At this point, I’m just working on revising short stories for the Patreon project. It’s neither fun nor exciting, I’m afraid, but very much a necessary part of the writer life.
I’m done with micro-revisions through chapter 9. And I’m hoping to get a lot done at the CCWA Summertime Scrawl event tomorrow!
It’s hard to believe that it was only two and a half weeks ago that I received a revise and resubmit letter from an agent. It feels like it’s been forever. Fortunately it hasn’t, since I told her that I would get a revision back to her within a few months and doing the things that I say I will do is important to me.
But I’m honestly surprised I’ve gotten as much done this week as I have. Orlando hit me really hard. As well as generally grieving with the community, I found out that childhood acquaintance, one of the people I’ve secretly admired for being out and proud in high school, lost some friends at Pulse. It really drove home for me that it could have been him. It could have been any of us.
It also drives home for me that the writing I do is necessary, the stories I want to publish are necessary. It’s easier to hate things that you don’t understand. We need queer stories.
So I ducked my chin and muscled through. I finished writing the prologue last weekend and I’m done with revisions based off the notes I took last week through Chapter 9. A lot of the heavy lifting and major scene changes take place in the first few chapters (though there’s at least half a chapter I intend to rewrite in the late-mid section) so I’m feeling pretty good about my pace so far. I’m still on target to get the revised version to my new set of beta readers by the end of the month.
I’ve slightly revised my intentions about my order of operations, though. I’m going to send it off to betas after the major pass revisions and, while they’re reading, work on the minor pass revisions–the tweaks to spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. This will prevent me from sitting on my hands for a week or two while I’m waiting for people to get back to me. While normally I’d just use that time for working on other writing, I want to stay laser-focused on the Plague Novel for now.
It isn’t exactly Sunday, but I’m excited to announce that my plague novel revisions are complete. It’s now ready to market. And not a moment too soon! I have an agent interview coming up next weekend.
I’m down to 77,566 words, which is a 12.5% overall reduction in my word count. Most of the heavy lifting came from the beginning, where I was seriously floundering around and my characters did some of the same events twice.
I am now two chapters away from completion. That is all. I’m going to get back to it. I hope to be done by Sunday at the latest!
Edit to add: Some of my scheduled posts haven’t been showing up, have been disappearing, or having been showing up without proper links. I think this is an artifact of moving my server (again) this week, but I’ll have my lovely web admin take a look at it if it persists.
I’m still on target to be done with the FINAL* revision of the plague novel by the end of January. The read-out -loud revision has been great for language and continuity errors, but at this point the hard part about it is wanting to do it. I’m really sick of this manuscript, guys.
I’m about 73% done, and my goal is to be well over 75% by the end of the weekend. Where 75% is my “on time” target for Monday.
As for other goals, the initial draft that I sent to my beta readers weighed in at 88,683 words. My goal was to drop this by at least 10% (to 79,815 words, if you’re bad at math). As of right now I’m at 78,006 words, and the novel is definitely a lot tighter for it.
I also wrote a short story this week. I really like it and I’m going to let it sit for a minute before I revise it and put it in rotation.
*Final as in, final before I am confident enough to try to sell it.
My work on writing-related things has been pretty scattered this week. Last week I finished the last major revision of the plague novel. This week, I’m about 33% of the way through my final “read out loud” revision, where I’m fixing typos and minor language issues. For obvious reasons, this is going much faster than any of the major revisions.
I’ve also very roughly drafted a query letter for the plague novel and started researching agents. I’m to start sending out my query letters after I pitch to an agent in person at a writing conference in late January, so I want to have all of my research and letter redrafting done by then.
Next, I pulled up my short stories spreadsheet and updated it. One of the online magazines that I submitted to has abruptly closed down, so while I don’t have an official rejection from them, I need to resubmit that story. Now that I have two stories that aren’t submitted anywhere, researching submissions is on my list of things to do for next week.
