Taming the Worry Monster

I am a chronic worrier by nature. Always have been, always will be. As a writer, I battle the Worry Monster a lot, especially late at night, when I can’t sleep.

stitch gift

When I started querying for the first time, my head filled with worries:

  • What if I spend hours researching each agent and customizing each query and all I ever get are form rejections?
  •  What if I get requests but then get more form rejections, which means my writing truly sucks?
  • What if an agent is so disgusted by my writing that he/she sends me back a rejection that basically tells me I have no business even dreaming of being a writer and please stop?
  • What if every writer friend I’ve met during The Writers’ Voice and Pitch Wars and all the other contests get agents and publishing deals and I’m left standing on the sidelines, like the last kid picked in gym?

Merida gif

I tormented myself a lot. As it turns out, I did get numerous rejections (both form and personal) and I did have to query three manuscripts before I was offered representation, but, eventually, it happened.

But now I have a new set of worries. I blame social media, because I love Twitter, and whenever I see a post from a writer about a “cautionary tale” or a warning, I have to read it. And then I the worries start:

  • What if my book gets sold but then my editor leaves the publishing house and the new editor hates it and decides to put it on the back burner?
  • What if I get some crazy-huge advance (yeah, right) but I don’t earn out and then no publishing house wants to touch me again, ever?
  • What if I get a bunch of harsh, one-star reviews and a friend responds in my defense, and then I get caught in some awful online comments-war?

Now, you could argue that I’m putting the cart before the horse. Way before. And you’re right. So, in order to tame that Worry Monster, I need to remember how What to Expect when You’re Expecting almost send me over the edge.

What to expectWhen I was pregnant with my first child, 16 years ago, my OB/GYN gave me a copy of the book, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, along with a bunch of pamphlets. Maybe things have changed now, but that was the drill back in the late 1990s.

At first, the book was great—each month I checked to see what the baby was doing, growth-wise, and what I should be “expecting.” (I also went into paroxysms of guilt over my weight gain—which was more than it should be). But then, one day when I was bored, I made the mistake of checking the back of the book, the section entitled “When Things Go Wrong” (or “Pregnancy Complications” or something like that).

Bad idea.

It was terrifying. All of a sudden I was reading about pregnancy disasters that I’d never heard of before. I started stressing about all the things that could go wrong. It gets worse. At my baby shower, someone gave me What To Expect: The First Year and What to Expect: The Toddler Years.

Did I flip through them? Hell, yes.

tantrumAnd then I freaked out again. Because, holy cats, toddlers. Now I was worrying about public tantrums and potty training and night terrors and a bundle of other issues. If the thought of having a baby freaked me out, the thought of a toddler sent me into a five-alarm panic.

Keep in mind that I hadn’t even given birth yet.

But here’s the thing. I have two teen-age kids now, and I’ve done okay as a mom. There have definitely been rough patches: emergency room visits, sleepless nights, friendship issues, arguments, moments of crushing mommy guilt. But the hard stuff hasn’t come all at once, like a blizzard of epic parenting fails. And I haven’t had to deal with it alone. I’ve turned to my husband, or my mom-friends, or other people I trust.

Writing is the same way. In my journey thus far, there have been tough moments and setbacks I didn’t anticipate, along with blissful surprises. I have no doubt there will be more twists and turns in the road ahead, as well as unexpected bumps and detours. But I don’t have to worry about them yet. And when I do hit those bumps, I have writer friends I can talk to and confide in. I have people I can turn to for advice.

dog road trip

So the best thing I can do is shove that Worry Monster back under the bed and try to forge ahead, as best I can.

Posted in Biography, Writing | 3 Comments

My Agent Announcement

The short version:

As of today I am officially represented by Erin Niumata at Folio Literary Management!

anna excited

 

The longer version:

I’ve been waiting to write this blog post for three years. Three years, people! That’s how long I’ve been in the query trenches. Not with this book, but with my three books combined. I started querying in February 2011 with a fantasy romance manuscript, back when I thought 120,000 words was a perfectly acceptable length for a debut novel, and I’ve learned a lot since then.

I’m not going to recount the full story of my querying experiences, but I’ll recap the past six months that led to my signing with Erin.

Back in September (2013), I started Field Rules, a contemporary romance based on my own experiences as an archaeologist. I wrote the first draft in six weeks, which is unusually speedy for me. I think the story came easily because I love writing about archaeology, especially since it brings back a lot of great memories of my days in the field.

