Happy May everyone! I just finished writing the first draft of The Fortunes of Ithaca and I’m very excited about how it turned out. It’s the first time I’ve ever written something from multiple perspectives and 3rd person limited. Over the next month I’ll be reading more about this POV so I can enhance those narratives when I return to edit them in June. I've also decided that once a month I would do a mini-reflection on my writing goals for the year (hence the title being something of a repeat from this one a little while back). Let's dive in!
At the start of the year, I set out some production goals for myself. For 2016 I had a goal to write two novels, a novella, two shorts stories and a poem. As you might have gathered from a few of my posts, I’m about to become a mother again and I knew the majority of my attention was going to be on my new baby so I was trying to establish goals I felt were achievable.
My writing life has undergone many transitions. My twenties were probably the most turbulent. I was in university for most of them and struggling to make ends meet. Back then I would dream about the kind of stability I needed to be a writer. I had a very specific picture in my mind of what it would take and I planned to achieve it by my thirtieth birthday. I knew exactly where I needed to be when I turned thirty—on my own, in a small house or apartment, with a MacBook, surrounded by books. What I didn’t account for, was the fact that the job I had to help pay for the small house, the MacBook and the other bills that come along with life—would take up every waking hour of my time.
I’m working on the fourth draft of my young adult manuscript. This phase of the editing is what my editor refers to as “line editing”. Essentially, that means she read through my entire manuscript and made specific notes about what lines were working and which ones weren’t. This allowed me to see my strengths and weaknesses more clearly. My job in this pass is fairly straightforward—to fix these lines with her support and guidance.
I previously wrote about the fun I was having with edits and can honestly say my love of editing has only increased. I’ve learned so much and after tweeting about it, a fellow writer in the #MarWritingChallenge suggested I write about it, so this post is my way of sharing some of what I think I’ve learned with you! Hopefully, something in my experience may help you as well. (And vice versa—feel free to chime in with editing tips you love!)
A week ago, I started the second draft of a book I’ve tentatively titled, The Vampire Skeleton. This book sprang from an idea I had while I was researching my short story collection last year. Essentially, the idea was this: what would First Nation vampires be like?
The Vampire Skeleton is about a girl named Rowen who is apprenticing to become the healer in her community. The story takes place in a world where a group of Indigenous Peoples have decided to retreat to a tight-knit community in order to revitalize their languages and ceremonies, essentially eschewing all contact with mainstream culture. The community is separated from the rest of the world by a magical wall built hundreds of years ago. For the most part, Rowen is happy there, but when a vampire attacks her best friend, Rowen has to journey beyond the wall to try and save him. Along the way, her values and beliefs are challenged by the people and situations she encounters.
Yesterday I hired an editor. I’m terribly excited because it’s my first time ever doing it.
I have wanted to be a writer for a very long time. I’ve previously shared a photograph of my first story; written at the age of five or six, clumsily typed and illustrated by crayon about a girl named Sara who was running away from a storm. Flash forward almost thirty years to now.
My book, the Fortune Teller’s Daughter is a contemporary YA fantasy that is inspired by Haudenosaunee myths and legends. It is my third novel project apart from a couple of longer, meandering pieces I wrote in my early twenties, and it is actually a more succinct telling of a story that I’ve written in several different forms over the last five years. I am so ready to share this story. But even though I’m ready, the story isn’t quite ready. Soon. Just not yet.
The desire to share something you have created can be overwhelming—I admit I have been overcome by this feeling on more than one occasion. I don’t know where this need to share comes from but I know it’s powerful.