Monday, September 01, 2014

Things Have Been Busy

Scenes Rewritten: 1/20
Scenes Written: 1/8

One of my three months is already gone and I've barely made any progress. I've rewritten and written one scene and started writing a third.

However, August was a whirlwind of oral surgery, school, choir, seniordom, socializing, and catching up on sleep. Now, while September is still guaranteed to be busy, I've gotten in the groove.

This month, I'm kicking revising into high gear. I have to if I want to post my first chapter on Oct. 31st. No more "just write something." I need a more concrete, more motivating plan. So I'm aiming for five hundred words a day every day in September.

For estimation purposes, I'm saying each scene will be completed at one thousand words. Some of my scenes are longer, some are shorter, but one thousand words is a fairly accurate average. If I write at least five hundred words every day, I will have finished fifteen additional scenes by the end of September.

This leaves eleven scenes for October. While this will still require plenty of work, it's doable. And if I have to start third revisions on my first chapter before I'm entirely finished with the second draft, it won't kill me.

Also, the wonderful Madeline has finished the new blog banner! This means the blog will be getting a new look very soon. So, if you stop by and everything's funky, don't judge too harshly. I might not be able to finish the layout in one sitting. But I promise it'll look beautiful in the end (along with my new profile picture -ahem-).

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Taking It a Little at a Time

Scenes Rewritten: 1/20
Scenes Written: 0/8

I completed the first scene! I completed it a couple of days ago, in fact. I feel excited and proud and all kinds of happy. This is the first big step in a hopefully rewarding journey and, while I have a long way to go, the first step is one of the most important.

Of course, technically, I should have finished a second scene by now. In order to meet my deadline, I need to complete a scene every three days. However, I'm not currently too worried about following that timeline.

School is about to start for me. This means back-to-school choir workshops and school clothes shopping. This is also my senior year so I'm beginning to look at colleges. On top of that, I'm getting my wisdom teeth surgically removed next Tuesday. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

So, at the moment, I'm just making sure I write something every day. I'm a few paragraphs into that second scene and I'm okay with that. As long as I add a few more of those paragraphs tonight.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Querying is Going to Change for Me Very Soon

I've never actually queried anyone before, but I've read and thought about it.

I know how long a query should be, what content it should contain, and how to personalize it. I've analyzed critiques and advice from many sources, including agents. I'm prepared for rejection (I think). However, there has always been one part of the querying process I couldn't figure how.

How do I tell an agent I'm a minor?

Some people say that this shouldn't be an issue. I shouldn't have to tell the agent my age because it shouldn't matter. If my book is good, it's good. Yet, I've always felt the agent should be informed. There are different legalities with minors and they should be prepared. It's a courtesy, I believe.

Very soon, though, I won't have to worry about this anymore. Because I turn eighteen in six months.

Really, I won't have to think about it ever again. I'm not going to have a novel ready to query inside the next six months, especially since most of my writing energy will be focused on THINK OF ME. And I'm overjoyed.

I got ninety-nine problems, but querying as a minor isn't one.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Something BIG - The Most Newsie THINKING OF YOU Post Ever

I have made some big decisions. And today I'm going to finally share them with you.

First, I've made a title change. THINKING OF YOU has become THINK OF ME.

I decided to make this change after a burst of inspiration. I've always planned for THINK OF ME to be the first in a series. Originally, that series had a total of seven books. However, I never really wanted to write any of the other six. Then one night a couple of months ago I was lying in bed and everything clicked.

The Controller Chronicles is now a four book series consisting of the tentatively titled THINK OF ME, RAIN ON ME, SPARK WITHIN ME, and DIE FOR ME. Each book still has a different narrator and the series still tells the story of the Controllers coming out to the rest of humanity. Now, though, instead of detailing a drawn out battle, each book focuses on a phase of that coming out. There's the initial rebellion against government oppression, the winning of that fight, the actual coming out, and the aftermath.

The best part is that THINK OF ME's original plot already fits in this plan. This means I don't have to start over and can build on what I already have.

I cannot express to you how excited I am. Thinking about this series makes me want to dance because it fills me with so much happy energy.

Second, it's time for that big announcement I've been hinting at for weeks.

I'm going to be serializing THINK OF ME on Wattpad.

While this isn't like super, super major news, it is a big step for me. I want people to read my writing. I want people to enjoy my writing. I want to hear what people have to say about my writing. And, let's face it, I'm a long way from traditional publishing. Plus, self publishing kind of intimidates me. This is my third option.

I'm also hoping that doing this will finally motivate me to really get on THINK OF ME revisions. I've been hemhawing around for over three years. Serializing my book will keep me accountable and eager.

Of course, my novel isn't quite ready for the public eye. The first thing I have to do is complete a structure or "fill-in-the-blanks" revision. As I've said in a previous post, I have twenty scenes I need to rewrite and eight I need to write. After that, I'm going to be revising chapter-by-chapter as I post them on Wattpad.

My goal is to have my first chapter up on October 31st. This gives me around three months to complete my structure revision and prevents that stress from leaking into NaNoWriMo time. After my initial posting, I aim to post a chapter every two weeks. I feel like this is totally doable and often enough to keep people interested.