Indiana jones temple

After I finished the first draft and my CP reviewed the entire manuscript, I sent it off to beta readers, then made revisions. My goal was to have Field Rules ready in time for Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars contest in December. I’ve done a fair amount of online contests over the past three years, and Pitch Wars is hands-down my favorite because you get to work with a mentor. I already participated in Pitch Wars in 2013, with my YA fairy tale retelling, Piper Girl, and it was a great experience.

After I sent out my Pitch Wars queries, I was thrilled when three mentors requested more pages. Things were looking good! Then, when the mentors picks were announced,  I found out I wasn’t chosen—not even as an alternate.

sad dog up

The next day, in a wonderful twist of fate, I learned that Karma Brown—one of the super-secret Ninja Elf mentors—had picked me as her mentee! I was thrilled, especially since she told me she’d give my manuscript a thorough critique. Working with her was an incredible experience. She went above and beyond the call of a mentor, even dealing with my stressed-out questions on New Year’s Eve! By the time we were done revising, I felt much more confident about my manuscript.

baloo

 

During Pitch Wars, Field Rules got 3 requests, which was fantastic! After I sent off my requests, I made a list of further agents to query. Before I could dive into the query trenches, Heidi Norrod hosted #Adpit—a Twitter pitch party for Adult and New Adult authors—on February 5.  My pitch (“Indiana Jones meets Bridget Jones”) got a bunch of requests, including one from Erin Niumata at Folio Literary. I was particularly excited about her request, because her agency bio said she’s not accepting unsolicited queries. I had also seen an earlier tweet of hers, stating that she was going to start accepting romance and women’s fiction submissions as of Feb. 14, so I thought, “Yes! I beat the rush!”

On Valentine’s Day, Erin upgraded her partial request to a full, which made the day ten times better (especially since I had nothing romantic or fun planned). A week later, Erin sent me another email, asking to chat the next day. Of course, I completely freaked out, barely slept, and was a wreck in the morning.

cat chasing tail

During the phone call, Erin offered representation right away!! I wanted to accept, but I had to notify the other agents who had my work and give them time to respond.

A week later, I emailed Erin back and formally accepted her offer. Today I signed the contract with Folio, and I’m super excited for the next phase of my writing journey.

gatsby

 

 

Posted in Biography, Writing | 14 Comments

Oscar Night

side_oscarThis Sunday is Oscar Night – or, as it’s officially known, the 86th Annual Academy Awards – and I can’t wait. Never mind that I’ve only seen one of the Best Picture nominees, I’m still excited to watch the ceremony in its entirety.

My first Oscar viewing was back in 1977 (I’m dating myself with this confession!), when Star Wars was nominated for Best Picture. I was certain it would win, because it was clearly the most awesome movie out there. (In my defense, I was eleven at the time). I was furious when my mom wouldn’t let me stay up to watch the final hour of the telecast. And even more furious when I found out a romantic comedy called Annie Hall won instead.

Over the next ten years, I watched the ceremony on and off, usually with my dad, and only if a movie I liked was nominated. But in 1988, during my first year of grad school at UCLA, I went to my first Oscar party. It was a small affair—just eight of us—hosted by my good friend, Jeff Jenkins, a wonderful guy who has never let his blindness stand in the way of his passion for movies. Jeff went on to host an Oscar party every year after that, always with a betting pool and delicious “themed” food.

When my husband and I moved from Los Angeles to Wisconsin, I missed that Oscar party a lot. Most of the new friends I made had little interest in the Academy Awards, so I didn’t start a party tradition of my own. But I continued to watch, year after year, even though it was just my ballot sheet and me.

2011-Oscars-300x195Until the year my daughter starting watching with me. I don’t remember when she first got hooked, or when I finally relented and let her stay up through the entire thing, but it has now become a tradition. With our ballots in hand, we eat popcorn and M & Ms, comment on the gorgeous dresses, and check off the winners. Even during the weeks leading up to the show, we’ll discuss the possible outcomes for the major categories, as though we’re seasoned movie critics.

Why do I love watching the Oscars so much? I’m not sure. With two kids, a busy schedule, and a limited budget, I don’t get out to the movies as much as I’d like. Most of the time I end up watching the nominated films long after they’ve been out in the theaters, usually on DVD or Netflix. But I love the actual ceremony—the gowns, the red carpet, the montages and tributes, and the song and dance numbers—and so I continue to watch.

