I turned in my Truth About Truman School revision a couple weeks ago and my Boxcar revision last week, so I’m between projects again…and feeling a little lost. There are sections of The Truth About Truman School (I think that’s going to be the final title) that I’m really itching to work on some more, but I hate to do too much before I hear back from my editor. I think there will still be one more round of revision on that project.
I’ve been working on a new picture book for Pelican Press, and I should have that done by the end of next week. But even if I’m working on a picture book, or another paid assignment of some sort, I don’t feel quite “right” unless I’m also working on a novel. I have a couple I could be working on…the sequel to Do You Know the Monkey Man (still untitled) is due in early January, so I could be working on that. I got an e-mail from a girl a couple days ago who was wondering whether I was done with that yet…I’d told her six months ago that I was working on a sequel… Unfortunately, I haven’t done much with that in the last few months. I’ve been thinking I’d get back to that when school starts. (I’ll probably have to put most of my energy into that story once school starts!) But in the meantime, I thought I’d revise I am Anna Winkler and get it back to my agent. I read through my agent’s notes the other day and she doesn’t seem to think it’s got as many problems as I think it’s got. So revising this right now shouldn’t be a big deal. Not if I revise according to her notes. But I don’t know…I keep thinking the book needs to go in a whole different direction.
So while I’m trying to decide what to do with that manuscript (do I stick with the same basic plot and rewrite the story according to my agent’s notes or do I start over and go in a whole new direction?), I started not one, but TWO new novels this week. One is a YA murder mystery and the other is a middle grade ghost story. I’m only a couple pages into either one, but I’m not sure which one I want to commit to right now. I want to write the YA story because I really want to write YA mysteries, but I’m much happier with what I’ve written on the middle grade story. The voice is better (why is it I just can’t capture a YA voice that I’m happy with???)…the story is more compelling…and I have a better idea where the middle grade is going than I do the YA. But I really want to write the YA!
I think what I’m going to do is keep writing a page a day on each story until I can commit to one over the other. If I force myself to produce a page a day on each one, eventually it’ll become clear which story is the one I should be working on. (If not, hey, then I’ll have drafts of TWO new novels in a few months!)