#Writerinmotion Week 7: Wrap-Up and How to Perfect Your Own Work

July 13, 2019 - Leave a Response

Well, everyone, this is the end of the seven-week blog journey for the #writerinmotion experience. I would like to thank the editors who signed on for this journey, my friends who commented on my blog and via the WIM Twitter feed. I would like to thank my three CPs for their excellent feedback including my editor, Jeni Chappelle, too. Although I haven’t written a short story in a decade, it did feel good to write one again for this special journey. And I’m glad to share my transformation on how my rough draft sparkled and shined in the final draft last week. And this snippet had prompted me to write Light my Fire in a novel form next spring. I’ve made some new friends and future CPs/betas for future projects as we’ll keep the WIM Twitter feed and Slack channel active after this weekend.

Here are some takeaway tips on how you can use the #WIM experience for your own work. It’s all about how to write something from scratch and polish it in its final draft. (I’ve seen some people misused the hash tag–except for two people–when they’ve gotten the wrong idea. It had nothing to do with self-promoting books, journal writing or traveling.)  WIM is perfect for all types of writing formats–short works (short stories, flash fiction, scripts and plays, poetry and songs, graphic novels and comic books), nonfiction (essays, blogs and articles, biography and memoir chapters, devotions and newsletters, and longer works (novel and novella chapters from any age and genre market). And yes for those who are in the query trenches, it’s perfect for queries, writing a synopsis, and Twitter pitches. Whether you’re going the traditional, self-publishing, indie, small press or hybrid publishing route, it works!

Step 1: Write It Out. Whether prompted by a photo or an idea or not, write it out in free write. Don’t edit and have a daily word count in mind. Start with writing 500 words a day on paper or on your computer. You can do it at home, at the library or coffee shop, or during your lunch hour break for work. No distractions. Keep in mind, shorter works in both nonfiction and fiction would take less time to write than longer ones. After you get one writing, let it rest and set for a moment like a weekend or a week before you can read it with fresh eyes.

2. Self-Edit to Trim It Down. This is when you cut out of the fat and weed out the passive and filter words, the adverbs and extra descriptive adjectives. Take out the fluff and trim it until you have a set word count (or line count for poetry/songs) in mind. There are many useful venues online and in books about which words you can cut out without doing any harm to your work. If you’re an underwriter, you need to add the fat. If you’re an overwrite like me, you need to cut it out. There are other websites that are perfect for self-editing like Pro Writing Aid and Edit Minion for starters. Is there any wordy sentences or big graphs or repetition? Trim it down until it’s good enough for the next step.

3. Betas are Worth Gold. Now it’s time to give it to another set of fresh eyes to help you. make stronger and trimmer. Whether you have one or a few, it’s time to grab an alpha reader, a beta reader, and a critique partner. You can find them online, on Twitter and on Facebook, your local Meet-Up, an online crit list like the Internet Writing Workshop or Scribophile, or even your local writing group if your library has one. If it’s shorter work or longer, make some new friends. Whether you send them a chapter, 3 chapters or 50 pages, or the full manuscript, work out a system that’s right for you and see if it’s works. And if you’re new to writing and editing,  here are the definitions between the three terms: An alpha reader is a first reader that your provide feedback before its done. A beta reader is someone who gives you feedback from a reader’s standpoint. Sometimes they can be one and the same. And a critique partner is someone who tells you what’s working and not working in the story with a bunch of notes for your feedback. After you let the feedback set in, take charge of your work and make it better and see how it works out.

4. Make it Shine. For those who can afford an editor to evaluate a partial or a full manuscript, this is a great investment for having exceptional work to give you excellent feedback on how to improvement your story. For those who are going the traditional or hybrid/small press route, you would have one for your future stories. For those who are doing indie or self-publishing, you’re on your own. See my special note down below. And if you can’t afford one like me, you can go back to your betas and CPs if they read revisions. Some do and some don’t. If not, find a cold reader to read it through to check for errors by proofreading the manuscript. Note: As a book reviewer for Upwork for two years, I’ve read and review some self-published books for my client for one year. Mostly these authors just write and publish without editing it before it goes on final print. I had to turn down two assignments because of that cause: sloppy unedited work. I couldn’t give it a fair score. Others were fine, but still these self-published authors should’ve known better than to hit the submit button to print it out. If you plan to self-publish or go indie, please proofread and spellcheck your own work and have a beta/CP look it over.  Don’t rush the process and let it gradually happen in time. It would be worth it!

5. Just Hit Send! After you’ve have a cold reader or an editor look it over and you’ve implemented all the feedback to make it publishable and ready for print in literary journals or to editors and agents, even for pitch contests as well, you’re done and look at your work. Move onto the next project and do it all over again. Stay busy and stay active!

As Porky Pig said, that’s all folks! Thanks for following my blog! For my regular blog followers, stay tuned for a regular update in two weeks! See you then!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

#WriterinMotion Week 5–Final Version

July 6, 2019 - Leave a Response

Like the old adage, all good things must come to an end.  And this #WriterinMotion experience has been wonderful for me and my 23 writer friends. But before I say goodbye, I’m happy to post my final version of my adult mystery short story, Light My Fire. My 1038 words have been trimmed down to 867 words.  I’ve kept some of my own writing and took suggestions from my editor friend, Jeni Chappelle, from her 737-word version in make it tighter. I have a screenshot version of it of the first page to show you comments from an editor to make it sound like you.  I did have fun writing Adrienne’s mini story and can’t wait to write it next year for Camp Nano in April 2020. Some of my writer friends are going to be my betas for it to tell my story. One of friends, Paulette Wiles, wants “more” of the story between sassy Adrienne and cocky Sebastian. So I’m going to give it to her next year! I can’t wait.

 

Here’s my screenshot of the first page to show you Jeni’s commnets on how she helped me make it tighter down below. Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 1.12.59 PM   And here’s my final version of Light my Fire.  Stay tuned next week on a wrap-up with my thoughts and feelings on WIM and how to apply you for your writing adventures too.

Adrienne Sinclair sprinted past the Point Reyes Shipwreck sign and headed to the charred fishing boat. She snapped a shot with her Iphone’s camera to capture the moldering beauty of the landmark against the starry night. The Pacific Ocean lapped in the distance, carrying its secrets with seaweed and seashells in the foamy tide.

Her sturdy boots clunked on the deck. She shone her penlight around the splintered wood from aft to starboard and flicked on the blacklight feature. A path of faded dried blood led to the galley. She held her breath as she stepped closer to the crew rooms.

A looming shadow moved toward her from the bow. “Adrienne, what are you doing here?”

Her ex-partner in crime, Sebastian Pruitt. She groaned. She wanted nothing more to do with him. “Bastian!” What was Sebastian doing here of all places?

Sebastian cursed out loud. He’d hated that nickname when they were together. “The same as you—claiming the prize.”

“Get out of my way. Or I’ll call the cops on you.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Shouldn’t you be locked away?” As far as she was concerned, he deserved to rot for the rest of his miserable life. Once a con man always a con man.

