So, the new middle grade novel I’m sort of playing around with is actually a mystery, too. (A ghost story is a mystery. Well…this one is, anyway.) It’s just not a MURDER mystery. Junior High Kid really wants me to commit to this one over the other one because, “ghosts are more interesting than murder.” I’m not sure I agree with him…

If this story takes off, I’ve actually got a whole series in mind. I’m not sure what the other books would be about (I’m still trying to figure out what all THIS one is about!), but I’ve got a good solid hook. And I’ve got a thread that would need several books to fully develop (I actually talked it through with Junior High Kid when he had pneumonia earlier this summer…which probably explains why he’s pushing for this story rather than the YA…he’s invested in it!)

But I know how this works. It’s hard to sell a new series…first you have to write a good, solid, stand-alone novel. THEN maybe you can interest the publisher in doing it as a series. Unless my agent would actually shop it around to paperback publishers as a series proposal??? Maybe she would? In which case, I wonder if she would need the entire first book completed? Maybe she’d need several chapters, an outline of the rest of the book, summaries of the next 2-3 books and a synopsis of how the series would develop…

Of course, it doesn’t HAVE to be a series…I could take that thread that I want to develop over several books out and still do the book as a stand-alone, hardcover ghost story. I wonder which would be better? Maybe the thing to do is write several more chapters and send it to my agent and see what she thinks? (Except I don’t want her to think I never finish anything since I still haven’t revised I am Anna Winkler…my plan was to start TWO new novels and then get frustrated enough by the idea of keeping two books in my head that I abandoned them both in favor of revising I am Anna Winkler. So far, that hasn’t happened.)


The new middle grade…(are ghosts more interesting than murder???)

15 thoughts on “The new middle grade…(are ghosts more interesting than murder???)

    • July 26, 2007 at 8:58 pm
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      I LOVE that icon!!!!

      Hmm…so you think ghosts are cool, too. You couldn’t exactly replace the word “ghosts” with “murder” in that sentence, could you???

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  • July 27, 2007 at 11:49 am
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    I am in awe of you. I can barely think ahead to the next chapter, let alone a series! Go go, girl.

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    • July 27, 2007 at 2:36 pm
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      Oh, don’t be too impressed. I have NO idea what’s coming next in this book. None whatsoever.

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        • July 27, 2007 at 2:45 pm
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          Do you outline at all or do you wing it all the way through the book?

          I never start with an outline. I always start with a general idea of what the book might be about. Then I think about it until I have a hook. The book becomes my first chapter. Then I write until I get stuck. When I get stuck, I try outlining for a while, but I never really do a full outline. Once I figure out what’s coming next, I abandon the outline and get back to the actual writing. I think doing the outline makes me feel like I’ve actually done something instead of stare at a blank screen for a while.

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          • July 27, 2007 at 3:40 pm
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            When I write it’s kind of like READING a book–I don’t know what happens till I hit the next page (well, I have a vague idea but nothing strongly plotted out). Which is FUN–but very counter productive at time. I get confused, lol. I end up with massive time warps.

            I swore I’d use an outline for the next one…and I’m honestly going to try. It just seems like a waste of time when I could be, um, writing, even though I know it may save me a few headaches in the long run. We’ll see. šŸ™‚

          • July 27, 2007 at 10:45 pm
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            Do you spend a lot of time staring at a blank screen or do the words come most of the time? (Sorry…I’m fascinated by other writers’ work processes)

          • July 28, 2007 at 5:02 pm
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            I usually don’t. I’m VERY lucky that way. With my first draft I just write whatever comes to mind even if it’s totally idiotic. I figure I can weed through the bs when I go back and revise. I never have to sit and stare and wonder what to write.

            How do you do your first drafts? Do you edit as you go? I have a half finished adult paranormal–and the reason it’s half-finished is because I DID edit a lot as I went along. I’d read over what I’d last written and then revise before moving on to the next section. Which, um, is the reason it’s not finished.

            I never know WHICH is the best way to do it. But I’m definitely using an outline next time. I majorly screwed up my timeline in this one and didn’t figure it out till yesterday. I have major work to do. Grr!!!

          • July 30, 2007 at 1:50 pm
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            Yes, I generally do A LOT of editing as I go. It takes me a long time to get a first draft down. I don’t think there IS a “right” way or a “best” way to write a novel. I’m finding I don’t even write a novel the same way from one to another.

            Oh…you’re working on an adult paranormal??? THAT sounds interesting! Is it under contract?

          • July 30, 2007 at 1:55 pm
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            No, I actually started it 3 years ago for NaNo–something to keep me occupied while I was querying agents. I finished over 50K and did a lot of revisions–but then I sold my YA and since then have not had time to work on it. My daughter compares it to Dean Koontz. In fact she says it’s BETTER, but then, she IS my daughter, lol.

            One of these days… I want to finish my current YA and then write a third, and then–maybe. My writing time is so limited, it’s impossible to work on more than one project at a time. šŸ™

          • July 30, 2007 at 2:02 pm
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            Well, I hope you DO get back to it! šŸ™‚

            I have trouble working on more than one thing at a time, too. And that’s NOT because I also have another job like you do. I just don’t have room in my head for characters from two different novels. That’s why I decided to start these two books at the same time…I keep thinking one will eventually shove the other out of my head.

          • July 30, 2007 at 2:10 pm
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            I heard Diana Gabaldon speak several times and she says she ALWAYS works on more than one project at a time. I envy that.

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