THINK OF ME is not the only work I plan to publish on Wattpad either. I want to post my City in the Sky stories there as well. Again, it's a motivation thing. I need to start writing this series already! I don't have an exact date set for the first short story yet, but I'm thinking sometime in January. Hopefully by then I'll have a few readers.

So, that's my big news. I'll probably be posting a revising schedule soon because I feel like I need one to reach my deadline. You can check out my Wattpad profile here if you want, though it's not much to look at at the moment. I can't wait to see what the coming months bring!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Guess What?

I finished OBJECTION! I won Camp NaNoWriMo! And it feels amazing.

My final Camp NaNoWriMo word count is officially 11,864 (even though Word told me 11,867). I went a bit beyond my goal, but my guesstimate was pretty accurate. Page wise, I added 46.

So, my total stats for OBJECTION, according to Word, are 63,867 words and 230 pages. I'm really happy that my novels are starting to consistently reach over 50k. 50k, while a novel, is a small novel and I'm a big cutter during revisions/edits.

Now that I'm done with this draft, I don't know what the next step is for OBJECTION. I know it needs some major work, but I'm not sure what. I don't exactly have the time at the moment to figure it out either. This project is being put on the waiting list for a later time.

To find out what I'm working on next, come back by on Thursday. I'll finally be sharing my big news (and no, it's nothing quite so exciting as an agent). See you then!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Two Things: Vanity Scams & Being Almost Done


I have some bad news. I'm not going to have a poem published in ACCOLADES.

In my last blog post, I told you that I had just put my author release/order form in the mailbox. After the post was up, I, still buzzing with excitement, decided to search for posts about the book/contest on Tumblr to see if anyone else was talking about it. The posts that popped up screamed scam!

Alarmed, I decided to do more research. An Internet search told me all I needed to know. The America Library of Poetry is what's known as a vanity scam.

Once you've entered their contest, they send you a letter saying you've been "selected" to be published in their annual anthology. Everyone gets this letter. Everyone gets put in the anthology. They try to make you feel special so that you and your family members/friends will dish out money for an over-priced book.

They do still send you a book, which is what makes this type of scam so controversial, but they don't promote their book/your work and they don't sell it anywhere. They use your hopes and dreams to make money off you. They use the hopes and dreams of elementary students to make money off them.

Luckily, I found this out in time to retrieve my form/check from the mail. Besides simply not wanting to be ripped off, I don't wish to be associated with this organization in any way. My integrity and reputation are more important than "being in a book." My work is something to be proud of and I won't degrade it because "published is published."

I'll admit that I'm a little disappointed. However, mostly I'm glad that I unearthed the truth before the mailman came to our house.


Now, because I want to end on a positive note, I'm going to leave you with a little update on Camp NaNoWriMo.

Currently, I'm at 9,859 words. The Day Twenty-Eight goal is 10,109, but I'm past Day Twenty-Seven's goal so I'm right on track. I have a total of 1,334 words left to write.

Alsoooo, I finished writing OBJECTION'S climax last night/early this morning! I'm really excited about this because it means I'm so close, so close, to the end. Writing this first draft has been an almost two year journey and I can't wait to finally have a complete story in my hands.

I have a feeling that I'm just going to wiz through my falling action/resolution stuff so I'll probably (hopefully!) have a finished draft before I go to sleep tonight tomorrow morning. I'll have my first Camp NaNoWriMo win under my belt as well.

So, yeah, I'm pumped.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo Update + What Else I've Been Up To

My current word count for Camp NaNoWriMo is 7,748 so I'm about three days behind. I'm not worried, however, because, since my goal is so low, that means I only need to write about 900 words to catch up. It should take less than an hour. I plan to be at or over the Day Twenty-Four goal of 8,665 words by the end of today.

I've fallen into a pattern this month. Several days will go by where I don't write and then I'll catch up in one big spurt. It's been working pretty well so far, but I only need 3,445 more words so I might decide to power through to the end in the next couple of days.

There's exactly one week left until Camp is over and I can't wait. Not only because I'll finally have a finished draft of OBJECTION (which is awesome), but I'll also be announcing the big news I've been hinting at for some time. I'm anxious to see what y'all think.

I slipped my author release form for ACCOLADES into the mail box today. I had to wait because the release doubled as an order form and it took some time for my family to decide how many books we wanted. Now, we wait. I'll be sharing any news as soon as I have it.

Besides OBJECTION and my author release form, my past week has been focused on books. I completely reorganized my bookshelves. I still have knick knacks to place, but the majority of the work is done. With the clean out I did during the process, I now own 584 books with an unread percentage of 27.6%. I have yet to decide whether I will post pictures here or on my Tumblr.

On top of that, I've been watching lots of booktube vlogs. Last week was an event called BookTubeAThon. Participants in the Thon aimed to read as many books as they could in a week while trying to fulfill certain reading and vlogging challenges. I'm finding the resulting videos quite enjoyable and kind of wish I had had time to take part myself. Perhaps next year.

So, that's what I've been up to since my last post. I will be back with news of my Camp NaNoWriMo victory soon!