Where Am I on the Next Novel?

The next novel is written. So where am I in the process of publishing it?

For me, writing the novel is the easiest part, though finding writing time is always a challenge. Revising is the hardest part because I tend to be a perfectionist and sometimes work and rework a scene over and over again before I think I’ve got it right. Then even after I think I’ve got it right, I’m later not happy with it and want to do something else. Or I have an ending in mind, but then a new idea dawns. When new ideas spring forth, I write them all down and then give them time to simmer in my mind. Whether I choose to use them isn’t an easy process.

A novel literally has thousands of moving parts. If you tend to be an indecisive person, novel writing may not be for you, because every chapter, every scene, and every word boils down to a decision. And sometimes there are so many decisions that I get rather a deer-in-the-headlights feelings. I literally hit a brick wall, because one wrong decision, and the whole project could unravel. So I sometimes find myself making a decision and then second-guessing myself. At some time, of course (if I ever want to finish the book), I just have to make the call and move forward (and hope I didn’t make a mistake). Insecurities abound.

I’ve also joined a critique group through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) called Scribes, and other novelists like me are swapping chapters for feedback. I give feedback on their chapters, and they give feedback on mine. So far I’m up to chapter 19, and the feedback so far has been very positive. I’ve learned to discover weaknesses in my own writing. For example, I tend to say something and then repeat myself another way. I also repeat words and don’t even realize it. This has been a very valuable process for me as I refine the book.

Whether I’ll keep submitting chapters this way remains to be seen. The process is time consuming, and here we are, in July already, and I haven’t even begun contacting literary agents yet.

So that’s next after revisions? I plan to submit the manuscript to several beta readers for a full read and feedback. Then I want to find a literary agent. How do I do this? By putting together a book proposal, quite possibly my least favorite step in the process. But it’s a very necessary one. I’ll keep you posted as I get closer to this stage. Sorry I haven’t been blogging much lately, but hours spent blogging are hours I’m not spending on the next novel, and that’s a higher priority right now.

2 thoughts on “Where Am I on the Next Novel?

  1. Faith Derickson

    I am so anxious for this next book to be ready to read! I have read both of your previous novels. I could not lay them down and then when I finished them I was let down that it was over. I often question why I was in such a hurry to read through a good book after it is finished.

    Thanks for sharing information about your progress and some of the issues you face as you write a novel. Sometimes I think people imagine a person just sits down and plops out a book. I know I never thought about there being so much work involved in a novel. Believe me I do appreciate the time and energy you invest in your writing. It definitely makes for a great end product! My husband is also an author. He writes theology studies, Bible studies etc. which took a lot of time and energy and prayer. (They are online at our website thedericksons.com if you are interested in checking it out.)

    Keep writing!

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