Jumping Back on the Horse

This year has been rough for me, writing-wise. The revisions on my WiP seem neverending. Meanwhile, it feels like all my writing friends are celebrating success after success: announcing deals, or awards, or completed deadlines – and while I’m excited for them, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever get published.

So, recently I pulled out one of my old PBs from a few years ago. It’s one that my crit partners loved, but my then-agent never found the time to read (yeah, I probably should have known then that things weren’t going to work out, but I was so excited to have an agent, I didn’t want to speak up and risk rocking the boat.)

Anyway, it still held up to scrutiny, and after a couple of rounds of revisions, I decided to send it out to some Canadian publishers. The publishing world moves at approximately the same pace as molasses in January, so I don’t expect to hear anything for a long time, but at least now I feel like I’m doing *something* while I work on my WiP (although it’s going to be awkward typing with my fingers crossed).

What about you? Did you do anything brave or exciting this week? Let me know in the comments.

In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be stress-eating chocolate and obsessively refreshing my email.

 

 

NaNo Prep Advice

It doesn’t look like I’m going to be doing NaNo (aka NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month) this year, due to still trying to revise last year’s NaNo project.

However, I thought I’d put up some info for those getting ready to attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel in November.

Whether you’re a pantser (someone who writes with no plan/flies by the seat of their pants) or a plotter (someone who plans out the storyline of their novel in advance) or somewhere in between, it’s a good idea to know your characters.

After all, in a well-written book, your characters’ personalities will dictate their actions, and have a huge influence on the plot, so it’s important to know what makes them tick.

I always fill out a questionnaire like this one from agent Carly Watters, for each of my main characters, so I can get a feel for their personalities.

I think it’s also important to know what kind of emotional growth your character is going to experience, as an aid to plotting. This series of blog posts by author K.M. Weiland includes a set of exercises to help craft character arcs to drive your plot.

As far as the actual finding-time-to-write part goes, check out this post written when I still had 2 kids at home. I still use many of those strategies while drafting (although I’m definitely a plotter now).

My penultimate (heehee, love using that word) NaNo advice is to celebrate every milestone. Stock up on Halloween candy and reward/bribe yourself (1 bar for every 1,000 or 2,500 words or maybe 1 bar for an hour on the computer, depending on what works best for you). Treat yourself to dinner when you hit 10,000 words.

(If using food as a motivator doesn’t work for you, there are lots of other options: no checking your phone/social media until you hit 1,000 words; an hour of reading for every three hours of writing; treat yourself to some NaNo swag when you hit 10,000 words; go Christmas Shopping when you hit 30,000!)

And my final advice: don’t stress/panic. There’s no penalty for not “winning” NaNo. Any words you write during NaNo are more words than you had at the start of that month, so just entering makes you a winner in my book.

Feelin’ Thankful

Sorry for the late post this week, folks. I’ve been under the weather and time got away from me.

This weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada, so I thought I’d use this week’s post to, you know, give thanks. So, here goes

I’m thankful for:

  • our family’s health (having two kids undergo minor surgery this year has made me realize how much worse many families have it)
  • living in a country with free healthcare
  • my amazing husband and his willingness to support me through all my health-drama, allowing me to be a stay-at-home-parent and work on writing
  • three great kids
  • all the friends I’ve made through the writing community
  • my friends from elementary school that I’m still close with 30+ years later
  • probably tons of stuff I’m forgetting

Want to join in the thanking fun? Tell me what you’re thankful for in the comments (even if it’s not Thanksgiving where you are)

October Check-In

Another month has passed, and once again I’m behind where I’d hoped to be in my revision.

Life has been pretty busy – my daughter had (minor) surgery, and we’ve had a bunch of appointments and mild illness taking up our time, not to mention taking time out to attend the Global Climate Strike.

Plus, my head has been objecting to spending too much time in a row on the computer.

But, since I’ve had to limit my computer time, I’ve spent more time on plotting/planning in my notebook, and managed to make some major character discoveries and find a way to close a particularly vexing plot hole.

Yay for small victories?

And, of course, less time writing has equalled more time reading/listening to audiobooks.

September Reading Stats:

  • Adult Urban Fantasy (2)
  • YA Urban Fantasy (4)
  • YA Fantasy (1)
  • Adult Mystery (14)
  • Adult Paranormal Mystery (2)
  • Re-Read (2)

September Total: 23 (+ 2 Re-reads)

Year-to-Date: 182 (+24 Re-reads)