Adrienne scowled. Since when they did release his sorry ass?

“Released a month ago for good behavior. I’ve served my time.” He smirked. “I’m here to help you find the letters.”

“Help? Why would you want to help me?” She didn’t trust him as far as she could throw him. “You’ve lied to me in the past. I don’t buy it.” Adrienne stepped away from the crew rooms toward the staircase to go below deck.

He pointed his flashlight in the same direction, closed the distance to her, and fingered a strange of her sandy blond hair. “Come on, Rennie. I know what you’re after.”

“Ha!” Every bone and fiber of her body cringed. “We’re not a team anymore—professionally or personally.”

“I know where it is. Let me lead the way.”

“What are you talking about?” Adrienne asked. A wind chilled her as she went downstairs to the mid-cabin.

“Starry Night.” He led the way and found the locked safe. “Aren’t you a bit interested in why someone set this boat on fire?”

Adrienne didn’t blink. She wasn’t going to bite. She spun the dial to twenty-nine then to seven. “Not really.”

“I have the combination for the safe. Your last number is wrong.” His dark blue eyes widened with obvious delight. “I can read your mind so well..”

Little did he know the surprise she had for him.

To prove him wrong, she spun the dial to fifty and pulled the knob. Nothing happened. It was stuck. She cursed and tried again. She kicked the safe. “Damn you!”

Sebastian laughed out loud and shook his head. “Told you. Let me work with you on this. Trust me.”

She shot red-hot daggers at him. “Why would I?”

“Because we work well together.”

“Not anymore.” She rubbed the back of her neck and sighed. “All right. What’s the last digit?”

He folded his arms across his chest. “Ninety. The year Van Gogh died. Try it.”

She rolled her eyes. Why didn’t she think of that? Adrienne rotated the dial to ninety and yanked the wheel. It clicked open. She removed Starry Night and searched the matting for a bulge. “How did you figure it out?”

“You learn a lot in prison.” He grinned and crouched down. “Including a new interpretation behind the story of this painting.”

“What? Van Gogh was in an asylum when he painted it.”

“True.” Sebastian lifted the artwork and flipped it to the other side. He snatched her flashlight, and in a slow, careful manner, she the light around to the middle of the matting. “But rumor has it, Van Gogh contemplated escaping this world. Failure at love and art and in life…”

Adrienne gasped as Sebastian found a slit opening in the matting.

“He wrote letters to his brother Theo and Dr. Rey. They were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum. Never made it to any biography. It remained hidden in there.” He pointed to the safe. “It’s all in this loot.”

“So what stopped him?”

“The guards.”

A knowing smile formed across her lips. Those purloined letters could make her a ton of money. So how did this boat go up in flames? How is It connected to Van Gogh? “And what happened to the boat?”

“Engine failure caused the boat to go aflame, leaving them shipwrecked here.”

I bet you had something to do with the arson and the theft. She grabbed a stack of missing letters.” How else would you know all this?

He laughed. “I was in prison, remember.”

“The San Diego PD told me about your prison break” .She stepped away from him. “And I know your penchant for starting fires.”

Sebastian cursed.

“You’re busted!” Adrienne revealed the taped wire on her chest. “Game over. You’re going back to prison.”

When the three police officers took Sebastian away in handcuffs, a slow smile formed across her face as she left the boat with the letters and the painting.

 

 

#Writerinmotion Week 3: Third Draft

June 28, 2019 - Leave a Response

I can’t believe we’re halfway through the seven-week blog journey already.  Within two weeks, this experience would come to a close. But let me explain my train of thought of what new changes I’ve made in my short story. Thanks to my three CPs, K.J. Harrowick, Coffee Quills, and Kathryn Hewitt for making great suggestive changes to help me tighten and trim my short story down to 138 words. Although I didn’t get it down to 1K even, it was close enough at 1038 words for a tight word count. And thanks to my author editor friend Jeni Chappelle, she said it was okay and close enough to send it off to her by this weekend. So hopefully she can nitpick those 38 words for a cool 1K even for the final draft.

I enjoyed writing Adrienne’s mini story as I still plan to write Light My Fire into a full novel next spring for Camp Nano. And this final draft would be included in one of the final scenes. The genre and title is TBD next year for sure. Since I didn’t have any screenshots last time, I do have a screenshot of my first page of my short story. Those passages highlighted in pink colors is what my 3 lovely CPs had commented on. Some I accepted and the others I had passed on. I didn’t have time to create a stronger ending to my story.  But it would have one in the final draft.

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 3.42.56 PM

Here’s my 3rd draft of Light my Fire, my adult mystery short story.  And down below, I’ve created a special mood mood too.

Adrienne Sinclair sprinted past the Point Reyes Shipwreck sign and headed to the charred fishing boat. She grabbed her iPhone and snapped a shot of that landmark against the starry night. She captured the moldering beauty. The Pacific Ocean lapped in the distance, carrying its secrets with seaweed and seashells in the foamy tide.

Her sturdy booties clunked on the deck. She shone her penlight around the splintered wood from aft to starboard and flicked on the blacklight feature. A path of faded dried blood led to the galley. She held her breath as she stepped closer to the crew rooms.

A dark looming shadow moved toward her. “Adrienne, what are you doing here?”

She gasped at seeing her ex-partner in crime, Sebastian Pruitt. “You!” What was Sebastian doing here of all places?

He stood at the bow and smirked. “The same as you—claiming the prize.”

Once a con man always a con man. “Get out of my way. Or I’ll call the cops on you.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Should you be locked away in prison?” As far as she was concerned, he belonged there to rot for the rest of his miserable life.

“Didn’t you get the email?” Sebastian asked.

Adrienne scowled. Since when they did release his sorry ass?

“Released a month ago for good behavior. I’ve served my time.”

She groaned. She wanted nothing more to do with him. “What do you want, Bastian?”

He cursed out loud. He had hated that nickname when they were together. “I’m here to help you find the letters.”

“Help? Why would you want to help me?” I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you, Sebastian. “You’ve lied to me in the past. I don’t buy it.” She stepped away from the crew rooms and navigated her way toward the staircase to go belowdeck.

He pointed his flashlight in the same direction. “Come on, Rennie. I know what you’re after.” He closed in the distance to her and fingered a strand of her sandy blonde hair. “I know you still want me, too.”

“Ha!” Every bone and fiber of her body couldn’t stand him. She tried not to let him ruffle her feathers when he used her hateful nickname of “Rennie.” It made her cringe. “I doubt it. I’ve moved on. And I don’t know what you’re referring to.” A cold wind blew and chilled her as she went downstairs to the mid-cabin. “We’re no longer a team anymore—professionally and personally.”

“I know where it is. Let me lead the way.”

“What are you talking about?” Adrienne asked.

“Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night.” He led the way and found the locked safe. “Aren’t you a bit interested on why someone set this boat on fire?”

She spun the dial to twenty-nine. “Not really.”

“C’mon.” Sebastian smirked as he folded his hands on his hips. “Don’t you want a nibble?”

