Update on Sara’s YA Novel

So this is like the longest story ever told, right?

I am still fiddling with my novel. Yes, same one I have been working on since 2012. Here is a recap.

In early 2012 I was in a master’s class called Writing for Children and I started working on this character called Willa who is a high school junior. She’s also a badass guitarist and singer. Her story is about what happens when she chooses to quit music. It’s a pretty typical coming of age story. It is my first book and first attempt at fiction.

Life sure was different in the old 2012. I drank more, ran more, slept more, had fewer tattoos, more highlights, and no babies. 

Life sure was different in the old 2012. I drank more, ran more, slept more, had fewer tattoos, more highlights, and no babies. 

Anyway, I worked on the story off and on until right before Anabelle was born (in 2014!) when I finally finished the first draft. A year later, I finished draft number two right before we moved and I had a handful of people read it and give me some (brilliant!) feedback.

The second draft on a cutting board. It's gotta be a metaphor.

The second draft on a cutting board. It's gotta be a metaphor.

Then I let it sit until... a couple months ago. I was advised to change the point of view of the first sixty pages so that it matches the rest of the book. Pretty obvious change to make, huh? Well I had taken a little creative risk by writing the first part in third person and that risk didn’t work out too well according to my unofficial writing mentor and I trust her absolutely.

I am hiring a writing boutique called Write By Night to help me write a query letter to send to agents and polish up a sample but first I have to finish the rewrite. I’m on page 25 of 60. Rewriting is not fun. It is unnerving and uninspiring. 

I feel very scared of the idea of sending these very roughly written words out into the world but it would be worse to just shove them in a drawer. This isn’t the next great American novel but four years later, I still love Willa and I love her story so I’m going to at least give it a go. I feel like only after I close this project can I really focus on writing a new story.

Normally, I would like to keep all of this to myself and not put it out on the internet because I am fearful of being laughed at. Who am I to write fiction? Sure, I have a bag of insecurities. But I also put in a stinkload of time and thought into this grand puzzle. (It was only puzzling to me. It’s not like a mystery or anything.) I loved the experience of writing something I just made up! So I’ll move it forward to the next step even if it’s the last step for Willa.

If you are a good buddy of mine, you probably know that I edit for a lovely little publishing company. Why am I not working with them on this project? Who knows, I may in the future. But I want to try the somewhat more traditional route first to see if there is a home for Willa that fits her more perfectly. Somewhere that's looking for a high school rock star with wild blonde hair who wants to get the hell out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  

So, there’s another excuse for why I haven’t been posting as much. I’m motivated to get this done before our next baby girl moves out of my uterus and into my arms. Writing and having babies has become an unexpected alternating cycle. I have a new post in the works and many more ideas. Posts will just continue to be staggered because... life.