I’m caught in a rut at the moment. I’ve been working on my first novel for over two-and-a-half-years now. It’s been a journey. I’ve grown to love my characters and take delight in watching their stories deepen and twist. What began as one novel has developed into a three-part series.
Being my first novel, I struggle with knowing when to stop with idea generation and when to start piecing together what I’ve already written. The first draft I wrote over a year ago looks nothing like the story that my rewritten draft has become. My rewrite phase has been more of an exploration of these people I’ve created and the potentials their stories could hold. I feel like I’m starting at square one yet again as I take the fragmented story sections from writing daily and arranging them into the loose skeleton of a novel’s plot.
I handwrite everything. The only time I’ve typed up parts of my novel was when I needed to turn parts in for my Advanced Young Adult Fiction class at Columbia College Chicago. I cannot recommend that class enough if you are a Fiction Writing student there. Laurie Lawlor taught me how to always trust my work and give myself permission to write crappy scenes because they help you get to the good ones. She also took the time to read at least fifteen novels-in-progress within two weeks— on top of working on her own novel. Anyway, I can’t recommend her class enough. Back to my writing frustrations, I said I’d do NaNoWriMo this year with friends of mine from Second City. Currently, I am approximately 8,000 words behind in daily writing quotas. I like the idea of NaNoWriMo. I love the idea of committing to something like that in such a compressed time frame. With all the work lining up for me this month, that goal becomes more and more difficult. That being said, I send best wishes to everyone who will complete the 50,000 word count goal by the end of the month. I will still be moving forward with my novel, though I don’t know that I will have a completed first draft by November 30. We’ll see!
I’ve been living in the heart of Chicago’s Wrigleyville this week. I sat on the front patio of my apartment building with my upstairs neighbor’s TV mounted to the house and approximately 120 people watching the final World Series game from the sidewalk behind us. Chicago is my favorite city. I’m proud to live here and know the type of people Chicago generates. Friends of mine are currently crushing the game here, in LA, and in New York City. While I grew up in Belvidere, IL, I feel my personal home here in Chicago. It feels natural to live here. People WORK for what they want here. I moved to this city with the aspirations of becoming a writer and actor. After delving into the city’s improv community, I found my heart pulled towards comedy and improvisational theater. The idea that improv shows are each a one-time-only event, that each show is a one-of-a-kind experience between the performers and the audience, makes this performance style enticing to me. This community has brought some of the most inspiring, influential, and kind-hearted people into my life. For that, I will always be grateful for this city and consider it a home.
Here have been my random thoughts. Thanks for reading. Do great things for yourself and others!