Wednesday, 17 July 2013

What's Up Wednesday/Ready. Set. WRITE!

Okay, how did it get to be Wednesday again already? I can’t believe the summer is half over! Seriously, I'm afraid if I look at my trees the wrong way, their leaves are going to start changing colours and fall off. Anyway, if you’d like to take part in WUW, please sign up on the linky at Jaime Morrow’s site. That’s also where you can post a link to your blog if you want to join Ready. Set. WRITE! And don’t forget our giveaway! One lucky RSW participant will win a lovely writer’s care package courtesy of the co-host team: Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, Elodie Nowodazkij, Jaime Morrow and me. Check out the rafflecopter below to see how you can earn entries. The contest will be open until Tuesday, July 23rd at 11:59 pm, and we'll announce the winner during WUW/RSW on the 24th. And now for the condensed version of my week…

What I’m Reading:

I’m reading The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller. I’m only a couple pages in, but I’ve been looking forward to this one for quite some time.

What I’m writing:

My goal last week was to finish three more scenes. It was a close call, but I got the scenes done, and my word count was just shy of 4100. That brings my WIP just over the 33, 000 mark. I’m venturing into some new plot territory now, so that’s exciting.

This week, my goal is going to be very different. Recently, I received a rejection from an agent who was kind enough to give me some valuable feedback. Before I continue querying, I need to experiment with ways I can incorporate her advice. That’s not the most concrete goal in the world, because it can’t be measured in terms of word count or number of scenes, but since querying is a priority, it needs to be done.

What’s Inspiring Me Right Now:

Just on time for a weekend of heavy writing, I received a parcel all the way from Germany. Elodie, one of my awesome RSW co-hosts, sent each of us on the team a Ready. Set. WRITE! t-shirt and some delicious goodies to fuel our writing sessions. Not only was this incredibly encouraging, but it provided a much needed sugar boost to get my brain in gear. That t-shirt is my new RSW uniform and whenever I put it on, I’ll feel inspired. Thanks again, Elodie! You’re the best!

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

I didn’t do anything especially interesting this week other than what I’ve already mentioned. It’s been busy but not with much that’s worth describing. There were lots of iced coffees, episodes of How I Met Your Mother watched far too late with my hubby, chapters of The Westing Game read to my son, and a nine hour conversation with my sister on Google Hangouts. Yes, nine hours. This is when plot holes get filled and characters develop. Seriously, without those conversations, I’d still be on chapter one of an unfinished manuscript.

In case you missed my pirate interview on YA Buccaneers this past week, you can have a look and a laugh here if you wish. We’d love it if you’d stop by and leave us an “Arrr matey” in the comments, or jump into the reading and writing fun with our crew.

So what’s happening in your corner of the blogosphere?





a Rafflecopter giveaway

51 comments:

  1. It's so wonderful to have a helpful rejection. You feel like there's actually somewhere you can go with the story and it's an insight into why you might not be getting anywhere. Good luck with revisions. And congratulations on hitting 33k too!

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    1. I know, isn't it weird how a rejection can actually be a good thing? While I was disappointed, I was so thankful this agent took the time out of her busy schedule to give me some feedback. I haven't queried many agents yet, so I was glad to get this advice so soon in the process. And thanks, it feels great to be over 30, 000 words finally! :)

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  2. 33,000 words is fantastic, congratulations! Hope that you have fun incorporating those suggestions, it always amazes me the new paths suggestions can lead you down.

    Your care package sounds lovely, have a great week!

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    1. Thanks! It finally feels like my story is taking shape. Working in the agent's suggestions is going to be challenging, but ultimately I agree that it will make the story better. Hope you have a great week too!

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  3. Glad you got some good feedback, it's always helpful to receive some constructive criticism. Good look incorporating it!

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    1. I'm glad I got some advice from an agent too. I haven't sent out a lot of query letters yet, so I feel lucky to have received feedback early in the process. Thanks for wishing me luck!

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  4. Awww thanks :D So glad you're enjoying the little things I put in there :-) and yes for helpful rejections! Those are priceless even though they still sting a little.
    Good luck with your goals this week! (and I need to check out your interview on YA Buccaneers!)

