Now that November is over, we can take a breather if we were pushing for 50,000 words. I fell short, as in about halfway short. But I’ve got a story in the works.
It is a volume two to another. I was that close to sending the first to one of the agents from last summer’s WIFYR when the wonderful Carol Williams offered to take a final look at it. She found issues and raised questions. As I couldn’t satisfactorily answer them all, the story stalled.
That was August.
I’ve picked at it since, but things wouldn’t resolve themselves. I would bounce between thoughts of Carol knows what she’s talking about, but she’s just one voice and we writers are free to ignore critique suggestions, then back to she really knows children’s literature and what publishers are looking for so maybe I ought to listen to her. Nonetheless, I couldn’t see what she was talking about and couldn’t repair it.
Along came NaNo and I started the second, same characters, same voice. In the middle of the month, I began reworking volume one to share with my writer’s group and voila; there was what Carol was talking about. The matured voice, or main character, or whatever from the second book helped shed light onto the shortcomings in the first. Spending the month revisiting the character in a different story has allowed me to critically understand the MC in a new way.
That is the way writing goes. At times you’re stuck with some major obstacle in front of you. Later it’s gone and the path is clear.
(This article also posted at http://utahchildrenswriters.blogspot.com)