Oh I haven’t done Beautiful People in FOREVER!
This month’s theme is writerly resolutions.
It is the new year, after all.
What were your writing achievements last year?
Well, I won NaNoWriMo. I started editing LASER and got through Draft 2. I queried with picture books and took part in three Twitter Pitch events.
Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
LASER. I am in the middle of Draft 3 edits and I would absolutely love to be completely done editing or at least very close by the time summer starts. LASER is my baby and I need to finish it and try to get it published.
List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
- Less Procrastinating (working on it)
- Better Sleep Schedule (this is actually related to writing, though indirectly)
- Read More (as Stephen King once said, if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write)
- Don’t tell people about my new WIPs! (you’d think I’d have learned this by now…)
- I want to continue to write better stories. I want to learn how to manipulate reader-emotions better and I want to learn how to choose the right word and I want to create amazing characters. And I want to enjoy doing it. Because if I don’t enjoy it, then what is the point?
Are you participating in any writing challenges?
New Year’s Short Story Challenge 2016, if we do it. I’m not even sure about NaNoWriMo. If I do NaNo, it will probably be more for motivation and less for 50K.
What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
I have two or three critique partners right now. These are my alphas, who read the earliest draft possible in all its hideous glory and will also read the finished product in all of its much-less-hideous glory. They also help me brainstorm from time to time.
As for betas, I have none. I’m debating on whether or not I want to find some. On the one hand, more eyes to help me get all the bugs out. On the other, betas take up more time. And then, which draft do I send them? The completed one or the next readable one? (Any thoughts on betas, guys?)
Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?
I plan to read Write You Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell. I believe it involves plotting from the midpoint first. I’ve always had trouble with midpoints, so I thought this would be an interesting read.
Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?
There’s a girl, currently nameless and mostly storyless. Her plot bunny attacked me the other day. I’d like to get to know her, perhaps.
If that plot bunny is not ready to be chased, there is a group of about six characters for the sequel to LASER. I met most of them back in 2011 and 2012. Their story may be the next one to be told.
Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?
Editing is continuing what I’ve been doing and fixing/improving LASER as best as I can and chronicling how I do it here.
As for querying… research potential agents, write query letters and synopses and pitches, panic, compose emails, panic, hit send then feel relief but also excitement to the point of jumping every time my email notification goes off.
Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?
This is a difficult question to answer. Because it’s not like there’s an actual thought process for me of “Why are there no books like this? I know! I should write one!”.
I write what I want to write and I’m not trying to fill a “hole” or anything like that. I really just want a good story.
So maybe that’s my answer. There aren’t enough good stories in the world and there never will be. What makes a story good is subjective. The point is, some reader somewhere wants to keep reading good stories, wants to wander the library or bookstore looking for a new favorite, and it is my desire to give them a good story.
What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?
I want LASER finished and I want to query with it and it’d be nice if I could get an agent or a publishing contract… yes, I know I don’t have much control over that.
I want to start a new story and maybe finish the first draft.
That’s really it, but they are large and ambitious goals.
SO! Tell me all about your writing goals! What do you want to achieve by the end of the year? Do you write to fill holes or no? And any thoughts on beta-readers?