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    1. The parcel really did come at the perfect time! So fun and encouraging! And yep, the rejection definitely stung a bit, but I so appreciated the way this agent took the time to help me out. It was really nice of her to give a specific reason for the rejection. Hope you get a chuckle out of the pirate interview! :)

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  5. Getting a rejection with helpful feedback is wonderful! It means said agent saw enough promise and good things in your MS to allocate some precious minutes to suggest how it could be better. :)

    And I'm with you, I can't believe how fast this summer is flying by. My To Do list is starting to have baby To Do lists of it's own and they are multiplying like Tribbles (or Gremlins after midnight)

    How fun that you and Jaime can bounce ideas back and forth like that over GH! And 9 hours...you might qualify for Guinness with that one. (The book not the beer...though you could have the Beer too to reward yourself for getting in the record book or as a query reward. Let's say a beer for every query you send out and a six pack for every rejection. But on second thought, perhaps querying while drunk would be inadvisable.) :)

    Hope you have a fantastic week! Good luck with those agent comments!

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    1. Ha ha! Nice! I used the exact same Gremlins metaphor for my To Do lists in a recent comment to Jaime. Glad I'm not the only one whose lists are getting out of control!

      As for the rejection, it was both disappointing and exciting at the same time. I haven't queried very many agents yet, so I'm thankful this bit of advice came so soon in the process. Hmm, I love Guiness, so that would be good motivation for sending out queries. Might have to try that! Hope you have a super week too! :D

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  6. First of all, congrats on getting out there and querying. That takes a measure of bravery. Plus, you go feedback from an agent… How awesome (and rare) is that! Good job. It's wonderful that you're so close with your sister! Good luck with revising goals!

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    1. Thanks so much! I feel sort of brave actually! I was really thankful for the feedback, especially since it was about something that's entirely possible to improve. I'm also thankful that my sister and I can talk writing. It helps a lot!

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  7. I must get my hands on THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD. That sounds like a book I'd very much enjoy. Also, while I hate rejection as much as the next querier, it's nice to get one that's helpful, so yay for that!

    Also, that is an awesome idea about using the shirt as a uniform. Love it! And I loved your interview on the YA Buccaneers! So fun!

    I hope you have a wonderful writing week!

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    1. I haven't had time to get into the book yet, but I'm hoping to throw myself into it this week. The premise sounds so fun! As for the rejection, I'm glad this agent gave me advice so early in the process. I haven't queried many agents yet, so I'm definitely going to listen to her before firing off any more letters.

      Glad you liked the interview and the uniform idea! I wore my shirt this weekend, and I felt all motivated! Hope you have a great writing week too! :)

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  8. Thanks for reminding me to pick up THE WESTING GAME! So excited to reread that one.

    33,000 words is fantastic. Congrats on all your hard work! I was having trouble getting motivated last Sunday, and RSW was definitely my inspiration to buckle down and write. Thanks to Team RSW!

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    1. Hey, no problem! I loved THE WESTING GAME when I was a kid, so I'm super excited to share it with my son.

      Glad to hear RSW is helping you buckle down! Reaching my goals was slow going this week, and knowing I had to report on my goals today definitely gave me the extra push to finish up my scenes too. :)

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  9. Great job on your writing progress, Erin! 33,000 words is amazing! Good luck with your querying too. Rejections are always tough, but I remember just being so thirsty for feedback that any sort of specific advice fueled my inspiration and enthusiasm for weeks - so valuable! I loved hearing about your German chocolates (yum!!), and the conversation you had with your sister. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm sure a good chunk of those 33,000 words will eventually get cut, but at least the story is finally taking shape. I know what you mean about craving that feedback. I've been hoping for any little tidbit of advice, so I really appreciated this particular agent taking the time to mention why she rejected my ms. Glad you enjoyed my tales of chocolate and chatting with my sister! :)

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  10. It's so awesome you and your sis can share writing. I'm hoping my teen bro decides to go the creative route, because my older bro is a computer guy and I don't know the first thing about that :)

    The Summer I Became a Nerd looks cute!

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    1. I'm so thankful my sister and I can talk about writing. It wasn't until Jaime took up writing too that I really buckled down and got serious about finishing a manuscript. That accountability has been so important to me--plus, it's just fun to squeal about our WIPs together. That would be awesome if your brother developed an interest in writing too! :)

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  11. I love meeting other writers and the solidarity of cheering each other on. I also love that I'm pushing myself harder than I do when left to my own devices.

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    1. I've only been blogging since last fall, and I've been floored by how encouraging and supportive the writing community is. Glad you're finding that too. :)

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  12. Those Google Hangouts sessions are irreplaceable, I have to agree. :) You're making awesome progress on your WIP, and I think it's a great idea to tackle the things you need to to continue querying. That's a good plan. I've been watching tons of episodes of New Girl on Netflix (the American Netflix) and I'm finding it pretty funny. The first few episodes were only meh, but further in I've been laughing out loud a lot more. I need to get caught up on HIMYM too. And I keep forgetting about THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD. I have it on my Kindle and really need to read it. :)

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    1. I always feel like something's missing if we haven't Skyped or Google Hangouted (still need to figure that term out) in a while. More than anything that's what gives me the kick I need to get writing, so thanks for that! About my weekly goal, I figure I need to make incorporating this agent's advice a big priority. Since my current WIP is a sequel, there's not much point working on it (other than to amuse myself) if the first story doesn't go anywhere. And seeing as her issue with the story is something totally fixable, it's a good idea to get on that asap.

