Notes on (surviving) the writing life
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Yesterday was a big day for me: I woke at 4:00am, and shortly before 8:00am I emailed my manuscript to my editor and agent. It was Friday 13. I am not superstitious, but that did give me pause.
Some writers are able to write a perfectly good novel in two or three drafts. I am not one of those writers! It takes me years (and years) to uncover the complexities, the depths and the “fall line” of a story. My revision process is extremely slow, in spite of all the techniques I use (i.e. plotting) to try to speed it up. I do hope I’m getting closer.
Moonsick (working title) is my novel for Young Adults, a story based on the teen years of Josephine Bonaparte’s daughter Hortense. Is the novel too giddy? Too dark? I’m frankly not sure. This is why beta readers — teen beta readers — will be important to my final revision process.
Teen beta readers wanted
Later that same day I sent out a newsletter that included a call for teen beta readers. I now have three readers, and (I hope) more to come. I’d also like to find a book club that reads YA fiction — not exclusively, but often enough that they are comfortable with the genre. It occurs to me that a high school English class might be interested in reading it (although it really is a novel for girls). Let me know if you have a teen reader or a book club or class to suggest.
Going back to where it all began
Looking for reader guidelines I’ve used in the past, I discovered a blog post I wrote in February of 2012 — five years ago! — announcing that I would be writing a YA novel about Hortense.
(Note that This Bright Darkness, mentioned in the post, was the working title of The Shadow Queen, which was published two years later, in the spring of 2014.)
Yesterday was a big day for me: I woke at 4:00am, and shortly before 8:00am I emailed my manuscript to my editor and agent. It was Friday 13. I am not superstitious, but that did give me pause. Some writers are able to write a perfectly good novel in two or three...read more
Happy New 2017! I like the feel of this year already. I’ve weaned myself — to some extent — from toxic international news and immersed myself in finishing the eighth draft of Moonsick, my YA novel about Josephine’s daughter Hortense. (Yikes! Due this month.)...read more
Where have I been? I've been MIA here ... why? Partly it had to do with a big change to my website, which threw me off. I couldn't quite figure out how to navigate it, and various visuals I used before were suddenly missing. I was, as they say "all 6s and 7s" (an...read more
I've been addicted to the theory of the Hero's Journey as story structure since I read Cambell's groundbreaking work,The Hero With a Thousand Faces, in high school. It's at the core of virtually every book I admire on plot: The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler,...read more
I haven't posted here for some time. It's not that I don't have a lot to share — I do! — but, rather, whenever I think to post to my blog I realize that I really should be writing ... or revising ... or researching ... You get the picture. For all of the above...read more
I've been flailing, I confess: in Excel plot worksheets, in piles of plot index cards, in Word files summarizing my plot (or trying to), in books on plot, in on-line courses and YouTube videos on plot! I saw all this as a sign of a project in trouble. I simply...read more