On Saturday afternoon, January 26, 2013, at approximately 3:45 in the afternoon, I completed my very first novel.
Allow me to be forthcoming when I say that, while the bare bones of the novel are finished, there is still a ton of editing to be done. So, I’m not headed to the presses just yet.
However, I have, in my possession, two-hundred and seventy-four pages that are MINE, ALL MINE.
The smell of new paper, fresh ink, and potential rejection is a heady elixir, my friends.
Now comes the time of nit-picking, of finding all the missed commas and typos, of fixing timeline issues and capitalizing the word “Twitter” eleventy-hundred times. Now is the time of rewording wordy sentences and reworking flawed characters. It is the time of red ink and highlighters.
(It may just be my favorite part.)
Let me back pedal and tell you a little bit about this book. I started writing it in November of 2011, in association with my first NaNoWriMo experience. For about twenty-five days, I pounded out a little over 60,000 words. And as it turned out, it was a story I was totally in love with. However, with the sudden death of my grandfather, along with the holidays and other life events, the novel got shoved into a tiny corner on my hard drive, and I didn’t look at it again until November of 2012. That’s when I picked up where I’d left off, and pounded out another 50,000 words for NaNo 2012.
By the time the dust had cleared, I had about three-fourths of a completed novel, a clear direction, a main character I totally identified with, and her heart throb–a character based on Donnie Wahlberg.
Put your eyebrows away. You know you aren’t surprised.
In case you’re curious, here’s a little synopsis about the book I’m calling “#TheContest.”
Lena went to all the right schools, followed all the right paths, and shook all the right hands. And yet, 8 years out of New York University, she still finds herself in a dead-end job, working out of a tiny cubicle, with nothing to look forward in her immediate future. The only thing that gets her through each soul-sucking, boring day is her infatuation with The Beantown Boys, the popular boy band from her childhood.
She’s been in love with Derrick Walsh, the band’s “bad boy,” since she was 10 years old. Her childhood was spent writing love letters to the fan club, in hopes that somehow, her celebrity crush would read the words she wrote to him, so earnestly, in purple crayon. With the invention of social media–Twitter especially–Lena found a whole new way to connect with her favorite group. And in the past few weeks, the band has been hinting at some major announcement. Their biggest fans–Lena and her best friend, Greg, included–are all a flutter.
Lena never suspects, on a random Tuesday in November, that her life is about to take a rapid turn from cubicles and coffee runs to road trips and potential romance. And it all boils down to one Twitter contest, a girl’s undying love for a boy, and the opportunity of a lifetime.
That’s the general idea of the book. A jacket-cover insert, if you will.
So, if we’re keeping score here, I have a completed first draft, a title, a jacket cover insert, and a dedication page (already written but not to be shared here.) So, if I’m doing my math correctly, all that leaves is finding a publisher.
It’s not purple crayon, but it’s still a love letter, readers. I swear.