Phoenix Will Rise

Phoenix Will Rise.

That's what I think should be the tagline for the new novel I'm working on. Number seven...or was it eight? Possibly nine.

Either way, this is number one in its own right because it's the first novel I'm working on collaboratively.

That's right. I'm writing a novel with someone. Even better, I'm writing it with two someones: my dear friends Alli and Leticia, more commonly known as Lettuce. We concocted this crazy idea on a five-hour car ride from school to Alli's house, where we are spending Easter Break. It started as a way to pass the time on a road trip, but quickly developed into something more. I mean, what do you expect when you put three writers in a car together? Of course we're going to plan out a novel.

This is such a weird experience, because it's the first time since 6th grade, really, that I have worked on a serious piece of writing with other people. Collaborative writing was one of my first introductions to the act of storytelling, but it's been a while since I've indulged in it. And I'm learning a lot about the differences between writing solo and writing with other people. Here are a few of them:

  1. You have to make some compromises.
    1. When you're working on a project with other people, you can't have everything your way. Occasionally, you have to compromise what you want for what the group thinks is best. It can be hard, if you're used to writing solo and doing whatever you please, but it's kind of an Iron Sharpens Iron situation, in which perhaps the piece will be better off because of it. Which is actually Number 2.
  2. You get [a lot] of constructive feedback.
    1. That's right. Almost every idea you come up with will either be accepted, rejected or improved upon. Instead of looking at this negatively, think about it as a way of strengthening not only your own writing, but the story as well.
  3. Sometimes other people have better ideas.
    1. There are some aspects of Phoenix's story that I absolutely love, and never would have come up with on my own. Three minds, each working in their own individual paths, will come together and come up with some really fresh ideas. I'm excited to see where this novel is going to take us, what with the combination of three different writing, storytelling and thinking styles.
  4. Outlining is hard and can be crazy.
    1. We spent last night editing a Google doc that contains our outline, and that was...an experience. I mean, first we just had to play around with the fact that we could all three type at the same time! And then we hashed out our ideas on the document, and since we are three people who like to have fun and aren't always serious, we talked about a lot of silly things. Like ruggedness. And really horrible ways to kill off characters.
  5. You will have a ton of fun.
    1. This one is pretty self-explanatory, I think.

So there you have it. Stay tuned for Phoenix Will Rise, which will surely become the next great bestseller and skyrocket the three of us to fame and fortune. Even if it doesn't, I know I will have a ton of fun writing it and I hope you all get to read it someday.

New November, New Novel

It's November 1st! The day I've been waiting for practically since Nov. 30, 2013. The day I get to start a new novel. 10448609_10152868063464884_7971566235551361068_o

Okay, it's not like I never got to start a novel between Novembers. I did work on two over the summer, in addition to editing the one I wrote last November. BUT this is the month that I get permission to begin, and finish, a novel. I can stay up writing all night without any shame, because hey, it's NaNo.

For those of you who don't know, NaNo is short for NaNoWriMo, which itself is short for National Novel Writing Month. Really it should say International, because it is worldwide, but we'll leave it at that. Basically it's a month when all the writers and aspiring writers commit to writing at least 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. It's possibly the coolest thing ever.

In addition to giving me permission to write the novel, NaNo gives inspiration and motivation. There are pep talks from author's--today's pep talk from Chuck Wendig was actually so beautiful--as well as virtual write-ins and a local group for every region, which provides a large group of people in your area who are doing the same thing you are.

The best thing, though, is All-Night Write. You gather with all the people in your area and write from 9 p.m. til 9 a.m. It's a ton of fun.

But enough about NaNo itself. This year I'm taking advantage of this month to work on a new novel entitled, "Being Kaitlyn." In essence it's about a twin who thinks everyone loves her twin better than her and so she tries to become her twin. Depending on how I write it, it could get really trippy, really fast...I'm excited to see where it goes.

Since I'm not much of a planner, I can honestly say that I have no idea where this is going or what my characters are going to do. I just found out that one of them is an avid Tumblr user, and another character told me he's in love with my protagonist.

I started writing last night at midnight, and so far I've got over 1,700 words...which means I've met my goal for the day and am, actually, ahead of the game! Holla.

As you're reading this, though, I'm locked in a room taking the GRE, hoping and praying that I do well enough to get into grad school. The only problem with taking the GRE on the same day you start a new novel? Distraction. I swear I'm going to spend the whole time thinking about Kaitlyn, Kristina and Drew, wondering what's going to happen next and where they're going to go.

I'm psyched about this story. Because of that, I'll make you a deal: if enough people comment, either here on Facebook, and ask for it, I will post an excerpt in my next blog post.