Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week 3 Check-In - WIP Madness

I hope everyone has had a productive writing week. I sort of took a week off. Not really, but I didn't do my writing mornings and changed my alarm clock from 5:00 am to 5:45 am.

What I did manage was sending my YA off to two new beta readers after mostly completed revisions. Then I managed to prowl back through one more time and fix minor ticks, including one paragraph that took an entire hour to get just right. But I'm thinking it's a good sign that I still have the stamina to read this book from beginning to end and still like it. Only problem, during the revisions I cut the scene that had the title in it. Oops. When I hear back from my readers and see their suggestions, this puppy goes back to Secret Agent Man and then hopefully will start being shopped. Fingers crossed - I need to get our tractor fixed before winter!

My agent got back to me on the first 50 of my upper MG and although he says "I'm on to something" he had some suggestions to make it sparkle. I'm glad to have some direction to approach my revisions and now that the first draft has been sitting for almost a month, it's time to reset the alarm clock for 5:00 a.m.

In other news, Homecoming was a smash success. I did a rousing rendition of "Baby Got Back" with the lyrics "I like big books" that included a surprise booty grind with our steamy hot assistant football coach. The kids went wild and afterwards I had two of my students approach me and put there hands at chest level and say "Ms. J.Ro, you were here for us before." Then they raised their hands way above their heads and said, "Now you're here." Another girl found me and said, "Ms. J.Ro, who knew you had a WILD side." Nothing like a little out and out tomfoolery to make kids laugh.

So, what about all of you? Successes? Smashes? Wish I would of's? Twitter has seemed sort of quiet this week, so I'm curious to hear from each of you!


  1. My life is amazingly quiet in comparison, Ms. J Ro, you wild woman, you.
    But I'm plugging along with my characters in the wild North Cascade mountains. Interesting to write a book set where I live. Our one month of summer is officially over, so we're back to dark, cold and rainy for the duration. Very conducive to loads of reading and writing.

    Have a great writing week everyone! See you in the Twitterverse.

  2. Sounds like an awesome week, J.Ro! And shake that booty!!!

    I have decided to jump back to the beginning and do some revision before I nail down the climax. There are places that need a tighter focus or more development that might help me seal the finale. Alas, a paragraph might take me an entire day rather than an hour to shape up.

    But I'm workin' it!

  3. Mary Ann - I think that's smart, sometimes I'm hesitant to do it because I just want to plow through the first draft, but I know your method works well for many.

    Angelina - My weekend was very quiet as a result of my day-job madness last week. And today is a half day with half teacher-workday. I think they took pity on us.

  4. Sounds like you had a great week "off," haha. You're still making progress on so many fronts! And that's great that homecoming was a success.

    I've been super-quiet because I'm eyeball-deep in revisions still. I got through about 80 pages during many, many hours last week. I'm working off really targeted feedback (my last beta!), and it is definitely making it "easy" to know what still needed to be addressed.

    I'm hoping to finish in another week or two, so full steam ahead!

    Have a great week, everyone!

  5. Glad to hear Homecoming went so well!

    I spent hours reworking the ending of a WIP (the beginning is out with my betas, we read in chunks instead of fulls) and now I'm so pleased with myself, I'm walking around with my chest puffed

    Never fear, though, I've been working on another WIP and my frustrations will pull me back down to, "I'm a hack and I suck" level soon enough :) This is the one I'm supposed to be adding words to, but I stopped halfway through writing to revise b/c something felt off and now I'm losing words...but feeling better about the direction.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  6. I spent yet another "off" weak not plunging into anything new. I did get thru book one of the short story anthology (700 pgs) - for research. This week's goal is to finish book 2.

    I also embarked on a "make-it-palatable" round of edits on my 1st draft upper MG. I'm at chapter 5 of 14, so I'm thinking goal will be to finish it and (possibly if ready) send out to a few betas.

    Jaye, can ask your word count on an upper MG? Mine's sitting at 62,400 after shaving off about 800. Goal is to get under 60K. Still too big?

  7. My manuscript is right around 60K, though I'm having to go back in to do a touch more visual/descriptive world building so my eek up some. I think as long as you keep it under 70k it's not too daunting - my protagonist is 13 and other characters older so this may be a bit of a cross-over book.

  8. Savor your chest-puffed moment Jennifer - they don't last long enough - I did the roller coast of "I'm made of suckage" earlier this week, blah.

    Kip - that book is going to be perfect! You have the patience of Job with revisions. I bow to you.

  9. Cool. My character's 12 but the book's themes are kind of heavy, plus it's a sci-fi, which is why I thought it could go a little long...

    Thanks for the info, and good luck writing this week!

  10. I must be in the "talentless hack" valley of the writing landscape. Kind of no idea what I'm doing with my WiP at the moment, but I'm muddling through -- cutting words here and adding more there. Thank goodness for these check-ins to urge me forward!

  11. Hang in there Jaime - soon you'll be out of that muggy valley and singing high to the hills of your fabulosity (is that a word?) - you can always send out the #wipmadness call for stickers and virtual chocolate.

  12. Homecoming sounds like it was loads of fun. This is something that didn't happen at my high school (and I don't know if it happens in Canada, period), but it's fun to hear about it.

    This week I feel a bit hung over, but in a good way. On Thursday I finished that Harlequin contest entry that I still feel good about, no matter what the results. Then I needed a break, to catch up on my sleep and finish a few non-writing things I'd been putting off.

    Today, however, I feel ready to get back to work. The exhaustion has abated. (Definitely glad today's my biweekly Monday off!) I plan on poking that lump that is my precious WIP and making it move.

  13. Yep, I've got Homecoming Hangover! So how awesome that you're going to take on the hosting spot for October! In case y'all didn't know, L.S. Taylor will be our October hostess with the mostess. Keep us writing! I'll pass the torch next week at check-in.

  14. Aw, Jaime. Hang in there! You're not in the "talentless hack valley." You're in the land of discovery! You're supposed to wander around a bit, get your bearings. You'll hit those "hills of fabulosity" that Jaye Robin mentioned. And definitely stock on on chocolate, virtual or otherwise! :-)

  15. Who wouldn't love Baby Got Books! That is perfect.

    My week so far has consisted of playing catch up--which it seems I am always doing:) Other than that I am riding high from my conference fun and writing like crazy.

  16. I've been working on the first draft of my new book, and querying my first book. I love first drafts!

    Sounds like a great rendition of that song!!

  17. "I like Big Books..." hahahha!!! I'm dying. Hilarious. I think your accomplishments in the last week definitely merit moving your alarm clock forward just a bit.

    For my goals, I got derailed by company and extra working tom-foolery, but am back on track. I seem to be averaging about 350 words/day. Nothing earth-shattering, but it's comfortable and regular, so that's progress.

  18. Homecoming sounds like it was a blast - yay for that, and yay for you, wild woman! ;)

    I've done no writing at all this week -- enjoying a visit with my daughter. I'll be back at revisions on Monday, though!

  19. Alexia, I love first drafts too. But I'm slowly learning to love revision as well. I'd better since that's where I'll be for a while.

    Deanna - your conference experience sounded amazing. If I hadn't signed with my agent prior, I'd planned on going to that one to stalk E.M.

    Girl Parker - 350 words per day adds up! As long as you're writing you're golden!

    Shari - how great you're having such a long visit - hope y'all are enjoying every minute.


Hey, do you ever wonder why they call it 'your two cents?'