(This post was originally written on 750words.com. It has been edited.)
I just need to write my 750 words and then I can go to sleep. I need to. I don’t feel like I’ve had a real weekend, even though it’s two days off. I didn’t go anywhere, except to buy a bus pass, or do anything, except a couple of errands over the phone, but I still feel tired, and not at all ready to face the real weekend. I hate the weekend shifts at work, but you know what? I’m not going to complain about work. I’m not going to use my 750 words like that.
They’re going to be about creation.
Because, over the last week, I’ve stumbled upon a novel idea that I can actually write and, I think, get published. It’s YA, which is crazy because that’s so not my thing. But I want to write a story about people figuring out they’re artists, and I want to write about people figuring out they’re in love, and that’s what YA’s really all about. At its heart.
So I started writing it, and what happens? The story sounds familiar. It’s every story I’ve ever written in my lifetime. They’re all the same one, I just keep reinventing it when it gets too hard to write. Instead of pushing past the barrier, I just turn it into something else and start all over again. This came to me during the week, so I didn’t really have the time to sit down and has things out (although, I’m resolved to make better use of my time during the week. I’ve already decided not to watch all the TV I had planned on watching).
Today and yesterday, I had some time to really sink my teeth into the idea of a mashup. All my previous projects mashed up into one project. So there are boys in bands and tailors and best friends who are partners and a play and it all takes place on the west coast. Yesterday, it was a high school story. It was almost a series, each book being each grade. Today, many iterations later, it become a novel about a summer theatre group, and my band became actors, and my radio host became a playwright, but he still gets to fall in love, and they’re still kind of in high school, and it’s still definitely a young adult novel.
I’ve spent the last few days reading query letters being torn apart, and it kind of helps the outlining process. Knowing what you have to tell an agent, how much space you have to get them hooked, and what works, helps you write the actual book, I think. It solidifies everything, like storyboards before a director even starts shooting. I know I have great characters. I really like the premise I’ve landed on. I just need to find the antagonist, and I need to figure out the conflict. Then I need to write the thing.