distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

Chapter 1, We Meet Again

I am about to start writing the YA novel due in September (though it may be extended to October 2). Anyway, the outline has been returned to me with notes, all of which seem doable, and I have a new document all open and ready. The title is typed in (one word; starts with a C). I know what the opening scene will be. And yet the page is blank. I know the entire arc of this chapter. And yet the page is blank. There is something at once exhilarating, and terrifying, about a blank page.

Still, I wish this could be my entire day job, cranking out these novels. (The other assignments, two of which are based on TV shows—don’t gag—not so much.) But, truly. Imagine being a freelance writer full-time. (First imagine not having student loans and credit cards to pay off.) But think of it: you spend your day writing. And you get paid for it. And you don’t have to go in to any office and wear suitable clothes. I’d do it, if I could manage to find enough assignments to keep me afloat. Retiring my red pencil would be an exhilarating moment in itself. I’d snap it in two and grind the lead into red dust with the heel of my shoe.

But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. The blank page of this new novel awaits. Here is what it says at the moment:

Chapter 1

Good hook, huh?

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7 responses to “Chapter 1, We Meet Again”

  1. You are starting a novel that is due in September?? Like, just a few weeks away? That is… incredible!

    I just, to my surprise, began a YA novel as well. But I was thinking it would take at least a year.

    Cupcake? Cool? Chewtoy? Camp?

  2. Susan, wow it really sounds insane when you bring it up, doesn’t it? First off, it’s only 45,000 words, which for me has been a little over 175 pages in Times New Roman. And the writing goes so much faster when it’s an assigned concept — also, I already wrote the detailed chapter-by-chapter outline. If I were writing my own original YA novel (and I really do want to sometime soon), I would need so much more time than 5-6 weeks for a first draft. A year to complete a polished first draft sounds more likely to me.

    Annika, that would be some racy young adult novel, wouldn’t it? It’s true they’re getting racier and racier, but this series isn’t one of those. (I am relieved to say.)

    And E: I, too, love cake. We really are meant for each other.

  3. Bloglily, It’s not CuteBoysRock, but can’t you just see a book out there with that title? Thankfully, mine is not about cute boys rocking, or whatever cute boys tend to do.

    Worstwriter, 600 pages in 6 weeks!!! Wow. Did you have time to eat, or sleep?

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