Goings On

Tomorrow I’ll put together some Row80 goals, but I figured a state of the writing union was due.

SHADE is finished, though I still want to do some line edits to make sure any changes are error free. I got through the first three chapters earlier last month and then moving and life happened. But now that I’m getting more settled I plan to get on it. Fortunately line edits won’t take more than a few days. I do the whole backward chapter thing, where I start with the last page of the chapter and read aloud to the first. Catches loads of errors.

CLEMMINGS is on standby. I made it up through where I had outlined, but now that NanoWriMo is looming I’m thinking it’ll have to be put on the back burner. I want to write SHADE 2 during November. And speaking of sequels.

SHADE 2 is getting the outline treatment. This is how I roll. I feel like an outline is a first rough draft for me, but without as much effort. I can try out different paths and see where they lead without poring hours of effort into words. I know this bores to death you pantsers out there, but you’ve got to work the way that’s best for you. I guess I see having to start over after where I’ve figured out where the story is going makes me squirm. I’d rather do it in shorthand first. To each their own, right? It’s been tricksy this time around since I had an idea of the story before which has had to change since I made significant changes to SHADE 1. You really get a sense of what traveling back in time could do to really mess up the future. No wonder Doc Brown was so adamant about interfering as little as possible.

SHORT STORIES haven’t gone anywhere. And they may not until after November. Actually that will probably be a wonderful break from NaNoWriMo to let what I’ve written get cold. Cold storage does wonders for catching errors.

What about you? Plans for the upcoming NaNoWriMo? Any new progress on any of your projects? Any fabulous news? Or even any encouraging news? Let us know below.


Never heard the phrase shnoobers? Well, that’s because you didn’t have my dad growing up. In our household, any kind of swearing was the biggest no-no, so of course we had a bunch of substitute words. In fact Napoleon Dynamite utilizes most of them. But sometimes my dad would say shnoobers, you know, kind of like great googly moogly.

Why do I bring up shnoobers in the first place? Well, as you may remember I have a full manuscript in for consideration with an agent. Call me a perfectionist (hey, it’s true, I won’t be insulted) but I’m still scouring the thing for typos, etc., and I’m still finding some. Argh! Shnoobers!

I know, there are some books in print that have typos in them, but you know how it is… You want to present them with your best possible manuscript. I’m just hoping the agent sees the story and the voice past the few errors.

Hence my reaction shnoobers! I know there’s nothing I can do about it now, and I’m guessing I’m not the first aspiring author to send in an imperfect manuscript and I’m sure I won’t be the last. It just makes you wish for some kind of man with a time machine to help you get the better one emailed off instead.

AHEM. Man with time machine, that’s your cue.

*sigh* No blue box. Shnoobers…

In other news, I did get my replacement guitar and it is working fabulously. I’m getting closer to going all Marty McFly with Johnny B. Goode and having fun messing around with the Top Gun theme and Thunderstruck. I’m so close on the speed for Thunderstruck. It’s not technically a hard song, just the speed.

Now our neighbors that can often be heard yelling at each other at least have a soundtrack for their fights. That’s got to be positive, right?

But I’m pretty close to being finished with this most recent edit session on SHADE, then I’ll put it away for a little while and to short stories I go. I may even try a novella. There are many more contests to enter after all!

Have you ever submitted something you realized was a bit more error-ridden than you’d like? Any really big mistakes that made you cringe? How are you coming along with your editing or writing? Are you more of a short stories person or a novel person?

All the Progress

No, no, no! It wasn’t saved!!!

Before I begin, let me say how extremely GRATEFUL I am that WordPress has a rabid autosave feature. Why? Oh, there I was trying to get this post together when WHAMMO! The power goes completely out. Ack! Argh! Eeek! I hesitated even opening this to get it posted. Thank you WordPress!

The final part of Pitch Wars is underway. Yesterday I was super happy dappy thrilled to receive a request for more on SHADE—a full manuscript request in fact! For those new to the game, what this means is the agent wants to see your whole book. Sometimes they request partials, which is often the first 3 chapters or so. This is something you definitely want, whether partial or full, and it’s the step prior to receiving representation.

But the thing you also have to keep in mind is the agent can still pass on it. Most agencies I’ve researched will take anywhere from 3-6 months to get back on a full request, sometimes longer depending on their schedule. So while I’m hopeful and extremely grateful, what this does not mean is to put anything on pause.

There are a couple upcoming contests I’m looking into. One is Pitch Madness where you can hop on Twitter and pitch to participating agents using the hashtag #pitmad. That means you have 133 characters (you have to include #pitmad) to pitch your book. They also recommend having different pitches so you don’t sound repetitive and most importantly is be polite. These are agents after all and this is your reputation after all.

The other is the Cupid’s Literary Connection contest (deets here). This one requires a $10 donation, but you submit your pitch, some “bouncers” judge it and if you make it into the final round the participating agents duke it out over the entrants. As always, it’s no guarantee you’ll get an offer, but I think it’s always helpful to get front of the line access to agents vs. hoping your query navigates the slush pile.

Then perhaps querying in the near future. I may look into other contests too. I have a couple I should hear back on soon. One February 6th, and the other I believe is the 23rd or so. Of course I’ll post any news here.

In the meantime, as always, more writing.

That’s my progress. How are you doing on your projects? Any breaking news? Any contests you’re planning on entering? Requests on queries? Let me know!

Wahoo! Time For a Happy Dance!

I know, I don’t traditionally post on Saturdays. But let’s face it. Technically for me it’s Friday night. And I just had to share happy news. Okay, not that happy—but happy for me all the same. I just made it to the last chapter of my novel on edits and scene rewrites, which means I’ll have some time for edits before Pitch Wars.


Because I’ve been stressing this whole week over whether or not I was going to make the deadline, and here I am MAKING the deadline! Wahoo! My mentor wanted a word count by this weekend, although she’s fabulous and probably could have stretched it another day or two, should I have needed. But I really wanted some time for as many final polishes as I could sneak in. Some of the scene rewrites probably didn’t get as hard a look as they could. It’s not as easy to edit while you’re writing. That’s not to say you shouldn’t edit while writing, I’m just saying one more is for creativity, the other mode is for making things pretty.

Plus, this is the final chapter, and I like the idea of having a day to work on it, should I need. And there’s a few things I realized need fixing story wise, not complex things, just extra bits I need to weave in so things make sense.

But I wanted to celebrate the progress I’ve made already. As of right now I predict SHADE will be about 87,000 words, not bad for epic fantasy. I’m hoping I can shave it down to 86,000 with polishing. We’ll see. Why does word count matter? Because people, an agent will judge your marketability based on your word count. I went from 98,000 to 87,000, which means I’m that much further from the dreaded 100,000 mark. (This is generally seen as a sign to run in the other direction for most agents when looking at new novelists). Plus I feel like the story is more succinct and stronger than it was, so I’m happy to have made so many changes (and it such a short amount of time, too. Phew…)

I’ll post again Monday with how things are looking. I’ll put on my word economizing glasses and see what I can’t pull out of it and hopefully make that 86K goal. It just feels nicer to me. It’s looking to total 26 chapters. I don’t think that’ll budge unless I split a chapter in half. And then come Wednesday…


I hope your writing is going well this weekend too. Do any of you have Monday off? You know I’m going to be editing like a madwoman. Hooray for progress! See you Monday!