When You Know, You Know

From the moment I decided I wanted to write books, I essentially signed a contract with myself to finish any book I started writing. And I have, even when I got to the slog-fest known as the murky middle, where you’re not only in danger of making yourself so bored that writing the next sentence might give Rip Van Winkle a run for his naptime, but you’re also hyper-concerned that no reader will want to turn the next page. Or open your next book. Or... all the readers will gang up and ban you from your keyboard forever and ever. But you go on because, somehow, you figure it all out. And, miraculously, your persistence has turned into something pretty great.

In all the years I’ve been writing, I’ve adhered to my bond. Until this past summer.

I had a follow-up idea for up my YA debut thriller, No Way Home. So, I worked up a 16-page outline (outline!?! something new for me), sent it to my agent for her thoughts, and started writing. Even if she told me the story needed work, the opening wouldn’t change. But several chapters plus 26 more single-spaced pages of notes later, I went to sleep one night only to wake the next morning with an out-of-the-blue idea in which Classic Mystery Book meeting Classic Coming-of-Age Movie. (I won't leave you hanging on which book and which movie forever. 😊) 

As the cliched line goes, excitement coursed through my veins. And I suddenly had to admit to myself, I hadn’t felt this brand of excitement for months. But what about the promise? 

When sudden ideas have struck in the past, I’ve taken 15 minutes to jot those down then file them away into my Idea Folder where, most often, good ideas go to die. Wasn’t happening with this one. Contract by damned. I needed to run with it.

But run with what? All I had was a simple concept. No characters, no setting, no real plot. Odds were, this would be a case of ditching the murky middle to embrace the next shiny object. 

Odds were wrong. 

Here I sit four months later, three days from finishing a full first draft. Here I sit with my agent super-excited about this book. And here I sit, knowing that sometimes, instincts should win out.

Award-winning author Jody Feldman has high hopes that she'll be ready to reveal her concept soon. And she plans to honor the contract to herself with subsequent books...unless lightning strikes again. 


  1. I love this! Sometimes, you just gotta follow your heart. Congrats on this almost-done book. I can't wait to hear more about it.


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