Fiction,  The Writing Life,  Writing a Novel

September: Time to Get on Track

Okay, I admit I spent the summer revising a train adventure story…

After the lazy days of summer, Fall is always a great time to set new goals and new routines. This year as the hot weather extends into September, I have been a little sluggish at getting all of my new routines kicked into high gear. Still, it has been an exciting start to my work year, which I always think of as running September to June. Old habits die hard!

September 1st was a big day with revisions for my new YA manuscript ready to submit to my agent and editorial staff. I’m still wondering about the pacing. It’s tricky, finding that balance between wanting to include a lot of detail, but not wanting the story to drag. Kind of holding my breath to see what the team thinks about how I have handled the revisions.

The most recent update from my agent was not the most positive with regards to the YA market and lack of sales which will absolutely impact acquisitions. Still, I’m super excited about my teen project and hoping that by some miracle it will find a home, despite the gloomy statistics.

In the meantime, I am having fun with my shiny new project. Here’s where that is at:

  • creating characters and backstory for characters
  • writing rough scenes to get the general idea of the story down on paper
  • researching places for plot and character back stories

In other words, it’s a bit of a muddle at the moment!

Mentoring emerging writers is another activity that I am currently passionate about. Once a week, I meet with an emerging writer with the goal of coaching and encouraging while sharing some of my expertise, tips and techniques for novel writing. It is such a rewarding endeavour. And a lot of fun. Despite my teaching background, and the fact that my first novel was picked up right away, I learned a lot about novel writing the hard way–by trial and error. It makes me very happy to help others avoid some of those beginner pitfalls.

Things I still need to get on track with? I’m thinking I could be more consistent with posting on my blog. But, honestly? If it’s between writing my story and posting a blog, I feel that my story has to come first. Social media is another huge topic, but that’s best left for another day.

The most important thing to remember when all of these things call out for your attention is to write every day. Promise yourself that. Even if it is just a couple of sentences. Write. Everything else is somewhere further down the list.

That’s my September update. I’ll keep you posted on my various projects. In the meantine,

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