Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Short-ish History of the Book Known as Transparent

I don't talk as much about my work as I used to, mostly because I learned it's not very interesting to most people. It totally works when you have a blog circle in which you know most everyone (as I used to), but now? Not so much.

That said, I wanted to give you all a brief run down of my current project, Transparent, since many of you may not have been around long enough to know the sordid details. Now, when I refer to it vaguely you'll know what I'm talking about.

To the time line!

January 2009-April 2009
There's this voice in my head. It's a girl who's invisible. She keeps telling me all about what it's like to actually be invisible, from how it feels not to have a face to the logistics of hair removal. Also, secretly staring at hot boys.

May 2009
I can't take it anymore, so I write the first lines of Transparent. I name Miss Invisible Fiona, and things take off. It always takes off when I name them.

Summer of 2009
Transparent becomes my "getaway" project. At the time I was editing my ninja book for the agent who would eventually offer representation, and when I couldn't stand it anymore I'd go hang out with Fiona.

Most of Fall 2009
I don't even open Transparent. I go on submission with ninja book. I'm positive I will be the next big thing.

End of November 2009
Starting to think I will not, in fact, be the next big thing. Decide it might be good to get a "back up" book nice and polished. I have a whopping 9 written books to choose from, so I cut it down to 3 and send partials to my agent, telling him to pick. Transparent is the one.

December 2009-March 2010
I revise my butt off. I have crit partners rip and tear the book apart. I read it over and over until my eyes cross. I'm super proud of the outcome, so I send it off to agent.

March 2010
Agent is not exactly enthusiastic about some of my story elements—BIG elements. A rewrite is suggested.

April 2010
I freak out. Question my ability as a writer. Think long and hard about rewriting. Explore alternative plot elements. Give myself time to quell the panic. Gain 5 pounds.

May 2010
I decide to rewrite. It's been a year since I started the book, and here I am starting it AGAIN. I can slightly appreciate the tragic poetry in that.

Summer of 2010
I write Transparent AGAIN. It's better. I think it sucks more. I'm basically a walking paradox.

September 2010
I finish the 2nd 1st draft of Transparent. Yay! Or...holy crap I have to send it to people and it could suck and then all that rewriting would be worthless.

October 2010
After my own revisions, I finally cut the apron strings and send the dang thing to crit partners. I also go on anti-anxiety medication. Correlation? I think so.

November 2010
The crits trickle in. They don't hate it! Oh joy! But, wow, still some work to do. But at least the plot is okay! And no one said it sucked beans! And it might actually be a presentable story, even though I'm still skeptical!

December 2010
I print it out. Cover the pages with red (sometimes front and back). Get slightly overwhelmed about how much I still have to fix. Drag my feet. Play lots of Warcraft. Use the holidays as an excuse to do absolutely nothing. Also, start a random short-ish story in hopes to further avoid edits.

Finally, TODAY, I finish the paper edit.


There you have it! Did I mention writing is HARD? Because it is. As for the future of Transparent, I hope to finish entering edits in January and then send it off to my agent. I hope at some point this year it will be sent on submission. Hopefully sooner than later, but, well, I try not to assign dates to such things anymore. Unnecessary stress and all that.

I'm thinking I may add more to the description under the "Projects" tab. An excerpt? The opening? Something like that.



  2. Congratulations! That's an accomplishment to be proud of!

  3. Congrats:)So happy for you! Around a year, start to finish! Impressive!



    Congrats on finishing the edits! Now send Miss Fiona out into the world and let her become the most visible invisible girl in the world!

  5. Wow!! Quite a journey so far - but you should be very proud of finishing this latest edit! I look forward to reading when you are submitting this to your agent :)

  6. WOOOOHOOOOO!!! Congrats on finishing this round of edits! It's crazy how things work out, but I'm glad you've kept with it.

    I look forward to the day when your book sits on my bookshelf next to Paranormalcy. :)

  7. All the people that look at me all dreamy eyed and say, "You're a writer. I've always wanted to be a writer."

    I'm sending them to read this.

  8. :)

    YAY Fiona!! Can't wait for the world to meet her :)

  9. on the upside, at least you have an agent. and on the further upside, transparent sounds like an interesting tale :)

  10. YAY Fiona and Transparent! I've loved the idea from the first moment I read it (way back when I compulsively crazily obsessively read all of your archives... *halo*). Congrats on coming so far with it.

    And this? "I try not to assign dates to such things anymore. Unnecessary stress and all that." YEEEAAAH.. Lesson of 2010, for me at least.

  11. Holy cow! What a ride.

    I love the idea. Would love for you to give us a teaser of it. =D

  12. I know that feeling well of starting over. It's teeth-gnashingly horrible. But also hopeful. It seems like you work pretty fast to me! Good luck with it.

  13. You should be immensely proud of yourself since technically you've written the same story twice in one year. I can't even squeeze one out in that time:) Good luck with your edits and ensuing send off!

  14. Wow. I admire you so much. I can't wait to read all your books :)

  15. I so relate to this, especially the anxiety :) I've completely torn stories apart and rewritten them like this, too. Best of luck with this one. BTW, love the title!

  16. Good for you. It sounds awesome. I have to revise my manuscript again before submitting it. I can't get into it yet.

  17. Wow. This is way cool. I like hearing about your work! WRITING IS HARD. I've worked on the same manuscript for over a year. Re-wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote. It's madness! Madness!

    Congratulations on reaching another step. Why is this process SO SLOW? AW! =)

  18. Congrats on finishing the edit and good luck with it!

  19. Thanks for posting this, Natalie. :) I actually like hearing about how people's works are going, so this was exciting!! Congratulations!

    Also, this was super encouraging that you've been able to persevere through all the not-wanting-to-revise. That's exactly where I am, and it's encouraging to know that someone else has been there and been victorious!

  20. Yay for editing! I just started editing my latest and the task seems so daunting. This is encouraging to me. :)