Do you have any traditions when you watch the Oscars? Any fun parties?

Posted in Biography, Just for fun | 2 Comments

Lessons Learned from #PitchWars: The All Is Lost Moment

Over the past month, I’ve been fortunate to work with the very talented (and very patient) Karma Brown, my mentor for Pitch Wars. One of the benefits of being a Pitch Wars mentee is that we have our full manuscripts read and critiqued by an experienced writer. Karma was very speedy with her critique, so I was able to start my revisions right away. At first, the workload was manageable. I felt challenged and excited, but not overwhelmed.

That was until Karma got to the ending of my novel and informed me that my stakes weren’t high enough. Not even close. In order to revise the ending, I was going to have to dig deeper and make things a lot worse for my heroine.

belle cryingBut here’s the thing—I’m a wimp when it comes to my characters. Yes, I like tormenting them, but only a little bit. I don’t want to make them miserable because I feel sorry for them! This was one of my biggest flaws with the first novel I queried (a young adult fantasy). By the end of the book, the heroine was convinced she’d never be with the guy she loved, but her crisis was resolved in a brief conversation with her cousin and even briefer confrontation with her uncle! She barely suffered. I could have made things so much worse for her, but I wimped out.

So, as I dug in to revise the ending of my manuscript, I went back to one of my favorite writing books, Save the Cat, in which the author, Blake Snyder, breaks down stories into sections, or “beats.” According to his formula, two of the most important beats towards the end of any screenplay/novel are: the“ All is Lost” moment and “The Dark Night of the Soul.” If you’ve ever used The Hero’s Journey to plot your novel, these beats are similar to “the Supreme Ordeal” that the hero/heroine face. At this point of the story, the protagonists have hit bottom. All hope is lost. They’re going to die or lose the person they love. Or somehow lose the ability to throw that evil ring into the fires of Mount Doom when the entire fate of Middle Earth depends on them (come on, Frodo, you had one job–get it together!).

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Some examples of “All is Lost” moments include (I’m using Disney examples, since I watch a lot of animated movies):

  • sad mulan2Mulan: Shang discovers Mulan is a woman, and she’s ejected from the army. She’s left, alone and miserable in the snow, having brought dishonor to her family and lost her friends.
  • Toy Story 3: The toys are trapped in the junk yard, about to be incinerated and there’s no way out.
  • Tangled: Mother Gothal “rescues” Rapunzel and takes her back to her tower, convincing her that Flynn has betrayed her (while Flynn is captured and thrown in prison).
  • Hercules: Hercules gives up his strength to save Meg, only to be tricked by Hades, who reveals Meg’s been working for him; Hades subsequently unleashes the Titans to destroy Ancient Greece.

My kids are so used to me analyzing movies this way that they’ll even call out: “There it is, Mom! Dark-Night-of-the-Soul!”

As a writer, the best way to approach the All-Is-Lost moment is to imagine the worst thing that could happen to your protagonist and put them at risk for it. In real life, I think many people fear death more than anything—either their own or the death of someone they love—but not every story needs to be that dramatic. If you’re writing a light, contemporary romance, threatening the heroine with sudden death might seem out of place! But there are other ways you can make your character suffer—you can put their careers, romantic relationships, or friendships at risk. For example, for someone in middle school, the thought of losing their best friend might seem like the worst crisis ever. In high school, it could be the fear of failing or being publicly humiliated.

After I reviewed the too-soft ending of my novel, I realized I had to make things a lot bleaker for my heroine. I had to break her heart and send her into a spiral of despair and frustration. Resolving her crisis was a trickier, since I’d painted her into a tight corner. Fortunately, I had a couple of “light bulb” ideas and the story came together.

In the end, what I’ve taken away from this revision is that it’s okay to torment your protagonist. Make them suffer. Make them cry. Make them curse their fate. Because if you do, their happy ending will be even more rewarding.

What about you? Do enjoy tormenting your protagonists?

