WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE “!!!” STAGE
By Rachel Simon
So somehow, I ended up being the first one to post after the AMAZING two weeks of Query articles. I have to live up to that–great. Just kidding!
Anyway, I’m here to talk about What Happens After The “!!!” Stage.
For starters, its usually known as “OMG! I just finished my rough draft of my novel! OMG! !!!!!!!!!” stage. The writer of said rough draft usually runs around and screams and eats lots of candy and tells all their friends/family.
That was not my case. I finished my rough draft at exactly 10:00 PM on January 19th (not that I was looking at the clock or anything) and I immediately sat there, dumbfounded at what to do next. I checked online to see if any of my buddies were online and there really wasn’t anyone on. It was a Tuesday night, and most of my online buddies are college students, who at the time had just returned to college.
So, I picked myself up and went to the television room, expecting my parents to be just as thrilled as me. Not the case, either. My mom was watching the news and my dad was snoring. In fact, I had to whisper to my mom that I had just finished my novel. Yes, you read correctly… WHISPER.
After taking the time to download Lady Gaga (I had made a promise to a friend that if I finished it before the end of that week I had to download the Lady), I went to bed. Okay, thats a lie. I stayed up until 1 AM in shock that I — Rachel, who never finished any writing piece she wrote and somehow still claimed to want to grow up to be the next J.K. Rowling (What?! I was 10!) — had finished an entire novel.
The next day, I sent the rough draft off to my first reader, Jackie, who immediately read it in two weeks. With the rough draft sent and my Let The Words Flow excitement e-mails sent, I did what anyone would do for the next step.
I began my next novel.
I can’t tell you much about it, except it is a historical YA about Zelda Fitzgerald and F. Scott. (Oh wait…I guess I just told you everything about it. Hmph. I need to get better at keeping secrets.) I threw myself into four hours of research on the internet and then promptly took myself to the library and sat for five to six hours and did book research.
I’m only six pages into my historical YA, but its worth it. I have an outline. I have notes. I am fully prepared to knock the socks off the world with her madness and brilliance. I am, I am!
And besides writing my historical YA, I am editing the first novel. I’m only 58 pages out of 254 into edits, but I blame school. College (to me) is important. So is getting good grades. And writing. And vlogging. And e-mail checking.
So, my advice is after the “!!!” stage is to keep on writing. Get back into the grind of tapping keyboards or scribbling down in your notebook. Don’t take time off. If you want to be published, you’re going to have to write even when you’re too excited to think. Also, read as your reward. For me, it was totally worth it to pick up a YA novel after I’d just finished mine. (And no, it wasn’t fantasy!)
Rachel Simon is hard at work at her sophomore year of college, applying for internships for summer 2010, editing her YA fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, writing her novel about Zelda Fitzgerald, sketching a contemporary YA novel and avoiding having a life at all costs. Her http://seeyouupside.livejournal.com/ is updated frequently and she is often on Twitter.