of people out there who understand exactly what I am talking about. Any author that has tried to ignore a story knows that you can only do so for so long before you are compelled to write it.
Thus, began my latest project, book one of The Butterfly Stages, a four to five book series that is a coming of age story for young adults. It will follow one girl’s journey from her last days of eighth grade to high school and finally until she reaches adulthood. It is completely different from The Eye of the Vampire series that I have been working on for the last three or four years and it is for this reason, that I have been thinking about the use of pen names (See last week’s blog). I’m still not sure where I stand on that, but my projects take me from one genre to the next pretty frequently so either I need to use a pen name to distinguish the different genres or I will need to do one hell of a job of marketing my novels to the right audiences. This is where an agent and a publicist would come in handy, but I have neither of those at the moment.
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For now, it looks like the new plan is to keep reading (always keep reading) and work on this new series until I get some feedback on Lila’s Choice. I’m pretty sure that even after I get feedback, I won’t immediately begin editing. Knowing myself, I will beat myself up for any shortcomings that are pointed out and not want to touch it for a while. Eventually, I will pull up my big girl panties and get back to work, keeping the feedback in mind, but in the meantime, it’s time to set the stage.