I guess I always knew it, deep down.
The Travelers is probably not going to make it to publication.
This is not self-deprecating - I now know that first novels are an exercise in pouring a story out from beginning to end, on falling in love with characters and writing and rewriting until they read on paper just like they look in our heads.
|CC Nathan Rupert|
But most of all, for me at least, it's proving to be an exercise in letting go.
Hearing those ladies' voices yesterday allowed me to finally close The Travelers file on my computer, and to delete the 17 (yes, seventeen) drafts from my Kindle.
That is, until an agent asks for revisions, (see how I just slipped in that cheery little bit of positive thinking?), because we all know how I love the Revision Rush.
I'm not giving up on The Travelers - not by a longshot. I'm still going to query it, because I believe in the story and the characters and I think that the writing is solid. I do.
(Please let some agent somewhere love Nik and Davis as much as I do and give them a chance.)
But. I am, slowly but surely, realizing - that novel does not define me as a writer. This is not a one-shot deal. That first novel was training wheels, and it did a really awesome job. It might get rewarded for its work with its own hardcover binding one day. Or it may not. And that's okay.
Now, here's my real problem: I don't know what to do next.
I'm dying - DYING to write. Here are my options:
1. Sequel to The Travelers. I already have a basic plot outlined and a bunch of scenes (10 K worth) written, just because I can't get the story/characters out of my head.
2. Shiny New Idea #1 - A murder mystery with light paranormal overtones (that is not vampires, werewolves, faeries, shape shifters, zombies, angels, demons, or anything like that.)
3. Shiny New Idea #2 - A kickass, tech-y dystopian (I know, dystopian is over) that is a retelling of an old-school legend. (think Tristan and Isolde. But it's NOT Tristan and Isolde.)
4. Shiny New Idea #3 - A story about misfit superhero kids, but not like x-Men at all - actually, the opposite. Kind of. I promise, it's not tired.
I feel like I'm free-falling, and I'm a little panicked about it, to be honest. I've been spending time every day with the same beloved characters for EIGHT MONTHS. I miss them, and I need new ones. Or old ones. If I'm being honest, I'm still obsessing over the sequel to The Travelers, but I know writing sequels is a stupid idea before you even have an agent (ahem.)
So, not that I'm going to depend on it, but just for fun - if you were me, what would you do? I need to feel driven, I need to throw myself into something new. Which would you pick?
Photo credit Colin Wu under Creative Commons License, copyright 2010