05 September 2012

Revisions to Queries

I finished the revisions on my young adult novel and have begun querying agents. While I don't have an accurate timeline for the book, I think I worked on it – off and on – for about three years.

I wrote about four chapters and then set it aside to work on other things. When I came back to it, I picked up where I left off. Then I started writing the middle of the novel all the way to the end. I came back and finished the beginning.

The next step was to revise the entire thing, which I did on the computer.

Then I printed it out and revised again. Which led me to retype the entire thing and revise it again on the computer.

Another printout. More revisions – this time with highlighters!

Typed it all again.

Another revision on the computer.

Took it to a novel revision retreat where three other people critiqued it.

Revised again – retyping it once more.

Printed it out again for more revisions. I read this copy aloud to myself during lunch in my office.

Made corrections. Printed it out again. Emailed copies to some trusted readers for comments.

Made final corrections. Read over it one last time (mainly for typos) on the computer.

Prepared complete document for sending out to agents.

Wrote query. Revised query. Revised again. Revised one last time.

Wrote synopsis. Revised synopsis.

Sent queries to some agents.

And now the waiting game begins.

I have four different drafts saved on my computer. The first and second drafts had thirty-one chapters, and the third and fourth have thirty-three. Scenes were dropped and added, characters were added, and the ending changed completely.

Fingers crossed!

07 April 2012

Lots to Do

I haven't written anything here in a while. Since the novel revision retreat, I've been incredibly busy – both at writing and at work.

I revised my entire young adult manuscript based on comments and ideas from the retreat. For the moment, I've set that aside to 'stew' a little before I make one final set of revisions.

I went to two SCBWI conferences – in Austin and Houston – and learned more tips for writing and revising.

And, of course, I've started a new book. A middle grade story that's been fun to develop. I haven't written much of it yet – only about four chapters – but I think it'll be fun when it's finished.

But my short-term focus has had to change from both the young adult novel and the middle grade one. The Houston SCBWI conference included a presentation by Jenne Abramowitz from Scholastic. She discussed chapter books, and I got the idea to re-work an earlier piece I had written as a chapter book. So, that's my concentration right now. I have a three-month window in which to re-work the book and submit it. We'll see how that goes.

And in the middle of those three months, I'm going on vacation, so I have to work double fast. Not to mention all the work I have to do for my job. It's going to be crazy!

Here's hoping.

And I created my own website.

16 January 2012

Aftermath: Novel Revision Retreat

Using the word aftermath in the title of this post is not the best word choice, but it's the best I can come up with after an exhausting weekend of learning revision techniques.

The retreat was phenomenal. The people at the retreat were terrific. The location was beautiful. The facilities were excellent (the chairs in our work room were fabulous - I could actually touch the floor!). The food was delicious - I didn't even eat that much on cruises!

On to the retreat, though. As I said, we were assigned to groups of four. We sat with them and discussed each other's manuscripts all weekend. My group's work was wonderful, promising and encouraging. Each of them had work that was distinctly different from mine and from the other people in our group. I can't wait to read the published versions of their works, and I do believe that all of them have the potential to be published.

Throughout the retreat, I learned ways to add depth and improve my novel. I have lots to do, but I'm ready to get to work.

Thanks, Darcy and Houston SCBWI, for a wonderful retreat!