S.U.B.M.I.T.T.E.D! Almost a week to the day I posted about completing my novella I am shouting my good news! Though I actually submitted my completed entry in the novella writing contest on Saturday the 17th, it’s been a busy few days. This is the first chance I’ve had to get here and blog about it. Just thinking about hitting that submit button still brings goosebumps to my arms. I’ve never been more excited or proud of myself. At least not since the day an article I wrote on women’s health took the first place award in its category from the Society of professional Journalists. Writing articles comes easy to me; fiction seems to be a struggle. So you can imagine how proud of myself I am. Whether I win or not doesn’t matter. I know I’ve said that before but I mean it.
The best prize of all for me was the fact that I started the novella, finished it, edited it and submitted it before the deadline of the contest. I’ve never had a problem meeting deadlines. As a journalist you live, eat and breathe deadlines. Give me a subject for an article and I can run with it from research to a completed draft that is copy ready. But when it comes to fiction I’m all over the place. I still can’t figure out if I should research first or research as I go along. I try to figure it out as the individual project calls for it. This novella was like nothing else I’ve ever written. The idea just came to me out of thin air (which never happens!) and I ran with it. It took me all of ten days to write the first draft. After that, for me, it was just a matter of editing on a schedule.
Though my plan was to edit one half to a full chapter a day for two weeks, the words just seemed to fall into place. I ended up ending two chapters minimum and on the final day, because I’m driven by nature, I edited the last three chapters. Now I’m a tough critic. I have no problem killing my darlings, as they say. Cutting, slashing or whatever you want to call it is not a problem. But this story seemed to not need any major surgery. It was more of a fine tuning, of getting the sentences polished to a shine, as my friend likes to say. Once those sentences were sparkling and I was happy with the story, I knew I could safely say ‘it’s as good as it’s going to get’ and send it on its way. I found myself laughing and thoroughly enjoying the story during the editing stage as much as I enjoyed writing it. This was my first experience writing a romantic comedy and I have to say I’m eager to give it another go.
So with the novella contest behind me I’m eager to start writing again. Now my only problem is deciding whether I want to go back to my second novel, Garden Variety, or try my hand at something completely new. I feel like I’ve lost my momentum with the story so if I do go back to it I know I’ll need to sit down and reread it. But I think I’m itching to write another sweet romance….a funny story that’s been waiting for me to scratch its surface. Maybe, just maybe…but for now I have a quick writing assignment to do for a former corporate client. But you can bet the minute I hit ‘send’ on that corporate assignment I’ll be pulling out a fresh novel notebook and jotting down what I hope will become yet another completed work for me. 2011 is turning out to be quite a productive year!
How about you? It’s already mid September. This year is just flying by…what have you accomplished so far?