Saturday, March 29, 2008


So I told you last time I had completed 20k words of my mg novel.  I showed it to my new critique group (two wonderful women and extraordinary writers) to read from the beginning for the first time.  They liked my story a lot, and gave me some insightful feedback that really made sense to me.  Part of their suggestions involved tightening up the timeline and changing (somewhat) the personality of one of the main characters.  In other words, there were some major revisions to be done.  So I have a dilemma.  Do I push on and complete the last 10k words or so to finish the rough draft using a timeline and character that I know will be changed significantly, or do I stop moving ahead and start revising what I've got so far?  This roadblock had me stuck, not writing anything, for days.  What would you suggest in this situation, and have you ever been in this situation yourself?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Over halfway there...

I hit 20k words in my middle grade novel today.  It's very exciting to me, because I've never written anything this long before.  When I first started, I had an idea for the plot and an idea of the characters, but the thought of actually completing this book was overwhelming.  Little by little I've plugged away-it goes pretty slowly for me since I revise each chapter before I go on to the next.  In fact I revise each paragraph that way too.  Then I let my critique group rip it apart and I revise again based on their suggestions.  I check the word count constantly because I am still not confident about being able to write 25-30k words.  But I'm already at 20k, so I guess I can do another 10k.  Watch, I'll probably end up writing another 30k and have to cut, cut, cut.
So, what are you working on and where are you at in your project now?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Was the Muse friendly today?

This is what my husband asks me each day when he gets home.  You know those days, where your words flow from your fingertips, the characters move of their own volition, and you look at the clock and wonder where the last two hours went and who the heck wrote those 5 pages?  Those are the days when the Muse is friendly.  We like those days!  Then there are those other days, the ones where you can sit for hours and not write a word.  Days where your characters sit down in protest and look to you (of all people!) to tell them what to do.   Days where you write a sentence only to hit the delete button right after you hit the period.  We hate those days.  Writers are creatures of extremes-either it's a great writing day or it's terrible.  Either the Muse was friendly or she never showed up.
Tell me about your Muse.  Male or Female?  Old or Young?  Mine is an Italian grandmother I think.  She hits me on the back of the head and calls me a "stu-nod" (sp?) when I can't think of anything to write or question her abilities.  She gives me guilt when I don't make time for her every day.  And she keeps making me get something to eat when I'm writing!  What is your Muse like?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Now we wait...

So I sent out two picture book manuscripts to an agent.  This is my first submission, so I'm very excited, and very nervous!  I know it's a long shot at this point, but I had to give it a try since this agency has only opened up for unsolicited submissions from scbwi conference attendees for 6 months.  I emailed the cover letter and stories, as per her guidelines, so now we wait.  and wait.  and wait.  By the way, have I mentioned that I am not a patient person?