When I began planning Confirmed, my project for #NaNo, a month ago, I had three semi-fleshed out characters and a veeeery loose plot in mind. I was also recovering from back-to-back book events and active querying to agents and publishers for The Cougarette. It was a busy month but all of my months are busy, right? No big deal.
As expected, the week after I solidified my plot points, chose my celebrity muses, and created my vision board on Pinterest for Confirmed – something hit me.
Something very good hit me.
I won’t go into specifics, but I’ve been asked by one of the agencies I queried to provide a longer version of The Cougarette. The contact said she loved the story and enjoyed the characters (YAY!) but that at 55K words, it was way too short for publication. I knew that I wanted to reply to her email immediately; I wanted to seize the possible opportunity of finally being published. I mean, she loved my baby. She was engaged. (That was an actual word she wrote – engaged.) She said she loved the book and that the only concern was length.
Word count? Pssssh. I can fix that, right?
I replied back that I would be happy to re-query (Is that a word? It is today.) with an additional 20K added to the manuscript. The minute I hit Send, dread filled me. 20,000 words is no small feat even when it’s just a fresh, unwritten concept. Adding 20K to a previously-assumed final manuscript without making it look like unnecessary filler and fluff was an entirely different beast.
Also, I still had the original #NaNo project all plotted out and characters selected. Visions of the cynical Zoe, the sexy Nick, and the playboy Ben danced in my head over the past two weeks. I was readying myself to finally be free of CeeCee and Jay’s drama.
But when opportunity comes knocking, you roll out the goddamn red carpet and let their happy asses in.
So now, goals have evolved and a change o’ plans must be implemented: My #NaNo focus has now become twofold.
I will split the 50K goal between the 20K words I need to add to The Cougarette and the first 30K words to begin Confirmed. With The Cougarette, I will need to rewrite my baby without changing the narrative and altering the future events that have already been documented in five additional books. With Confirmed, I’m starting from scratch so there is less risk – but will I really be able to give my all to my new characters if I am still working with my old ones?
Throughout the month of November, I envision myself drifting between two very different fictional worlds of my own creation. How do I function between the two literary worlds without driving myself clinically insane? Am I asking too much of my already overly-taxed life?
A part of me is excited about the duality of the task and another part is crazy scared of it.
But a bigger part of me is screaming, “Someone who sees literally thousands of manuscripts weekly saw something in yours. DO IT and shut up!”
(FYI: It sounds a lot like Samuel L. Jackson so I’m pretty sure that’s the part I need to listen to.)
So, in a week’s time, I will drop the final book of The Cougarette Series and begin the rewrite of the first book…while I also work on my new book.
At the same time. For thirty days.
Yep. No big deal.