Wednesday, 22 May 2013

What's Up Wednesday


Hello again! I can’t believe another week has just flashed by. In case you’re not familiar yet, What’s Up Wednesday is a meme meant to help readers and writers keep in touch. If you’d like to join the fun, you can sign up on Jaime’s blog: here.

What I’m Reading:

I haven’t had much time for reading lately, so I’m still plugging away at DARK TRIUMPH. I’d love to devour the whole thing all in one sitting, but unfortunately that’s not gonna happen.

What I’m Writing:

Where do I start on this one? First of all, I think I’m finally done revising my manuscript. Hurray! I'm a little scared to say that, because the moment I do, I'll probably find something else that needs fixing. The plan is to stick the thing on my kobo and give it one last read through before venturing off into the scary land of querying. I also need to brush up my synopsis and update my agent research, which hopefully won’t take too long.

I’ve heard varying opinions on whether or not to start writing a sequel when you don’t know if an agent will tear apart your first book or if it will ever be published, but I’ve always felt that whatever the “official” process, I’d rather keep writing while I’m inspired to. If the first book goes nowhere, such is life. At least I’ll know I wrote the story that grabbed my imagination and wouldn’t let go. I’ve tried numerous times to get things rolling on the second book in my trilogy, but with revisions and whatnot it’s been slow. A recent rush of ideas and a string of evenings to myself have kick things into high gear though. This past weekend, I got sucked into the writer’s vortex. Don’t you love it when that happens? I managed to get some solid writing done and reworked my plot arc diagrams to incorporate the new and improved ideas. They look all pretty and exciting and colourful. I want to frame them.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Hockey! And not for the reason you might think. While I do have a partially finished manuscript that features a character who’s a hockey player (Of course, I do. I’m Canadian, remember?), that isn’t what I’m talking about. My husband and son bought tickets for the Memorial Cup, which happens to be taking place in our city. That means nine hockey games for them and nine free evenings for me.  Knowing I’ll have some nice blocks of time for writing has greased the wheels in my brain and given me some extra motivation.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

While things are always busy at our house during this time of year, I haven’t been doing much that’s interesting enough to talk about in a post, other than writing, of course. My husband and I did finally sit down with some wine and cheesecake to watch Les Misérables, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. I thought Hugh Jackman was amazing in the role of Jean Valjean. I’ll never look at Wolverine again without expecting him to burst into song.

This past week, I was also invited to take part in an awesome writing related project. It's not something I can really talk about yet, but I was super excited to be approached about it. Can I just say the writing community is pretty incredible?

So what’s up with you this week? 

40 comments:

  1. When I first started querying, I tried SO HARD to do the whole "write something completely unrelated" thing and wound up in an epic writer's block. When I let myself just write the second book, boom! Instant cure. Like you said, write while you're inspired to!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear you say this! I have some other ideas I'd like to work on, but I know I won't get anywhere on them when this story is still playing out in my head. I'm just going to go with the creativity flow right now. :)

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  2. Yes, write the second book. As long as you're working, you're on the right track. Congrats! Finishing any stage is worthy of celebration!

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    1. Thanks! I think that's exactly it. If I'm working, I'm on the right track. It's easy to get bogged down in all the "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" of the process and let those become a distraction. I'm going to try not to let that happen and just see where the writing takes me.

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  3. Congratulations on finishing a revision!!! You're right - there is no solid answer to the "should I write the sequel" option. The main reason agents suggest you don't lies with changes that they or an editor might request that may affect things that happen in your sequel (which would not only prompt revisions on the first, but also a rewrite of the sequel). But honestly, if you're heart is with writing the sequel, I say go for it. I did that with my first project and one day I'll go back to it and write the rest of the series for fun - even if it never goes anywhere. :)

    Good luck with querying! I'm right there with you. *bites nails*

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    1. Yep, and what are the chances an agent or publisher won't want to make changes? (assuming I get that far, of course) I figure what I'll do is at least get the first draft out, but not delve into heavy revisions. That way the gist of it is there, but it's not so polished that tearing it apart will be even harder. I hope you do finish your first series someday! I always wonder how different some of my first projects could be now that I've learned so much more about the writing process. Thanks for wishing me luck! I'll need it!

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  4. Excited about your revision! I hope querying goes well once you jump in :) I'm totally with you on writing what inspires you!

