Novel Update: Ace of Arts

I’m pleased to announce that I did indeed start writing my new novel on November 1. Having 3600 words of a new book done is pretty badass.

Also, I doodled a Megan.

Blurry doodle
That thing on her nose is a nose ring, btw, don’t know if it’s clear

I got a better “look” at her in this first chapter, and though there weren’t any surprises for me about how she came across, I’m not sure how we’ll I’ll handle someone with such a pessimistic world view for an entire novel. I don’t want the book to be about her becoming an optimist or anything–it’s more about learning the circumstances under which it is beneficial to broaden one’s horizons and which it is beneficial to stand one’s ground–but I just hope the complaining and negativity doesn’t get grating for the reader. I guess that’s something I’ll only find out about when test reader time comes.

My first chapter is about Megan going to a gallery showing in which she has a piece. She’s clearly there reluctantly, but is also curious about what people think of her work. I managed to establish a few constants of her life: that she does not expect to ever “actually” make anything of herself or go to college or succeed as an artist; that she has a complicated relationship with her older sister; that her art teacher has been in her life for a fair amount of time and knows details about her living situation; and that there’s something mysterious about how she comes upon the subjects of her drawings.

I also established a few tone and setting details through background details. At one point her teacher pulls out a phone, which suggests it’s in modern times or thereabouts because otherwise she wouldn’t have a mobile phone. (This is kinda significant because the old short story from which I stole the characters was written in 1999, and nobody had cell phones.) And one of the art projects Megan looks at in the gallery is a humorous depiction of the artist’s coming out as gay, which suggests she’s going to school in an area that would allow such a piece to be part of a high school art show. And Megan gets to the gallery on a city bus and has no plans to get home (the buses stop running while she’s still out); her “plan” was just to stay out all night until the buses start up in the morning, which makes it pretty clear nobody’s following up on her safety or making sure she’s taken care of. (She’s also clearly not intimidated by the idea of hanging out in public places during the wee hours, which suggests she does not consider herself particularly vulnerable.)

I think the next chapter will involve some introduction to her artwork method and some interaction with her sister. And by Chapter 3 I definitely need to introduce Brady, who’s really important to the rest of the story–a boy in her homeroom who is instrumental in her figuring out the rest of her life. I’m really looking forward to finding out how it all comes together. 🙂

New Novel: Ace of Arts

“Ace of Arts” is my placeholder title for the new book I’ve started writing. Though I’m liking it more and more as I’m getting used to its association with the project.

I’ve been planning to write this book for a long time–though I have not formally outlined it–and it uses characters from a short story I wrote in 1999. I wrote its first chapter on November 1, 2015, and the book is now officially in progress.

It’s a YA contemporary novel with an asexual protagonist, detailing Megan’s adventures as she struggles with relationships and attempts to get into art school.

See you on the other side!

New book on the horizon

I think I’ve decided to start writing my next book after my Halloween party this year.

I’m making no promises about starting immediately on Sunday or anything (although I might), but I really want to start writing this. It is not going to be a NaNo novel. It is not going to be a thing I rush to get done at all costs, though if I write at my usual pace it’ll come out pretty damn fast. I have a vague goal of finishing it by the end of the year, but I’m not going to sacrifice quality if I just can’t do it.

Stuff I know about the book so far:

  • It is a contemporary YA book with very slight magical realism flavor.
  • The protagonist’s name is Megan.
  • Megan is asexual and homoromantic. She doesn’t know that at the beginning of the book.
  • Megan is a very serious artist. She likes to draw cities and buildings and inanimate objects, and prefers to draw in ink.
  • Megan is a senior in high school.
  • She is trying to get into art school based on the enthusiastic reception of some of her drawings at a show.
  • Megan lives with her older sister Dyane.
  • Megan is on the tall side of average, heavyset and curvy, half Hispanic/half white, and has brown hair and brown eyes. She doesn’t have much hair actually–it’s buzzed to peach fuzz. She has pierced ears and a pierced nose.
  • Megan sits behind a boy named Brady in homeroom. Brady is important.
  • Brady is attracted to Megan. Megan is not attracted to him.
  • Megan doesn’t talk very much and is externally kind of intimidating. That’s on purpose.
  • Megan’s sister Dyane is an aspiring actress and has a serious boyfriend. Megan has a loving but sort of disconnected relationship with her sister.
  • Megan had some very bad experiences with boys when she was in middle school because she hit puberty early. When she learns about asexuality, she struggles to decide whether it describes her or whether her bad experiences explain her lack of interest.
  • Megan joins a GSA during the course of the book and dates a girl for some of the time in the book.
  • Megan’s drawings operate on specific rules and go in a certain order that she feels conflicted about breaking when she’s called to diversify her portfolio.
  • Megan sees a school counselor about several things in the book. The counselor is a man, and he’s not useless.
  • Even though Megan learns she is an ace lesbian in the book, her most important relationship in the story is a friendship.

Stuff I don’t know yet:

  • A title. But for now I’m tagging my posts “ace of arts” because that’s funny.
  • What the deal is with Megan’s parents.
  • Megan’s last name.
  • The exact circumstances of her crisis with getting into art school.
  • Megan’s girlfriend’s name and what her “deal” is, except in my head she’s kind of a jerk and probably has cool hair that’s at least two colors.
  • How exactly Megan’s voice will come off in the book.
  • How exactly the sorta-magical-realism bit will go, though I suspect it will feel a little like lucid dreaming.

I’m excited to get started, but also worried it will fall on its face and just turn into a ramble-fest that eclipses the plot.

So, you know, the same thing I feel before starting every book. 😉