      I haven't seen any episodes of New Girl, but I've wondered if it was good. We'll have to try that out. We're enjoying HIMYM, but some of the humour gets a bit old when you're watching episodes back to back. Plus, I'm torn about the Canadian jokes. Some of they are super funny and others just don't even make sense or make me want to strangle the show's writers. I think I heard about THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD from you, so yeah, you should read it. :)

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  13. I love that you guys hang out and write together. You are making great progress on your WIP, Erin. Love it. I'm no longer participating in R.S.W because I finished my revisions, handed it back to the agent and taking a MONTH off writing. WOO! I'm so excited. This means lots of time for reading!!! I've been revising that novel for over a year (rewriting, writing, adding new plots, changing the voice, etc) and so a break is super nice. I also have to say....iced coffee is my fuel too. :-)

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    1. Sisterly bonding is an essential part of the writing process for me. I trust Jaime's opinion so our writing conversations are a huge help.

      While I'm sorry you won't be taking part in RSW anymore (not that I won't see you around the blogs, of course!), I'm so excited that you finished your revisions! Awesome job! And I hope you enjoy every second of your month off writing! I hope you stuff a ton of good books into your break! And yes, iced coffee is becoming like a magic elixir for writing lately. :D

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  14. Wow, that's great that you got some feedback! I mean, rejections suck, but since everybody gets them, it's good that this one can at least be useful! Good luck incorporating that feedback and go you for making so much progress with your wordcount!

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    1. Thanks, Jess! That's what I thought too. Sure, it was disappointing, but I haven't queried many agents yet, so I'm really thankful to get some useful feedback this early in the process. Now I can attempt to fix the problem before I continue querying. Just one more challenge along the road, I guess!

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  15. Agent feedback--wow! That's the best kind of rejection. :) I hope the agent's advice works for your story and leads to more agent interest when you start querying again!

    All the best with your goals this week, Erin. :)

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    1. Yes, it was like rejection with a little gift attached, because she actually gave me a reason she turned down my story. Very valuable, and I plan on making the most of the advice! And thanks, I hope it leads to more agent interest too! :)

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  16. That's so great that you got some helpful agent feedback. I think your goal of focusing on how to incorporate it into your MS is a good one. Good luck!

    Aww, that was so sweet of Elodie! I want to see you guys in your t-shirts! :)

    I'm super jealous of your relationship with your sister. How awesome that you can have epically long convos about your writing!

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    1. I was really thankful to get some feedback this early in the process. I haven't queried many agents yet, so I'm glad I'll have the chance to tackle the issue this agent pointed out before wasting too many querying opportunities.

      Elodie is such an encouraging person! I actually took a couple pictures of myself in my new RSW t-shirt and then realized my hair was a hideous mess, so I didn't end up posting them lol. Maybe another week.

      As for my relationship with my sister, I'm super lucky about that. She's indispensable to my writing and everything else! :)

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  17. I think that thoughtful agent feedback is one of the greatest gifts a querying writer can receive. I can't tell you how much I learned from two specific agents who took the time to give me revision advice even though they ultimately ended up passing on my work. Their feedback completely changed the way I write and revise. Best of luck incorporating the advice you received. I am totally rooting you on!

    And hello... You are so lucky to have an awesome, YA loving sister to indulge in long chats with!

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    1. I know agents are super busy, so this bit of guidance was really appreciated on my part. I haven't queried a lot of agents yet, which means I now have the chance to fix the issue before jumping back into the process. I'm sure there'll be plenty more rejections up ahead, but at least heeding her concerns might help. That's wonderful you had a couple agents that took the time to give you some advice as well! And yep, I'm pretty darn lucky to have Jaime for a sister. I don't think I'd ever have made it this far along the writing journey without her. :)

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  18. I just read The Summer I Became A Nerd last week. I liked it but didn't love it. I'll be curious to see what you think of it. And good luck with your query revising goals.

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    1. That's too bad you didn't enjoy it more. I've only read a couple pages, so I haven't formed any opinions just yet. It looks like a fun summer read and I could use a book like that right now, so I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for wishing me luck on my querying goals!

