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So, I wrote a novel. Whoopee. Now what?

First off, “whoopee” is a strange word.  It looks strange.  It sounds strange.  Say it with me, “whoopee”…”whoopee”…”whoooopeee”.  See?  Hardly  seems like a word.  I even had to check online to make sure I had it spelled right.  Thank goodness all that anti-SOPA blackout stuff is dictionary.com and wikipedia were available.

Anyway, so, yeah, it’s “whoopee”.

Also, I should probably mention before I write too much more that I’ve been fighting a particularly nasty cold all week.  And by fighting, I mean whimpering softly to myself while wiping the incessant flow of snot from my now-blistered nostrils with what seems like those special kind of tissues that are embedded with 40-grit abrasive sand.

Of course, after three days of nose-blowing, all tissues are basically sandpaper.

Beyond the whining, the point is that I’m pumped full of cold medicine, and the volume of oxygen my brain has been receiving lately is but a fraction of the usual amount.  Thus, I’m wandering around a fugue state that alternates between the random expression of nonsense (curly soup! Dancing Oompa Loompas! Michele Bachmann!) and outright hallucination (please stop eating my ring-tailed lemurs, Mr. Elephant, and why are you cauliflower blue?).

Good. Now that that‘s out of the way…

In case you missed it – although I don’t know how you did since I talked about little else for a while – I finished my first novel last year.  Since then, it’s been edits, edits, revisions, and edits.  Two full passes later, I’m now mostly happy with it.  Truth be told, though, I’m beginning to suspect that an author is never truly, completely happy (or done) with a book.

I still have a few questions about whether everything makes sense, and worst of all, I’m no longer a credible resource when it comes to that plot.  After all the writing and revising, I need someone with a clear, fresh set of eyes to tell me if what I suspect might not be the best way to handle a couple of things are actual issues or just me being hypercritical of myself.  Someone with an opinion I trust has the latest draft right now, and is (hopefully) doing exactly that.

So then, what now?  And I don’t mean, what do I do when Beta-Reader Prime (a key Transformer in the next installment of the film series, no doubt!) finishes?  See, that’s an easy one: fix whatever is still broken and then begin the arduous process of amassing query rejections from agents.

Unless it’s massively broken or just crap, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

No, what I meant by that question is, what project comes next, Puddin?  I mean, after 2010’s “120,000 Words About Nothing” challenge and the 2011 push to finish the novel, what now?  Surely I’m not going to just sit back and rest on my (remarkable short and unimpressive) laurels, while the cold medicine and copius pints of beer pilot me through another year of blog posts, right?

Right.

As I said in my belated New Year’s post, 2012 will be the year of my first non-fiction book.

But wait, you say, why non-fiction?  Why now?  After all the effort to pick up momentum on the fiction side of things, why drop that to focus on something completely different?

Well, because all my life, I’ve envisioned myself writing novels.  I always wanted to create imaginative fantasy worlds where people deal with the same problems we deal with, but while, you know, occasionally having to blow stuff up, shoot things, maybe escape the undead, or train unicorns.  But, you know, half-dressed and without head colds.

The thing is, though, just because I dreamed that doesn’t mean it’s the right – or only – path to take as a writer.  Which is honestly something I never considered until after I started Puddintopia.  Even since the long-ago 2003 and 2005 versions of the blog that have been lost to the vagaries of time (not really, but I never migrated those posts into the current blog software), people have been asking me why I didn’t try to write professionally.  When they asked, my brain always translated that to mean I should buckle down and write my fiction books, but eventually, after enough of you asked if the book in-process would be Puddintopia-esque, I began to understand that there might be other options.

What I’ve realized is that some of you, at least, seem to enjoy the quirky, often-a-mere-step-away-from-abject-nonsense approach I bring to Puddintopia (and to a lesser degree, Hoperatives, although I do try to make sense with those) posts.  And, to be honest, I enjoy the kind of silly-but-pointed view I take here.  I’m not trying to slap myself on the back in a fit a congratulatory gymnastics or anything, but if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t do it.  My first goal is to entertain the Puddinette, by which I mean to make her wet herself in laughter; the second goal is to entertain myself.

So with that percolating in my noggin, sometime early last year I had one of those Eureka! moments, and I’m not talking about vacuum cleaners.  I thought of a topic that I have enough personal experience with to develop into an entire book and that could definitely use a quirky/fun approach as compared to what else is out there.  It’s something that touches most people’s life nearly every day, but is still incredibly misunderstood.

And, no, I’m not telling what it is.  Not yet. Although I might drop hints every so often.

So, then, there you have it. I haz a supra sekrit non-fiction book project on the front burner for 2012, and The Heavy Lifting starts next week.  I’m hoping to have a first draft completed much faster than the novel, because a) I’m a more experienced writer now, b) I can write non-fiction faster than fiction and c) this book should be a good bit shorter than the last.

With any luck, then, I’ll be back in the edit-edit-revise-edit Loop of Doom before Independence Day.  And then I can start sending queries to a whole slew of non-fiction agents and accumulate their rejections.

So…who wants to race?  Most rejections by New Year’s wins!

Pud’n

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2 comments on “So, I wrote a novel. Whoopee. Now what?

  1. Computers???????? We misunderstand each other a lot — cause I’m old, and it’s not!!!!!!!!!

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  2. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

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