This post is very personal to me as a writer. I had the idea for my first manuscript when I was a junior in high school. My good friend, Tara, told me she was writing a manuscript and I figured it'd be fun to try.
Fast forward to today, roughly seven years later, (I think) five drafts of the manuscript later and a bunch of frustration, reviews and criticism swallowed, I've been able to write an outline for a new WIP.
It took this long because, as a critique partner...cough...Steph, asked, "Is Bond of Darkness really the only manuscript you ever want to write?"
After she hit me with that question, I realized that it wasn't the only thing I WANTED to write, but the only thing I was ALLOWING myself to write. I had already invested so much time with my protagonist, the world, the magic system, and the story that I just wanted it to be done. The fact is that I was doing the project wrong all this time. I never actually sat and wrote an outline. I never planned any of it.
Bond of Darkness started as me just writing and making shit up as I went. First draft done. Me, naive. I start querying. I get a bunch of rejections. No surprise there. After I start doing some research behind manuscripts and whole business of publication, agents, editors, etc., do I really start getting into writing. I can see it becoming a hobby.
Then comes the time where I sunk into that seven year period of only working on Bond of Darkness. Because I never wrote an outline and only continued to edit on top of what I had already written -- keeping what I liked and revising what I didn't -- I was making it worse.
Again, fast forwarding to about a week ago, a new idea for a WIP hits me. Out of left field (left field being me sitting in church with my parents one morning). All of the sudden, I need to get it written before I lose it. I pump out an outline in a week's time and the euphoria began. I hadn't had that feeling of having a new project to be proud of because I was always working on the same thing. Different versions, but the same thing.
After I completed the outline, I discovered that I was attempting something I never had. I was breaking out of my writing shell. I had always written adult themed. The WIP is young adult. I favored male protagonists with an edge. My WIP protagonist is a timid female. I wrote strictly in third person. The WIP will be first person.
While I will return to Bond of Darkness with a plan, I'm thrilled to say I'm working on something new. FINALLY!
Do you have any stories of WIP triumph? What setbacks have you experienced that you were able to overcome?
Peace and Writing Love,