Welcome to my long overdue update!
Things have been crazy around here. Between my day job, running the OWC, health junk and my own writing and social life, I feel like I’ve barely had time to breathe.
But big, big changes are happening in my personal life right now. I did something that was so, so hard but also a very long time coming, and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I finally feel like the future might actually be pretty bright.
But that’s not what you guys are here for. You’re here for writing news! (Right?)
I reread a few of my most recent blog posts and even I’m confused as to what I’m working on! You poor readers and my dancing from project to project. So, here’s an update on the projects I’ve mentioned.
THE NEW ROMANTICS
Querying! I’ve had a few requests so far for the book, which is very exciting! No offers of representation (yet) but I’ve received some very enlightening feedback. I said I’d send out ten queries a month and I did that for January and February. Then, I got some feedback from a full request that confirmed a deep, dark fear of mine. So, I spent March trying to fix it. Now, I’m back at it, having already sent out four queries in April.
THE SCARS WE BEAR a.k.a. The Intern Story
Drafting! Over the past month or two, this is the book I’ve settled into writing and I’ve just crossed the 25K word count mark, plus about 5K in my This Comes Later file. I’m really excited about this one, guys. I feel like this is the book I need to write right now with all the junk going on in my life.
IT GIVES A LOVELY LIGHT
I don’t know! I started rewriting this book at the same time as writing THE SCARS WE BEAR and I’m about 35K into it. But, I can’t figure it out. The character motivation, the stakes, the climax. Nothing is working. So, it’s not officially shelved, but waiting for that one missing piece to fall into place.
A SOFT PLACE TO LAND a.k.a. The Rugby Story
Shelved! This book was the other book I was debating writing and the one I thought I would finish this year. However, THE SCARS WE BEAR won. I will write this someday, but not today.
ALL OF THIS EVERYTHING a.k.a. #NaNoWriMo2016 a.k.a. UNTITLED in other blog posts
Shelved! Forever! This is a terrible book. It’s just so bad. I hate the whole thing. I thought it was the book I needed to get out of me, but it just came out in shambles. Maybe I’ll revisit it someday, but for now, I’m not even thinking about it.
Got all that?
My next challenge, beyond finding six more agents to query in April, is to read more. I’m still on track with my Goodreads challenge of 35 books this year, but it’s been almost two months since I finished a novel. (Have you read SCYTHE? So good!)
What’s up with you guys? Life good? Good.
Thanks for reading. ❤
It’s been a super long time and I feel like I owe you a blog entry.
So, those of you that know me know I have an anxiety disorder. It’s gotten loads better over the years through a lot of hard work and the occasional medication. I haven’t had a panic attack since I lived in my Ottawa apartment about five years ago. I can go out and, like, be with people. Honestly, it’s nothing short of a miracle.
That doesn’t mean I’m not afraid. My body may not enter flight or fight mode over not being able to find a hair brush anymore (long story), but I still get very, very nervous over silly things.
Like my third book.
After two previous books of varying quality, I’m finally sitting down to write the book I’ve always wanted to write. And that’s a lot of pressure. I need to get it right, you know? So I’m terrified. What if I’m not a good enough writer to pull this off yet? What if no one wants to read what I have to say? WHAT IF IT’S TERRIBLE?!
I know, I know. Just write it. Get it down. You can’t edit a blank page and all that jazz. All my advice to other writers just spins through my head. I’m doing the best I can. I tried outlining and plotting, but I can’t. Looks like I’m a pantser and I’m just going to have to get this first draft written. I have a goal to write 300 words a day, just like I did for IT GIVES A LOVELY LIGHT, and this will get me a 70K first draft by the end of the year.
I use this great calendar by Karen Kavett and you should go check it out. I have the week of the May 24 weekend off to do writerly things. I have my second book, THE NEW ROMANTICS, out to my alpha reader so I can’t touch that until she gets around to it. So I’ll be heads down, writing THE SCARS WE BEAR.
