Writing life

Contests, Conferences, & Catch-ups

It’s been way too long since I blogged, but it’s not because I haven’t had anything going on to write about. It’s because I’ve had so much going on that I haven’t had time to stop and write about it! Here’s the quick rundown, and I’ll aim to get back on track wtih regular posts.

Contests: I entered my work-in-progress in three contests this spring —  which was a big step up from only entering one, like I’ve done the past few years. The two new ones were sponsored by RWA chapters, which means they had some different criteria and were more focused on the romance beginning right up front. You meet my hero and heroine in the first chapter, but they don’t meet each other until a bit later on. That cost me some points, so is a good thing to remember the next time I’m looking at romance contests. I did get some great feedback and some of the judges were especially complimentary, so I can’t complain.

Conferences: I went to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in May and had a fabulous time. Took great classes, made new writer friends, and enjoyed the beautiful Smokey Mountains. What more could I ask? The classes I took were all good, but my favorite had to be a 4-part continuing class with Angela Hunt called “The Sophisticated Novelist.” Not sure how sophisticated I am, but I sure learned a lot!

Catch-ups: When I went to Blue Ridge, my manuscript was just over 31,000 words. The exercises we did through various classes helped me rethink some things and have some new ideas for where things could go for different characters. I really want to keep moving with the story and watch that word count grow, but I decided to start from the beginning and rehash some things instead. Changing bits and pieces affects everything else! And it can be hard to whack some of those words I worked so hard to string together, but I think the story will be much better for it.

Stay tuned …

Writing life

Confession & Celebration

They (whoever ‘they’ might be) say confession is good for the soul, so here’s my stab at it for the moment.

I keep whacking the snooze button or — even worse — turning off the alarm altogether instead of getting up super early to work on my novel. Not every morning at least, but more than I should be and more than I want. So what’s a non-morning girl to do? Get up and do it anyway! I have a tendency to want to write the story straight through so if I get a bit hung up with a scene it can throw me off for a couple of days until I know the direction to go. Not good, considering I’d like to be MUCH further along with my draft when I go to the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference in May. I’m going to work on it a bit more tonight and force myself to get in some writing time before the rest of the family rolls out of bed in the morning.

Hmmm … that sounds like I’m forcing myself to write, which I’m not. I’m forcing myself to get up and do it so early. But I love starting the day with prayer and writing time, so need to remember that when the alarm squawks at 3:45. And yes, that’s AM, not PM. 🙂

OK, I feel better now, so on to the celebration. The same novel I’m having trouble working on so early in the morning actually has almost 24,000 words down! Woo hoo! That’s huge for me, especially considering that the most I’ve ever written on a story before is maybe 10 or 11k, tops. The scary part is I started out thinking I was shooting for about 75k. Considering where I am in the story and how much more I want to include, I can already see that I’ll pass right by 75k (someday!). Who would’ve thought?! I need to change the little word count bar in the margin even though my ‘percent complete’ is about to bottom out. Oh well, it’s gotta happen sometime so it might as well be now.

Maybe if I pat myself on the back hard enough it’ll knock me out of bed in the morning and get me going. Ya think?