November thoughts

I’ve been pretty busy this last month. It is National Novel Writing Month after all, and I have indeed been working on the first draft of my next book. Because of the word counts I was trying to achieve, this blog post got put off again, and again, and again… And then suddenly it wasn’t November anymore. But my word count is done and I’m here now!

First off, I should tell you that my current book in progress is turning out to be a lot longer than I thought. Originally I planned for it to be around 50,000 words, but I’ve reached that goal, and still have a lot left of the story itself. I have made tremendous progress, however, and I’m super excited to share more information with you guys. Since the story is bound to change quite a bit from the first draft, it might be a little while though.

It’s kind of odd to think, however, that right now I’m immersed in a world that literally no one else knows about yet. Meeting people no one has ever met before. When a story is read it’s no longer the author’s anymore, it becomes a part of all who read it. But for right now, just for a little while longer, I have the privilege for this story to be mine. It’s magical, like when Mary finds the door under the ivy in The Secret Garden. That’s what books are; a door that’s hidden under the ivy, all we authors have to do, is find the key.

Another odd thought is that it has now officially been a full year since I started writing Honey Butter. One year ago on November 4th I sat down and wrote the first words of the first chapter of the first draft of my first book.

For today though, progress on my book is slow. I wrote 2000 yesterday no problem, but today I’ve written for three hours and only have 500 words to show for it. I’ve officially diagnosed myself with writer’s block for the day. Oh well, I probably need a break anyway… Besides, as I said in my recent podcast interview on Brave Writer, taking a moment to stop and think and wonder is just as important as the writing itself.

Speaking of interviews, I did another one recently too on the blog of fellow teen author Riley Aline. Check it out here or on my Press page.

Now that I’ve brought you up to speed, here’s a collection of short musings about books that I’ve posted over the past month on Instagram. I thought they were blog worthy, and that you guys might enjoy them, so here they are!

November 16:

I watched The Giver last night.
As usual, the book was better than the movie. But is that really the right thing to say? I know there are some movies where the book is definitely better than the movie. But I wonder if sometimes we get picky and say that different than the book means worse than the book. A movie explores things in a different way. It’s not an extension of the book. It’s the story in a different thought form. Because there are so many ways to think about a story.
And watching the Giver and reading it too, made me think about how books, and movies, and songs, and stories, and maybe art in general, are like the Memories that Jonas receives.
They make you think beyond your world. They let you see it in a new way. (whether good or bad.)
Authors are Givers.
Readers are Receivers.
And a book clasps their hands together, transmitting the memory across the distance, and across the years.

November 20:

I broke into a fresh new notebook recently after filling my old one from cover to cover. And I can’t help but wonder what adventures I’ll have with this one. 📒✏️
Right now I’m getting to the point in my first draft where it’s really starting to feel like a mess. A mess beyond repair. Like how my room sometimes felt when I was little. Character development among a pile of stuffed animals. Subplots and socks shoved under the bed. But even though my story is a mess, I looked up from my keyboard today a realized that I’m really enjoying myself. Slowly typing away, plodding on. On that rare quiet afternoon with a pencil and a notebook in hand, or on that crisp and early dawn taking my seat at the computer. I’m writing, I’m a writer, and I’m happy.

November 29:

My endings are always the best part of my books, maybe I have a knack for them, but I think it’s more likely the simple emotion of it. There comes a time in every first draft, usually two-thirds of the way through, when everything begins to feel a tad bit hopeless. The story is falling apart and terribly tangled, and I’m so exhausted by all the writing that I start to get emotional. Luckily enough, this usually happens when the climax is coming and the main character starts to get emotional too. The funny thing about this exhaustion is that instead of making me want to stop, it makes me want to keep going, it makes me love my tattered mess of a story all the more. The finish line is in sight, and it makes me even more passionate. When it came to Honey Butter, I quite literally cried through writing the last few chapters. A surprising and humbling amount of readers have told me that the last few chapters made them cry too. So I think that this tired, slightly hopeless feeling is a good thing. Right now I’m starting to feel it as I draw closer to the end of my current novel. Writing a book is emotionally draining; so many tears go into it that they more than make up for the blood and sweat called for. Step by step, word by word, we’re getting there. So if you are feeling this exhaustion; don’t give up, you can do it.

Well, that’s all for today! The season of Advent is upon us, and I have the very important job of enjoying it that I must attend to. 😉 No doubt you’ll see more of me soon.

Keep Writing!

  • Millie