 

Posted in Writing | 5 Comments

Writerly Resolutions for 2014

When I first started getting serious about writing, my New Year’s goals usually looked like this:

  1. Send out queries
  2. Get an agent
  3. Sign a publishing contract.

Kind of unrealistic, not to mention self-defeating, since  #2 and #3 weren’t in my control. Starting in 2012, I realized I needed writerly goals that I could accomplish, regardless of anyone else’s decisions or actions. I wanted to challenge myself, but I didn’t want to set myself up for failure.

new-years-eve-2014_1388111214So, with that in mind, here are my goals for 2014:

  1. Finish revising my New Adult contemporary romance, Field Rules. Normally, I might plod along with my revisions, but I need to have this manuscript polished in time for the agent round of Pitch Wars, on January 22. Being chosen for Pitch Wars was a great way to end 2013 and has resulted in a ton of helpful feedback from my awesome mentor, Karma Brown. My job, for the next three weeks, is to make my book the best it can be, so that I can do her team proud.
  1. Write another book. When I was struggling to revise my YA novel last summer, a few people suggested I set it aside and write something new. At first, I was skeptical (“I can’t abandon my novel! I love it! I have to keep plugging away!”), but once I got into a new story, I stopped feeling so frustrated and fell in love with writing again. The best way to keep improving as a writer is to keep writing! (Not that I’m dismissing revision, because it’s a crucial step of the process, but, with every new book I’ve written, I’ve learned more about the craft).
  1. Attend a writing conference. Last year, one of the best decisions I made was to attend Midwest Writers’ Workshop (MWW) in Muncie, Indiana. Although I went with a friend from my local RWA chapter, the others in my group were people I only knew from Twitter. (Yes, I went on a road trip with people I met on the Internet!). It was a bold leap for me, but I met some amazing people, made new writer friends, and came back revitalized. A good writing conference can do wonders in terms of inspiration and networking.
  1. Put my work out there. By this, I mean, enter contests, seek out new beta readers, and take people up if they offer critiques. This can be really scary, because sometimes the feedback is negative. Sometimes the contest results are depressing. Even though I’ve done a lot of online contests, I was nervous sending out queries for Pitch Wars. What if no one requested pages? What if all the feedback I got said my book sucked? But I’m glad I entered, because I ended up being picked as a mentee.
  1. Write something different. An essay, a short story, an archaeology article—anything that forces me out of my comfort zone. Bonus points if I have it critiqued and submit it somewhere.
  1. Read at least 52 books (1/week average). A simple goal, but a really important one. Sometimes, when I’m in the thick of writing or revising, I don’t want any distractions, even books. That’s okay in the short term, but it’s not good for me as a writer. Reading is something I’m passionate about—it’s one of the main reasons I started writing. As with last year, I plan to read widely: YA, MG, NA, narrative non-fiction, adult fiction, and memoir.

That’s it for now. I’m excited and energized to make 2014 one of my best writing years ever!

 What are your goals for 2014?

Posted in Reading, Writing | 1 Comment

Pitch Wars Mentee Bio

Rather than explain the intricacies of Pitch Wars (since most of you reading this post will be mentors and fellow PitchWars-Snowballmentees), I’m posting a link here. Basically, it’s an online contest for writers hosted by the fabulous Brenda Drake.

Even though I already have a page entitled About Me on this blog, I felt like I needed to up my game for #PitchWars. Hence, some more fun facts about me:

  • indiana jonesThe New Adult romance that I’m entering in Pitch Wars is based on my own experiences as an archaeologist. If you ever wanted all the “dirt” (sorry!) on the behind-the-scenes action at an excavation, then I’m your source. It’s true that working on a dig site is nothing like the Indiana Jones movies, but there’s still a lot of steamy action.
  • I’m prepared to work hard if I get chosen for Pitch Wars. Having queried two other novels, I know how much time and effort goes into revisions. I’m no stranger to feedback, because I meet with a local critique group twice a month, some of whom are extremely opinionated. I also use a lot of beta readers.
  • In addition to New Adult romance, I write young adult fantasy and science fiction. At the moment, I’m revising my YA novel, Piper Girl, a contemporary retelling of The Pied Piper fairy tale. In general, I’m a huge fan of fairy tales–the originals and the reimagined versions.
  • I’m the mom of two teenagers, which helps a lot when I need a quick update on current technology (“OK, explain again the difference between Instagram and Snapchat”).
  • Baking is like therapy for me, because it makes everyone happy. And I love to bake for other people (hint, hint). My go-to recipes include: brownies, chocolate crumble bars, raspberry-chocolate cheesecake, Texas sheet cake, cranberry bread and banana chocolate-chip muffins.
  • Musical theatre was my salvation in high school, and I’m still a fan of musicals today. I love the feeling ofIMG_1261 waiting for the curtain to go up, whether you’re in the wings or seated in the audience. If you want to read more about my love of musicals, I’ve posted about it here and here. Some of my favorites include: Oliver, Jesus Christ Superstar, Catch Me If You Can, The Book of Mormon, Next to Normal, Avenue Q, ChicagoBare, and Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson.
  • I love to read and I read widely. Every time I read a great book, I’m inspired to become a better writer. Some of my favorite books include: Graceling (Kristin Cashore), Ready Player One (Ernest Cline), Poison Study (Maria V. Snyder), Mortal Engines (Philip Reeve), People of the Book (Geraldine Brooks), Alamo House (Sarah Bird), Palace of Illusion (Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni), and The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls). Among my most-treasured children’s classics are: The Hobbit, Ozma of Oz, Harriet the Spy, On the Banks of Plum Creek, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Other bits of random trivia:

