My third packet was on YA, with the beginning of a new YA novel. I don't want to say too much about it since it's still so deeply under construction (I don't want to jinx it!). My advisor's comments on it were mostly positive, with some criticisms of course. I keep making the same mistake in all of my beginnings of novels: stereotyping. For example, I've made the mean girl in a MG novel blonde and beautiful. I've made the teenager in my YA an angry girl who hates her parents. I need to stop doing what's already been done and think of something new!
My completed MG novel is coming along quite well; revisions should be done very soon (maybe by the end of the semester!) Then what? I don't know. I guess I begin the submissions process. Uh-oh.
I'm now working on my 4th packet: horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. My new beginning for this packet is YA horror story with a ghost, but NO VAMPIRES!! Some days the work is easier than others. Today was a good day and the scene flowed. Yesterday, not so much. And the essays for this packet are stumping me, so I just keep reading and hoping that something will come to me before the packet is due.
My residency is coming up soon: Jan. 12-22. I've already gotten my train tix, and now I'm deciding which beginning of a novel (3 to choose from) or picture books I want to submit for the workshop. Do I choose the one that I think is the best? Or the one that needs the most help? Or the one that's closest to submission-ready (which would be the picture books, I think)?
On the Vermont College MFA forum we are discussing our fantasy plans for the few weeks we have at the end of the semester, after our last packet is handed in and before the residency. Here's mine:
1. Read FOR FUN (preferably an adult book).
2. Catch up on the last 6 months of scrapbooking that I've fallen behind on (actually I was behind before I started school, so it's more like a year behind).
3. Work on my needlepoint that's been collecting dust in a corner.
4. Go to the movies!
5. Go out to dinner without feeling like I should be at home working!
6. Sleep late.
7. Go to bed early.
8. Watch TV with my husband.
9. Play a game with my kids.
10. Eat chocolate (ok, I've been doing this all along, but I love chocolate, and it's my fantasy!)
What would you do?