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  19. Yay agent feedback, and that sounds like RSW is a great thing you've got going on! Headed to YA Buccaneers now... :D

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    1. I was really thankful for the agent feedback. I know agents are super busy so the fact that she took the time to give me a reason why she was rejecting my story meant a lot to me. RSW has been a huge success! I don't think any of us on the co-host team anticipated how big of a crowd it would attract and how much progress we'd all make because of it. Hope you have fun over at YA Buccaneers! :)

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  20. How fantastic that an agent gave you specific and useful comments-- that's like gold! Sounds like a pretty good week! Hope this next one is just as good.

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    1. I know right? It's a rejection and a gift at the same time! Hope you have a great week too! :)

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  21. Even though it was a ER on your query, getting any helpful feedback is priceless in my book! I hope you're able to incorporate the feedback in a way that's best for you and your book!

    And 9 hours on video chat? You both are awesome. I thought Bridgid and I could chat long...but I think 9 hours takes the cake! I hope you got lots figured out between the both of you!

    I'm looking forward to what you think about THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD - that one looks great!

    Best of luck with your goals this week!

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    1. I thought it was priceless too. I haven't queried that many agents yet, so I'm really thankful I got some helpful advice this early in the process. Now I can try to fix the problem before diving back in.

      The thing about video chatting is that it's the next best thing to being in the room together. Since Jaime and I don't live in the same city it's a pretty decent substitute for actually hanging out. While we talk we tend to poke away at other things. I managed to reorganize all my copious notes and lists during this latest conversation, plus we made always make some great headway on story details. It's work and fun at the same time!

      I'm hoping THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD is as fun as it sounds. I could really use a light, fun read right now! Good luck with your goals this week too!

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  22. A nine hour video chat with your sister?!?! NINE? Wow. :) I LOVE that you guys talk about your writing together!

    Major kudos on getting feedback from an agent! That's really exciting. I'll be sending you good thoughts as you work on incorporating it into your manuscript!

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    1. Since we don't live in the same city, hanging out on line is the next best thing. Nine hours sounds crazy, but it sure flies by! I'm so glad Jaime and I can discuss writing, because I would never have gotten this far in the process without that support and accountability.

      The feedback from this agent was really appreciated. It was a small thing, but a vital one. Hopefully heeding her advice will go a long way in getting other agents to even look at my ms. Thanks for sending those good thoughts! I can sure use them! :)

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  23. I used to spend marathon sessions chatting on aohell and AIM, but I can't even imagine a 9-hour chat session! Also, congratulations on the specific agent feedback. It's so nice to know what needs improved, instead of left wondering just why an agent passed.

    I got under 10,000 words done since last week, but I've been really busy with other things, coupled with the heat making me feel unmotivated to do much of anything.

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    1. Nine hours sounds super long, but it really flies by, especially since we don't get to see each other in real life very often. I'm lucky to have a sister who's also a great friend and crit partner. I also feel very lucky about the agent feedback. Just giving me a reason why she rejected the manuscript is really valuable information. Like you said, now I'm not left wondering and maybe I can actually fix the problem.

      The heat has been an issue for me lately too. One of the scenes I tackled this week was cold and snowy. Not easy to write when the house feels like the furnace is on full blast.

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  24. That's so cool about your long conversation with your sister that she helps you with your plots and characters! I would SOOOO love a sister or writing friend like that!

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    1. I'm very lucky to have a sister who also writes YA. The only drawback is that usually we know each other's stories fairly well before even reading them and there aren't any surprises. :D

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  25. Congrats on the helpful rejection letter! I haven't even begun to query, but it seems to me that those are the best kinds of rejections to get.
    My brother is my muse/writing elf. He helps me with all that kind of stuff on a nearly daily basis. My plot would be something like, "Evil person tries to win. Protag fights. Protag wins in the end." But my brother is super smart and helped me come up with a really complex, almost-too-smart-for-me plot instead which I can hopefully pull off.

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  26. That rejection sounds fantastic! (That felt SO WEIRD to type--but it's true! :P) That's so neat that you can take her notes back to your MS and work from them.
    And I love that you've got your sister as a writing partner in all of this! My sis and I wrote together in high school, but we never kept up after that. There's nothing quite like having someone you can be completely honest with (and who is honest with you!). I've got friends that I'm very close with, but there's nothing quite like family. :)

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  27. I'm so excited for you on getting some good advice on a rejection. I know how hard it is getting--even after a request for a full--the "this just isn't for me" or "I just didn't connect to the voice." So I hope those revisions go well! Have a great weekend :)

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