Adrienne didn’t blink. She wasn’t going to bite. She rotated the dial to seven. “No.”

“I have the correct combo for the lock safe. Your last digit is wrong.” His dark blue eyes widened with pure delight. “I can read your mind and have known you so well..”

Little did he know what surprise she would have for him. “You think you do.”

“It won’t work…”

To prove him wrong, she spun the dial to fifty and pulled the knob. Nothing happened. It was stuck. She cursed and tried again. No luck. She kicked the safe. “Damn you!”

He laughed out loud and shook his head. “Told you. Let me work with you on this. Trust me.”

She shot red-hot daggers at him. “Why should I?”

“Because we’ve worked well together.”

“In the past, but not anymore.” She rubbed the back of her neck and sighed. “All right. What’s the last digit?”

“Ninety. The year Van Gogh died. Try it.” He folded his arms across his chest.

She rolled her eyes. Why didn’t she think about that before? Adrienne rotated the dial to ninety and yanked the wheel. It clicked open. She removed Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night and searched the matting for a bulge. “Sebastian, how did you figure it out?”

He grinned and crouched down. “You learn a lot in prison. And that’s including a new interpretation behind the story of this painting…”

“What? Van Gogh was in an asylum for his hysteria when he painted it.”

Sebastian lifted the artwork and flipped it to the other side. He snatched her flashlight and shone the light around to the middle of the matting in a slow careful manner. “True. But rumor has it, Van Gogh thought about committing suicide. He contemplated escaping this world. Failure at love and art and in life…”

Adrienne gasped as she found a slit opening in the matting. “What?”

“It’s true. He wrote private letters to his brother Theo and to Dr. Rey. Those were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum. It never made it to any biography. It remained hidden in there.” He pointed to the safe.

“So what stopped him?”

“The guards. It’s all in this loot.”

A knowing smile formed across her lips. Those purloined letters could make her a ton of money. “So what does this painting have to do with the boat?”

“People were trying to find those letters. Someone stole it and kept it hidden here. Engine failure caused the boat to go aflame.”

What a crock! “I bet you had something to do with the arson and theft. How else would you know these things?” She grabbed a stack of missing mail. “Confess!”

He laughed. “I’m telling you the truth. I was in prison during that time.”

She stepped away from him. “You’re lying. The San Diego PD told me about your prison break.” She pointed her finger at him. “I know your penchant for starting fires.”

Sebastian dropped his jaw and cursed out loud. “What?”

“You’re busted! You’ve walked right into the trap.” She displayed the taped wire on her chest. “Game over. You’re going back to prison.” When the three police officers took Sebastian away in handcuffs, a slow smile formed across her face as she left the boat.

 

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 4.45.52 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#WriterinMotion: Week 3: My 2nd Draft

June 21, 2019 - 3 Responses

This is week three in the seven-week blog journey for #writerinmotion, when we take a rough draft of our short story and make it polished and ready for later stages. And this week after a week of comments from fellow #WIM writers, we get to work on our drafts  by self-editing it on my own.  It was hard to cut a lot of words from my 1935 original short story and get it to 1000 words even. Self-editing and revisions isn’t my strong suit. I despise editing with a passion–the same for writing a synopsis–and that’s another story. On another note, our former group of twelve writers had grown to 24 writers to join our project. We also have added two new editors to the mix. I’ll be adding those links at the end.

Since I don’t have any proof of my revisions for screenshots, I just compared my original with my newest draft. I took out bits about Sebastian’s wet suit for example and other stuff from the original to make it better. I shortened sentences, removed beats and some inner dialogue.  I tightened the story and kept everything in–I only changed two bits and that’s about it. I wanted it to focus on the chemistry between Adrienne and Sebastian’s former relationship with  a shocking new twist in the end. Though my 2nd draft is at roughly 1174 words when I can’t cut anymore, it’ll be now sent to my 3 CPs next week for feedback and to help me cut 174 words hopefully easily to make it at 1K even. I also changed the title from Look What The Cat Dragged In to Light My Fire for my adult mystery short story. Hope you enjoy it and let me know which version is best. Sidenote: this prompt had given me a novel idea to write Adrienne’s story next year for Camp Nano or Nano–the genre is to TBD. And the polished scene would make it into the story. Enjoy!

 

Light my Fire

Adrienne Sinclair sprinted past the sign for the Point Reyes Shipwreck. She headed to the charred fishing boat. What caused it to go aground? And who set it on fire three years ago, and why? That mystery had remained unsolved to this day.

On that starry night, she grabbed her iPhone and snapped a shot of that local treasured landmark. As a nature photographer, she captured the moldering beauty in Inverness, California. The Pacific Ocean lapped in the distance, carrying its secrets with seaweed and seashells in the foamy tide.

She boarded the boat with her sturdy shoes. She shone her penlight around the splintered wood from aft to starboard and flicked on the blacklight feature. A path of dried blood led to the galley. She held her breath and stepped closer to a broken cabinet door. Cobwebs decorated the ship.

“Adrienne, what are you doing here?”

She gasped and narrowed her eyes at her ex-partner in crime and ex-lover, Sebastian Pruitt. “I was about to ask you the same thing, Sebastian.”

He stood at the bow and smirked. “The same as you—claiming the prize.”

Once a con man always a con man. I want nothing to do with this two-timing two-bit former cat burglar. “Get out of my way. Or I’ll call the cops on you.”

“You wouldn’t dare. Would you?”

“Shouldn’t you be locked away in prison?” As far as she was concerned, he belonged there to rot for the rest of his miserable life.

“Didn’t you get the email?”

Adrienne scowled. Since when they did release his sorry ass? “Nope.”

“I’ve been released from prison a month ago for good behavior. I’ve served my time.”

She groaned. She wanted nothing more to do with him since he framed her for a crime. “What do you want, Bastian?”

He cursed out loud. He hated that nickname when they were together. “I’m here to help you find the loot.”

She stared at him while she’d pressed all the right buttons. “Help? Why would you want to help me?” I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you, Sebastian. “You’ve lied to me in the past. I don’t buy it.” She stepped away from him and navigated her way around the sailboat.
He beamed his flashlight in the same direction. “Come on, Rennie. I know what you’re after. I know you still want me, too.”

She scoffed. Every bone and fiber of her body couldn’t stand him. “I doubt it. I’ve moved on. And I don’t know what you’re referring to.” When she headed downstairs, she shivered from the cold that radiated from the shipwreck. “We’re no longer a team anymore—professionally and personally. I’m so through with you.”

“I know where it is. Let me lead the way.”

If she wanted to, she could call his bluff. “What are you talking about?”

“Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night.” He walked ahead of her and found the locked safe. “Aren’t you a bit interested on why someone set this boat on fire and left it shipwrecked?”

Curiosity killed the cat… She spun the dial to twenty-nine. She tried not to let him ruffle her feathers when he used her hateful nickname of “Rennie.” It made her cringe. “Not really.”

“C’mon.” Sebastian smirked as he folded his hands on his hips. “Don’t you want a nibble?”

