Yes, in case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I’m cheating because I already started working on my novel a few months ago and I already have 50,000 words. But I’m planning to add 50,000 words to it in November, so I’ll be writing just as much as everyone else. I would love to finish the novel by December, since I’m going to be busy prepping for the February LSAT. Wish me luck for that…though I’m rather experienced with standardized tests, I’m much more comfortable writing than performing logic puzzles. Those can be fun, I guess, but I haven’t done them since sixth grade. I’ve also set the bar high for myself, and I have no idea if I will meet those expectations. The coming months will be nerve-wracking for me because I’ll also hear back from Fulbright and Princeton in Asia to see if I made the preliminary cut.
So, today is day two and I’m on track at 4159 words written so far! In fact, yesterday I was short of my daily goal (2000) because I had a phone call from my agent, a group video project, a horseback riding lesson, and an awesome Halloween hot pot party that all kept me busy. Speaking of the talk with my agent, it was both good and bad. The good news was that my agent loved the writing, the characters, and the plot. The bad news was that she said it would be difficult to sell to an editor/publisher. Publishers love to pigeonhole novels into convenient categories, like YA, NA, or women’s fiction. The problem with my novel is that it follows a character from ages 18 to 28. In order to be authentic and intimate, I (unwittingly) used a voice that corresponds to her age. Therefore, the first half of the book sounds rather young and the second half of the book (which I just started) is much older. This could be a nightmare for marketing, in my agent’s opinion. I know she’s right, but I can’t help but think that my book could break the mold and still be successful. I am absolutely in love with my protagonist and her story and I think it rings true to have her voice mature throughout the book. What do you guys think, fellow readers and writers?
For now, I’m going to keep writing. My agent wants to see a chapter in her older voice to gauge the effectiveness and see whether it connects well with the first part. After working on that chapter today, I’m liking her new maturity. She’s still the same character but wiser and it’s so much fun to explore her personality after a decade of growth. Hopefully, my agent likes the new part as well and finds an editor who feels the same. Argh, it’s so hard to make sellable art!
Unlike my friend Julia, who’s taking on NaNo and committing to blogging daily, I don’t have the same courage. Since my upcoming horse shows are as much a priority as writing, I won’t have much time left to blog. So I apologize in advance if my posts are sparse and I will keep you updated of any significant developments. I leave you with a photo from the Halloween party last night. I was supposed to be Lady Gaga, and then I took off my uncomfortable hair accessories, and I tried on my friend’s witch hat. Voilà!