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    1. Thanks, Liz! I'm nervous about querying, but at the same time it'll feel good to just to get my story out there. Hope writing is going well for you these days too!

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  5. That's great that you're done revisions. It's such a long, arduous task, so it's a huge relief to get to that point. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't envious. O_o That must be nice having all of those evening free to dive into writing. I know how distracting it can be to have others in the house when you want to get in some serious writing. I'm glad you enjoyed Les Misérables. I thought it was pretty great. :-)

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    1. Boys are so distracting. It's been nice for them to have all these games to go to, and I've been trying to make use of every minute the house is empty. I need to do a post on the man cave sometime.

      Don't be too envious about me finishing my revisions. Chances are I'll end up back to the drawing board at some point, whether with this story or starting from scratch. You're still way ahead of me when you think about it!

      As for Les Mis, we've had the bluray kicking around her for a while now, so it was nice to finally watch it. The only problem is Fantine and Eponine won't stop singing in my head, and the Les Mis soundtrack really isn't conducive to writing sci-fi. :)

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  6. J.K. Rowling started on CHAMBER OF SECRETS as soon as she finished PHILOSOPHER'S STONE. So she was writing book two while the rejection notes for book one were coming in. Did that stop her? I think we're all glad it didn't. As others have said, write what you're inspired to write--and if that's the next in the series, then go for it. At least when an agent asks if you've written anything else, you can say, "As a matter of fact..." :)

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    1. And if it's good enough for J.K. then it's good enough for me! I can't imagine creating a world like Harry's and then setting it aside to work on something else. The thought seems crazy! Then again, if I was her, I'd still be writing stories about the wizard world even though the series is done. :)

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  7. I can't wait to watch Les Misérables, and I kind of love your idea of doing so while eating cheesecake. I think you just helped me plan one of this weekend's activities. :-) Congrats on finishing your revisions, and I say if you're feeling inspired to begin a sequel, go for it. I always hear that with every word you write, you become a better writer, so you know you're not wasting your time, no matter what happens. Go for it, lady!

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    1. I love that philosophy! I have to write that down, so I'll remember it when I'm struggling to get every word out. I hope you enjoy Les Mis! And you should definitely watch it with some cheesecake. We're kind of addicted to cheesecake around here, so I recommend it for any occasion. :)

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  8. I agree with all the comments above about continuing to write -- and make that whatever inspires you, with no judgment on what's the "right" thing to do next. I often write a really detailed outline right after for a companion book. Then I have a framework to put down ideas while the details from the first book are still fresh in my memory. I agree about Les Mis-- Jackman was amazing. That's one of the few movies we've been able to sit down to lately, too, and I enjoyed it.

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    1. That's exactly how I feel right now. Book one is still fresh in my mind, so it only makes sense to continue on at this point. And what you said about putting aside judgment is so true.

      I'm glad you enjoyed Les Mis too. The reviews weren't stellar for it, but after watching it, I'm not sure why. I thought the cast did an incredible job! :)

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  9. Congrats on having your manuscript revised! I also agree on continuing writing. The book I'm working on right now is not a sequal but it runs parallel to my first book. Oh and now I have an image of a singing Wolverine in my head lol. He did do great as Valjean.
    Simply Sarah

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    1. Thanks! It feels good to be done one more phase in the process. A parallel book sounds like an interesting project! Hope that's going well for you! I couldn't resist mentioning Wolverine belting out show tunes. We're planning on watching all the X-Men movies again sometime soon, and I know I'll be snickering at least a little about that. :)

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  10. Way to go on finishing revisions! I'll keep my fingers crossed for your queries! If you ever want an extra pair of eyes on something, btw, I'd be happy to give it a read.

    Glad to hear you liked Les Mis--I still haven't watched it, somehow! It's on the list, but after The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Brave (I'm terrible at sitting down to watch movies!)

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    1. Oh wow, Jess! I'd love it if you read my story. That would be so helpful. And likewise, if you ever want to pass off anything to me, I'd be glad to return the favour, especially after reading some of the awesome snippets you've posted. If you honestly have time for beta reading right now, I'd really like to take you up on that offer.

