This year just flew by. I don’t even know what happened to it. It felt as if I were making no progess anywhere, but I did accomplish a few key things. I also had to adjust my goals to accomodate Alpha Female, which wasn’t planned. All in all, this was a pretty productive year.
What I accomplished:
~I finished the 3rd draft of Pirouette in May and am gearing up for the final revision (which is my #1 goal for 2011)
~I started the Flamebound revision using HTRYN. Got to lesson 8 of 22. Yeah, that was one of the things that got adjusted.
~I wrote and rewrote and completed Alpha Female. My original goal was to submit it to an anthology by the November 1st deadline. After getting it back from a wonderful beta, I realized that it wasn’t going to work for the antho. I decided to expand it, as most of the issues were due to trying to keep the wordcount within the limits (25k) and then decided to try to finish it up by the end of the year. Which I pretty much did, if you don’t count the tweaks I’m currently working on.
~I started Broken and got it up to 12k. Broken was a personal challenge to myself, as it’s got a bit of BDSM in it and I’d never written that before. It’s also a different genre for me. I am very pleased with how it’s going.
~I critiqued 3 novels for writer friends. While this isn’t a huge thing, I made my deadlines for the most part and got the honor of reading some really good books.
~I joined up with a few writer friends and started Turtleduck Press, which is our publishing endeavor which will hopefully change the world, muhaaaa.
~I self-pubbed Life as a Moving Target through them, which has been a dream of mine since December 2002 when I wrote the very first poem in that collection. After trying traditional publishing, I decided to go ahead and self-publish it. I’ve gotten some great feedback so far. And it’s so dear to my heart.
~I wrote approximately 100k this year. Not bad considering I did mostly revising and editing. Some writing, too. I’m glad to have hit 100k. It certainly didn’t feel like 100k.
~I wrote and rewrote my query letter for Pirouette. I think I have it nailed. We’ll see.
So, yep, not a bad year at all.
Goals for 2011:
~SUBMIT something. This is HUGE. This year was supposed to be the year for that, but I got a bit derailed. I will submit something if it kills me. Most likely either Alpha Female or Pirouette.
~Finish up Alpha Female and get it critted
~Do the final revision on Pirouette and get it to critters.
~Continue Flamebound revision, hopefully finish (I see a rewrite in my future…)
~Finish Without Wings, my second poetry chapbook with Turtleduck Press, and get it to approvals by Feb. 1st. This is a biggie because it still needs some work and time is ticking.
~Write (hopefully) Darkweaver.
~Work on Don’t Close Your Eyes, chapbook #3.
~Do not get derailed this time. Stay to the goals.
~Get an agent
Will I accomplish all of that? Perhaps. But I will try for sure. It feels like 2011 will be a good year.
My dear friend made a comment on my last post that got me thinking. Yes, perhaps I’m procrastinating unconsciously. I don’t think it was conscious because I truly believed — and still do to some extent — that Pirouette wasn’t agent-ready. Even now, there are some unfinished scenes, a scene in which a dead person returns to the living (and no, she’s not supposed to — that’s called a continuity error), three scenes in a row do the exactly SAME thing, and a few other things that might make me look like an idiot. Those have to be fixed. However, I’ve issued myself a challenge: finish the book (as in agent-ready) and get it out by the 1st of the year. Even though I’m not sure I can finish in time, I’ve made the decision and I’m taking it seriously. This is it.
So, as soon as I finish Alpha Female and submit it, Pirouette is next. Alpha Female is roughly a week from being done. That’s the first draft/rewrite/whatever it is. Still needs critters and still needs to be polished. But I’m seeing this one through because 1) it’s a great opportunity and 2) I’m making a serious effort towards finishing what I start. Which includes Pirouette.
I’ve never considered the possibility that I was procrastinating until my friend mentioned it. All this time, I believed that the rewrites were crucial. I still believe that. But there is such a thing as going through rewrite after rewrite after rewrite. This is why Holly Lisle does one big, overall revision on every book and then lets it go. She’s able to do it in one fell swoop whereas I tried and it took 5 passes. I’m still learning what works for me. But I think I’m on the edge here, and it sucks because the longer I wait, the less chances I’ll have. I’ve known this for a long time, but maybe part of me was scared of failure. It’s crazy out there in publishing. But unless I self-pub everything (which is not my goal), I’ve got to take the plunge. I gotta see if I can do it. If not Pirouette, then something else. Lord knows I have a ton of ideas.
So that’s the plan for the rest of the year. Wish me luck.
I’ve been working like mad on Pirouette the Third. Up to 63k. I’ve written almost every day, and while my wordcounts aren’t astounding, I’m getting back into the rhythmn. That’s what counts, right?
Family drama is stil ongoing, and it was screwing with my progress. Still screwing with Broken. I wrote and then rewrote the first scene, but it’s not done. And frankly,I’m not sure when I’ll be working on it again. I think I’m too close to it, and my muse seems totally about working on Pirouette the Third. So into it that she threw me a couple of curveballs. One of them spawned a true sequel idea. Another one was relating to Alisia’s power and such. But I don’t want to have to re-rewrite everything. So I’m trying to decide what to go with and what to save for another book. So far, I’m considering the new sequel idea, and discarding the power thing. I did make a few tweaks to Alisia’s relationship with one of the major characters and the villain. This I think will make it more powerful. But, that’s it.
