Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fun Stuff Happening Around the Web

Hi, writer friends! There are a couple super fun things happening this week that I wanted to point out. If it strikes your fancy, hop on over!

First, head to Twitter and pitch to lots of agents tomorrow, 1/25 during the Pitch Wars Twitter party! The official Pitch Wars bloghop was on 1/23 and 1/24, but everyone is invited to the pitch party on Twitter. Use the hashtag #pitmad. Also, I got 3 agent requests so far for Everdream! So stoked! For more about Pitch Wars in general, head to Brenda Drake's blog.

Second, Jamie Ayre's debut novel 18 Things came out yesterday! Here's the Amazon link.

Here's a little about it:
Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten.

Then, Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible for his death.

When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled “18 Things”: eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday.

But there’s more to Olga’s quests than meets the eye and when her therapist reveals a terrifying secret, her world is shaken.

There’s only one thing she knows for certain: her choices won’t just affect her future, but all eternity.
Hope to see you at the pitch party, and give Jamie some love if you can! Hope everyone has a rockin' week. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

In Which I Make Some Editing Resolutions

I don't really make New Year's Resolutions, I make goals, and you guys already saw that. This is different. I need to define my editing process a bit and you guys can be my witnesses. I'm great at writing a first draft. I can usually get it banged out in 3 to 4 months, and that's with a full time job and kids. Editing, however, not so much. I dislike it a lot more, first of all. And I've developed a very thorough, organized processed for the many rounds of edits needed on a good book, which is great. But I realized after writing Everdream that I tend to languish in this stage.

So, this is what I propose from now on, after my 2-4 week first draft breather so I can have a fresh perspective:
  • 2 days for the first read-through with basic notes - this is where I identify big problems and create a to-do list - no actual editing done
  • 3 weeks for the first big work-through of edits (with mini timelines established within based off to-do list)
  • 2 days for a second read-through - more notes/to-do list
  • 2 weeks for the second work-through of edits (with mini timelines established within based off to-do list)
  • 1 week for line edits
  • 1 week for backwards read-through and edit (sentence by sentence, not word for word)
  • 2 days for third read-through and polish
If I can stick to this schedule, I'm looking at about 8 weeks of editing. Now, I know this could vary wildly depending on the book. But I'm going to use this as a timeframe for my deadlines. I'm such a deadline driven gal :)

What about you guys? Do you have a particular editing timetable? Do you like deadlines?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Some Editing Things I've Learned Lately

Hello, lovely writer friends! I think I mentioned in my last post that I was going to regale you with editing knowledge I've gained through this whole Pitch Wars thing. I was incredibly lucky to be picked by my mentor of choice for Pitch Wars, and receive a critique of my entire manuscript! I've never had anyone do that except for family, so it was pretty epic. Here are the main things I worked on for Everdream:

  • More of everything for my characters. Main character needed more inner motivations. Evil Queen needed more evilness. Funny side characters needed to show their uniqueness more. Pirates needed to be more pirate-y.
  • I needed to get my characters into more trouble. I was letting them off the hook too easily. I massively changed the endings of several scenes to make sure that they had to fight their way out of something, and in some cases had lingering consequences. This sets them up to be stronger at the end in order to face the final challenge, whatever that may be.
  • I need to trust my own editing instincts more. Both of the things above I had noted when I worked on earlier edits of Everdream (I just finished the 7th round of edits). But I let myself off the hook too soon. Things were still nagging at me, but I didn't address them as fully as I should have, until I felt fully satisfied. I think the book is so much stronger now that I've handled them. I no longer feel the inner editor nagging at me :)
Of course, I'm not totally done editing yet! Until they print this baby, it's still fluid :) And right now, Heidi and I are working on a 50-or-less word pitch. Queries are challenging enough, but fitting your whole book into an enticing 50 word bite? Good gracious.

Anyways, are you editing these days? Drafting? How's everything coming along in 2013? I hope it's awesome!