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. ❤
So, I’ve moved on to the next phase of my process of getting this book out into the world: Beta readers.
I have a lot. Seven, actually. Too many, probably, but I’m excited to hear everyone’s opinions. Excited and terrified. So far, I haven’t heard back from anyone other than general “so far, so good” comments. These are nice but leaves a lot up in the air. I’m hoping to have Draft Four, a.k.a. The Querying Draft, ready by the end of this year, so I’ve asked for feedback by the end of November. This is going to be a long month.
In return, I’m Beta reading for a few of them. Everyone is so talented. This is what I have to go up against in the pile of submissions for agents. Again, terrifying.
Anyway, that’s where I am. Sitting and waiting. In the meantime, I’m working on novels two and three. I’m about two-thirds of the way through novel two, so it’s really my focus. Novel three is more of a pet project that I’m working on in my spare spare time, which is sparse (like the novel itself).
Hope you update you soon when I get back all my amazing comments! Thanks for reading.
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!
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.