Link to Original Post 1. What Were Your Writing Accomplishments Last Year? Honestly, I didn’t do a ton of actual writing last year,...

Beautiful Books ~ 2017 Writing Goals: Editing Service, Final Drafts, and New Stories

1. What Were Your Writing Accomplishments Last Year?
Honestly, I didn’t do a ton of actual writing last year, but I did get to go to a couple of conferences and such based on a project I’d already written. For instance, I was a YoungArts merit winner, got two agents to request more work at the James River Conference (neither has taken it on, but it was still a step in the right direction), and I gained a lot of clarity on what I wanted to do next with my career as a writer. Also, I launched my editing service and got down the groundwork for a similar service I’m doing with a friend, where we specifically target young writers and projects that don’t fit well into any one genre, creating unique editing packages tailored to each project. :)

So yeah, I didn’t finish a lot of works, but I did finish a lot of work.

2. What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?
I plan to:
  1. Finish Low Expectations once and for all be in the process of either traditionally or self-publishing it.
  2. Restart work on The Supernatural Projects and finish the draft it’s currently on.
  3. Move forward with Becoming Brave(although TBH, I’m not sure where that one’s going yet. :p)

3. Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!
I’ve already mentioned all of the above WIPs at one point or another, so I won’t completely rehash all that; but here are some summaries as well as links to a few of my favorite posts featuring these stories if you happen to need a refresher. :)

After a humiliating Facebook post shreds the remains of his reputation, fourteen-year-old Elliot Sharpe gladly trades the drama at his current foster home for a temporary one across the city. His plan: stay at the new place long enough for everything at the old home to blow over, but not so long that anyone—particularly he—gets any crazy ideas about being a “forever family.” It’s not the easiest assignment of his life, but Elliot’s pretty confident he can manage... until life, and a little girl named Mileya, conspire to convince him that even the lowest of expectations can’t protect him from reality.

Two years ago, Aleiah’s best friend Jesse was Chosen for The Supernatural Projects, a government program to turn exceptional citizens into extraordinary soldiers. Now, a random lottery allows them to meet again for mere hours, yet a moment’s naivete might change their lives forever.

Jesse knows that Leiah meant well with her choice—he also knows they’d both be better off if she hadn’t tried so hard to do the right thing. Leiah understands the danger she’s put herself in—and she despises her own stupidity. But at the same time, when the backlash could mean Jesse’s return, she finds it difficult to truly regret her choice.

As hidden truths return to light, Jesse and Leigh must make their own choices: freedom or safety?

Family or country?

In a world where all disabled people are arrested, “upgraded,” and forced into military service, a boy with a bad hand runs to the mysterious Forest People to avoid discovery. Meanwhile, his brother Vil infiltrates the Officers, the government’s police force, to find a way to protect his brother from the inside

By the way, if BB’s and TSP’s storyworlds sound similar, they should: they exist in the same universe and they’re at war with each other, Arbitrium, BB’s world, and Ciencia, TSP’s, each recruiting citizens to fight the other. So we get to show the war from both sides, which is honestly pretty cool.

4. How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?
I need to get better at using setting in not-obvious-setting worlds—like Low Expectations, a contemporary—both mentioning it at all and also using it to create conflict in my stories. I don’t know that I’ll be creating Inkheart-gorgeous storyworlds by the end of 2017, at least in my contemporaries, but I do hope to be a lot better with it and be using it to the extent that those stories require to make them the best they can be.

As far as where I see myself, I’ll still be editing (hopefully making a lot more money doing it), and hey, maybe even published. *fingers crossed* Also, me and my editing friend have officially decided to build an editing empire. So there’s that.

5. Describe your general editing process.
For me, it’s a lot of reading through, figuring out macro edits, doing them, then reading through, figuring out micro edits, doing them, planning to do a polishing edit, and then FINDING A MAJOR PROBLEM THAT MUST BE FIXED, and so I’m back at the beginning to rinse and repeat as many times necessary. Which is normally like 96,000.

6. On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?
Still in the middle of two of them, but for LE: it’s an 8 or a 9 so far. Much, much better than I thought it was going to be.

TSP: ... It’s been a while so it needs a lot of work. I’mma leave it at that. :p

BB: 10. I am so thrilled with this thing. :D

7. What aspect of your draft needs the most work?
In LE, just general polishing and brushing up. There’ll be a few plot tweaks, but I’m on the final stretch this time, lol.

BB: not sure honestly. Because I and my co-writer think it’s pretty solid, but our betas also haven’t finished the book yet, so we don’t know for sure what we need to work on. So btw, if the summary above happens to interest you, let me know. We’d be thrilled to have another reader.

TSP: *distant mumbles of EVERYTHING* The real question is what needs the least work. And the answer would be character development, because I knew where I wanted that to go pretty early and already did most of my edits for that.

8. What do you like the most about your draft?
Characters for all of them. But as I’ve said before, they’re the main reason I read and the main reason I write. So... yeah. The children are basically always my favorite part.

However, I also really love the themes of LE (cuz I strongly relate on my own personal level), and the setting and plot of BB and TSP.

9. What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?
Dark hole would be most comfortable (for me, not the manuscripts), but like I said above, LE is being shoved into the spotlight sometime this year, BB is getting betas... and TSP will probably need another few rounds of edits before it’s ready to not burn out the eyes of other human beans. But I’m working on it. ;)

10. What’s your top piece of advice for those who just finished writing a first draft?
CONGRATULATIONS. According to every older writer I’ve ever heard, you are currently ahead of the majority of human beans who say they want to write a book. However, the easy part is over, and you are about to proceed into the jaws of exhilaration and despondency known as editing.

So, my advice?

Rest. Just rest. You can look up tips and stuff later. You can worry about your plot and writing later. You can question the strength of your character journey later. For now, rest and congratulate yourself—because until you hold your book in your hands it’s all downhill from here.

Okay, not completely, lol. There will be a lot of wonderful moments, I promise... but there will also be a lot of hard and heartbreaking ones. So seriously, for now, it’s time to just... chill. Remember this accomplishment, revel in it, and reward yourself for doing something this amazing. The 2nd draft can wait for the next of couple of weeks. :)

So everyone, tell me about your writing goals for this year! And if you did the linkup, be sure to put your posts in the comment, so I can visit yours later. Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!

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  1. Cool on going to a conference! Was this your first one? Three WIPs? Sweet! Best wishes writing them. ^ ^

    MY BB:

    1. Apart from YoungArts (which wasn't exactly the same as a conference), yes it was! And thank you!!

      Coolness! I'll check that out!


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