  • I wrote my first “real” book when I was fourteen. It was loosely based on the life of Mary Magdalene, so it was basically Biblical fan fiction. The next book I attempted was The Crew of the Alpha IV Ship, best described as Star Trek meets The Love Boat. It was awful.
  • I’m a huge fan of the original Star Wars (Star Wars IV: A New Hope) and I think Princess Leia is one of the coolest heroines ever.
  • I have an adorable Siberian cat named Allegro, who often sits beside me while I write. In my home office, I have a cat-hair filled chair set aside for him.2013-08-15 18.18.42
Posted in Biography, Musicals, Writing | 4 Comments

A Whole New (Adult) World

If you’ve visited my blog before, you might notice a few changes. Like the fact that I’m now labeling myself as a writer of Young Adult and New Adult. I haven’t given up on my YA projects, but I’m adding another category to my repertoire.

My decision was partly inspired by my discovery of New Adult fiction. Over the past year, I’ve enjoyed a lot of books in this category. It doesn’t hurt that many of the titles are readily available for my e-reader, perfect for those weekends when I want to curl up with a good romance. I also like reading about characters that are farther along in life than high school. They’re often in college or working at their first jobs, struggling to figure out what they want to do with their lives. They’re involved in intense romantic relationships that might lead to serious commitments. It’s a passionate, messy, exciting time.

The other reason I started writing New Adult is because it’s easier for me to draw on my college and graduate school experiences than my awkward high school years. All through high school, I was a shy book nerd whose only outlet was musical theatre. It wasn’t an easy time for me, especially since I went to one of those classic-1980s John Hughes type high schools, with all the requisite cliques. Once I started college, my life changed. I came out of my shell. I made new friends, joined a science fiction and fantasy writers’ group, fell deeply in love for the first time, and actually had adventures.

Working at Belmont Castle, Israel

Working at Belmont Castle, Israel

When I was nineteen, I went on my first archaeological dig, which set me on my career path. Instead of dreaming about becoming an archaeologist, I could actually be one. For the next seven years, I studied archaeology and art history in college and grad school. I was fortunate enough to travel and work on projects in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Given my background, I decided my New Adult stories should be set in the world of archaeology. For my first book, Field Rules, I chose to write about field school. It’s the perfect set-up: take 12 –15 college students, stick them in a foreign country, force them to live and work together for two months, and encourage a “work hard/play hard” mentality. Romantic entanglements are bound to occur! (And yes, I’m speaking from experience).

With one completed New Adult manuscript under my belt, I’m excited to dive into another. I’m having a blast reliving my experiences as an archaeologist, although it makes me miss my life in the field!

Posted in Biography, Writing | 8 Comments

Piper Girl Illustrations!

Middle Grade Minded is a great blog run by a group of middle grade writers who offer advice, contests, and reviews. If you’re interested in writing MG, or just want some good writing tips, I encourage you to check it out. Two months ago, one of the writers, Tom Torre, gave an interview on the blog. Anyone who left a comment was eligible for a cool prize: a drawing of two characters from their own book–the hero and the villain. I was already a fan of Tom’s work, having seen his singing coffee cup logo for Team Brenda in the 2013 Writers’ Voice contest, so I entered.