Adrienne didn’t blink or bat an eye. She wasn’t going to bite or fall for his lies. She rotated the dial to seven. “No.”

“I have the correct combo for the lock safe. Your last digit is wrong.” His dark blue eyes widened with pure delight. “I know you’re interested. I can read your mind. I know you so well.”

Little did he know what surprises she would have for him. She tried not to give herself away. “I still don’t trust you. You think you do.”

“It won’t work…”

To prove him wrong, she spun the dial to fifty and pulled the knob. Nothing happened. It was stuck. She cursed out loud and tried again. No luck. She kicked the safe. “Damn you!”

He laughed out loud and shook his head. “Told you. Let me work with you on this. Trust me.”

She shot red-hot daggers at him. She wouldn’t trust him with her life. She had learned the hard way about his deceit a long time ago. “Why should I?”

“Because we’ve worked well together.”

“In the past, but not anymore.”

“Then let me help you one last time…”

She let out a sigh. “All right. What’s the last digit and the mystery to this puzzle?”

“Ninety. The year Van Gogh died. Try it.” He folded his arms across his chest, tapping his feet against the planks, and winked.

She groaned. Why didn’t she think about that before? She rotated the dial to ninety and yanked the wheel. It clicked and opened. She removed Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night and searched the matting for a bulge. “Sebastian, how did you figure it out?”

He grinned and crouched down. “You learn a lot in prison. I’ve made friends who revealed their trade secrets. And that includes a new interpretation behind the story of this painting…”

“What? Van Gogh was in an asylum for his hysteria when he painted it.”

He lifted the artwork. He borrowed her blacklight and shone at it as he moved it in a slow careful manner. “True. But rumor has it, Van Gogh thought about committing suicide. He contemplated escaping this world. Failure at love and art and in life…”

Adrienne gasped as she found a slit opening through the matting. “What?”

“It’s true. He wrote private letters to his brother Theo and to Dr. Rey. Those were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum. It never made it to any biography. It remained hidden in there.” He pointed to the safe.

“So what stopped him?”

“The guards. It’s all in this loot.”

A knowing smile formed across her lips. Those purloined letters could make her a ton of money. “So why does this painting have to do with the boat?”

“People were trying to find those letters. Someone stole it and kept it hidden here. Engine failure caused the boat to go aflame..”

What a loaded crock! “I bet you had something to do it with the arson and theft. How else would you know these things?” She grabbed the faded burlap bag. “Confess!”

He laughed. “I’m telling you the truth. I’ve been in prison during that time.”

She stepped away from him. “You’re lying. The San Diego PD told me about your notorious prison break. You did it.” She pointed her finger at him. “I know your penchant for starting fires.’

Sebastian dropped his jaw and cursed out loud. “What?”

“You’re busted! You’ve walked right into the trap. I’ve got you on tape.” She displayed the taped wire on her chest. “Game over. You’re going back to prison.”

Three police officers arrested him on the spot and retrieved the missing loot as evidence. Case closed.

Newest Writers:

Jen Karner: http://www.SyllablesandSass.com

Susan Burgdorf: https://writingnotes.home.blog

Sheri MacIntyre:http://www.sherimacintyre.com

Coffee Quills: https://wordpress.com/view/coffeequills.com

SKaeth: https://skaeth.com

Megan Van Dyke: http://www.meganrvandyke.com

Ari Augustine:www.BookishValhalla.com

Stephanie Whitaker: https://stephwhitaker80.wixsite.com/swhitakerwrites

Belinda Grant: www.belindagrantwrites.wordpress.com

Sheryl Stein: http://www.wrekehavoc.com

MB Dalto: https://authormdalto.wordpress.com/blog

Fariha Khayyam:farihakhayyam.com

Jessica Lewis: https://jessicalewis2227.wixsite.com/authorjessicalewis/writer-in-motion

Dawn Currie: https://dawncurrie.wordpress.com/

Newest editors:

Justine Manzano: https://justinemanzano.com/tag/editing/

Maria Tureaud: https://www.craftquest.org/maria-tureaud

 

#WriterInMotion–Week 2: The Prompt

June 11, 2019 - 3 Responses

Last weekend, everyone received the prompt in our circle of friends from one of our amazing editors, Jeni Chappelle. Since then, our twelve group of writers had expanded to added ten more to their journey, bringing the total of twenty-two writers in counting. And we’ve gotten an additional editor from Revpit to join our bunch for our newest writer friends here.  So I’m going to reveal our visual prompt and my thinking process behind the scenes for it.

brown shipwrecked on shore

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

So my Muse needed time to think about the story this past weekend. I did a bit of research on the Port Reyes Shipwreck and listened to Don McLean’s “Starry Starry Night”, a classic 70s song about the artist Vincent Van Gogh, and his story behind his life and the painting. So I thought about a twist on the hidden meaning behind the painting and why this treasured shipwreck was set on fire three years ago. I’ve concocted a  mini premise for a short story–something I haven’t done in a decade. Although it came past the allotted 1000 words for the first draft, it would be trimmed down to 934 words with two revised rounds from my two amazing betas/CPs by the end of this journey.  Remember this round is unedited. This weekend, I’ll check out my friends’s stories and provide feedback on at least two of them. Feel free to do the same as well. Enjoy the story. I’ve titled it “Look What the Cat Dragged In.”

Look What the Cat Dragged In-1934 words

Adrienne Sinclair was racing against the clock to solve the puzzle. She stood at the start of the path and spotted the small sign for the Point Reyes Shipwreck before her. With a quick glance to check to see if anyone was behind her, she headed to the charred and capsized lonely tall fishing boat. What caused it to go around? And who set it on fire, three years ago, and why? That mystery had remained unsolved to this day.

On that starry, starry night, she grabbed her iPhone and snapped a shot of that local treasured landmark. As a nature photographer, she enraptured the moldering beauty of that sailboat on the shores in Inverness, California. As the Pacific Ocean lapped in the distance, it was carrying its secrets with seaweed and broken sea glass and seashells, along with the foamy tide to the shore. “Poor boat.” She released a sigh and docked the abandoned boat with her sturdy shoes.

I love adventure. And as a photographer, I’m going to seek a little danger on the wild side. No one would ever know. While she became vigilant of splintered and burned rotten wood from aft to starboard, she shone her penlight flashlight around and flickered on the black light feature. This was like a CSI officer would do at a crime scene to check for prints, blood splatters, and often trances of DNA. Would this unsolved mystery be considered on two?

Adrienne grinned and started to follow a path of dried blood that lead to the galley. She held her breath and took another step closer to a broken cabinet door that hung on the hinges. Cobwebs decorated the ship for new hidden cubbyholes for spiders to hide in. She didn’t believe the hype that this sailboat was haunted and possibly boobytrapped. She chalked it up to be a myth or an urban legend.

“Adrienne, what are you doing here?”

