Tag Archives: YA Novel

Writing Check In- June 2020

2 Jun

I’ve been wanting to dedicate more time to writing. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world!

Again, not much to report. I’m currently reading a book about writing, Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich. I thought this might inspire me to try some of the writing exercises or to do some editing to my existing works but I’ve got nothing. I’m not even getting ideas for new books. I’m reading it slowly and filing the information away for ‘later,’ whenever that might happen to be.

With triathlon season in full swing, I anticipated not having a lot of time for writing, submitting, or editing right now. I didn’t anticipate a complete lack of interest in writing, either. I’m not sure what will finally light a fire under me and get me writing again. Anyone got a match?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Writing Check In- May 2020

5 May

I’ve been wanting to dedicate more time to writing. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world!

This will be short. No change since last month. I haven’t been motivated to write at all. I’ve started my triathlon training routine so I have even less time to put toward writing if I’d wanted to. It seems this goal is going to get pushed off for now at least.

I have to wonder, too, how much good submissions would do. Are agents still reviewing submissions? I know movies have been delayed and I have to imagine that some books have been delayed as well. Without the ability to do book tours, releases will likely not draw as many initial sales as they used to. So would agents clog their pipeline even more? Doubtful.

I’m going to try reading a book about writing soon and see if that helps push me forward. I’ve found that reading books about craft periodically will push me to write at times. I’m hoping it works. You’d think I have more time with quarantine but I’m finding the opposite.

Stay safe, everyone. And until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writing Check In- April 2020

7 Apr

I’ve been wanting to dedicate more time to writing. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world!

Well, this isn’t pretty. I’m not even going to pretend things are going well here. I haven’t written and I haven’t submitted anything in well over a month now. I wanted to put this topic off until the end of the month but I’ll start on it now. Corona’s got me down.

I want to start off by saying I’m safe. And I’m lucky to be working from home in a critical industry so I have a job. But, like the majority of people, I’m stuck inside my apartment for the majority of the day. I try to get out once a day to pick up food or go for a run but I’m staying inside. And it’s not fun for me. My husband described me as a wanderer by nature; I don’t do well at home for long periods of time. I’m having to adopt some coping strategies. And they’re not writing.

I’m exercising at least once a day. I’m drinking plenty of tea and water. I’m rewatching favorite movies. I’m tackling cleaning and craft projects that have been lingering. I’m not writing. I’m reading. I’m talking to friends on Zoom. I’m doing laundry. I’m not writing. I’m doing things that are part of my routine and things that bring me joy. Right now, writing isn’t one of them. And I’m okay with that.

Maybe I’ll get into the mood in the next month. Maybe not. I’m supposed to start training for triathlon national championships later in April. I’ll bike and run when I can but there’s no swimming in sight. I haven’t (yet) resorted to my bathtub. I’m thinking about it. I’m going to concentrate on what I can control. This stage of writing, releasing the story to be judged by agents, doesn’t make me feel like I’m in control. I’m going to pass on it until I’m ready to give up some control over my life. I understand that might be a while. And I’m okay with that.

Stay safe, everyone. And until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writing Check In- March 2020

10 Mar

I’ve been wanting to dedicate more time to writing. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world!

I didn’t make a lot of progress last month. I submitted to one more agency and I heard back from them late last week that they’re going to pass. So I’ve heard back from everywhere I’ve submitted to and they’ve all passed so far.

I’m trying to make a plan to move forward. I think I want to submit to ten agencies before I regroup and make some changes. I’m at five so far. So my goal for the next two months will be to submit to five more agencies. Once I’ve heard back from them all, I’ll see if I can workshop my pitch, cover letter, summary, sample pages, and anything else I’ve been asked for. Maybe I’m missing something obvious. For the record, my husband did read over it so I didn’t do this without any other eyes.

This is my last ‘calm’ month before triathlon training kicks into high gear. I know that will slow down my writing until August so these updates may become a bit shorter.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writing Check In- February 2020

4 Feb

I’ve been wanting to dedicate more time to writing. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world!

I heard back from the first agency I submitted to and, unfortunately, they’ve passed. Oh well, I didn’t expect the first one to stick. I wish I’d gotten some feedback from them, but no. I wrote back thanking them for their time and moved on.

The submission marathon continues! I’ve submitted it to three more agencies. I heard back from one almost immediately and they passed. I must have hit that agent at just the right time of the morning! Another wrote back that she passed and I was feeling courageous and asked her what made her say no. No response yet, but I’d love to get some substantial feedback.

I’ve changed my pitch letter a little, too. I added more of my elevator pitch which has intrigued some people in the past. I’m hoping that the new hook might get agents to read a little further. Fingers crossed.

I’m wondering how soon I need to seriously consider going to a writers’ conference. I know it’s a big expense, but it might be the information I need to really move forward with this project. It could give me an insight into where I’m falling short and maybe some more details on how I could edit in a different way or look for agents in new places.

The next agency I plan to pitch to has a lot of information for writers on their website. I’m exploring it as much as I can before I submit. So this next one might take a while, but I think it will help me make some positive changes.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writing Check In- January 2020

7 Jan

I’ve been wanting to dedicate more time to writing. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world!