Still feeling the perfectionism streak. I know one author who has had her debut novel plus the sequel published recently, and another who’s debut novel is coming out later this year. Other writer friends are doing the agent hunt. And I’m still creeping along. I feel like I should be done with Pirouette the Third but I promised myself I wouldn’t shop an inferior book. I want it to be the very best, no matter how long it takes to get there.
The Flamebound revision is going slowly but well. I’m on lesson 3 of 22. The priority has been Pirouette the Third, but I might want to send it through the HTRYN process once it’s ready. So I would like to have Flamebound finished by then. I hope.
Also been having some issues with motivation. It just isn’t there. Normally, my competitive streak keeps me going, but I think the family drama sort of killed that. Some days I just don’t feel up to it. But, good news, I’ve committed to writing every day again even if it’s a few hundred words.
So the new year is starting not with a bang but with a whimper. We’ll see.
91% finished. It feels great. Of course, while doing my pages last night, I realized that I’d left out one very important part of the story towards the end. So that will need to be seeded in.
Also, I’ve been getting lax in my determining what scenes stay and what scenes go. I was going to take this one out, then decided not to upon re-reading. Then, last night in the shower, I had an epiphany: the scene in question doesn’t relate to the main plot at all. I’d only included it because I felt soe follow-up was required. But no — the other character in the scene doesn’t reappear at all after the scene in question. I’m also considering changing the way this character and the protagonist, Alisia, relate to each other. Trying to wrap my head around that one.
Gonna cut some more scenes. Being brutal. I also need the wordcount to go down, so if there are any more scenes that aren’t pulling their weight, they go. I’m reading that now 120k, which was my target length, might still be too long. Not good. But hey, at least it’ll be tighter for it.
So that’s where we stand today. Few more days and I’ll be wrapping it up. Soooo exciting. Still struggling with the query, though.
I feel pretty damn good about the revision. Very little needs to be changed, except I had to fill a plot hole. That one was pretty easy to do. I’m noticing that as I got farther in the draft, the writing improved. Not sure what that means exactly, but it’s cool. I do remember, as I was writing the parts I just revised, I felt like a freight train barreling towards its destination — exhilerated, excited, flying. I almost felt as if I were experiencing it along with Alisia, Lucien, and Lilia. Too cool.
I’m not deluding myself. I might feel differently next pass. But for now, I’m revelling in the moment. Re-experiencing the novel. I know that the distance I gave it was just long enough, b/c again, I’d forgotten alot of the nuances. I remembered major plot points, but the details lef me. So that added another layer of fun and excitement to my slog.
I’m also starting to work on a query letter for when Pirouette is ready to see the world. It’s surprisingly difficult and a bit maddening. Distilling Pirouette down to a few paragraphs isn’t an easy task. Then, it has to pique the agent’s interest, be exciting and well-written and not awkward or stilted or…you get the idea. Been reading up on queries and reading agents’ blogs that have examples in them, trying to figure out what’s good and what’s not. I have a few ideas, but nothing is gelling at the moment. Hopefully it will soon.
So that’s where I’m at right now. On track to finish by the end of this month. After that, it’s the type-in and crit time. I’m very excited to be this far in the process. When I was writing Pirouette’s second draft (the rewrite) last year, I couldn’t even comprehend being here. It was just too abstract. And the manuscript came in waaaaay too long. And it just didn’t seem like it was going to end. And that was okay. But now that I’m here, I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s kind of weird, but I think I am enjoying this part alot.
Onward, then. To the Query Letter of Doom. 😉
I’m about 60% finished with the revision. I’ve been having some crisis of faith lately. Like, how am I really doing? Is it any better, or, God forbid, is it worse? And what about the scenes I cut? The scenes I’ve revised and rewritten look pretty good, so I’m not as concerned about that. But, it still niggles at me.
Been doing ALOT of research on agents. I have 7 so far on my list, and I’m reading 3 agent blogs to stay on top of things. Granted, Pirouette might not be ready for a while yet, but I want to be prepared so I can get it out the door as soon as possible after it’s finished. I just hope that I can make this happen. I’m willing to work my patootie off. I’ve spent the past 18 days working on the revision, every day except one, and on some days, that’s all I do when I come home from work. But that’s okay. I want this, and it will be worth it.
Another project I’d like to get out the door is Life as a Moving Target, my poetry chapbook. There are a few contests with late March deadlines. In February I’ll take a look at the manuscript and do edits, and add in the 2 poems I wrote late last year, and send it off.
I also just started my first b&w project (photography) in probably forever. Even used my older automatic film camera. I’m very old school about it sometimes. There’s nothing like darkroom, and actually shooting on film. I love digital, but that to me comes first.
And along with that is my 2009 website revamp. To include a writing website off the main one. I think it’s time I expand it more. In preparation for the agent hunt and all that. 😉