      It took us a long time to get around to Les Mis too. I wanted to see it in the theatre, but somehow that never happened. I haven't seen the Perks of Being a Wallflower or Brave yet either. The movie To Be Watched list isn't as long as my TBR list, but it's close!

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  11. Don't think I could stay home if everyone else was going to a hockey game.
    If your critique partners gave it thumbs up and you've revised all you can, time to take the next step! If you want a good critique job of your query, Matthew at the QQQE does a great job.

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    1. I like hockey, but unfortunately it's one of the things I give up in order to make time for writing. Ah well, my boys cheer loud enough for all of us anyway.

      Thanks for the heads up on the query critique. I was actually lucky enough to take a course with Bree Ogden from D4EO Literary Agency through LitReactor. It was a great experience and Bree's feedback helped me whip my query into shape.

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  12. Congrats on finishing your revision!!

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    1. Thanks Ghenet! I'm glad to be done this phase!

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  13. Yay for finishing your revision! That must be a great feeling! I guess you can celebrate with all those free nights you now have :P

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    1. It's a REALLY good feeling. I have no idea if this story will go anywhere, but at least I know I finished it. I'm celebrating with more writing. :)

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  14. Hooray for finishing your revision!

    And yay for the secret invitation! I've found the YA writing community so welcoming and wonderful, across the board.

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    1. I'm pretty excited about the revision and the invitation. And I agree about the writing community. You'd think there would be all kinds of competition, but instead there's a whole lot of support!

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  15. Yay hockey!!! Though I'd probably try to sneak into the games (to heck with free nights :-P) And yay to finishing your revisions! I know what you mean about continuing on... it's hard to leave a world when you're inspired

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    1. I know, right? Very tempting! And yeah, it's definitely hard to leave a world that inspires you, especially when things in that world have gone crazy and are hanging in the balance.

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  16. I've been trying to draft something new, but I keep opening up Book 2 and adding "a few more words" to that, instead. I'm thinking I'm going to end up drafting two things at the same time once I send my MS off into queryland...

    Querying seems to be a theme among the people I've been talking to on these Wednesday posts :)

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    1. I wish I was better at working on more than one project at a time. I kind of get tunnel vision when I'm writing though. It's something I hope to get better at someday.

      Yeah, there seems to be a lot of people jumping into the querying process lately. Hopefully that goes well for everyone!

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  17. Yay for the hockey-granted free writing nights! And CONGRATS on finishing the manuscript--that's so awesome!

    The Writer's Vortex--what a great description. I haven't been there in a while, but I miss it, and it's always great to hear it's still out there :)

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    1. Thanks, I'm pretty happy about it! Funny how throwing myself into drafting another manuscript is how I reward myself for finishing revisions. Hope you find yourself in the Writer's Vortex again soon. :)

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  18. Oooh, mysterious writing related project? I am curious! Yay for that though! I love collaborating with other writers and/or just commiserating over writing and books. Your writing work makes me feel like such a slacker, but these plot diagram things sound amazing. Can we see one? :)

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    1. The secret writing related project is actually a mystery to even me right now. I haven't learned all the details yet, but I'm eager to find out what all will be involved! It might be a little while yet, so I'm in suspense too. :)

      I didn't know anything about plot arc diagrams when I started writing. I just planned my stories in whatever way felt natural for the plot. I think when you've read so many books over the years, certain things about plot and pacing just become ingrained in you. Then Daisy Carter, a blogger friend, posted this amazing series on structuring plot, and I learned oodles of helpful info. I've been buried in notes with this second manuscript and using plot arc diagrams has helped me to organize all the crazy things I want to work into the story. I've posted links to Daisy's lessons below, so you can check them out if you'd like:

      Story Structure
      Act 1
      Act 2 part 1
      Act 2 part 2
      Act 3

      Hope you find these as useful as I did!

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  19. This is really silly but you talking about Wolverine singing reminded me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFutWATCPg0. It's really silly!

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    1. Okay, this made me laugh so hard! The guy playing the keyboard was hilarious in that hideous pink sweater. Thanks for sharing the link to this!

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  20. Hi there! Thanks for dropping by my blog during last Monday's Blitz. The comments all of you left really meant a lot.

    I hope you're having a great weekend!

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    1. No problem! It was fun to Blog Blitz someone else after you guys did the same for me. I hope you enjoyed your Blitz day a lot!

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