Your Next Novel

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Since my last post I’ve been more silent (or at least more lost in my thoughts), thinking about my next novel. Or, in reality, my next next novel. I thought by already having the book after Clara and Claire planned I would feel some kind of relief. But instead over the past few days I’ve been wondering about what comes next.

When I first started my new blog on WordPress, I did a series of posts about writing your next story. Looks like I need to go back to those and perhaps take my own advice. But once you’re actually searching for your next book –whether it’s the next one, or the second to next, etc–it’s easier said than done. I’ve found myself searching on Pinterest for inspiration and looking to books and music. Honestly anything to grab an idea and run with it.

And perhaps that’s the hardest part to explain to anybody. It’s easy to grab the beginning of an idea, but it’s much harder to actually dedicate yourself to that single idea. There’s actually so many ideas and possibilities that at times it’s downright overwhelming. I’ve only grasped at ideas and characters, but I don’t think I have anything solid right now that I feel confident with.

But I’ve been trying to remind myself, and others from this, that this doesn’t mean you lose all hope because it doesn’t work out after a few days of trying. With Clara and Claire I actually didn’t feel confident with the story until this time last year. Sometimes you really do just have to take a leap of faith and see where it takes you.

NaNoWriMo is quickly approaching –way faster than I’m prepared for–and that offers a lot of hope too. I want to talk more about the pros and cons of NaNo in a later post, but that’s also a great opportunity to take an idea and literally run with it. 50k in a month with a story you barely know? Yeah, why not! (But make sure you have a lot of coffee…)

I thought in this post I might give more tips on how to plan out your next novel, but perhaps this ended up being more of a reflection. The writing world is huge. The possibilities when it really comes down to what you want to write are endless. Whether you’re creating a world from scratch or relying on history, there’s a lot to work with and a lot of resources. (Shoutout to Twitter for answering my questions about steampunk this week!)

Every writer does their job differently. Some have multiple books planned out over a certain timeframe. And then there’s people like me who might only have one book at a time planned (unless I’m working on a series). Part of this new adventure with Clara and Claire is diving into the unknown and scary reality of not being attached to a series (like I was before with the Magician series). I don’t have four books all at least planned out in front of me. I just have this one and the plot and purpose of my next one. Other than that, it’s anyone’s guess where I go from here.

Hopefully this was helpful to someone who’s in the same position as me right now. And even if it wasn’t, I hope it at least gives you more insight into the work going on inside my head. Thanks for reading what might be the rantings of a thoughtful writer during a crazy busy month!

Lindsey Richardson

P.S. I’m now on Goodreads as Lindsey R. Sablowski AND Lindsey Richardson. Most of you already know about my account under the name Sablowski, but here’s the Lindsey Richardson one if you want to follow me there too.

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End of August

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August seems to have flown past me in a matter of days. So much has happened this month, and even more is awaiting in the months to come. With the end of one month coming and the start of a new month I like to share what’s ahead in the grand scheme of everything.

Today being the last day of August also means it is the deadline for my beta readers. I’ve heard from almost all of them by now. And I still have a strong sense of what needs to be worked on. All this feedback from my beta readers is actually leaving me excited for the work ahead of me because everything is fixable.

Next week I’m dedicating my time to Clara and Claire. By then I will have all the feedback from my beta readers organized and ready and know where to start. My intentions are to finish everything that I feel needs to be fixed by the end of next week and then send the book off to my editor. My editor is the last person who’s going to read through the entire book and tell me anything that I or the beta readers have fixed. Then based on her suggestions, I go through one more time to ensure it is ready for publication. Only once she has given me feedback can I then plan the date for publication (and get everything set up).

September is definitely an important month, and next week I’ll be pushing myself to get everything done on my side so I can get this to my editor at the time I’ve planned. These last few weeks I had a nice break from writing/editing, but I’m definitely ready to get back into it. I love this story and the characters, and I’m eager to make sure the story is solid and ready for the world to read. All this extra work is going to make the wait worth it!

As for on the blog, in September I plan to be share the next steps in this process with you. I’ll share about what’s being fixed in the book (if not specifically, just overall talk on the subject of it) and share my progress as I go. Since I won’t be rewriting the entire novel again I won’t be using Wordly to track my word count or anything like that. But I’ll try to give you an idea of how far I am with chapter numbers (or page numbers). I haven’t decided exactly yet, but I’ll figure it all out before the start of next week!

Though I’m focusing strongly on my book next week, I’ll also need to take breaks now and then. If you know any good motivation/focus songs, leave them in the comments (I’ll give them a listen)! And I was thinking about possibly doing a short live video segment on my author Facebook page. If you’d like me to host a live video and answer questions about writing, publishing, or any of my books (published, WIPs, future and past) let me know. I’m only going to do the live video if people express an interest. If not I’ll save it for another time.

Looks like a busy month awaits me! Wish me luck, and let me know in the comments what you’re working on for September. I can’t wait to share more in the coming days!

Lindsey Richardson