The Bittersweet Struggle: Writing my first YA novel

One would think that writing for teenagers is easier than writing for adults. I think I went into writing Bittersweet thinking that very thing, only to get a few chapters in and realize this book was going to kick my ass butt. The first issue I came across, not surprisingly, was the fact that I have to keep the swearing to a minimum and I couldn’t write any sex scenes. I know that there is some mature YA out there that does these things, but though Bittersweet is considered mature YA I decided to keep it on the cleaner side. That’s just how I envisioned my characters.

On the other end, the next problem I encountered did surprise me. I found, as I worked my way through the first draft, that I could not seem to connect with my characters. That has never really happened to me before. Lira and Jonas had been in my head for several years. The concept for their story was there, but I didn’t have a story for them until I sat down to write Bittersweet. They loved each other, they hated each other…and…what? The story was there, or at least most of it, but there was no connection to them.

So I let it sit for about nine months. When I picked it back up, Jonas and Lira seemed to have more to say. What should have taken about one month to edit took another three months. There were parts of the story to fill in that I’d left blank before and a couple times where I had to take a couple of weeks away from it because I’d been working so hard I was just exhausted. But I finished in the first days of August 2016 with enough anxiety to fuel a small country. What if it sucks? What if the story doesn’t make any sense? What if no one likes it? You’d think that after fifteen books published I would be over that part of the story, but it happens every time. This time, though, I think it’s worse. Here we are, a month and a half out, and I know that there are some inconsistencies that I have to fix before it can go out. And I am terrified that I will miss something.

All of that said, I love this story and I can’t wait for people to read it. I got my edits and my interior format back yesterday and I am so so excited to show the world what a beauty this book is going to be! I will have my paperback cover finished soon (as soon as I get the final things back to my cover designer). All in all, it’s going to be great. I think, after two more rounds of edits (because that’s part of my process) it will be ready. Or, at least, as ready as I can make it.

Be sure to follow on Bloglovin’ and my other social media sites. And add Bittersweet to your Goodreads TBR to be updated on its release.  Bittersweet (The Kaveesh, #1)

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