A short but important update here. I’m so glad to say that I finally submitted my manuscript! I’m not going to say where, but I looked up this agency and followed them for quite a while before I decided to submit to them. They’ve had it for a few weeks but I know with the holiday that it might be a while before I’ll hear anything back. I have another agency picked out to submit to next and I’m just getting my submission requirements ready to send over to them. I hope to get this up to five soon and then wait for some responses before I decide what to do next.

My NaNo is sitting around, awaiting the time when it will get torn apart and edited. I think there needs to be a subplot that I’m not ready to put together and I’m still trying to find. The book moves really fast because the main plot is the only thing I was concentrating on when I wrote it and I realized it wasn’t enough when I finished the plotline before 50,000 words. I’ll keep thinking about my characters and more layers that could be added to them. I’m sure something else will come to me.

So it’s submissions and editing in my near future. Not overly exciting but I’m looking forward to doing some solid editing again and having more of a plan around it this time than I did for my 20s novel.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writing Check In- December

5 Dec

One of my goals for this year was to write more. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world!

This should be quite the update! If you haven’t seen previous posts, I’m happy to inform you that I’m a NaNoWriMo 2019 winner! I finished at 8:30PM on November 30th so I pushed it to the end but I made it. I actually ran out of story to tell and had to go back and add a scene. Not my favorite way to do things, but it worked out okay. That one needs some serious editing so I’ll set it aside for a few months and concentrate on getting my 20s novel submitted as I’d planned on before.

I haven’t thought about the 20s novel in a month and I think that was good for me. I got some much-needed distance and I feel like I can look at my pitch (the last thing pending) and make one or two changes before I send it off to this first agent. I understand it’s just the first, but it’s a bit stressful to get through the first one! I have to be ready for the rejections and no-responses but I’ve been through it with short stories before. I know with a novel, it will be more painful, but I’m not as scared now that I have the second novel under my belt.

I’m glad I did NaNo. I needed it right now with how freaked out I am about the first novel. Now I can say it’s a series? But it’s not? I’ll find a way to describe it eventually.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writing Check In- November

5 Nov

One of my goals for this year was to write more. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world!

There’s good and bad news. The bad news is that even though it’s completely ready, I haven’t submitted my manuscript to an agent. I’m hung up on my hook and I don’t like it so I’ve been putting it off and waiting until ‘inspiration strikes’ to submit. I know that’s never going to happen but it’s what I tell myself while I work through it. I’m so close but emotionally distanced from finally hitting ‘Send.’

And now for the good news. I’m writing this ahead of time (31-Oct) but by the time you read this, I should be on day 5 of NaNoWriMo! I’ve decided to do it. I spent October outlining what I hope will be a fun period piece that I think will last at least 50,000 words and keep me engaged the whole time. I think my mistake with my last NaNo was not doing something I was excited about. This time, I’m pumped. I think this will be a blast of an adventure story.

So there are ups and downs. It seems like more downs than up right now, but I’m optimistic that my update to you for December will be ‘I’m a NaNo winner’ and that will be a very big ‘up!’

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writing Check In- October

8 Oct

One of my goals for this year was to write more. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world!

I delayed writing this post a while so I could have something to report. I didn’t get a lot of writing done in September. It’s a very busy fall for me, more so than I can remember before, even without school. My goal of making time to write was washed away with a new job and figuring out a new schedule. I’m adjusting well enough, I think. It will take a bit more time.

I haven’t done any writing but I made some small adjustments to the new ending of my novel and I’m satisfied with it. I’m going to start submitting! I picked an agent I want to submit to and I’m working on the submission requirements she has. It will take me a little time but I’ll have less to prepare next time (hopefully). I want an agent to take me seriously so I’m being sure to meet all the requirements each has. After I finish with this one, I’ll submit to two more and then wait for feedback before I move forward.

I’m also seriously considering doing NaNo this year. I need to get moving with my next book, whatever that is, and NaNo is a great time to do that. 2015 was the last time I did NaNo and it feels like a good time to get back into it. I need to do some research about the period I hope to write in and start developing some characters. I have a few ideas, but nothing that could be a fully formed story yet.

So there are my minor steps forward. I’m always optimistic about making more progress than I do, but at least it pushes me forward.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writing Check In- September

10 Sep

One of my goals for this year was to write more. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world! I’m running a little late this month because of the Labor Day holiday but I’m still here!

I had a much better month! I was lucky to have two weeks scheduled off as I changed jobs and I used it to get a lot of things done around my house, including writing. I finished the next draft! I’m feeling really good about the book now and I think I’m going to try submitting it to an agent and see what happens. So my next steps are getting my query letter, samples, summaries, etc. ready to go. I wish there was a little more consistency in what agents asked for, but it also makes us work for publication, so I understand.

It would be great if I could get going on another project. Being in the editing and submission phase is fun, but I like the process of creating. I have a workbook that is supposed to help you craft a novel and that might be a place to start. I’ve had a few ideas bouncing around for a while, but nothing fully formed and ready to be a novel. Maybe I need to finish a short story first. Or work on getting one I’ve finished published. There are a lot of different ways I could go right now, though having something in process sounds the most fun.

If anyone has any suggestion on how to work on a new piece while keeping up with an old one, I’m all ears. I want to keep writing as a part of my routine but I’m nervous about getting overwhelmed as I head into a new job and a change of my routine.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!