distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

Getting Ahead of Myself and Other Novel Fantasies

Getting Ahead of Myself and Other Novel Fantasies

I wrote up something about Imaginary Girls this weekend… and reading over the final version yesterday got me so intensely excited about this book! Just beyond thrilled! I’m just so— CATCH YOUR BREATH AND FINISH YOUR REVISION.

Sometimes I can’t help but leap ahead to Summer ’11. Sorry.

I’ve never been this excited about a novel before. I can see it, in its future finished state. I haven’t seen a cover yet of course, so I’m keeping a blank open-minded spot to insert that in later, but I can see out there, this book… just within reach.


Ever get so far ahead of yourself you have to run and catch up?

I was searching through my inbox this morning looking for the name of a literary agency that I wanted to recommend to a friend. I found the old email, from the fall of 2007, with the subject heading REPRESENTATION. After meeting in person, that didn’t end up being a good match, for various reasons (one of which being my adult novel was too “bizarre”—it really was!), but I look back at that fall, and can just imagine what would have happened if I’d taken that path. Revised my adult novel to be less bizarre and, well, loads better than it was. Completed my story collection—so far from completion I’ve given up on the idea of ever publishing it. Just embraced writing adult fiction and tried to make myself fit that mold. It very well never could have gone anywhere… but that was the fall I decided to stop trying for it. Something was keeping me from it in the fall of 2007. Something was itching at me… And I know now what it was. It was this novel, then only a short story. It was this novel, meant to be YA. It was this present moment—this revision. Out of all the books I’ve written and tried to write, I am so happy that this is the one and not the other one(s) it could have been.

Some things are worth the wait.

8 responses to “Getting Ahead of Myself and Other Novel Fantasies”

    • Thanks for being excited! I’m so psyched about the idea of the cover too… Dutton has such great designers… I know whatever they do will make me so happy!

  1. This is such an encouraging post, Nova. So exciting to see how everything has worked out for you and how, even though you had no idea at the time, you made the right decision.

    I’ve got a similar, crazy itchy feet feeling about my work in progress. Unfortunately no agent or publisher, but I really hope this might be the one (then I keep telling myself to shut up and not get my hopes up and get back to work).

    Can’t wait to see the cover and even better READ Imaginary Girls!

    • Thanks, Anne! It’s funny how I had NO CLUE at the time what I should do… and now I look back and it all seems so obvious. Life, I guess. 🙂

      The itchy feet with your work in progress is promising! Keep at it! I hope to be hearing your good news very soon.

  2. I leap ahead to Summer ’11 too because that means I WILL BE READING IMAGINARY GIRLS. It’s not just you, hee.

    Also crazy to think of the could’ve beens… I have some emails that make me seriously question ‘what-if’ when it comes to writing. Cheers to the path you’re on, girl. I think it’s the right one. 🙂

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