Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Introducing the Novelist, Amy Michelle Wiley

I have approximately six abandoned novel files in my laptop right now—that’s just from the last five years. None of them go past three or four chapters, and few were abandoned after a mere page and a half. During my childhood I'd started another three or four books, never to complete them, and the number of storylines rattling around in my head is closer to a whopping fifteen.
All my life I've been a writer and aspired to be a novelist. I've started a novel with grand hopes, only to let them fizzle and die as I left it in the dust to pursue yet another novel. So never has that goal been attained.

Until now.

NaNoWriMo, and its support group hundreds of thousands of people strong (plus my own smaller wonderful support group of family and friends), was the kick I needed to get a novel out. I passed the NaNo goal of 50,000 in thirty days on Saturday, four days early, and today on the thirtieth I finished the epilogue and now have a completed rough draft of Reaching Sky. It's a fairly short book at a current 55,783 words, but it is WRITTEN!

I think NaNo worked well for me, despite the rushed time limit and the "no major editing" rule. The story is rough with a lot of holes (like the cat I introduced in one scene, never to mention again... and the fact that I don't mention the main character's name, the weather, or the location in the whole first whole section... etc.) but it's definitely a very viable draft that has some strong parts.

You can read a short story based on the characters here, Eureka in Yreka, to get an idea of the book. My aim is to get this one published through a traditional publisher, so here are my goals for the next year:
  1. Go over the book again right now to add in all the scenes and details I remembered later but didn't have time to go back and put in during the competition.
  2. Let it sit at least a month without so much as a glance or a thought.
  3. Edit it with hopefully somewhat fresh eyes.
  4. Give it to two trusted writer friends to give me lots of constructive feedback.
  5. Write another draft based on that feedback.
  6. Give the new draft to another three or four people—a mix of writers and just readers.
  7. Rewrite it again.
  8. Send it to a professional editor for a polish.
  9. Send it to an agent!
  10. Probably more rewrites for agents and publishers.
  11. Have a publisher accept it! Woo!
Thank you all for your support and encouragement and for believing in me! Keep 'em coming! I can't wait to see what God does this this book, now that He finally got me to actually write it. ;-)


    Rita's Random Ramblings said...

    Amy, I am so thrilled for you and sooo proud of you! I look forward to holding your book in my hands!! Hugs to you!! Aunt Rita

    Joanne Sher said...

    Sooo awesome, Amy! Praying you through.