Recharging the Well and Gearing up for 2019

Hi all!

I pseudo-won NaNoWriMo last month. Officially and technically, I lost since I didn’t write anywhere near 50,000 words. But I knew that it wasn’t possible. I’m just not capable of that at this point in time–both creatively and with my personal life. (Toddlers and pregnancy will do that to you.)

But!

I did write the most words I’ve ever written in a single month and the most words in a single day. And I finished the first draft of my Victorian governess romance. Wohoo!

Those wins are way more important to me than NaNo right now. I mean, sure, I want to officially win NaNo. It’s even one of my writing bucket list items.

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But this was a major win for me because it’s the first time I completed a full novel from beginning to end since middle school, and it was in a completely new genre for me. I’ve done plenty of shorter pieces and gotten a decent-way into writing other books before deciding those pieces needed trunked for the time being.

This month I’ve taken off writing to catch up on a bunch of reading–both pleasure and research. And of course, I couldn’t stop myself from beginning another WIP (think North and South with broken families). Guess this means I really do enjoy writing historical romance?

Anyway, beginning in January I’m diving into revisions. Ideally I’ll go through a couple revisions and be able to submit this piece later in 2019, but we’ll see what happens with that.

Also in 2019, I’m planning on writing another short story (think Sherlock Holmes, except with a nosy Victorian grandma and her long-suffering grandson) and getting as far into the first draft of the new WIP. Since I’m more familiar with my writing process and have a bit more of a solid habit, I’m hoping that baby Minerva will let me retain enough brain cells to write this next one a little faster, even though I’m working on everything else.

While I’m on the topic of 2019 writing goals, what topics would you like to see covered in the Business and Craft of Writing series?

Pre-Conference Thoughts

Next week I’m going to a writing conference and I’m soooo excited. I went to a couple writing conferences in 2014 and life has been, well, life, so this is the first real opportunity I’ve had since then to go. I decided I was gonna go all out for this conference. I could sign up for a pitch session, a query critique, or a manuscript critique. When I registered, I was nowhere near finished with my WIP (I’m a slow first drafter), so I went with the manuscript critique.

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In an ideal world, I’m hoping the editor will love my story and ask me to send it to her when it’s ready. But that’s an ideal world. What I’m most (realistically) hoping for is validation. This is the first time I’ve tried writing this genre and I’ve been having so much fun writing it, but there are so many aspects of this particular story that I’m super insecure about. I know it’s not perfect.  This is only the first draft (plus a many-times rewritten first chapter).

Throughout the summer as the start of the conference got closer and closer and as I got further into this draft, I decided I wanted to complete the entire draft before I go to the conference. Keep in mind, I’d written about 40,000 words in about 9 months and I was looking at 30-40,000 more in like… 2 months and I still have a couple of very young children that I’d prefer to keep alive and happy.

Last week I hit the writing HARD to try and reach a writing goal from last year, and I broke several personal writing records.

Now I’m a week away and I’ve got seven chapters left. And I signed up for a query critique in addition to the manuscript critique, so I’ve gotta polish it up. And I have a bunch of critiques I need to do for the workshop I signed up for. It’s gonna be a busy week, but I think I can actually make it all happen.

In addition to all of the learning and writing-boosts, I’m hoping to make a bunch of writing friends at this conference. It’s a smaller one, so the odds of me actually being able to interact with people are significantly higher.

Now I need to go write.

Quick Update And A Plug For Lit Service

The blog’s been a bit neglected the last few month, but I promise, I haven’t forgotten it!

Between Edgar and Bartholomew getting sick (repeatedly), myself getting sick, and trying to keep up with my writing during April’s Camp NaNo, I was quickly approaching burnout and took a couple weeks off to recover. And then promptly went on a long road trip halfway across the country and had to deal with ear infections and car sickness in my kids.

So. I’m sorry. I promise I’ll try to do better (but I can’t make any guarantees).

I’m currently part of two different writing support/critique groups and I *love* both of them.

This month I’m going to start submitting a short story for publication as soon as I make a couple more polishing tweaks. Several people have told me they were disappointed when they finished reading it because they wanted to keep reading, so I’ve got some high hopes. They’ve also requested that I expand that story into a full-length novel. We’ll see when I get around to that, since I’ve got some ideas for how to do that.

My Victorian romance is also coming along nicely. Assuming that I can stick with my ambitious daily wordcount goals, I’ll finish by the end of August.

And the love-of-my-heart swampy-island dragon fantasy is trying to sneak back into the foreground, so I rewrote the first page and I’m *so* excited about the direction it’s headed now. But it has to wait until the Victorian romance is finished. Boo. (But also, yay since finishing books is always exciting.)

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And a quick plug for Lit Service Podcast. Some of my friends from Brandon Sanderson’s class have this awesome podcast where they talk writing stuff for 15-20ish minutes, then they critique the first chapter of submitted works. They have guest authors, agents, and editors on at least once every month. You should check them out and consider submitting your first chapter. Seriously. These guys have some great feedback. Here’s their website: https://litservicepodcast.wixsite.com/litnation.