She gasped and spun around in a half-pivot. She almost dropped her cell phone on the holed floor below her. “I’ was about to ask you the same thing, Sebastian.” She narrowed her eyes at the sight of her ex-partner in crime, Sebastian Pruitt. He stood in front of her in a long wet suit that dripped with water that went onto the decrepit wreck’s bow.

“Beating the same clock as you in this warped scavenger hunt to look for salvaged clues.” He smirked at her and stood his ground.

Once a con man always a con man. I want noting to do with this two-timing two-bit former cat burgular. “Liar. Get out of my way and watch your step. Or I’ll call the cops on you.”

“You wouldn’t dare. Would you?” He took one slippery step closer to her as the water formed puddles everywhere around him.

“Shouldn’t you be behind bars and locked away in prison?” As far as she was concerned, he belonged to rot there for the rest of his miserable life.

“Didn’t you get the letter in the mail? Or in the email?”

Adrienne shook her head and scowled. Since when they did release his sorry ass? She hated the sight of her ex-lover too. “Nope.”

Sebastian’s grin grew wider as he removed the hoodie from his drenched wetsuit. “I’ve been released from prison a month ago for good behavior. I’ve served my time. I’m a free man.”

She groaned and narrowed her eyes. So why did he have to follow her here? She wanted nothing more to do with him, not since he framed her for a crime. “What do you want, Bastian?”

He cursed out loud. He hated that nickname that irked him a whole lot when they were together. “I’m here to help you in this rat race to win the prize.”

She stared at him incredulously and had known when to press the right buttons. “Help? Why would you want to help me?” I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you, Sebastian. “You’ve lied to me in the past. I don’t buy it.” She stepped away from him, watching her step for broken wooden planks in each room and made her way to the port. She knew her way around a sailboat a time or two without needing a diagram to point it out.

He followed her every move and shone his own flashlight in the same direction she headed. “Come on, Rennie. I know what you’re after. I know you still want me, too.”

Adrienne scoffed and snorted out loud. Every bone and fiber of her body couldn’t stand him and his two-timing ways. “I doubt it. I’ve moved on. And I don’t know what you’re referring to.” When she went downstairs in her booties, she shivered from the cold that radiated from the broken shipwrecked that laid aground on the shore. ‘We’re no longer a team anymore—professionally and personally. I’m so through with you.”

“You’re going to lose the grand prize before time runs out. It’s your loss. I know where it is. Let me lead the way.”

If she wanted to, she could call his bluff and call the cops on him by leaving an anonymous tip. She titled her head to the side and flared her nostrils. “What are you talking about?”

“Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting. I know where to find it.” He went ahead of her and found the locked safe. “Aren’t you a bit interested on why someone doused this boat on fire and left it shipwrecked?”

Curiosity killed the cat, but it had done more to pique my interest. What does one thing have to do with another? What’s he getting at? She crossed her arms over her chest and then spun the combination dial to the left for number twenty-nine. She tried not toilet him ruffle her feathers when he used her hateful nicknames of “Rennie”. It made her cringe. “Not really.”

“C’mon.” Sebastian smirked as he folded his hands on his hips, dripping more water on the rotten wood. “Don’t you want a nibble?”

Adrienne didn’t blink or bat an eye. She wasn’t going to bite or fall for his lies. She went past him and rotated the dial to the right for number seven. “No.”

“I have the correction combo for the locksafe, Adrienne. Your last digit is wrong.” He tilted his head to the side, his smirk was growing wide on his face, his dark blue eyes widened with pure mischievous delight. “I know you’re interested. I can read your mind. I know you so well.”

So tempted to contact the cops on him, little did he know what surprises she would have for him. She looked forward to call his bluff and tried not to give herself a way. “You think so. I still don’t trust you. You think you do.” A gleam twinkled in her hazel eyes.

“You won’t win the prize with the last digit.”

To prove him wrong, she rotated the dial to the left to the number fifty and pulled the knob. Nothing happened. It was stuck. She cursed out loud and tried again. No luck. She kicked the safe and hurt her right foot. “Damn you!”

Sebastian laughed out loud and shook his head. “Told you. Let me work with you on this. Trust me.”

She shot red-hot daggers at his smug face. She wouldn’t trust him with her life. She had learned the hard way about his deceit a long time ago. “Why should I?”

He stepped closer to her. Outside, they could hear crickets chirping from the sandy shore. “Because we’ve worked well together.”

“In the past, but not anymore.”

“Then let me help you one last time…”

She blinked and let out a sigh. “All right. What’s the last digit and the mystery to this puzzle?” She wanted to get out of there and bail out while she could.

“Ninety. The year Van Gogh died. Try it.” He folded his arms across his chest, tapping his feet against the soiled planks, and winked at her.

She groaned. Why didn’t she think about that before? “All right.” She spun the dial around to the number ninety and pulled the wheel. It clicked and opened. How did he know? She removed Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night painting and searched the backing for a bulge. “Sebastian, how did you figure it out?”

Sebastian grinned and crouched down below her. “You’ll learn a lot in prison. I’ve made friends who knows a lot about art thefts and told them their trade secrets. And that includes a new interpretation behind the story of this painting…”

As an art history buff, she knew a lot about classic masterpieces that’s valuable to steal from museums. “What? We know Van Gogh was in an asylum for his hysteria when he painted it and after he lobbed off his ear.”

He nodded and lifted the painting to the sky. He borrowed her black light flashlight and shone it at the painting as he moved it in a slow careful manner. “True. But rumor has it, Van Gogh was thinking about committing suicide there in the asylum and not later on. He contemplated Heaven and escaping this world. Failure at love and art, his family abandoning him.”

Adrienne gasped and founded an opening at the backing of the artwork. “What?”

He dimpled much to her chagrin. “It’s true.. He wrote private letters to his brother Theo and to Dr. Rey. Those were missing and stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. It never made it to any biography about him. It’s been missing all these years and remained hidden in there…” He pointed to the safe.

“So what stopped him?”

“The guards. But that’s all I know. It’s all in this loot.”

A knowing smile formed across her lips. Those purloined letters could make her a lot of money. “So why does this painting have to do with the boat?”

“Because when word had gotten around, there have been people trying to find those letters. But when someone had stolen the painting a few years ago, they buried it behind the painting and hide it here. The fishermen who were on this boat had cursed engine failure that caused it to go aground here three years ago. Then Van Gogh’s ghost had set the boat on fire to conceal the truth.”

Adrienne scoffed. What a loaded crock! “I bet you had something to do it with the arson and theft. How else would you know these things?” She kept the loot to herself and grabbed the faded burlap bag. “Confess!”

He laughed. “I’m telling you the truth. I’ve been locked away in prison during that time.”

She narrowed her eyes and took a step back from him. “You’re lying. I’ve heard about your notorious prison break back then. You weren’t in prison. You did it.” She pointed her finger at him. “The San Diego PD told me about the prison break.”
Sebastian dropped his jaw and let out a line of curses. “What?”

“You’re busted! You’ve walked right into the trap. I’ve got you on tape.” She raised her jacket and her t-shirt to show a taped wire on her chest. She grinned. “Game over. You’re going back to prison where you belong.”

