We'd like to invite you to join us for Writer Recharge 2014, a month-long motivational challenge similar to last summer's Ready. Set. Write! So many of us benefited from setting goals, connecting with other writers, and social media-based accountability. So, hey, let's do it again! Whether you're delighting next to the crackling fireplace of a Shiny New Idea with a warm cup of tea and a sleepy puppy at your feet or spinning out on the ice-covered roads of revisions in an attempt to avoid the snow-packed ditch, we want to write with you! What do you want to accomplish this month? Hit a daily word count? Revise a certain number of pages or chapters each week? Complete a draft by the end of the month? Let's get this party started!
Your hosts and cheerleaders: Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Liz Parker, Elodie Nowodazkij, and Sara Biren
I have updates! First, progress:
The first Golden Heart entry I read for judging was ... awesome! All of my entries are in a genre I don't read often, so I was a little concerned. This entry pulled me right in. I'm so excited for the writer having created such an engaging story. Motivating!
I received feedback from my critique group on the second chapter of my YA contemporary-in-progress SUNSET SUMMER. Consensus: it's boring!
This is why critique groups are great. I moved up a scene from later in the book thinking it would show aspects of the character. It sort of does, but not enough is happening. More questions arose from the next scene; the character interaction was good, but not enough of an active scene. The pace was too slow.
The day after our group met, I heard back from my agent on my other project. Lots of enthusiasm (yay!) along with a new set of notes. I'll now be switching focus from editing SUNSET SUMMER to editing AMELIA for the month. My goals:
- Cut first chapter (!); make sure Ch. 2 works as opener. Edit opening two chapters based on notes from my Opening Scenes course.* Update: over the weekend I cut almost 4k words just by reworking the first two chapters. I was able to splice in pertinent stuff and a few good lines from Ch. 1 elsewhere. It's liberating to cut so much and still feel like the story works!
- Work in the other proposed changes; expanding some scenes, cutting others
- Re-organize the pacing of the novel. Update: the first section is in much better shape. Now on to correct pacing for parts 2 & 3.
- Reduce overall word count by 6-7k words; first step is to review structure of novel and cut or reduce length of scenes toward end of book. Closer edit:, reduce filler info, reduce secondary character subplot that take away from MC's subplot
The Opening Scenes course I took on RWA's Online portal was taught by Kelley Armstrong. I reviewed most of the notes on Friday night since my days became a little busy during the week. I've read a lot about first chapters and yet I still walked away with tangible ways to improve them. Given my entire first chapter is being cut, I can see now that while I might have set an active scene and stayed away from info-dumps, the first chapter is primarily set-up and doesn't hook the reader as much as it should.
Looking forward to catching up with the rest of you.
Check out the twitter tag #WriterRecharge for more writing motivation this month!