I wrote the first draft of my fifth novel in the first half of 2023 (which I’m very proud of, since it was a slog and I had to keep forcing myself to work on it, but I’m really pleased with the eventual result).
I have useful comments from my wonderful editor, Amie, and I’m waiting for the (initially doomladen but eventually begrudgingly useful) comments from my wonderful husband, Dave – so I can build a revision plan and start improving that novel, ready for submission to agents.
However, in the meantime, I did the very foolish thing that is deciding which of my many novel ideas I’m going to work on next…
I was only intending to choose an idea, then set it aside again until much later in the year, after I’d completed the first round of edits on the previous one. In hindsight, I should have realised that this was never going to work…
So, in the two months since I finished the first draft of novel number five, the subconscious crew have absolutely gone to town with really exciting ideas for novel number seven (six is the nonfiction book that’s due out later this year…). They’ve come up with an innovative approach to the protagonist’s point of view, an exciting plan for the central relationships in the novel, really cool explanations for the origins of the main antagonists, tons of great world-building stuff, and a concept of how to make the novel longer, richer, more emotive and bigger in scale than anything I’ve ever written before.
No pressure then…
In fact, novel number seven has grown in proportions so much in my head that I’m now quite scared about trying to write it! It’s turned into an epic masterpiece in my mind, which I’m convinced I will never be able to bring into the world in remotely an impressive enough way to do the idea justice.
There’s a meme I saw once that has a beautiful, high-resolution photograph of a wolf on one side (your novel in your head) and a wonky stick figure that might conceivably be a four-legged animal on the other side (your first draft) – and that’s exactly how I feel about my new novel idea.
But – I’m still really excited about writing it – and I really want to try and bring it to fruition in as successful a fashion as I can.
I really ought to do revisions on number five first, though – otherwise, I’ll likely never come back to it. And that’s also an idea that deserves to be sent out into the world – and it’s a lot further along towards being a viable submission prospect than number seven at the moment.
Number seven will still be there in all its over-achieving glory, whenever I’m ready to start tackling it. But number five needs my attention first.