Did I mention I’m terrified?
Me, two weeks from now:
Thanks for reading, folks. I won’t be doing a live blog of my week off this time, but I’ll post some updates, if y’all at interested. Follow me on the Twitter!
Talk soon ❤
Long time, no see. Sorry I haven’t updated in a while. I’ve been working away but there hasn’t been much news.
I’ve received responses from all the agents I queried, save one. All rejections and I’m taking the last one’s silence as the same.
In all honesty, though, it’s fine. IT GIVES A LOVELY LIGHT isn’t up to snuff yet. I’m actually a little ticked at myself that I queried at all since I can’t requery those agents I’ve done already. Sigh.
I’ve been putting IGALL through critique circles. It’s already gone through one and it was almost done in my general fiction circle. Well, my big climax chapter got absolutely torn apart in that general fiction circle. Like, it was painful.
So, it turns out, I have to completely chop off the last five-ish chapters and go at them again. Fun times. I’ve decided to shelve it for a few months and get my passion back for the project. I’ll come back to it. I hope.
On the front of my second novel, code named THE NEW ROMANTICS, I’m making excellent progress. I’ve completed the first draft at about 63K words. Then, I plotted it out, found some holes, and I’m working on fixing those. The second draft I’m expecting to come in between 75K and 80K for word count. By far the longest thing I’ve ever done.
And I have novel number three percolating away in the back of my mind. My bestie/writing partner says it’s because I want to avoid editing. During the editing stage, I always get an idea for a new novel. Hence the birth of TNR.
Anyway, that’s what’s happening with my writing. The group is going fantastic and I appreciate all my writing buddies in whatever form you take. I’ve been posting lines from my works in progress on my Twitter! Go check that out and give me a follow if you like it!
Thanks for reading. ❤
Day five is over. What can I say about day five?
I started my read through. I tried reading word by word. I tried reading out loud. I tried reading it like a reader. None of it worked well.
I am officially so sick of this book.
What am I supposed to do with that? I’m still determined to finish the read through tonight. I’m only about four chapters from the end, so I should be able to do it. But at this moment I feel like this book is terrible and I’m a failure because of it. My writing buddy assures me this is not the case and I’m just going to have to get by on her faith in my project for now.
To calm myself, I’ve decided I’m just going to send my manuscript off to her for beta reading first before I subject anyone else to it. I’ve convinced myself there will be many changes for draft four as there are a tonne of new things in draft three. I have lost confidence. But, hopefully, having someone read it and the distance it will give me while I wait will restore it, or the little I had to begin with.
Okay, I’m off to finish reading. This will be my last blog on this draft. Thanks to the folks that have read the whole week, or even just one day. The blogging has helped in my accountability. Overall, I had a really good week. I wish I could do this forever, but alas. I return to the life of an aviation analyst on Monday.
Day four is over.
I feel like I shouldn’t be doing happy gifs. Though I’m happy the day is over and with what I have accomplished, I don’t want this week to end. I’m living the true writer’s life right now. I have no responsibilities except those to myself. I’m my own boss. I make my own hours. I work from home. It’s been a bit of a struggle getting used to doing work without so much structure, but I’m really pleased with my progress so far. I think I’m doing really well and that’s making me really happy.
I’ve increased my word count pretty significantly today. About 900 words! So, now I can say it’s a 66K word novel. That’s closer to 70K, right? I did a lot of BIG changes today. I moved some scenes around, extended some, wrote completely new ones and deleted any that didn’t seem right. The List, as far as plotting and characterization is concerned, is complete. I still have some editing stuff to do, change some names, strengthen my verbs, realign the chapters to flow better, but all significant plot and character changes to the book are done.
I’m pretty excited. So, tomorrow, that leaves the final read through. The final with-a-fine-tooth-comb read through. This is where I’ll look at every single word and sentence and paragraph and chapter within the context of the whole book and determine if it stays or goes. I can see a lot of making sure my characters don’t do so much “looking” (they’re constantly looking around, it’s a terrible habit) and that I’m not over doing my speech tags. Trying to get into active voice and not using weak verbs. That kind of stuff. It’s going to be a long day.
