Hi guys! Gah! It’s been too long! While I’ve been around the internet, I haven’t had much to update on the blog. That’s not to say I haven’t been writing. There are many things going on behind the scenes…
When I was working on the Touch Trilogy, I tended to concentrate only on the book I was working on at the time. For example, I didn’t start working on A Touch Menacing until I was through multiple rounds of edits on A Touch Morbid. I envied writers who had other projects to throw themselves into, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to work on multiple things at once. I was worried about getting caught up in other worlds and other characters. This past year, I decided I would teach myself to get more than one project going. It works out well for me because, well, this is how I make my living, and it works out well for you all because it means more books (theoretically…they still have to sell) in the long run. While I plan on doing a post closer to the end of the year on how this turned out, I’m proud to say I now have two projects over 50k (I usually shoot for 80k) and a handful hovering around 10k. I’m counting that as a success!
One of those projects, which you might have seen me hashtag as The Doorstop Project (Only a code name. Secret title is secret), I decided to work on for NaNoWriMo. For those of you not familiar, this is where writers commit to churning out 50 thousand words in the month of November. I’ve tried it before. I usually only make it a day or two before I bow out. I’m one of those writers who edits as I go. I like to fix plot holes as I notice them, because many times they change the direction of the story. I also had a big problem with one of the staple “commandments” of NaNo, which is that it’s okay to write crap. Many people swear by this, writing just to get words down. They say it lets you explore and try things and meet your word goals. I still have a major problem with this. I mean, what’s the point of writing an entire scene knowing full well you’re going to cut it? It seems like a waste of time. I still feel this way. I’m also a slow writer. For me, a 3k day is a rare a precious unicorn of a thing. But this year, I decided to give it a go. I was about 30k into The Doorstop Project, which is technically against the rules as you’re supposed to start on a new story, but hey, I’ve always been a rebel. I figured I’d write for a week and take my new 10k and walk away happy. Things went a little differently than expected. First, I had a great support system in place. I’ve connected with a lot of other NaNo participants and having people to cheerlead and who cheerlead me made an enormous difference. Right now, I’m hovering at 39k for the month. Will I finish on time? Probably not. I’m holding Thanksgiving for my extended family this year, and the prep and house cleaning is going to eat up a lot of my time. But I’m going to come DAMN close, and for me, that’s what’s important. I’ll end this month around 45k (and God does that KILL me, not to get that last 5k). Those are all words I pushed for, fought for, skipped Toddlers in Tiaras for. But they are there. One of the side-effects of NaNo is that I didn’t have time to doubt my story. There wasn’t enough padding for me to take the normal 2-3 day panic flail of “Is this story good enough?” or “Should I push this further?” once a week. I just wrote it. And I realized all that doubt was wasted time that got me to the same place in the end. So I skipped it. It’s definitely a lesson I’ll be taking with me. Because of NaNo, I’m hoping to have this book finished by mid-December and after an edit, it’s looking to be on my agent’s desk around February. And any way you shake it, that makes NaNo a win for me! Are any of you participating this year? How did you do?
Before I let you go, I want to send a shout out to Amber of Book Nerd Tours who gave this blog a lovely and much needed facelift! Thanks! I also want to point you guys to another page on this blog. I’ve opened up to critiques and am running a special until December 14th! It’s a great chance for those of you striving for publication to have your book critiqued by an author who has been through the editing process at a major imprint. This might be the push you need to set your book apart from the rest when it crosses an agent or editor’s desk! Check out the link above.
Lastly, if you’ve read this far, SURPRISE CONTEST! To enter, leave me a comment about your writing, a book you read recently and loved or how you’re spending the holidays and then share this post anywhere online. It can be twitter, facebook, tumblr, your blog…multiple shares = multiple entries, but please only one share per social media site. Be sure to include a link to the share, and your email address or twitter handle and I’ll pick two lucky commenters to win presents from me! US only please. It’s a surprise contest, so it’ll be a surprise present! That’s it! Good luck and I’m excited to hear from you!