Thursday, October 31, 2019

Sharing my NaNoWriMo planning and tracking spreadsheet

I'm so excited about NaNoWriMo that I wrote a planning/tracking spreadsheet . Feel free to copy if you want to give it a go. Support possible but not guaranteed (after all, I'll be writing!)

New Territory

It's Halloween, but my excitement comes from the unknown territory I'm heading into on a few different dimensions.

I sent out my first two query letters for Winter Yield and soon will contact eight more agents who've expressed interest at conferences over the years.  I'm ready for my first rejections.

Tomorrow is the first day of my first NaNoWriMo, in which I will see if I can write 50,000 words in a month. I have a contemporary, middle grade (new genre!) novel plotted out. Last time I just pantsed the first draft, then spent five years reverse-engineering it into a story that other people believed and found interesting enough to read. I don't know for sure if it will kill the writing magic, but this is my experiment to see if I can forward-engineer the process (and subsequently have something done much quicker).

It's all exhilaration and the luxury of dreaming, right now. I'll try to check in frequently!

Stepping Into the Wilderness

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


I just addressed the last twenty-two comments in my manuscript, and edited the "But" beginning out of 124 sentences. I will read it out loud to myself and send it to two friends for a final proofreader. Then I'm ready to query.

I'm appreciating the hopefullness of this point in the writing process. The manuscript is as good as I know how to make it. I have my agent list and query letters ready. There is so much potential.  I can spend hours daydreaming about getting requests for more pages, requests for the full manuscript, phone calls offering representation based on the first ten pages.

You can guess where is this going, right? I know those are pipe dreams. The average number of queries for traditionally published books is something like seventy-five, and those were apparently good enough to find not only agents but publishers.  This elation will almost certainly be tempered by rejections over the year that I've given myself to find an agent. After that, I have a few alternatives in mind.

Meanwhile, I'm going to appreciate the glow that comes with a manuscript that I can finally call finished, even if it took over six years to get here. I'm also going to enjoy planning my next novel and getting to participate in NaNoWriMo for the first time.