My course is set

First off, I’m very glad my previous post has been such a big help to fellow writers. It’s very important we be on the lookout for one another!

My recent hiatus allowed me to go back and examine old writings, even as I contemplated what I wanted to do about new or current projects. I’ve always been one of those writers with a full plate. Each project usually dealt with a different genre or sub-genre; if I grew distracted, frustrated or downright bored with one, there was always another to reinvigorate the muse. The only problem with this approach was ideas sometimes blended, and not in a good way. For example: trying to focus on a budding, romantic relationship between two characters from one story while wanting to describe an action-oriented character taking names didn’t make for much success on either project. As the hiatus reached its conclusion, I was left with one very important question: what next?

I still had Lifeline, my NaNoWriMo winner. I also wanted to improve Renegade‘s content, and I still needed to smooth over Exile, plus finish Savior, the winner for my 2012 NaNo. Let’s not forget the second book to my YA, The Shadow Conflict. Taken together, I had enough projects to keep me busy for months, perhaps even years, to come. Unfortunately, given my tendency to yo-yo between ideas (and ultimately despair over every little detail) I couldn’t see the finish line with any of them. I just loved all the characters from these stories. I felt they deserved an opportunity to be shared. But it was also love that blinded me from the truth. I had to make a choice, and stick with it. The time for spreading myself thin was past.

To this, I have since decided to shelve all existing projects in favor of Lifeline. I’ve been working on it non-stop since November, and I don’t see this train stopping anytime soon- especially since I have plans for it. It’s not enough to get a workable draft out, set it aside and work on something else until I’m ready to go back to it. I became a manuscript mother in November, and now I must raise my story so it will be the best it can be. These characters not only reflect how I’ve grown as a writer, but how I’ve grown as a person. It’s become a story that’s as much a journey of self-discovery for me as it is for them. I owe it to the story to stick with it, for better or worse. And if that means I live, eat and sleep Gabriel and Company for all of 2014, I think I can handle that.

After giving the manuscript a surface edit, I started tackling the outline for the third act of the book. I’m amazed by how readily the ideas are coming together. I’m also reminded by how truly screwed up Gabriel is. It only makes me love him all the more. I hope others who read his tale feel the same way.

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