when to start novel number two

You’ve polished your precious manuscript to a high sheen.

It’s been through critique group, numerous drafts, beta readers, and now you’ve thrown it out into the cold, cruel querying world to seduce an agent.

You’ve done your research and have a spreadsheet of agents–the ones who have Your Precious now, the ones you’ll send it to if you don’t score on the first round.

Now what?

Time to start the next manuscript, of course.

But it’s not so easy to get your head out of the last story. You’ve probably been immersed in that world for at least a year, if not two, or three, or…


  • Read–always the first answer to every problem in this world, right, baby? Read books in your age-genre. Read non-fiction books. Read books about how kids behave at the age you write for. Read adult books. Read books about art and artists. Read books about nature. Read the newspaper–or the on-line equivalent. PUT INFORMATION IN YOUR BRAIN.
  • Go–places you haven’t been before. Or, go places you have been before but this time, go by yourself. Museums–especially those off-beat ones, like  “Leila’s Hair Museum” or:

(Oh, you knew there’d be visual aids),  flea markets, antique shops, art galleries, musical venues, nature walks:

  • Vacation–Doesn’t have to be across an ocean, or for six weeks. Whatever takes you out of your Ordinary.

  • Lie Around A Lot With Your Eyes Closed–(But Honey, I’m Working.) You’re a writer. YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH THIS. And if you’ve followed the previous dotted points, your brain box is jam-crammed with raw fantasticalness that needs to gel into a premise, characters, and a plot. Let it burble in the soup of your soul. And then…
  • Journal
  • Storyboard
  • Mindmap
  • Outline
  • Freewrite
  • Interview Characters
  • Storytree




About Lisha Cauthen

Lisha Cauthen writes YA novels for guys that girls like to read too.

Posted on August 9, 2010, in writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Or do something you’ve never done before (careful here) to prime the creative pump, such as taking a fun art workshop or dance class. (Yeah, I’m currently hoping that these work for me!) 😀

  2. Oh, Heck Yeah, Judy H.

    Now, what kind of dance class would you recommend?


  3. What, you mean I’m doing this RIGHT? OMG. Here, I thought I was loafing for the past three months.

    Personally, I’m willing to bet Judy is taking the belly dancing class. Wish I could have afforded to do it with her. ;D

  4. *shimmy shimmy*

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