Without needing a gun, she lead Sebastian out of the galley and toward the bow. Three police officers boarded the rotted boat and arrested him on the spot. Then he escorted him to the prison as she handed the missing loot to them as evidence. Case closed.

 

 

 

 

Writer-In-Motion: Week One

May 30, 2019 - Leave a Response

Welcome to Writer in Motion! This new blog series will show you how to write a rough draft and polish it to a final copy. Whatever you’re working on, whether it’s a short story, a poem or a song, a nonfiction magazine or newspaper article, or a chapter in a novel, the self-editing process will work the same way.  For the next seven weeks, follow my eleven awesome writer friends this summer as we’ll take a prompt to create a short story from scratch. Then we’ll self-edit and beta read each other’s work and polish it  until t shines with help from two development editors from #revpit. They would help guide us along in the process to make it a well-written peace with feedback and encouragement. Follow us on Twitter’s #writerinmotion feed and subscribe to our blogs to see how we’ll do. Some of us is giving us cool giveaways to select commenters. Join us starting on June 1st, 2019!

AUTHORS:

  1. K. J. Harrowick (http://blog.halon-chronicles.com & http://kjharrowick.wordpress.com)
  2. Jen Karner (http://www.SyllablesandSass.com)
  3. H.M. Braverman (http://hmbraverman.com)
  4. J.M. Jinks (www.authorjmjinks.com)
  5. Melissa Bergum (will be posting via KJ’s site)
  6. Kristen Howe  https://kristenswritingendeavors.wordpress.com/
  7. Thuy Nguyen (http://www.tmnstories.com)
  8. Kathryn Hewitt https://spinningmyyarns.wordpress.com/
  9. Sean Willson (https://www.seanwillson.com/blog/)
  10. Paulette Wiles (http://www.paulettewiles.com)
  11. Talynn (inkinthebook.blogspot.com)
  12. Ellen Mulholland (www.ellenmulholland.com)

Editors:

EDITORS:

Jeni Chappelle https://www.jenichappelleeditorial.com/

Carly Hayward https://booklighteditorial.com/

About Me and My Writing Journey:

I’m originally from New Jersey and have lived in Ohio for 19 years. I’m unemployed and work as a freelance writer/editor for Upwork for 2.5 years and Hub Pages for five years. I’ve been writing for a long time ever since I was in high school, when my hobby in writing poems and short stories had transformed into dream career.  I’m also a mother of a cranky adult twenty-year-old male domesticated cat named Wylie.

I’ve had dozens of poems published in various literary journals and magazines a decade ago in print. My poetry has been featured in the Lifelines poetry anthology book, which is available on Amazon.com.  I’ve been querying for almost eight years and have garnered interests from agents by cold querying and agents sometimes from Twitter pitch contests. For my eco-thriller, Venom, I have 4 fulls and 2 partials pending out with agents–I’m due to hear from those agents in mid-June and hope to land more requests this summer. I also have 2 fulls and 1 partial out for my psychological thriller with police procedural elements, Chain Reaction–I plan to send out my fulls out later this summer after I finish editing from Scribophile feedback. I also have a political thriller.  I mainly write adult thrillers (eco-thrillers, psychological, political), romantic suspense, and my newly created genre, sports romantic suspense novels. I’m hoping to make my dreams to come true by landing an agent and a pub deal by the end of summer.

My Muse is usually active during the Camp Nano seasons (both April and July) and also Nano in November. I tend to average writing 2k/day in 2-3 hours from start to finish in roughly three months.  Though I tend to overwrite and it takes me longer to self-edit my work from various resources –(betas/CPs, online writing group and local critique group, Scribophile, self-editing sites)–and deep POV is my arch nemesis.

My favorite things I love to do, besides writing, is yoga with meditation, making smoothies, reading, and cooking in my crockpot.

 

2018-2019: A Year in Review: Hits and Misses and Then Some

May 25, 2019 - Leave a Response

Sorry I haven’t updated this blog in over a year once again. Besides being busy writing, editing, querying, pitching in contests, my Muse and I have been in overdrive. And I have to tell you between last March and this spring, it’s been a year of hits and misses and a lot of aggravation from some certain agents who gave me the runaround with their responses to my nudges to get some sense of closure.

I’m going to do a brief recap in editing/querying/contests, and where I am with each manuscript for the past year for each ms and give you some highlights on what I’m now working on too in the end.

Venom:
Editing:I’ve been tweaking and re-tweaking it for the past year due to editorial contest feedback and new advice from betas. I hope it’s the last time since I’ve tweaked it a lot even if it’s to fix emotional depth issues. I plan to finish edits—partially or fully—by the 4th of July.

Querying: Besides getting the runaround, I had to close out a few old fulls that I had for over a year. They’re no longer responding to my monthly nudges to check in. And that included two dream agents (one who changed her mind after a span of two years and hadn’t respond to my full R&R, and said it was a dying trend. She should remain nameless. The same agent who told me not to post Agent C or Q here last year was another one—she gave me lame excuses about “the Internet” or having issues with email.” ) Needless to say, as of date, I have 4 fulls and 2 partials pending. And I hope to get more requests from hopeful new agents who have something on the MSWL list. Maybe this is the year I finally make my dreams come true!

Contests: Even if I’ve tweaked my pitches for any Twitter pitch contest last year or this yea, it falls short. I did enter Venom into #Revpit last month—I was shortlisted by one editor and passed on another editor. I tend to do better with cold querying these days.

Chain Reaction:
Editing: Slowly but surely, I’m still editing my full that I’ve started last fall right after Pitch Wars and joined Scribophile to get feedback on my chapters. Although I’m a bit behind with edits, I plan to finish my full by mid to late summer at the latest after I get caught up with my previous chapters that I had received this spring. I’m still determined to see this through to the end, though it does need a lot of ground work to tidy it up. I do have one beta reader to help me out with a CP program, but I haven’t heard back from her since March.

Querying: I do have my oldest full still pending with one agent. He’s still going to wait for me and for Chain Reaction when I turn in my full hopefully this summer. I did receive another full and a 150-page partial from two agents. Both fulls will go out in mid to late summer while the partial will go out by the end of June.

Contests: I did enter this to Pitch Wars last fall in spite of the heavy word count and wasn’t picked. I did receive minimum feedback from one mentor choice. It was worth a shot. I did receive a Dvpit like from an editor at Audible Originals last month and recently a #Pitdark like from an agent— (the same one who has my full for Venom)—on Thursday night. I sent my query out yesterday.

Diplomatic Immunity:
Editing: I’m still tweaking the chapters one last time. I did receive a free comprehensive critique from an editor from last fall. She only marked the first 3 chapters and told me she spotted the same mistakes in the other chapters. Mainly, I have to flesh out the characters to lay out the ground work. And that’s what I’m working on this summer since I have a new beta (who’s Canadian) to help me out with logistics and that area. So I plan to finish this by August depending on revised chapters and new chapter edits. I’m still getting feedback from my critique group on it and one friend there told me not to give up on it. I’m going to give it all I got.