Finally, I’ve been playing around with some new story ideas. I’m not sure whether I’ll launch right in to revising the flight novel when I get done with the plague novel revisions or whether I want to start a new project. Writing new things is so much more exciting than revising old things, and it’s a lot easier for me to feel discouraged about being a writer when my creative juices aren’t flowing. It might be a good idea to write a couple of short stories or start outlining a new project to keep the creative juices flowing. On the other hand, the more revision I have done on the flight novel, the sooner I can start pitching that as well. I’m kind of torn, here, and haven’t yet made a decision about which way I’ll jump.
I know it’s not Friday, but I’m too excited to let this go without an immediate announcement: I finished the final major revision of Surviving the Plague!
My to-do list is still a mile long. I still need to do the final final revision, where I read it out loud and clean up the little idiosyncrasies. I’m pitching it to an agent, in person, in late January. I need to revise my 2-page synopsis. I still need to draft (and redraft, and redraft) a query letter and decide which other agents I’d like to send it to. Meanwhile, I need to resubmit a short story.
I’ll give you a full writing update on Friday, as usual, but I just needed to share this now. Squee!
Due to a death in the family, I’m going to be driving all day tomorrow and unavailable all weekend, so I decided to do my progress update today instead.
I cleaned up the first 25 pages of Flight and completed 2-page synopses for both Surviving the Plague and Flight, to prepare for a writing conference I’m going to in late January. The first 25 pages of Flight are going to an editor for a critique, and I’m going to pitch Surviving the Plague to an agent. If nothing else, it will be good pitching practice.
I’m done through Chapter 24 of Surviving the Plague. I have one more major change left, but it’s going to affect several chapters. I’m still sure that I’ll have it done by the end of January because that is when it needs to be ready to pitch. Ideally, I’d like to be able to read it out loud at least once before then and have it as 100% fully polished as I can get it without doing something like hiring an independent editor. Wish me luck!
I also need to submit one of the stories I got a rejection for in November. I keep putting that off, but just sitting on it isn’t doing me any good. Hopefully the weekend after Christmas, I’ll have a solid chunk of time to do market research and send that out again. I’m getting faster with market research, but it still takes me a good couple of hours to do a submission.
I’m taking my laptop with me out of state. I’m still going to try to get my daily two hours’ writing time in. If nothing else, it should help keep me sane.
I’m still working on polishing up Surviving the Plague. At this point, my goal is to have it completely polished and a query letter drafted and revised by March. I’m revising at such a pace that I will definitely accomplish this goal, but the reason I picked March is that I would really like to participate in the next Twitter #pitmad on March 17, 2016 (described here by Diana Urban, and rules by Brenda Drake here).
Things I’ve done this week:
- consolidated chapters 4 and 5 into a single chapter under Robbie’s perspective
- mapped out the major plot points in chapters 6 to 20
- made a new outline consolidating and combining chapters 6 through 20 into 9 chapters with improved pacing
- consolidated up through new chapter 9
- made character sheets for my characters based on their descriptions, backgrounds, and goals for my personal reference (not even the main characters had these yet because I mostly discovery wrote this book)
- drafted a few #pitmad pitches to set aside, revise, and then use in March
Another thing I’ve been trying to do this week is beta-read my friend’s NaNoWriMo novel (about 85k words). We exchanged betas, if you can even call my version of the Flight novel a beta. Her feedback on the plague novel was amazingly helpful, so I’m trying to give that as much attention as I possibly can.
Oh, and I figured out how to export to epub on Scrivener. Hooray! No more awkward converting thing I had been using for .rft files on Windows.
I’m feeling fairly accomplished this week, but also fairly exhausted. I’ve had a lot of RL going on, and abiding by my goal of writing 2 hours a day has been difficult. So far, so good, but difficult. And this weekend is going to be even busier. Since I’m going to be out of my house from about 8 am to 10 pm tomorrow, I don’t think I’m going to have much chance to write, but I may try to do something when I get home.