my new new novel

About five minutes ago, I sent the first three chapters of my new novel to my editor at Random House.  It doesn’t have a title yet, and it won’t come out until Spring 2012. But it’s a crazy thrill to have the beginning in solid shape, and to send it off for feedback.

I’ve been watching this new story unfold in little pieces in my head for a long time.  I know a lot already about where it’s going in a broad way (though the details are always one surprise after another).  But it’s pretty thrilling to see it all actually happen.  Does that make sense? It’s one thing to know a character goes for a walk.  But it’s another to actually write the scene and BE THERE.

Here are some photos of the writing I’ve been doing over the break.  Just for fun.

This is my process:  I type the story, then print it out and carry it in a binder like precious cargo wherever I go.  Then, as I re-read, it sparks other ideas in my head, and I write them all over the margins and on the backs of pages.

I edit things out and add things in at the same time.  Then, after a bit, I type all the changes in and print it out again fresh.  I love the pages when they are newly-printed and pristine.  But I love them even more when they are scrawled and scribbled all over.

Usually I’ll use plain-old vinyl binders in black or white. But, for this one, I gave in to my love of pretty office products and bought a flowery binder at Target.  At least, until the story gets too long to fit!

18 Comments

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18 responses to “my new new novel

  1. I can hardly wait. You can’t write them fast enough for me. The second I put down one of your books, I want to pick up the next!

  2. I agree with Brene! Your characters have a way of lingering with me always. I actually look for them in the personalities of new people I meet, just in case they’re there …

  3. I love seeing your process. What a great visual.

  4. Thank you, Katherine. I love the insight! You inspire me.

  5. Julie Duck

    I’m inspired by your use of notebooks. That would help me… I have bits and pieces of WIPs, some stapled, some clipped, some being used as drawing paper by my son.

    If I could only find my hole puncher!

    – Julie

  6. so very exciting! love all your books!

  7. Thank you for sharing your writing progress! It makes my day and inspires me…can’t wait for Writing Wednesdays to come back (wink)

    May the writing muse continue to bless you 🙂

  8. Deb

    I am so envious of your muse and your process. And I SO love your books and can never wait for the next one to be published. I am very happy that your muse continues to visit!

  9. joyisachoice

    Awesome! Not only do I love knowing that you’re creating more fabulous people for us all to fall in love with, but seeing that your process is so similar to my own (even though I’ve only ever braved non-fiction) – makes me feel like maybe I WILL finish my own novel one day. Oh, and adore the flowery binder! 😉

    Cheers-
    Anj

  10. thank you thank you thank you for sharing this! I have been struggling with a system and this makes total sense. Thanks so much!!

  11. Neat post! Thanks for giving us a peek into your process.

  12. You are so generous. Sharing this aspect of your process has been such a help for me. Taking my ideas from the personal essay format and developing them into a book feels daunting and scary… but this makes it seem so fun! I enjoy writing by hand… your process is a great way to enjoy the method and the madness. You’re a gift to so many of us. I may link to this post in one of my future blog entries, if that’s okay with you?

  13. Hi. I met your sister this weekend who told me about your site. I am registering now at Mom 2.0 to hear you speak. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say. I am new to blogging and want to learn from a master writer.

  14. detes

    You should save those drafts in a safe place. Will be interesting to look back on someday.

  15. Hi Katherine-
    I loved this post. You made me feel normal. I have more napkins, menus, receipts, etc. I used to write notes on. Now, I just use my IPhone or carry a copy of my ms with me.
    Loved the pictures.
    Best of luck!
    Stephanie

  16. stacybuckeye

    How wonderful to see your process. Thanks so much for sharing.

  17. Interesting! I’ve been reading the blog, http://www.SusanGreggGilmore.com, about her writing process of her 2nd & third novels and also http://www.thewordcellar.com/blog/2010/1/16/the-fiction-of-writing-fiction.html. And those binders. Oh, yeah. Indulge!

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