Yesterday I finally picked up a copy of The Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market, 2011 and I am inspired. I wish I had picked up a copy sooner. If you haven’t picked your copy up yet, I highly recommend you do.

Bitter Sweet Endings and New Beginnings

I have decided to put my WIP on hold. It is a total mess and, while I still like the basic idea behind it, it’s not what I really want to be writing. This book started as something completely different. By the time I reworked everything to make the plot work, I just didn’t love it anymore. Even though I am so close to the end of the 1st draft, that last couple chapters are killing me. I need a break. I need to quit rushing to finish it out of my desire to have something to get published. If it’s not good, no one will buy it. Of course, I’m not trashing the book, just putting it on hold and starting something new.

In reading the articles in the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market, an idea began to form, and that idea turned into a nice, concise plot summary complete with a beginning, middle and end. There are tough decisions, identity issues, and betrayal. There is a solid setting, character flaws, and suspense. And the best part about it is that the idea came along without forcing it. The same cannot be said about my now on hold WIP.

While I love NaNoWriMo, it did cause me to force an idea. I remember 3 years ago on November 1, sitting in my home office trying to will a plot into my head. Maybe veteran writers are capable of doing that, but for someone writing their first full length book, that kind of thinking can be disastrous. No wonder I have never succeeded in completing a NaNoWriMo.

What next?

This time around, I’m doing it right. I so badly want to dive in and start turning my concept into a book. But I learned my lesson last time. I’m going to sit down and write an outline. I’m going to develop my characters before I even put them to paper. I know that my outline will change and my characters may pick up new traits or abandon other ones, but to write a book without a blueprint can be suicide for a writing career, or at least it can be or me.