Fridays are usually reserved for movies, but I feel like enough has been going on lately it’s time for an update. No big news as of yet, but lots of upcoming plans and projects to be had.
First of all, I’m officially querying out SHADE. Thanks to help from a lot of you good people out there, I finally got together a good query letter. Hopefully I’ll have good news to report soon. It feels good to be back in the querying game. I certainly feel a lot more prepared this time around.
I have a couple upcoming conferences, both Utah-based. The first is one I attended last year called Writing for Charity. Last year the big name attender was Brandon Sanderson, this year it’s Shannon Hale. But there are other authors you may have heard of as well. It’s not a huge conference, it’s a one-day event only. But you can get feedback from published authors on your stuff as well as attend forums. I found it super helpful last year, so I’m attending again this year. This one is at the end of April.
The other is LDS Storymakers, and this one does have a few agents attending. The big name author for this one is Anne Perry. There are a few agents attending. The one I’m hoping to catch the eye of is Hannah Bowman. I have a few workshops with her, so hopefully something might come of that. Plus they have a sort of writer’s bootcamp which I’m looking forward to taking SHADE through. Never hurts to have some extra polish. This one is longer, I think from Thursday to Saturday. This one is the first week in may or so.
I’ll definitely post notes from both.
I think I’m going to fill a lot of my query response waiting time with seeking out and entering contests. I plan to enter something in the big Writer’s Digest Contest, but I intend to do a little flash fiction and short story writing. I think building a little clout while you’re waiting is always a good thing, don’t you?
While I’ll occasionally edit SHADE as things progress, and certainly after novel boot camp. But I’m going to see what contests I can put Trick or Tree in and I’ve got a short story that needs finishing I’ve tentatively titled Dog Shy. I think it was inspired by my Ray Bradbury reading stint. Well, probably both short stories are.
I’ve also got something from a much older WIP—this piece I think I’ll enter in the Writer’s Digest contest. I was going to use a newer project I’m working on, but I don’t think it’ll be ready in time. My older WIP I already know the characters really well, so it will be easy to take a selection and use it as a short story of sorts (or I guess I should say easier, because I know their motivations). I’m taking that to writer’s group next week.
But my Pitch Wars mentor recommended I work on something completely different than SHADE just to shake things up. So lately I’ve been working on a new project about a teen bodyguard. It’s a little futuristic, but certainly not fantastical. And this time my protagonist is female.
I started it trying to just panster write it, with no outline. I made it a few pages before the plotter in me started screeching about where is this going and don’t we need a plan. Because I’m guessing this will be novella length, I thought I’d be good to attack it pantser. Often my short stories come out that way. But nope, the plotter demanded some respect.
Also, it’s hard to come back to creating mode when I’ve been in editing and polishing mode for so long. So I decided to embrace my old ways, and me and the plotter sat down and started devising an outline. It was like the key to the door holding back my creativity. Ideas flowed like crazy. Although I enjoy pantsing it sometimes, I think at heart I’ll always be a plotter.
Anyway, I’m excited about this new project. We’ll see how things go. I’ll be sure to update you all on the progress.
But it was a good lesson for me to learn. Sometimes if you’re stuck, you should try approaching things differently to see if that opens up creativity. But sometimes you just need to do things the way you’ve always done because that’s how you’ve trained your brain to deliver ideas. Most important of all: know how you create and work with yourself.
Are you currently querying? Filling the time with other things? Or making progress on your own projects? Do you find you have to create a certain way in order for ideas to flow? Do you only write one type of genre or have you tried to branch out? Let me know below.