What’s my goal for 2015, you ask? On the writing side of things, it’s to finish my next novel.
As I’ve mentioned previously, my first novel was finished earlier this year, and I’ve now started the long, arduous, soul-crushing mission of getting it accepted by either an agent or publisher. This is not an easy thing to accomplish, nor did I expect it to be. It also isn’t something that’s going to happen quickly, so I’ll be biding my time working on new short stories and a new novel. The novel, however, is not the sequel to the novel I just completed, even though that one was envisioned as the first book in a trilogy. Instead, I’m diving into an entirely new world that I’ve been making notes on for a couple of years.
Why a totally new project? Several reasons, actually. Even though I believe very strongly in my finished novel’s quality, I have no idea if it’s something that publishers are going to jump at. I’m a writer, not a marketer – and I’m a realist. This novel might turn out to be something no traditional publisher wants. By focusing on writing the sequel when I’ve only marketed the first novel to a couple publishers (and been rejected), I could be committing more time to a project that will never reach a wide readership. By writing something entirely new, I’ll have something different to market in the future. The second – and much more important reason – is that I can feel my heart being pulled toward this new world. The characters are calling to me, what I’ve already dreamed up for this world has me really excited – and in writing, I believe you have to focus on what excites you. Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson do the same thing, which is why they both have multiple projects (and in Sanderson’s case, multiple series) on the go simultaneously.
Today I took my first real plunge into this new world. Notes and outlines are being organized on my computer. And tonight’s work finished with generating the names of some of my protagonists, which I’ve always had the most trouble with. It’s essential to get the names down, though, so that I can use them as I write my outlines – it slows things down when I’m writing things like “she’s the closest confidante of _____________, and followed him to the town of ____________.” Next will come complete character sketches and heavy-duty worldbuilding, followed by chapter outlines and writing.
Wish me luck, fellow writers. And Happy New Year!