I was thrilled when I found out I’d won. I requested characters from my YA novel, Piper Girl. Marisa is the teenage heroine of the book and Dr. Whitaker is the evil scientist who threatens her. For those not in the know, Piper Girl is a gritty retelling of The Pied Piper fairy tale, in which a seventeen-year old Latina musician uses her magic to rid the slum of diseased lab rats, only to attract the attention of a twisted scientist intent on exploiting her powers.

Here are the illustrations Tom created for my book. Aren’t they great? I wish he’d illustrate the whole thing!

marisadrwhitaker

Thanks, Tom! And thanks to Middle Grade Minded, for hosting the contest!

 

Posted in Writing | 7 Comments

The Year of Writing All the Things

As much as I hate changing our family’s wake-up time from ‘whenever’ to six a.m. I always get excited when the school year starts. I don’t write a lot during the summer, because of family commitments, but once the entire family is back in school (including my husband, a high school teacher), I can commit to a steady writing routine.

In past years, I’ve been ridiculously excited to get started, but this year I approached September with trepidation. That’s because the previous school year didn’t exactly go as planned. I focused on writing, rewriting, and polishing one project (a YA novel), and I was devastated when it failed to land me an agent or a book deal. I knew I was aiming way too high, but I couldn’t help it. I had only one goal in sight—publication—and anything less felt like failure. Instead of reveling in the small victories (winning two RWA contests, receiving my first R & R, and making some great connections at writers’ conferences), I kept beating myself up over what I hadn’t accomplished.

IMG_1753

Sad kitty.

 

I can’t handle another year like that, not if I’m going to stay in the writing game for the long term. The obsession with being published took away a lot of the pleasure I derived from writing, and left me empty and unmotivated. So this year, I’m focusing on the writing. Don’t get me wrong—I’m still going to query and enter contests and polish my work until it shines—but I want to enjoy the craft of writing and the joy of creation.

vintage-typewriter

So, I’m calling this “The Year of Writing All the Things.” What does that mean? Not only do I want to finish revising the aforementioned YA novel, but I’m starting some new projects:  personal essays, shorter fiction, an historical YA, another fairytale retelling, and a NA romance based on my archaeological background. Will any of it sell? At this point, I’m not worrying about that. I just want to have fun on the journey and see where it takes me.

Posted in Writing | 4 Comments

On Trunking a Novel

Circa 1850s Gold Rush Stagecoach TrunkAs the lazy months of summer come to an end, I become possessed with a crazed urge to clean/purge/organize ALL THE THINGS before the chaos of the school year starts. Usually I focus on the kids’ rooms and their shared study area, but this year I had time to focus on my home office. One of the jobs I decided to tackle was the organization of my notes/binders/folders devoted to The Fallen Princess, my young adult fantasy novel.

For all intents and purposes, I was done with The Fallen Princess in the fall of 2012. I gave it a good run: I rewrote it five times (not revised, rewrote), sent out lots of queries, and entered over a dozen contests. I had my share of requests and contest finals, as well as some great feedback from my critique group. But after working on the novel for three years without landing an agent or a publishing house, I was done.

At that point, I couldn’t bear to look at it. Fortunately, other projects kept me busy and lessened the sorrow I felt at abandoning it. But two weeks ago, when my current revisions (on a different WIP) ground to a halt, my old novel called to me. “Take another look at me,” it said. “High fantasy isn’t such a hard sell anymore, now that A Game of Thrones is so popular. And there’s a bigger market for diverse, non-Western high fantasy than there used to be.”

I have to admit, I was tempted to resurrect The Fallen Princess. I had put so much time and energy into my world-building, with pages of notes and research and history. If I could rewrite the book yet again, maybe this time it would have a better chance. Maybe I wouldn’t have to start a new project from scratch.

But after I re-read the book, I realized why it failed. It wasn’t just a hard sell, but it suffered from slow pacing, large info-dumps, plot holes, and weak secondary characters. In the year and a half since I set it aside to work on other projects, I’ve learned much more about writing.

2013-09-02 21.59.37

For me, the best way I can grow as a writer is to start another book. This way I can incorporate everything I’ve learned, in terms of craft, and apply it to a new world and a new set of characters. Sometimes it takes a big leap to leave a familiar world behind, but in the end, I’ve never regretted any of the projects I’ve started.

So, for now, I’ve printed out a good copy of The Fallen Princess and put it in a nice binder. It’s sitting on my bookshelf, if I ever want to read it. But I won’t be rewriting it for the sixth time.

Posted in Writing | 9 Comments