novels

Overdue Update

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Hello readers.

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.

exhausted

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.

relief

But that’s not what you guys are here for. You’re here for writing news! (Right?)

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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.

phew

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. ❤

bye15

Juggling Projects and My “Big Book”

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So, my writing week is behind me and I’ve returned from my work trip to Newfoundland.

(Look! I saw icebergs! And really steep cliffs!)

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My writing performance was pretty dismal. I didn’t work on THE SCARS WE BEAR. Instead, I worked on editing THE NEW ROMANTICS to get it beta reader ready. Which I did, so it’s not all useless. I’ve sent it off the three people. So now we wait.

waiting2

Also, I attended an online webinar hosted by P.S. Literary Agent Carly Watters. (She has a great blog you should check out.) Carly talked about how, for a debut author in the 21st century, you need your debut to be your Big Book. The best thing you’ve ever written. Not just a good book, but a great one.

fuck

So. What’s my Big Book? Is it really THE NEW ROMANTICS, a contemporary romance reminiscent of a beach read? Or, IT GIVES A LOVELY LIGHT, which needs a tonne of work? Is it THE SCARS WE BEAR, which hasn’t been written. Something else?

thinking

I have a secret to tell you: I have two “third books”. The third book I’ve referred to in earlier posts is not THE SCARS WE BEAR. It’s another book, also one that I’ve always wanted to write, also one that I’m terrified of. It is nameless. Both deal with similar themes, but at different stages in one’s life. UNTITLED’s MC is fifteen, in high school and living with her parents. THE SCARS WE BEAR’s MC is nineteen, doing an internship, on her own for the first time.

I shelved UNTITLED because I couldn’t think of a way to end it happily. (I have ideas now.) It trends younger than I usually write. It’s going to deal with some really heavy stuff. It’s got mental illness, first love, body issues, family issues. It will be deeply personal, which is terrifying. But I’m also kind of in love with it.

THE SCARS WE BEAR would be a little lighter, though it deals with heavy topics, too. It’s more in the age range I like to write. I’m excited about writing about someone’s first time on their own, dealing with first loves while falling for a second, how to deal with mental illness while not necessarily being in the throes of it. I feel like I could write it well.

So you see my dilemma.

writing is the hardest thing ever

Anyway, my point is, I’m not sure where to go from here. Obviously, wait until my beta readers get through THE NEW ROMANTICS, but in the meantime? I guess I have to see which project gets me the most excited. I don’t know which one that is yet, or if it won’t change week-to-week. Still, I want to write three hundred words a day. It just might not be on one project. (Ugh.)

Well, thanks for reading! If you have any advice, I’d be happy to hear it in the comments.

bye13

I’m Back!

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So, hi.

It’s been two years since I’ve posted on this blog and what a two years it’s been.

I’m not going to try and update you all on everything. I don’t think I could if I wanted to. But I’ll chat a bit, because why not?

I got inspired to come back by a meeting I just had with my writer’s group. It was one of our bi-monthly social mixers and the topic of blogging came up. I’m starting into a kind of exciting era of my writing and I think I’d like to start this thing up again. I won’t even try and promise this will be a regular thing, but it should be fun.

The writer’s group has grown substantially in the last two years. We’re over seven hundred members now. Not all of them are active. I’d say we have a little under two hundred active members, if I were to guess. It’s amazing and so much fun.

And in a twist that I credit entirely to the group and my amazeballs writing partner, I’ve completed my first novel. It’s the Young Adult novel that I’m pretty sure I was talking about a few posts back. It’s a story I had conceived and started writing when I was in high school myself under the terrible name Jewel in the Sand. I rewrote it top to bottom and it turned into something completely different, but something I love. It now has the much better title It Gives a Lovely Light. Or IGALL, as my writing buddy calls it.

To that end, I’ve taken the next week off work to work on my third draft. I’ve had some beta readers for my second draft and have received some great criticism. It’s also still working its way through two critique circles who have been invaluable. I have a lot of notes on the changes I’d like to make. Some of them are pretty easy and some are not.

After this third draft, I have a few beta readers lined up to read it (again). I’m hoping (fingers crossed) there will not be too many changes to make to an upcoming fourth draft. Then, again hoping, I’ll be able to start querying with the fourth draft. Excitement!

That’s what I meant by entering an exciting era of my writing. I’m thinking this blog will be a fun way to keep me accountable this week. Then, when I enter the query process, a fun way to document my journey to publication! (Keeping my hopes high here, guys.)

Well, that’s all, folks! I hope you’ll stick around for the ride.

kiss anna kendrick