Starting the Next Novel

One of the most exciting things an author can do is start working on their next big thing, whether it’s a novel, a poem, a short story or flash. Even working on a new article is thrilling. You get to start all over again – or as my case would have it, continue on with the story since I’m working on a duology – and create something from nothing, tackle the white space on a page, form new characters with new backgrounds, loves, loathes and everything in between. There’s a new plot to be created, new twists and turns, and a setting that has to be vibrant and fresh. And, if you’re writing articles or non-fiction, you get to interview all new people, share their stories, and interweave them together into one coherent knowledgeable piece. It’s literally a start-over, a chance to do whatever you want to in the story realm, to break rules and make new ones, to just… explore and see where you land.

It’s one of the best feelings in the world, in my opinion.

But it can also be the scariest.

All that white space, all those new characters, all those new people, plus not to mention all the words, paragraphs and pages that need to be written and the edit-and-revise process we’re all so fond of… well, it can be daunting. A lot of work goes into the written word.

But this morning as I was walking from my warm car to my relatively warm work building I noticed something different about my little town of Eagle River. A fresh coat of white sparkled and covered everything, from the streetlamps and roads to the pathway to my building. My breath clouded before me and a chill raced up my spine. It had snowed. And everything looked new again. I even had to blaze my own trail to work. In that momentary frolic, I realized that whatever path I decided to take, whether it is a straight line, zigzagged, or circular, as long as I got to the door it would be the right path to take. It’s the same for working on a new piece – whatever you decide to do will be right, as long as you finish it in the end and are proud of what you created.

So while starting anew may be a tad bit frightening (yes, there will be times I sit up late at night over a cup of tea and think Oh my gosh, I’ve written myself into a corner! How can I ever fix this?) try to focus on the fun of it, the adventure of it, and the love that you have for writing. It’ll be much more exciting that way.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Warm regards,


14 thoughts on “Starting the Next Novel

      • Right now I’m working on a general/literary novel. It’s funny because it actually started with a fantasy element, but I took it out. I do love to read and write fantasy, though. I wrote a draft about two years ago that was fantasy, and it was so much fun. I didn’t really think it was going to go anywhere, so I never pulled it out for rewrites, but I’ve toyed with working on it again. Are you currently working on any interesting projects?

      • You should work on that fantasy story again, it seems to be what you’re really interested in it. I love pulling out old projects and seeing if I can re-work them. It’s fun to go through old stories and see if there’s any life in them. I’m working on the second novel of my science fiction story, I stopped it for a few months so I could try my hand at the National Novel Writing Month, but I’m back writing in it again and, let me tell you, it’s been nice hanging out in that world again.

  1. I just started my next novel in the past week too, and I agree, it’s a wonderful, scary, exciting feeling! I’m happy to be back with characters that I love (trilogy here) and looking forward to seeing what happens to them next.

    It’s a bit like having kids, writing books – at least for me. The first time you’re not sure what you’re doing and you think you’re going to screw it all up and produce the most wretched creation anyone’s ever set eyes on, but then it turns out pretty great in spite of yourself (or because you’re not nearly as awful as you think you are) so you decide to go for round two with more confidence in yourself and your abilities, and find that it’s a ton of fun once you stop worrying so much. 🙂

    • Hey Nicole, thanks for the comment!

      That’s how I feel too, it’s nice to being in my sci-fi world again.

      Ha! Even though I’ve never had kids, that analogy is awesome! It is like raising little ones. 🙂 Personally, I’ve always thought of it as riding a bike, that first time is always scary and horrible and you fall down tons of times but then after that, it gets easier and easier. 🙂

      What’s your novel about, if I may inquire?

      • Inquire away! Who doesn’t like talking about their novels? It’s an urban fantasy about a woman with a severe phobia of being touched who sees her best friend get murdered by what appears to be a living gargoyle. She teams up with the man who saved her life, an alchemist, to find out why she’s being targeted by the creatures. Along the way she discovers some powerful abilities that have been hiding behind her phobia, finds a guy she can kiss without panicking and learns what the monsters are really looking for. It’s called The Unravelling and is set in Montmartre, a neighbourhood in Paris. I’m thrilled it’s come to live in my head. 🙂

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