So I discuss this on the pod from time to time, but I am writing a fantasy novel. Well, hopefully a fantasy trilogy. I’ve been working on it for over ten years, and I am honestly afraid of how much work I’ve put into it for the past two years. This has been my baby and now I am about four months from finishing my first draft of this novel by March 3, my 31 birthday (it was supposed to be finished last year, but I had a lot of personal drama). So this year, my friend and I agreed to do NaNoWriMo. I failed horribly. Well not horribly, I wrote about 25k words this month on a novel that was well over 65k words long already. So in the end, there are reasons I failed. And hated every moment of it because my friend (the ever discussed Veronica) started a brand new project and kicked my butt.
But I’m writing this novel. I actually came up with the idea when I was in college. I just had this amazing thought about Greek gods in modern day and an adventure that happens to a human who gets thrown into this already established setting. I am glad that this book didn’t turn into some of my other written works, thrown up on FanFiction or Quizilla when that was still a thing. But overall, I really wanted to write this. When I first started out, I was 18 and had read far too many novels about love triangles, so it was pretty much going to be that and all about a girl who “wasn’t like the other girls” and had men falling all over her.
Thankfully, I have moved past that dream. Now, the novel is something different. We mention on the podcast how much you grow as a person. Now I’m 30. Now, this book means something different than what it meant before. I’ve learned that I need a character driven story, that I want to sit in different POVs to learn about a person more. I have had friends read sections and say things like “I really hate Miranda” (cough *Laura* cough), and it honestly makes me so happy. Because people see this book differently than I do, and I am excited to try and finally finish this.
But also, as I said above, I’m terrified. This book has been such a part of me. Once I get a rough draft I have to rewrite. Then rewrite again. I have to ask questions I don’t like to ask myself. “Why is this scene important?” “Am I representing this character correctly?” “Will people hate this?” Once I’ve written this, I have now written a full novel. It’s intimidating and scary to me as someone who hasn’t finished her first novel for over eleven years. Of course, there was the whole law degree and high stress jobs, one after another. But this is my dream and it may not happen. That is so scary! I don’t know how people do this. I’ve never felt more scared and excited all at once.
A recently tweeted a clip that helps me during this time where someone points out that a rough draft is going to be partially terrible. And that sucks so much because I am a Type A perfectionist who is intimidated that she will make a horrible book that will forever be horrible. But a huge help has been working with my friend Veronica. We are both working on novels and we both have a bet where we must work 3 hours per week or pay money into a pot. And during NaNoWriMo we also had to write at least 5k words a week. I was able to do it, but it is sometimes hard. It’s hard to sit down and just write. I wish I were more structured about it, and this lends itself to being less structured while still working towards a goal. She is a huge reason I have written so much, and she has only made the novel better. I was able to share with her the themes I want in this book: friendship, toxic families and if you can heal certain wrongdoings, and how being alive for thousands of years lends itself to insane scenarios and people not understanding mortality and humanity. And she points out where I haven’t hit the mark or need to flesh out certain facts. And I hope those themes will be seen when others read this novel.
But first I have to finish it. I’ve grown as a writer and as a reader in my 12 years working on a novel, and I am sure I can finish this. I just have to stop procrastinating and write the damn thing.
And since you got all the way to the end of this post, I will at least let you know the working title: The Book of the Gods.