5 for 5

What a coincidence that this blog is celebrating the number 5 when 5 is playing quite the role in my work-in-progress. Not that 5 has anything to do with the plot or the characters or the setting, but rather with my writing of this story.

(First), 10 days ago on May 1, I gave myself an ultimatum: Either finish this book in 5 weeks or forever forget about it. Sound harsh? It might not if you knew this MG started as a picture book too many years ago for me to remember. It was based on the neighborhood where I grew up and specifically centered around (second) 5 of us.

I thought it was wonderful, fabulous, publish-worthy. I thought wrong. For starters, I discovered I was too wordy to write PBs. That’s when this story morphed into a chapter book. Revelation! Write! Submit! (*rejection, rejection, rejection, rejection, rejection*) Okay, so it was a cute story but neither the characters nor the plot were special enough for anyone else to get excited about. I still hoped, one day, to give it another look. And I did. I rewrote the thing long before I understood the true meaning of revision. (*rejection, rejection, rejection, rejection, rejection*) Again it went into the drawer.

Fast forward a bunch of years later (after my first novel was published), I was looking for something to work on between projects and I pulled it back out. For about two weeks. Other shiny things then caught my attention.

And now (third) for the 5th time, this book has landed back on my radar. And ta-da! In all these years I’ve actually learned something. I’ve learned to take initial inspiration for a story beyond the truth that started the whole thing. And for the past couple months, off and on between rewrites of other more pressing projects, I’ve been plodding (and plotting) away at this story, one that has had (fourth) 5 different titles and (fifth) whose main characters has had 5 different names.

I’m ending this post here. I’m only halfway through this first draft—I really, really, really want to finish it this time—and the clock is ticking; only 3.5ish weeks more.
Ah, the writing games we play!


  1. Good luck Jody. I am resurrecting an old project that is taking a LOT longer than 5 weeks to finish.

  2. I love the ticking clock you've given yourself, Jody, and I'm rooting for the fifth time to be the charm.


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