After finishing my manuscript, I sent it out to a few close friends who are fantastic editors. I have gotten a lot of their edits and comments back now, which means I start on my second draft of my novel.
I already know that I am going to have to make some major changes to the novel—like the fact that the two main characters don't interact enough, and I need to get ride of some of the colloquialisms I use in dialogue. These are big projects, and they make me nervous.
I’m also applying for the SCBWI Work In-Progress Grant next month. I’ll be submitting the first two chapters of my bayou book. If I get the grant, I want to use it towards a trip down to Louisiana to do some research. No matter how wonderful local libraries, the internet, the Library of Congress Archives and phone interviews are, they can’t beat talking to people face to face and getting dirty with the local historical societies. Wish me luck!
It feels as though I have been working on this novel forever, but it hasn't even been a year since I sat down and first met Bea and the other people on the bayou. Sometimes I don't know if this book is really mine anymore. So many people have had a hand in creating it that I feel like it is a community project.
Within the next month, my bayou book won't be my primary project anymore. I've been working on another novel about the Reconstruction Era in Louisiana, but I realized that isn't working out like it should. I think I'm going to have to scrap what I have and start over—the setting and characters will generally stay the same, but the plot is going to be vastly different. I can't believe I am now committing to scrap almost 200 pages worth of writing. C'est la vive! (At least for a writer.)
I will also have a new writers' group beginning this month who will be my guinea pigs for this project. They will be a part of this new novel basically from start to finish, and I hope they’re up for the challenge. I’m also working on a few other books that take place in Chicago after WWII, Idaho during the Korean War and Bea’s next book. There are so many ideas floating around in my head that I can’t wait to get on paper.
I guess that means I should stop blogging and get to work!