I am twenty-eight, and while I would not say that my life has been a waste up until now, I want to accomplish more than I have. Somewhere in my subconscious, there is a little eight-year-old girl who is disappointed in me. That little girl read “Harriet the Spy” and decided that she was going to become a writer. She carried around a tattered blue notebook with a unicorn on the front, and she wrote down everything she could, from lists of names for her toy horses to fairy tales where the princess always saved the prince. She is still waiting inside me, and every now and then she pokes me and says, “Why haven’t you got a book yet?”
So here is my goal: I have two years left until I am thirty, which feels like a significant landmark in my life. I have numerous novels, characters, and story ideas in various states of completion filling up my harddrive and scribbled in notebooks on my shelf. (Most of them are still blue.) In the next two years, I want to complete and publish at least three novels. That gives me about eight months per novel.
Here are my current potential projects.
The first one, in the revision process, is a young adult fantasy called Small Town Witch. Rosa is a teen witch in a rural town in Northern California, who thinks she has the perfect life if friends, family, and magic until she begins to realize that her happy family might not be so happy under the surface. She’ll face racial prejudice, betrayal, and tough decisions as she struggles to find whom she can trust, and her choices may lead her family to change forever. If I can find some good beta readers, I might be able to publish this in the next few months. I might also write a companion short story to go with this, and offer it for free to get some attention. This has future series potential with Rosa or her friends.
I have an old draft which might be worth saving after heavy revision, a young adult paranormal thriller called Death Lurks Here. Sara is a psychic whose ability, postcognition, allows her to see the past. However, she tries to ignore some of the things that she sees, like the real reason that her boyfriend Jake is pulling away. When Jake is murdered and the police are baffled by clues that point to a serial killer who was convicted years before, Sara has to follow the trail of evidence that only she can sense to find the truth and stop the murderer before someone else dies. This was a rough draft, the first novel that I ever finished, and more than ten years later I can see the holes in it. However, I think that if I cut out the unnecessary sideplots and tangents which took over the original, and refocus the attention on stopping the murderer, this novel still has potential. This will be a much larger rewrite project, several months of work before finding beta readers, and it’s a little daunting. I plan on working on this one after or maybe at the same time as more enjoyable projects. While I had ideas for a while of turning this into a trilogy (and wrote the second novel as well), I think this works better as a stand-alone.
Finally, I have been working on a unique fantasy world, and I already have about 50% of one novel drafted in this world, but now I am considering starting with another story idea set earlier in the time line. I want to write an open-ended series of stories in this one particular region of my fantasy world, describing different events and different characters. One thing that inspired me when I was a teen was Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. I liked that she had so many stories about so many different characters all set in the long history of one world. I am still working out the details of my own worldbuilding to give myself a diverse range of characters and situations, but I would like to be able to write something like this, where the books are linked but the reader can easily pick up most of the books and find a self-contained story about one person or group of people.