I am already in revisions, but as I see the mountains looming ahead, I find myself looking at a map.
Several maps, actually.
I am in severe confusion. Because my novel right now is sound in plot--but it is not good or near finished, by any means. It needs characters that aren't just a bunch of talking heads. It needs worldbuilding--I based mine off of Imperial China, but I need it to not feel sound like it so the reader would make take on a unique vibe for the place and country, instead of being an alternate China. My improvement; I've put jewels in the women's hair and introduced Persian rugs.
Aside from that, and back to my first point; I have so many ways of revising right now. I am trying to get myself to an index card, and I might very well make it and actually revise like what an Official Writer does, while my muse wants loll around and eat Danish cookies and watch some more Sailor Moon. (Long story short; Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder, talked about it so much on her blog that I decided to give it a try--and guess where I am now.) I want to do the index card, planning-out-each-scene method, but I feel it is needless and redundant.
I don't know what the mountains are like. I fear they contain dragons.
It is summer, and while I have been traveling for weeks (hence the long gap) yesterday I got back and went to the library.
I walked straight past the YA shelves and went straight for the middle grade, Juvenile fiction.
I don't know why. I don't write middle grade. For the past year or so, I've walked past to the YA section, where I would read and, I don't know, learn, maybe?
But I realized that I've been narrowing my scope. I've begun to see that reading only YA has not freshened my perspectives on writing, but quite the contrary. YA fiction has begun to be--and I never thought I would use this word in literature--conformist. That's crazy, but it's true. I realize that every YA book has essentially the same elements. I'm either reading dystopian or sci-fi or some watered-down version of a fantasy that served its purpose to include--no surprise here--a love triangle. I feel like I'm burdening myself each time I read a flap cover.
So I'll take a break. I checked out two middle grade fantasy novels, one of which was a favorite I read long ago and still remembered, and one of which was on gothic Hamburg and sounded really interesting. I now return to the shelves that once were and still magical for me. Children's books, I feel, have a much broader collection, and each book is not a copy of another, but they are refreshing and unique.
And they have such clear themes, such good characters. I feel like though the content is less mature, and I am more knowledgeable about YA than children's, I have a feeling that the standards for children's fantasy are higher, in a sense. Each journey is so different.
And as I enter high school, I would love to be a child again. For a summer, yes?