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Swoon Author Jenn P. Nguyen's First Draft Report: Second Novel Syndrome

Second Novel Syndrome. It’s a very real thing. And it’s much worse than I thought it would ever be.

With The Way to Game the Walk of Shame, I wrote the entire novel in three months. And that was with editing in between the drafting. So when it came to writing my second novel, I figured “How hard could it be this time around?” I planned to whip out a book within a few months and possibly have another one out by the following year. I’d done it before. I could do it again. Except this time I’ve been through the publishing journey already. Piece of cake.

HA! I was so wrong. So naiive. Why? Because writing another novel was still hard. Very hard. Banging your head on the table all day and crying your heart out sort of hard. 

This was all because I had forgotten how much revision and time went into The Way to Game. I lingered over my edits. Had several CPs and beta readers go through it. Worked with an agent over a year on it before I submitted it to Swoon Reads. Then it also went through several more edits once I signed with them.

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But with the second novel, I didn’t have all that extra time on my hands to get second and third opinions. I didn’t have time to polish. Plus I had people waiting on me to finish. And to put the cherry on top, I had writer’s block several times. The pressure and stress sometimes became too much. There were times when I just wanted to close my laptop and just toss it out the window. And it took days, weeks, to finally push myself back into the project. Obviously, it took a lot longer to knock out this draft. Over a year in fact.

Now there were also a lot of things going on in my life at the time. I had a baby. My first. And he could be the sweetest baby ever, but my God, a majority of the time he was a little demon child. I also bought a new house, renovated, and moved in that year. 

But I just took it one day at a time. Some days were harder than others, but still one day at a time. Because those days added up into weeks and months and before you know it, you’re hugging your ARCs and anticipating your release date. Even if it turns out to be years later. Because if you keep at it, you can do anything. 

Fake It Till You Break It goes on sale May 28! Don't forget to add it to your Goodreads shelf!

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Jenn P. Nguyen

Jenn Nguyen fell in love with books in third grade and spent the rest of her school years reading through ...

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