Friday, December 30, 2011

Contest Results

I just remembered I promised to post the results from the Emily Contest when I got them. Out of a possible 75, I scored a 72, 69, and 64 from the three judges. I'm pleased with the results (especially the 72!), and the comments from the judges were mostly positive. They pointed out some clear areas for improvement, and I look forward to incorporating their advice into my next round of revisions.

Here's my favorite judge quote:
"I really love your voice! You have a wonderful writing style that is a pleasure to read. The story itself is fun and interesting, and I absolutely would buy this book."

So...that is a good way to end 2011. Let's see what 2012 brings!

2012 Resolutions

Looking back at 2011, I'm both pleased and frustrated with my accomplishments. I had NO idea revisions would take so long. I finished my first book (#1) back in May, and it's still nowhere near ready for submission. However, most of this is due to plot changes and rewrites to make it a true contemporary romance. It's been a huge learning process, and with any luck the next one will be much easier.

#1 not being finished is my frustration, but other than that I'm proud of my 2011 accomplishments. I've got a query and synopsis ready for feedback, and I've got my next book (#2) plotted and ready to start writing. Joining RWA was a huge benefit for me this year. I've gone to meetings and workshops with my local chapter that I've learned so much from, and formed a critique group with 3 local women, which has been fantastic.

So, 2012 goals. I'm going to be pretty strict with myself this year, because I have a lot to accomplish:
  1. Write book #2 - I have it plotted, and plan to start writing on January 1st (or maybe a few days after if I'm still finishing up the new ending of #1). I'm setting a loose goal of 1,000 words a day for myself, to finish the first draft by the end of March (mid-April may be more realistic). I'm excited to try writing from an outline, and a true contemporary romance. I'm hopeful this book will help me find my true voice and style.
  2. Finish a 4th round of revisions on #1. This next round of revisions should be enough to start querying! I'm going to say July 1st to have it it ready for submission.
  3. Edit and polish #2. Yep, I want two finished, polished manuscripts by the year end! In fact, I'm going to say #2 decently polished by October 1st, so that I can enter it and #1 in a few year end contests.
  4. Begin querying agents! This won't happen until the 2nd half of 2012.
  5. Keep learning. I would like to take at least 2 online classes/workshops in 2012 to brush up on my skills and learn more. I'm already enrolled in a "PI" workshop in January that I'm looking forward to as the hero in #2 is a PI. Also finish reading the workshop packets I bought on Empowering Characters Emotions.
  6. Plot Book #3. I have a general idea of my heroine and the "cute meet" but that's it.
  7. Enter several contests, at least one each for #1 and #2.
  8. Become more involved in my local RWA chapter. I go to the monthly meetings, but haven't really interacted outside my critique group. There are a lot of published authors in our group, even a RITA winner, and so much to learn if I become more involved.
  9. Become RWA certified PRO.
  10. Be a better blogger! I commit to at least 25 posts here in 2012.
Is that enough? :) I'm excited to get started! Now...I'm off to write...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gulp! My first editor critique!

I've been participating in an online seminar this week called "So You Think You Can Write", which is run by Harlequin. You know, one of the biggest publishing houses in existance... Anyway, each day, they choose 3 entries from all of the assignments submitted to be critiqued by a Harlequin editor and posted on the website.

Eek! I nearly fainted when I saw my name on there this morning! This assignment was for a "gripping scene" from your novel. So, here you have it. If you have trouble with that link, try the direct link.

I'm off to do my happy dance! :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Toughening Up

I entered my first writing contest today!  The Emily Contest through the West Houston RWA.  This is an exciting milestone for me, but I am terrified of the results.  I'm not expecting a miracle, I know I still have a long way to go.  I am looking forward to receiving feedback from the judges to help improve my writing.  And hey, if I'm feeling really brave, I will post the results on here when I get them!  Finalists are announced on December 15th.

Okay okay, I promise to post the results, even if I come in last!  haha.  I have to start toughening up my skin, because I know there will be many, many rejections ahead!

Anyway, I know I haven't kept up on this blog, but I did keep my goal earlier this year and finished the first draft of my book back in May.  Since then, I have been editing, and editing, and editing some more!  I was feeling really confident when I finished the draft, although each round of editing makes me realize how much more I have left to do.

I also joined RWA, and my local chapter, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.  I attended my first HCRW meeting last week, and have two critique partners from the group.  Up next?  Back to editing, and also to start outlining my next book.

Monday, March 14, 2011

2011 will be the year

That I finish my first complete manuscript, edit it, and prepare it for submission.

I've been very busy since deciding to pursue this goal back in October. I've completed 3 Ed2Go classes - Romance Writing Secrets, Write Fiction Like a Pro, and A Writer's Guide to Descriptive Settings.

I've rewritten half of the novel I thought was about 95% finished before I started my classes. I plan to be finished with a complete first draft by the end of May.

I've joined 2 writer's groups with fellow students from my classes, where we have shared our work for feedback and exchanged all kinds of helpful information.

It's been so exciting to finally make this a priority in my life, and I can't wait for the next step on my journey!