A few friends have asked me lately what’s going on with the novel I’ve been working on for four years now and counting.
My answer is: A LOT!
My keyboard has been working almost three hours every day as I re-craft Chapter One-A Novel‘s entire story with my fifth major revision/overhaul, which is, by far, the most complicated revision task to date.
I had a massive existential crisis teeming with frustration when my heart realized C1 needed and deserved both a completely different point-of-view and a much stronger voice.
Thought about it, but not a chance.
I’ve learned through the workshops and conferences I’ve attended that revising (sometimes five to ten times) is all part of the process. With the insight, suggestions, and encouragement from fellow writers and teachers, I can finally see the light, no pun intended, as I re-craft C1 with the reader as the focus.
And as sung by the immortal James, Brown, I feel good. I know that sounds hackneyed and trite, but I do.
I’m more confident and sure about my writing and can’t wait to see where it takes me. I never would have trusted my voice had it not been for the wonderful support I received from my Yale colleagues and know that the universe sent me there to learn from not only the best but from like-minded fellow storytellers. I’m also lucky to have close friends who provide me with honest feedback and the inspiration I need to keep moving forward.
The development and re-crafting of both Kelly Lynch’s story and her strong yet funny voice has taken even me by surprise, and I’m more in love with my main character now than ever, who is NOT me, by the way.
I expect to resume querying agents and publishers with a completed manuscript in early September, and will be looking for some beta readers once I am finished. Please let me know if you are interested!
In other news, I am pleased to announce that I will join other contributors to the 2019 American Writers Review and read my published poems on August 31 in Neptune, New Jersey. It’s the first time I will take part in a public reading of my published works, so I’m pretty excited about achieving this milestone.
We’re finally settled in our temporary home and I don’t have to box or unpack anything for a while. In between writing and moving, I attended both the summer Teacher Ambassador Workshop for ProjectWriteNow and a board meeting for the Garden State Scholastic Press Association last week. I’ve enjoyed becoming acclimated to my new neighborhood and to laughing and making memories with my nieces and nephews. I’ve got some side project going on too, including creating an updated writing portfolio with all of my published newspaper and magazine pieces from the mid-1990s which surfaced in the attic purge from my soon-to-be demolished former abode.
I intend to enjoy each August day, especially next week when I am traveling to Baltimore with a treasured friend, seeing Jimmy Buffett with tickets I won (I waited 48 years to be “Caller 10!”), and a super-secret, surreptitious 36-hour trip to the south…more to come about that soon!
I wish you an awesome August and a splendid rest of the summer. Thanks for joining me on my journey. I’m glad you’re here.
Copyright 2019 – Jill Ocone. This entry was cross-posted on both jillocone.com and SoulSEAker.com on August 1, 2019. Views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author who was not compensated in any way by any entity. All rights reserved.