What does it take to write a novel?

IMG_20130301_134055All of the above, apparently! A few minutes ago, I sent my editor the completed draft of THE BOY PREDICTION (Notes and Observations of Tabitha Reddy)!  It has been great getting to know Tabbi over the last few months (sounds cheesy, but I mean it)! This is my dining room table as of a minute ago. It is a long table… and loaded with the essentials for writing a novel that includes dates, charts, graphs, line art, and math. Along with the essential for keeping me awake: Diet Coke.

Now it’s time to relax… until I get edits.

But for this weekend — Ahhhhhh!

Happy Friday everyone!


In Conclusion…

View from my cabin window while at the Highlights workshop in October.

I just finished writing the conclusion for my second novel. This does not mean that I have finished the novel. I still have a lot to do.  But tomorrowI am getting on a train, yes a train, and heading up to New York for a few days. I’ll be spending one of those days with brilliant editor Patti Lee Gauch and a group of talented writers. Last year we spent two weekends together at the Highlights home place working on our novels under Patti’s direction. Now it is time for a reunion! We were invited to bring a problem chapter with us for evaluation and discussion. This inspired me to hurry up and finish my conclusion. Talk about a problem chapter!

A couple of years ago I heard Newbery Medalist Richard Peck speak. He said in young adult literature, a conclusion is not an ending, it’s a new beginning.  These words were enlightening to me, and they are oh-so-true. When writing for young adults and middle graders, it is crucial that our characters grow from their experiences. Once they have grown, we must launch them into the next chapters of their lives, newly armed with what they have learned.  Even knowing this, it is harder than it seems.

As I struggle to finish my second novel, I’ve come to another conclusion. I am going to alter my blog schedule and do Nerdy Chick Interviews every other Monday instead of every Monday. I love doing these interviews! I have learned so much about the interviewees, even about those who are my good friends. I find them all inspiring. But each interview takes me a few hours to edit, format, and upload, and I desperately need to get more writing hours in if I’m ever going to finish the novel at hand! So for now, I am altering this particular aspect of the blog. At the same time, I am looking at new ideas for Nerdy Chicks Rules.

When I return from New York, I’ll let you know if I learn anything new about conclusions. I’ll also give you an update on how my amazing editor nerdy chick Aimee Friedman is doing. We’re having lunch on Thursday! And because I already have tickets to see Seminar starring Jeff Goldblum, I’ll let you know if he nuzzles me the way he promises to on this video HERE at around 1:10. If you don’t already know, Seminar is a play about a writing professor and a group of student novelists.

It should be a very writerly working vacation. You can look forward to another great interview next Monday!

Psst: To find out more about the Highlights Foundation Workshops like the one I attended, click HERE.