The novel I'm working on is going pretty well, I think. And the reason I think it's going pretty well is that I'm trying really, really hard not to stop myself from putting in stuff I want to put in. For some reason (that reason is fear and self-doubt) when I write, most of the time, I throw out about two thirds of the ideas I have. Mostly, it's the ones that seem particularly good. I think, 'can't do that, it's too risky,' or 'that'll turn off editors,' or 'I'll save that one for later, when I've proven that I can write.' Consequently, a lot of my work is pretty boring.
The biggest one, though, is 'what if my family reads this?' Which is the one I'm working hard to ignore this time around. I read somewhere recently that you should write as if everyone you've ever known is dead. So if I imagine that my whole family is dead, it's a lot easier to let myself write a book about a genderqueer twentysomething dealing with the aftermath of emotionally distant, neglectful parents and an abusive older brother. If I then refuse to leave out the kitchen sink, I get to open the book with a eulogy for that older brother, saying exactly everything that *ahem* my character wants to say about *ahem* her brother. Plus, I get superheroes, and magic, and a super-tower in the Greater Boston Area for queer kids in need of protection and support.
And if editors don't like it? Well, I'll keep writing new stuff after, but I'd also like to hold out for an agent / editor who *does* like books about queer superheroes and messages like it's okay to hate your abuser even if they're family.
And also I'm really loving the idea of superheroes' agents.