With my contemporary middle grade novel officially off in query land after shaping it for two years, I have turned my attention to my next project: a contemporary MG horror novel. This book has been on my mind for quite some time, and it is refreshing to finally have the head space to write it.
And with the start of a new novel, I am experiencing all those first-draft feels, the good and the unsettling:
- The excitement of story possibilities
- And the angst of choosing the best route
- The rush of figuring out how I get to the planned conclusion
- As well as the unease of navigating the in between (a.k.a. the mushy middle)
- The exhilarating freedom to put anything and everything on the page
- While also resisting the temptation of self-editing along the way
You know what I mean and have probably experienced these emotions, too. It’s so exciting and freeing and overwhelming and terrifying all at once.
First drafts are the most daunting part of writing for me. That’s because of all the unknowns; I want to know everything NOW! But I’m neither a plotter nor a pantser—I know where the story starts and how I want it to end, but that’s about it.
But I’ve done this enough to know that I need to let creativity take the wheel and be open to whatever words come my way. No self-editing allowed. Put everything on the page, then wade through it and shape it later. No holding back. No self-doubt. And absolutely nothing is off limits.