I put aside my main manuscript to get some distance from it before I go back and add a new start and revise it (hopefully, for the last time). If I do either of those things right after I just revised it, I know they won’t turn out right. I’d end up reading what’s in my head instead of what’s actually in front of me.
I’ve been reading a lot to fill in my spare time, both about the struggles of getting published and good old fiction. One tip that I constantly come across is start writing a new story as soon as you start querying. Of course, I think that’s a good idea. It gives you a back up in case the one you finished doesn’t get picked up by an literary agent (which would be a real horror…).
But, at the same time, the only other developed idea for a book I had was an adult series. My main manuscript is YA, though, and I kept telling myself I wanted to stick with YA for a while before going up to adult. When I first started to write, I never really categorized myself as either YA or adult because I never stopped to think about it. That or genres, I just wrote the stories that came to my head and learned to categorize them later.
At the start of the week, I got really lucky and a brand new idea popped into my head! Two, actually, and they are both YA. One I’ve been able to write a solid outline for an entire for and the other is still a concept with a vague outline. I love both ideas, of course, but I’m far more excited about the fully outlined one. So much so that I almost feel like starting to write that story but I know if I do that then I’ll get sidetracked from my main manuscript for too long… and it’s almost to the point where it’s polished enough to write a query and synopsis for (two things I’ve been researching about, but avoiding out of a mixture of dread and fear).
Though it pains me, I’m forcing myself not to write either story out yet and to stick with outlining them. I know some can write a wonderful story without outline, but I’m not one of them. I make lists for almost everything I do, it keeps my organized or else I’m sure to forget something.
My hope is that in two to three months (at most) I’ll be starting the query and process. That way I can move on to writing another book, just in case that fails to land me an agent. And if it does, then I’ll have another book ready and waiting to see the light of day.
Ultimately, it’s not about getting published though. I’d write these stories even if that wasn’t my goal. If I don’t write, then I don’t know what I would do. I think Noah Lukeman sums it up really well when he said:
“Writers write because they HAVE to, because they NEED to. It is what they do, and it is who they are.”