But after that, I expect to be done! Then it’s to the beta reads. I don’t want to think of the beta reads right now or that paper bag will not be enough.
Thanks for reading. I’m off for a swim and a hang with my writing buddy. ‘Till tomorrow!
Day three is nearly over. I’m in a coffee shop downtown waiting for my bestie to get off work so we can go celebrate her birthday.
So, I’m writing this early. I’m going to continue writing for about another hour so, this isn’t final final.
Reading the whole book took longer than I would have liked and I’m not sure I got what I needed out of it. I fixed some things on the way such as superfluous speak tags, incorrect commas and dialogue/thoughts punctuation and things like that so the first half of the book matches the style I went with for the second half. Apparently, those little asterisks I used as scene breaks for a while counted as a word in my word count. As you might expect, taking those out decreased my word count quite a bit. Devastating.
I made up for it today, though, by increasing my overall word count by about 300 hundred words! I’m officially over 65K now. I’ll never get to 70K and I’ve accepted it. I made significant progress on The List. Most of it was little stuff. I’m saving the big stuff for tomorrow and Friday when I have time to really settle into it. One that I’m not looking forward to is completely changing how one character finds out about something. It’s a big, big change, but one that I think makes more sense. I forgot to use that technique that I always have to Google to spell. Most of my time, until about one o’clock, was spent reading. But I think I’ll continue with the technique tomorrow and Friday. So, I’m pretty pleased with the progress I’ve made since lunch time but disappointed it took so long for the read through, especially since I’ll definitely have to do it again.
Anyway, that’s the update for today. Lots done, lots to do. But, good news, I’m pretty confident that it’ll be ready by Friday. Then I have to go through the excruciating process of letting people read it. Beta reading is rough. I’m so thankful to those who have stepped up to help me with it. If any of you are reading, you’re amazing.
Thanks for reading!
All right. Day two is done.
I am equal parts distressed and bemused that my overall word count has decreased today. Decrease of 62 words. I have exactly three more words than I did when I started the week. Now, we’ve already established that word count is a poor judge of productivity but I had in my mind this was going to be a 70K novel. Why? Dunno. It just seemed like a good number, right in the middle of the expected 60-80K for YA. Instead, it’s hovering just under 65K. Nothing to sneeze at, I guess. The first draft I completed was about 61K and I was sure I had so much more to add. I still have a lot of work to do but nothing that will inflate the word count much more than it is. I guess I will have to settle for 65K.
I’ve started my first read of the full novel. I’ve decided to read the whole thing through once and make notes. I have a list of things I need to work on – which will be here on called The List, because it’s late and all my creative juices has gone into my novel – and I’m planning on adding and editing it as I go through the book. There’s several things I have added piecemeal over the last several months I haven’t had a chance to read through in the context of the rest of the novel. Between being a very fast reader and the fact I wrote the damn thing, I’m hoping the read through won’t take me long.
Tomorrow, I’m going to be very dedicated to writing through pure necessity. I’ve scheduled a write-in with my writer’s group during the day. Starting at 10 o’clock (IN THE MORNING), I’ll be in a coffee shop working away until about 3. So far, only one person has committed to coming out to join me, but that’s enough.
I used the Pomodoro Technique today and it was quite successful once I got the hang of it. I kept forgetting to set my timer. I found I could pretty comfortably edit one chapter in one-ish Pomodoros. However, now I have completed all the chapters where I have critiques, so that measure is just about useless to me now. But I think I will continue to use it tomorrow.
So I think that’s it, my lovelies.
I’m not quite done for tonight. I’m going to continue to read. But I will see you tomorrow, hopefully with some great, earth-shattering, life-altering news but something tells me you’re just going to hear me complain about word count some more.
Thanks for reading!