The protagonist of my new book was starting to think like the protagonist of my last book. Here’s how I dealt with it:
I’ve been in revision mode since the beginning of the year, which is why my podcast is sporadic and my blogging has been pretty lax. Despite the number of hours in the day, when I’m really trying to tune my focus, taking time for anything else feels like cheating, or wasting precious moments that should be spent correcting typos and eliminating the word ‘just’ from my manuscript.
Whenever I start a new writing project, I like to make a mock-up of the cover art. There are a few reasons for this: 1) because it’s fun, 2) because it helps me visualize the story, and 3) because it allows me to live in the delusion that it could become a reality some day. Of course, just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean you have any drawing ability whatsoever, which is why I love Photoshop so much.
The story of The Practical Orphan’s Guide began about nine years ago, when I was a freshwoman at the all-female Mills College in Oakland, California. I was taking a class called ‘Advanced Fiction for Children and Young Adults,’ and was supposed to be working on a story about a group of kids who were the result of a mad scientist’s experiment meeting up in their teens and discovering their special powers. (It was very X-Men.) Whenever I got stuck on that, which was often, I worked on what was then known as Practical Kate, a spoof of sorts on all the fantasy literature about young orphans who have magical adventures. In its very first iteration it was in the third person, but once I switched to first person PoV, the book really took off.
It’s been too long since I’ve blogged, and while I hope to have a new episode of YA Rewind up by tomorrow, it’s already been delayed a week, so I feel like I need to apologize, which is kind of silly, especially since I have no idea how many people even listen to my little podcast. The only person I’m responsible to these days is myself, but the lack of new Hollywood Jane content is starting to weigh on me like a tell-tale heart. Thump-thump. Thump-thump.
I have been on such a writing streak for the last week that I’m honestly afraid of what happens when it ends. I haven’t been this productive since college – when I was sitting through lectures on literature and secretly writing scenes for my YA book instead of taking notes. Class was great for my productivity, largely because for some reason unknown to me, I get my best inspiration when I’m supposed to be doing something else, like listening. (I wrote a ton of fan fiction during high school. Literally, during it.)
Today was our day off. Many people took advantage of the free time to explore Boston, but since I’m going to have two additional days there when the conference ends, I elected to stay here and write. First though, I took a walk to Starbucks (and, I’m sorry, but their cafe mocha is terrible; I miss my Coffee Bean), and the CVS pharmacy, which weren’t that far away, but I…