I'm cheating on my book. With a new story. If the first novel is true love forever, then the second novel is infatuation. I have all this energy for it, because of its…well, novelty. The wide open space for new characters, problems, and themes may intimidate me eventually. But right now, I still have the safety and comfort of the story that I know. That makes it easier to begin a new one. It's like finding a new lover before you break up with your boyfriend. I don't recommend that strategy for human relationships, but for writing, it seems to be working.
I used to worry that I would never finish the first book, wouldn't be able to let it go. I didn’t want to spend years rewriting the same thing, moving commas, a slave to my perfectionism. And although I did not meet my goal of finishing by my birthday, the end is in sight. I am making what I believe to be the last round of corrections before I submit it to agents. That, in and of itself, amazes me.
Equally reassuring though, is how naturally it seems to be wrapping up. Just as many people told me, “You'll know when it's done,” I do seem to actually know. Part of how I know is that I've stopped daydreaming about the characters from my first book. New characters have invaded my head. It feels like the new book is evicting the old one, saying, you had your time, it's our turn now. I like it. Daunting as a new book could seem, what I feel most right now is excitement. Que viva la infatuacion!