Querying: I’m still querying it to hope to get some luck out of my political thriller. I did hear back from one agent on my full who passed on it earlier this year. She said it had potential and liked the concept, but some areas needed to be addressed. I did thought I had a partial request from another agent this spring, but there was a query mix-up and it was turned down. So I’m a bit out of luck and hope to turn things around this summer.

Contests: Other than small pubs who are interested in Diplomatic Immunity from Twitter Pitch contests, I did receive a like from a St. Martin’s Press editor last year during #Dvpit. So far that note in my query and nudges have garnered no luck since last fall when I added it. Not even for my full that fell short.
My other projects I’m currently working on lately:
Political Asylum, book 2 in the trilogy—I did write it during Nano last fall and earlier this year. I’ve put it in on brief hiatus and will resume it this fall. My book 3 which is untitled will be written sometime next year.
Double Exposure: Although I haven’t subbed a new chapter to my online critique list since January, I hope to resume it in the summer and send revised chapters to my CP. Although I’m behind, I plan to finish edits this by Labor Day Weekend depending on the revisions I get on the chapters.
Countdown to Zero: I started revamping my romantic suspense last fall and send out the first couple of chapters. I’ve gotten good feedback on it, though it’s been briefly on hiatus as I’m slowly going back to writing in chapter 8. I hope to finish chapter one edits over this holiday weekend and into next week. I might not get this done in time for Pitch Wars (which is now at late September than August this year), but I plan to finish it by Labor Day Weekend as well.

Earlier this year, My Muse had came up with a plan to combine sports romance and romantic suspense to form a new genre: sports romanic suspense. I’ve gotten good responses from my Twitter friends and my author friend who said this is what agents/editors are looking for. So we’ve plotted the storyline and basing it on the Winter X-Games with a twist on the Operation Varsity Blues scandal for Dead Heat. I’ve written halfway through the story and plan to finish by the end of June. Depending on if I land an agent or not this summer, this is going to be queried in mid-July thereabouts and my entry for Pitch Wars. The first chapter has been sent to my betas and some feedback had rolled in. I just need to tailor it down to 90K in the end.

I’m also planning to write two thrillers during Camp Nano and Nano this year.

I also want to go back to my backlist and resume these titles this fall:

Takedown: I just have a couple of chapters to write and finish it. It should take me 4-6 weeks before I edit it during winter.
In Too Deep (Nano 2018 project): I have more chapters to write to take my thriller novel to the next level. I plan to wrap it up before edits by Halloween.
The Scent of Evil: Although I’ve been on and off on trying to finish it and the outline, I have a few more chapters left to go too. I hopefully need 4-6 weeks to do it before edits in mid-fall.
Specimen: Like Scent of Evil, this has been on and off with edits. Besides a final round of edits to trim it down, I have a few more scenes left to write to finish it off. I’m close to it. And I hope to tackle it before winter and Christmas.

There are other title on my backlist, but it would have to wait until next year.

Starting in June, a bunch of writer friends from Revpit are doing something cool on our blogs. It’s called #WriterinMotion or #WIM for short to write a short story on a prompt and have a CP critique it. It would also be on the writing process from first draft to final copy. So I promise to be more active here and post for WIM and if I hear back on any news this summer for Venom! I’m going to post once a month starting next month too.

Nearing the Finish Line

March 18, 2018 - Leave a Response

Hello everyone. I know it’s been 3 months since my last update. And I’m here to give you a quick update on the latest on what’s going on. After I posted that blog update, an agent saw my link to my blog in my query, though she requested a mini R&R for Venom’s opening pages, she wanted me to not mention it in this posts. Since I’ve been keeping everything on the down low without mentioning names of agents or small publisher editors in these posts, past and present. So if you want to know who, feel free to send me a Direct Message via Twitter or Facebook Messenger message. (A little over a month ago, I’ve received a 50-page partial from another agent….. Shhh. Let’s keep it a secret and between us.)

On another note, I’m happy to share the news that this week I’ll finish my R&Rs for Venom. The end is finally near and here! After I finish editing the epilogue, it would be sent to a friend of mine who’s also an editor. And she would reading the full ms for free and give me her feedback. If all goes well, it would be sent over to those agents next week before Easter and editors after Easter, depending on their sub guidelines. I’m really hoping I don’t have to do any more edits in that ms from my end. And then I have a long waiting period to hear from them on my fulls this spring. It would be great to hear from them by my 42nd birthday in 80 days or earlier with some freaking good news! I’ll still be querying my heart out and going all in to land more requests if I can.

Next month, I’ll be working on Double Exposure, one of my manuscripts from my backlist. I haven’t worked on finishing edits on it in over a year. And since one of the agents last year asked me to write a synopsis for it, I might have as well take the plunge this spring and get it ready just in case….

I also hope to finish Diplomatic Immunity’s full next weekend as well and send it to those agents and editors after Easter. I probably won’t finish Chain Reaction’s full until maybe late April/early May. I have a hurdle of cutting 20K from there with my beta somehow. No new bites from both manuscripts so far.

As for contests, I had no luck with Pitmad and #SavvyAuthors and Snow vs Snow this year so far, even when I’ve re-entered Chain Reaction after it went on hiatus for 1.5 years. So I hope to maybe enter it for Revpit next month. Pitch Wars is up in the air for now.

For Camp Nano, I’m finishing last year’s spring Camp Nano manuscript, Takedown this spring. Then I’ll finish my political thriller trilogy for summer Camp Nano and Nano this year.

I’m really hoping this is my year to make my dreams come true, hopefully by this summer. Stay tuned and keep your lips sealed!

8 Months in Review

December 18, 2017 - Leave a Response

Hello everyone. Sorry I haven’t been posting any updates lately and not since March this year. I’ve been real busy in the past nine months with writing new novels, revising Venom and my other novels, and querying and entering contests a lot. Instead of giving you a major update, I’ll give you an abbreviated one with what I have been up this month and what’s going on for next year. Consider it as an early Christmas present from me to you all! I’ll break it down in categories from big to small sections.

After I posted in March, things really turned up for Venom with just cold querying and have little luck with the contests. I did turn in my partial to that agent as planned and then waiting a long time. Come September and a bit of confusion on her part, it was upgraded to a full R&R with some tweaks in the opening chapters. And I’ve tweaked the rest of the novel since then. I also landed a full from one small publisher and an agent, and a partial R&R from one other small publisher. I also received a partial from another small publisher from a mid-fall contest. Sadly, that partial R&R from that one small pub fell flat last month. I did take a brief query break for 6 weeks to work on edits and resumed querying last month. I’ll be going on query break for Venom after I send out my final query out today until mid-January next year. But I hope to turn in my full and full R&Rs for Venom by late January 2018. As for contests, other than that one contest in September, it had received little to no fanfare by agents.

