I mentioned several times that I was participating in a writing challenge during November (and partially in October). Actually, I think I mentioned it on nearly every blog post written during that time. And I mentioned last time that I had finished the rough draft of my book, a fact that I still can’t quite believe.

My manuscript currently has 78,983 words in it, broken into 26 chapters. I sat down last night and figured out where the chapter breaks would be, since I had only organized it by scenes and point-of-view characters. I will be spending the next week fixing up any typographical errors and seeing how the scenes flow the way I have them lined up. Then I will send it out to the members of my writing group so they can tear it apart and help me put it back together again.

This book is the first book in a planned trilogy. I say that because a trilogy sounds like a good idea, not because I have big ideas for two more books. Oh, I have ideas, don’t get me wrong. But the next books are still mostly a mystery. Surprisingly, this doesn’t worry me. After all, most of this book was a mystery to me until I started breaking things down and writing it.

These books are Young Adult Fantasy, which is a booming genre right now. It’s a lot to live up to. What will make people pick my book up when there are so many out there? It’s a funny thing to think about, especially when I haven’t even finished the darn thing, much less convinced someone to publish it.

I’m looking forward to the revision process. It’s the first time I’ve ever done it, since this is the first time I’ve had a writing project that actually came to fruition. So I have left the Truby exercises behind and moved on to Maass. Which means more writing exercises, of course, these designed to take my writing to the next level. I can’t wait to see what happens, what changes will be made. And of course, I will keep everyone posted on my progress on the blog.


Stacking the Shelves and Another Announcement


Actually, I have two announcements. First comes from my “Stacking the Shelves” post, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. The podcast that I co-host, Bibliophiles Anonymous, has been approved to receive a couple of Advanced Reader Copies (or ARC’s) of some books that are coming out over the next few months! Which means that I now have a copy of  Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep, the fourth book in her Mythos Academy series. Since I haven’t read any of the first three books, I had to go out and get them. Just to be prepared, of course.

And then there’s the matter of my writing challenge. I had set the goal that I over a period of six weeks, I would write 30,000 words. As of last Friday, November 30th, I exceeded that goal by writing 33,407 words. Not only that, I think that I have actually finished the rough draft of my book. My hands are shaking just typing that sentence. This is so unbelievably exciting! I have never finished a writing project before. Not that it’s anywhere near finished. It still needs a TON of work. But this is a huge hurdle that I have made it over. Now I get to move on to the next step. 🙂

Shelf Stacking and Writing Challenges

First up, my entry for “Stacking the Shelves,” hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. Here are the books that have entered my collection last week:

  • The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce – The third book in the Song of the Lioness series that I’m reading with Mark Reads. Reading with them, I should finish the previous book, In the Hand of the Goddess, tomorrow.
  • The Iron King by Julie Kagawa – This one I got from the library. I had already read it earlier this year, but I want to try and read the other books in the series and couldn’t remember what had happened in this one.

Finally, I wanted to tell everyone that my writer’s group started their NaNoWriMo style writing challenge yesterday! Yay! This means that I will be updating the blog more, even if it’s just to make a quick post outlining my progress. I’m hoping this will keep me motivated.

Here’s my goal: our challenge lasts six weeks, instead of the traditional month of November for NaNo. Instead of trying to write 50,000 words, I am aiming for a more modest 30,000. I believe this will bring me close to completing my first draft of the novel.

This is so exciting! I’ve even found this nifty little meter to keep track of my progress.

1505 / 30000

Wish me luck!

New Writing Challenges

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I love my writing group! Things have been getting slow lately, especially trying to recover from the summer, but starting October 20th we are starting a challenge. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, we will all set writing goals. Instead of working over just the month of November, we will have six weeks to accomplish a writing goal. It doesn’t have to be 50,000 words, but it needs to be something challenging.

Oh, have you never heard of NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month happens every November. Writers from all over the world try to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s a crazy goal, one that I have to admit, I’ve never been able to achieve. Even when I don’t participate, November always seems to be filled with creative energy as I think about all the people around the world writing like mad. The few times I have participated have been fun, although I usually only made it to around 25,000 words.

Here’s the main reason why our writing challenge excites me: there is a good chance that if I set a goal ambitious enough, I will finish the rough draft of my novel by December 1st. I will keep everyone informed of my progress, both here and on Twitter. This is the first time that I’ve ever been close to finishing a writing project. The idea of actually going through and revising this thing is both exciting and terrifying – I’ve never had anything to revise before! But I have the support of my writing group, and lots of notes from where they’ve critiqued my work, not to mention family and friends who are willing to give me a good swift kick if I start slowing down and doubting myself.

I will spend the time between now and the 20th trying to plan out the rest of the story. I know where it’s going, but need to list out the individual scenes. I’m not a big outliner – I never have had the entire thing planned out from beginning to end. Since finding John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story, I have a much better procedure for writing, but I have found that outlining a bit, then writing that bit, then outlining a bit more works better than trying to outline the entire thing.

So now all I have to do is prepare for October 20th. I can’t wait!