Welcome to my stop on the If Only We blog tour
I’m so excited to have Jessica here today. If you guys don’t know her she is the awesome blogger behind the blog, Thoughts at One in the Morning.
They say all it takes is one wrong move and you lose the game. One false step and you’re trapped. One slip-up in your choice of words and you ruin a friendship forever. That is what they say. They say I lost.
I do not believe them.
At the end of the summer after graduation, Adrienne wonders what happened to cause her life to be in ruins. She isn’t getting along with her mom, her stepsister isn’t talking to her, and, to top it off, the boy she’s been in love with doesn’t want anything to do with her. She believes the turning point was a choice she made at graduation. When she wakes up the next day, she has been transported back three months to that moment, the one where everything started to fall apart.
Adrienne realizes she has been given a second chance—and this time she doesn’t want to mess anything up. Reliving the entire summer, though, turns out to be a lot harder than she thought. As the same days and weeks go by, she starts to see how simple decisions can make a huge impact on the world around her. Despite knowing some of what lies ahead, there are some things she didn’t anticipate. She thought she knew what mistake led her to where she ended up the first time. She was wrong.
And by the time summer is over, she discovers what was really at stake.
When I first sat down to write this, several things popped into my mind. Not because several things are the hardest part of writing, just that at one point they were difficult, more difficult than they are now. As I’m approaching the next novel (and novella), I am going into it knowing what is to come in the writing process.
Over the years, I have come up with tons of ideas—scene ideas and story ideas. With story ideas, I have a picture in my head of where I want it to start and how I want it to end. As far as the middle goes, well, that’s usually the difficult part. There are certain scenes that stand out to me as important ones that need to happen, but as far as how to fill in the rest, sometimes I draw a blank. With If Only We, I had a clear view of all the main scenes. I had to sit down and brainstorm other scene ideas, like places for my characters to go and things they could do.
I initially wrote If Only We during NaNoWriMo, which doesn’t require you to write a story that makes sense, just to meet the 50,000 word count goal. Since I had never reached a goal like that before, it felt amazing when I met it. Not only that, but it really taught me how to manage my time when it came to writing. But when it came time to go through what I wrote and piece together the beginning to the middle and then the middle to the end, it wasn’t easy. The effort it took to put it together was sometimes irritating.
Due to that irritation, it became hard to stay focused on setting aside time to actually write. Once I finished writing everything out and started editing, I fell into the same trap. I would come up with excuses and keep putting it off. Then, one day, I finally kicked myself in the butt and said, “Jessica, you have always wanted to write and publish a book. You need to stop wasting time and actually follow through on that dream.” That’s when everything changed. I spent more time working on revisions—picking the right words, reworking the scenes, and even cutting a few sentences and paragraphs. The more time I worked on it, the more I enjoyed seeing it come together.
Now that I’ve written a whole novel, I feel a lot better about how to approach the next novel. Since the middle of the story is one of the more difficult aspects, I will be doing all I can to make it easier. I’ve been writing out numerous scene ideas for my next story which I’ve been compiling into a loose outline. Since I can anticipate it, it should make it easier to face and keep me staying positive while writing my next story.
Jessica is the 28 year old author of IF ONLY WE, a YA contemporary coming out in October 2013. You can often find her either reading or marathon watching TV on DVD, her favorites being Castle and Veronica Mars. She frequently mismatches her clothes and giggles uncontrollably. She knows almost every Billy Joel song by heart. She collects books and toys, and she has an intense love of cats and lemurs. Currently in the midst of her quarter-life-crisis, she is still takin’ names and getting very close to reaching an epiphany.
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