Another one of my manuscripts that picked up steam was Diplomatic Immunity, my first installment in my political thriller trilogy that I wrote last spring for Camp Nano April 2016. Ever since I’ve incorporated what my beta suggested earlier this year and this summer by making tweaks throughout the chapter. It had garnered one partial request from an agent (that I’ll send out after the holidays) and a few full requests, including my latest one this fall. It also received a partial R&R from the same small pub that turned down Venom last month; I’ll be sending it out next month. Plus I’ve landed two partials from two other small pubs from the same Savvy Authors contest this September–one went out last week and the other would go out next Friday. As for contests, it did get some likes and some feedback from #REVPIT this spring from 2 out of 3 mentors and then from Pitch Wars this August. Though it wasn’t picked, I did win the Spirit of Pitch Wars contest and won a query and first chapter critique from a mentor that I didn’t pick for the big contest. I went on a mini query break for 1.5 weeks to tweak the first chapter and decided to leave my query as is, since it did land me my latest full request from an agent this fall. After I send out my two partials and a dozen of queries this week, it would also go on query break until 1/15/18. I’ll hope to send out my fulls out around the same time I send out Venom’s, too.

As for Chain Reaction, it hasn’t gotten much traction lately other than no responses or Rs. I did get one full request from one agent via a requery and my 1.5 -year-old full request from last year’s Pitmad from a small publisher. I hope to return it to the contest revenue in early 2018. Though I’ve resumed revising it from previous feedback on others, I hope to turn it in by late January 2018 at the latest hopefully. Better late then never, right? I sent out my last query out on Friday and hope to resume querying in late January 2018.

Besides all that, I’ve won my 9th Nano in a row this year with my romantic thriller, Deadly Tide. It has a natural disaster theme (flood by broken dam) and based in my home state and county. I hope to finish writing it in late January 2018 and stick to 110K if not 100 K. I hope to resume this year’s Camp Nano ms, Takedown, and last year’s Nano, the Scent of Evil, both in February 2018. For Camp Nano, I’ll be resuming my political thriller trilogy with part two, Political Asylum (whether April or July, it’s to be determined), and an untitled final installment for Nano. When I finish editing Venom, Chain Reaction and Diplomatic Immunity, I’m going back to my backlist to edit my other two eco-thrillers that I’ve worked on last year, Specimen and Double Exposure. I hope to edit Deadly Tide in mid-February 2018 too.

That’s about it from here! I promise to post more next year, while I’m waiting to get more offers on the table and maybe the call itself, even when I turn in my fulls. So keep your fingers crossed and hope for good news for Venom and me in 2018!

2016-2017 Five Month Update

February 10, 2017 - Leave a Response

Belated happy new year everyone! Though it had five months since my last update on my blog on the latest, here’s where I am on querying Venom, Chain Reaction and Diplomatic Immunity. I’m still hoping to make this year memorable by making my writing dreams come true, one step at a time for either of them. Like October’s blog post, this post is going to be short and sweet and broken down to a couple of paragraphs since not much is going on, but things are moving up and forward. Yet again, I’ve been busy writing, especially my Nano 2016 manuscript, the Scent of Evil, my first romantic thriller. I hope to finish writing and outlining it as I go along by Camp Nano this spring, eight weeks from here. At this point, I don’t know what I’m doing yet, whether it’ll be part two to my political thriller trilogy, a new idea, or to revamp an old idea or finish my Nano ms with a mininal set goal of 5-15 K. I’ve been also editing my manuscripts and querying a lot to them, while I’ve entered contests for Diplomatic Immunity only and placed Chain Reaction on hold until a later date.

As for the contests, I struck out in Nightmare on Query Street, Dear Lucky Agent for thrillers, while I was short-listed by one editor in Pit2pub16 for Diplomatic Immunity. I’ve also received feedback from two out of four editors and an ediitng offer by the same editor who liked my novel. That was the highlight of the year last fall. Both editors wanted more personalization and emotional depth, which is the same issue I’ve been working on with Venom for over two years, on and off. I’ve also had no luck with #pitmad either and skipped the December contests. All except one, which was a Twitter contest to win a free query critique from an agent (Agent R, I’ll call him), just by tweeting and retweeting his tweet. Not sure if anyone else have done it last month, but I’ve won small victory! (As of this week, I’ve sent it to him and wait for his feedback. It could help me with future contests and queries somewhere along the road. With help from one of my betas who gave me confidence and feedback, I’ve revamped my opening by tweaking it in time for Sun Vs Snow. Once again, I’ve gotten snubbed. So that’s where I am so far with contests as #pitmad in toward the end of the month.

Though conference season have started and yet upon us, I’ll be going to the same one last year to live pitch to agents—two of the same agents I’ve already queried in advance and waiting to hear from them—and try my new manuscript with new agents there. If I finish Chain Reaction’s edits in time, I might do that as well.

As for requests, Agent A who’s been considering Venom for over a year with no further word on the status, I’ve heard back from her after I’ve nudged her from various sources. Overall, I’ve gotten closure from her on Venom and Chain Reaction, since Double Exposure is excluded and put on hold, until I hear back from one of my betas. Though she would’ve given me a R&R back in July 2015 and then passed, (she also passed on CR as well, since she didn’t connect with the former version I suppose), I do have hope with her. Another agent at her agency (Agent X) is reading and reviewing Venom as we speak as I’m waiitng to hear from her this week. I’ve told Agent A in my thankful email, that I would be happy to receive a R&R from Agent X, like she first gave me way back when. I’ve already implemented the changes in chapter one and have done chapter 2 afterwards. Since then, I’ve been starting to work on Agent P’s R&R (self-editing alone with help from my online crit list and not with an editor now), I’ve also received a R&R from a small pub I would call Publisher 3, who’ve upgraded my partial last summer to a full last fall. Though they’ve loved the storyline, they wanted me to work on characterization and dialogue. So that’s what I’ve been working on lately for the past month or so. I also haven’t heard back from Agent M and Agent E yet on my nudge and receiving crickets, even when I’ve nudged them twice. So I’ll keep waiting to hear from them and nudge them in the spring.

As for Chain Reaction, I did lose my partial from Agent N, when she said it wasn’t strong enough or keen enough, and the story felt small. No word yet from Agent W on my partial, not since I’ve nudged her. I’m still working on my soon-to-be belated #pitmad full request for Publisher 7 and hope to send it in to the editor by late spring/early summer and via the queue. I have two betas to help me get through the edits this winter and spring season. Lastly, I’ve received only one full request for Diplomatic Immunity in late fall from Agent R. I haven’t heard from him yet and will be nudging him soon. Nothing yet on that end. With my newest beta for my newest ms, she said it has potential, but due to some storyline flaws, I have to do some tweaks to make it better, like changing locations for part of the story. I hope to finish by late spring and enter it into #pitmad and other contests this spring. Depending on how it does, maybe it could be a bona fide winner for Pitch Wars in September! (My new Nano won’t be ready yet, depending on how I do with edits after I finish writing—it’s over 150K so far.)

That’s it so far. I’ll keep dreaming about my future book cover designs for this year!

%d bloggers like this: