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  • Writer's pictureMary K Gowdy

Ready for a challenge: a prequel, a sequel, and poetry

Updated: Aug 27, 2022

This is year is going to look a lot different.

For the first time since I was three years old, I won't be going to school in the fall. I'm so ecstatic! I want to dedicate a lot more time to my writing now that I don't have to worry about classes, homework, research, clubs, and a job on top of that. It was so much. There was always something on the horizon to be worried about, but now after my workday, I can relax.

My writing process is changing, and I have big plans like working on THREE different projects. I want to accomplish so much more this year than ever before. Bring. It. On.

I work about 25 to 30 hours a week at my new job, which is actually my ideal scenario. With my current living situation, I only need to work 30 hours weekly to support myself financially, and I'm dedicating the 10 other hours in the work week to writing. These 10 hours can be applied to anything related to my writing career including working on my projects, marketing The One-Sided Coin, updating my website, etc..

I have a planner where I write what time I start writing as a way to "clock-in" and I do the same for "clocking-out". It's already helped a lot with focusing. I can't believe how much I can accomplish in 10 hours a week! I wasn't even close to working that amount while in school. If I keep this up, I'll be able to accomplish so much more this year than in previous ones.

I've always been interested in working on several projects at once but have never had the capacity to do so. I feel that this year I just might. I have my poetry collection and both a prequel and a sequel to The One-Sided Coin calling my name.

My goal is to start the first draft of The One and the Other Volume Two for this November's National Novel Writing Month. Though I don't always participate in the way originally intended, I like to use NaNo months to jump start projects like I did with the Labeth prequel back in April. If I want to start writing the second book in The One and the Other series this November, there's quite a few things I need to do before then.

I want to write this sequel differently than The One-Sided Coin. For that book, I outlined some before writing a quick first draft in three months. I planned to completely rewrite that first draft, and I did. I thought that this process would allow me to have a cleaner second draft, but there was still much needed rewriting afterwards. It took me five years to write The One-Sided Coin (granted there were some periods of inactivity), and I want to write this sequel a lot faster. This time around, I'm going to outline extensively before writing. Then, I'll do my version of the zero draft, where for each scene I summarize what is going to happen. That way, I have every single step figured out in the manuscript before I bring it to life.

To start the first daft November 1, I need to:

  1. Finish the Series Bible for The One and the Other

  2. Outline TOATO 2

  3. Zero Draft TOATO 2

That's a lot. It might be too much, but I need to challenge myself more to see what I'm capable of. Now that I have a lot more time on my hands to write, I might be able to do this.

I told myself I wouldn't work on TOATO2 till I made significant process on my first full-length poetry collection. Since the beginning of July, I've written 11 new poems and revised 3 old ones. I would call that some significant process if I may say so myself!

I have one more poem to write before I restructure the collection. The main focus of the collection has shifted, calling for a new structure. I'll make a separate blog post detailing that process soon.

I haven't touched this project since I finished the first draft in May, but I printed out a copy of the manuscript today and it looks so great! After every draft, I print out the manuscript and read through it, marking it up with edits I want to make. Since I'm moving up the timeline for TOATO2, that project will take up more of my focus than this one, but I do hope to finish the read through before Nov 1st.

Whew! I have my work cut out for me for the next couple of months. I know I've said it before but I'll say it again, I'm so excited for this next year! I can't believe I'm starting my first sequel. I've been dreaming about this for years. This is so cool!

Thanks for reading and following along on my journey! We'll keep in touch, and stay safe!

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