My plan is to finish writing my next novel in six more weeks. I stumbled a bit this past week because it’s nearly half done and already I see many parts that need fleshing out and I have several margin comments saying, in essence, “add a scene here with so and so where such and such happens” and the opening scene is weak and I don’t even have a title. In short, I started wondering if I could fix this.
The Brevity of Roses couldn’t possibly have been such a mess, I thought. Then I looked back at old email and Word files. Tomorrow will be the fourth anniversary of the night I had a dream that sparked the idea for Brevity. I discussed the dream with a friend, and then on 9 June 2008, I sent an email to her with an attached file. The dream had evolved into a short story titled To Be Missed.
My friend urged me to turn the story into a novel. Since I knew from experience how much time that would take, I decided writing a novel was not on my schedule. But I kept thinking about Jalal, so I wrote another story. When I sent that to my friend, it had the title Third Sound and Jalal’s younger love interest was a spoiled, rich girl named Kristen.
Then this emotionally damaged “tough” girl named Renee popped up in my imagination and kicked Kristen to the curb. I completely revised and expanded Jalal’s story. By the end of July, I’d re-titled it “The Brevity of Roses”.
By August, I knew Renee could carry her own point-of-view, so I toyed with the idea of a third story, but then decided she would just continue Jalal’s story. At that point, I saw no reason to keep Meredith’s story separate from Jalal’s. The Brevity of Roses would be a novel after all. Exactly one year later, I announced the writing finished. Then, of course, the long editing process began—including the addition of 30,000 words!
So today I am reassured. Looking back at Brevity’s progress has helped me see that my WIP is still on track. It only seems a mess. I’ll sort it out. And at some point in the future, I’ll be writing my next novel and panic, but then I’ll look back to now, take a deep breath, and write on.