On Diving Into a New Story

Photo credit: tableatny
As of this writing, I'm about 9,000 words into the NaNo novel I'm calling #MagicMurderMayhem. There's something really special about starting a new manuscript; there's that thrill of diving into a new world, getting to know new characters, and immersing yourself in a completely new story. It's also a little scary—there's the uncertainty of whether or not you'll reach The End, the niggling whispers of knowing what you're going to have to fix even as you write, the possibility that you'll finish the draft and never look at it again.

All of that is real, and valid, and seems to never actually go away, no matter how many manuscripts you write. #MagicMurderMayhem is my sixteenth manuscript (which kind of blows my mind, to be honest), and while there are definitely differences with this experience than, say, my first (more confidence, trusting myself and my process, solid organization, etc.), there's still a lot of the same, emotionally.

In many ways, for me, first drafting is the (second) hardest part of the writing process. Creating something out of nothing is hard, and I think it's important to acknowledge that. (The first hardest, for me, is plotting, where you're really creating something out of absolutely nothing.) Every time you look at a blank page and turn it into a combination of letters that tell a story, you're doing something a little like magic. You're creating a reality where the things your characters do, think, say, and feel will matter to a reader. You're weaving words until they create pictures, until readers form attachments and feel very real emotions.

Writing a book is a really special thing, so I hope those of you who are first drafting take a moment to pat yourself on the back and smile. Because no, writing isn't easy, but it certainly is amazing and worth celebrating.

Are you working on a first draft right now? 

Twitter-sized bite:
Working on a first draft? Author @Ava_Jae has some encouraging words for you. (Click to tweet)

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