Almost two years ago, the idea for my first manuscript came to me.
Up until that point, I’d really only written fanfiction. The idea of original fiction terrified me. I think with fanfiction it’s much easier to dip your toes into the rocky waters of writing because there’s already a built-in reader base. Will they automatically like your stuff? Not at all! Is there at least a higher chance that they’ll click on your story and give it a try? You bet!
Original characters? There was no way I’d be able to create them. I was afraid their personalities would fall flat. That readers would hate them, therefore hating my writing. The world they lived in? Surely I would get it wrong somehow. Even a contemporary, realistic setting scared me.
I finally bit the bullet, though.
With the help of my friend, Kika, and her insistence that I participate alongside her in NaNoWriMo, I started to plot. And plot, and plot, and plot. (Hey, if I was going to do this thing, I was going to do it right. I needed to be as prepared as possible.)
By the beginning of November, I had a notebook filled with an outline, ideas, character sketches. Hell, there were even little doodles I’d done of the characters I was waiting to bring to life.
By the end of November, I had 55k+ words.
By mid-December, I had a finished first draft with roughly 75k words that I could not believe I’d actually written. Up until that moment, I was the QUEEN of unfinished writing projects.
Deciding not to let my momentum go to waste, I immediately threw myself into editing.
Let me tell you, three edits later, I never wanted to read a single word I’d written ever again. (Spoiler alert – I made a bunch of friends read it for me, tell me what worked and what didn’t work, then totally had to read those words again so that I could make it better. Several times over.)
Over the next year, I would proceed to bounce back and forth between “THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER, EVERYONE WILL LOVE IT!” and “This is crap. I’m never writing again. I am embarrassment to myself. To my family. To the world.” (I’m a bit dramatic.)
Regardless of my conflicting emotions, I finally settled on “I should see if anyone is interested in this. Surely someone will want to read it.” I knew I’d never get anywhere if I just kept second-guessing myself.
Fast-forward a month or six, okay maybe eight, and here we are. I stopped second-guessing myself (for the most part), and it paid off! In October, my debut young adult novel, What’s a Soulmate?, will be available for the masses thanks to Evernight Teen. It’s still a bit surreal for me to think that I’ll have a book out there – not only for people to read, but to have on their shelf! (It’ll have pages and everything!) I couldn’t be more thrilled. Just ask my husband – he’ll be sure to tell you that I haven’t shut up about it for a second. 😉
I can’t wait for you all to meet Libby and Andrew and hopefully fall in love with them and their story the way that I did! You can read more about What’s a Soulmate?, as well as check out the first chapter, HERE.
Until next time!