First, a breakdown of my National Novel Writing Month stats: 35,681 words written in total, average of 1,189 per day. I wrote 27/30 days. I managed to finish my first draft of Book 2 this morning, only, shockingly, 3 days late.
My lessons learned:
1. I like making time to write every day. I will keep doing this.
2. I liked having some accountability. I think when I am in writing mode, I will count and publish the number of words I've written that day/week. It's harder to do in revising mode, but if there's big chunk, I'll make sure to count it.
3. The best way to break writer's block is to...write. Some of what I wrote was complete crap, but now I can fix it.
4. November is a bad month to do this, especially this year for me. But I still managed to get it done, so there's that.
Now, a writing update. I spent November working on Book 2. I received the manuscript back from the editor last week and now that NaNoWriMo is over and I have my first draft of Book 2, I will be editing Book 1. I haven't looked at it yet, but from her comments, it won't take long. I should hear back from he two contests I entered by the end of the month. If a traditional publisher doesn't pick it up, I will likely self-publish sometime in January. I will be filing a copyright, designing the cover, and re-formatting it for e-publication.
A shout out to my friend and photographer extraordinaire, Janelle Montenegro, for the fantastic author photos! Find her on Facebook @JanelleMontenegroPhotography.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts November 1. I am taking part this year, hoping to have a first draft of Book 2 by the end of the month. We'll see. Have some crazy things going on in my personal life, but I can try.
I am trying to get a newsletter going, so be on the lookout for that. Most likely, I will send one out quarterly, at least to start with. I have been doing pretty good with social media. On Facebook, I've been posting "deleted" snippets every other week. On Instagram, I am posting a Throw Back Thursday pic each week. It's often of places I've lived or visited, plus the occasional cat photo. Should be a good one of our black cat this week, since today is his gotcha day. It has been fun trying to find my Twitter voice. Still working on it, but look for a scene from Book 1 told in emojis, also every other week. You can find me on all three platforms @EmiMiWriter.
This school year I said yes to too many things. I know better. I've done this before and it doesn't go well. But I did it anyway. So I haven't updated this blog in nearly a month. A lot's happened.
First, there will be a delay in publishing. Although the manuscript should be ready in the next month or so, I decided to submit it for a contest for unpublished writers. The stipulation, of course, is that it can't be published while under consideration for the prize, which will be no earlier than mid-December. The good news about delaying publication of Book 1 is that Book 2 will come out much closer to Book 1's release date.
First edits are done on Book 1 and the manuscript is back to the editor. I am about halfway through Book 2. It's been...interesting. I set myself up for a particularly challenging sequel. Right now, I am merely pouring sand into the box. The castles will come later (not my quote - that's paraphrasing Shannon Hale).
What I plan to do is release snippets of Book 1 on Facebook (deleted scenes for now). I hope to put longer excerpts excerpts here from the edited manuscript, but need to make sure that doesn't count as "publishing", thus ruining my chances in the contest. I'm gonna try something fun on Twitter. I'll try telling parts of the story using emojis. Let's see how frustrating/funny those turn out. Instagram will be quiet until I have a book cover to advertise. Until then, I will post Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday pics - usually of my cats (past and present) and travels. I had a lovely one last week of a hot air balloon in the wee hours of the morning. Find me on social media @EmiMiwriter
Got the manuscript back from the editor only a week after I sent it to her. Biggest revelation - Oxford commas (the commas before "and" in a list of three or more) are in. There goes thirty years of training. Ugh. The good news is most of the edits were typos and commas with only a few "major" suggestions to fix a couple of structural/tension problems. I've already taken care of the small stuff. Now to think about the big stuff.
Book 1 is off to the editor as of five days ago. So now I get to work on Book 2. I actually wrote a chapter last night and worked on some backstory. It was a very productive Labor Day for me. My next big hurdle with publishing Book 1 will be to figure out formatting. I think that will be next week's project. I'm on a roll with the craft of writing, so I don't want to spoil that with the technicalities.
The last two weeks I have done jack shit on any of my writing. Instead, I have been been the victim of time sucks. A four day vacation was great, but was followed by gearing up for the new school year, which starts in early August here in Tucson. I volunteered with Haven Totes, getting backpacks full of school supplies, food boxes and other services for students in need. Then I had to get my own kiddos ready for their new school year - a new middle schooler and a surly sophomore in high school. I had high hopes for this weekend, but the fridge started leaking and we spent a couple hours trying fruitlessly to fix it. Fortunately it was just the water line for the ice maker, so now we have to go back to the dark ages and make our own ice. Le sigh. Then helping the kiddos with homework and organization. I'm done. Maybe tonight I can get to some revisions on book 1.
You pronounce Michel like Michael in English. Yes, I know it's French. Yes, I actually know French pronunciation, but this is how my family pronounces it. Thanks.
So excited to get a working website. Thank you to my wonderful teenager for helping me extensively to get this set up.