August 29, 2017

This has been a strange journey, and this new path almost wasn’t taken. But….

I got into Pitch Wars 2017!

The really fantastic Hayley Stone chose KINGDOM out of her many wonderful submissions. I had a pretty good idea I was in the running as Hayley had been emailing me with questions in the weeks leading up to the announcements.

For those who don’t know, Pitch Wars works by matching an agented and an often published author (and in my case with Hayley, an accomplished editor, as well) with an un-agented author (me).

Now that I’ve been chosen, Hayley has sent me a detailed edit letter which covers extensive developmental edits and content edits. Once we work through those, we’ll work on line edits. Then we’ll do some query and pitch work. Hayley has also suggested we change the name of the book, which I agree with. I haven’t come up with anything yet but am bouncing some ideas around.

At the end of this process, Pitch Wars has an agent round where I can pitch the book to agents.  This is an amazing opportunity and a continuation of a crazy journey for this book. I was ready to trunk the damn thing a little over a month ago, frustrated after I had boxed myself in with some plot and character choices I simply wouldn’t give up. Hayley read the book, saw through those hurdles, and loved it anyway.

Now I have to put in some hard work, in a little over two months, to meet Hayley’s vision for refinement. I am in complete agreement with her changes, it’s just a matter of doing the writing.

I am thankful to her for seeing the same vision for the book I do and for being able to see through the flaws.

To those who each year think about Pitch Wars, but talk themselves out of it or say, “My book isn’t ready or good enough or I’m not ready as a writer”–trust me, I was right there too. I had started writing a new book! But all it takes is one mentor to feel it in their gut for you and your book to get in. So, though I am one of the more cynical people around and don’t typically buy into the “You can’t win if you don’t just try to get in” shenanigans, it’s really true.

Buck up and try. I did some spruce up edits the days leading up to submissions, especially on my query and synopsis (which Hayley asked for). I researched the mentors I wanted (which in my case was somewhat easier than other mentees, because the Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy mentor list is much shorter than, say, the Young Adult lists). I set aside my doubts and told myself I had written a good book.

Will everyone who has written a good book get in? No. But, it only takes one mentor to find that spark, for whatever the reason, and kindle your hopes. It happened to me.

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Day 179: June 27, 2017

I feel no better today. Well, the writing went more smoothly, but how I feel about writing and about the book is as depressing as it was yesterday. Sigh. Roll on and on and on. I jumped and fixed a bunch of question grammar in dialogue spots. Yay that.

Today’s chapter brought to you by a lifetime of grammar mistakes:

  • Levitte and Blue Time

More word shrinkage as well. In fact sort of massive today, though somewhat because I got sidetracked and dumped a frivolous scene from Chapter Two. (Because that’s what happens when I feel shitty about things.)

Word count yesterday: 124,044
Word count today: 123,419

Day 178: June 26, 2017

Yikes! Writing is not like riding a bike. Getting back on again is hard. My mind feels sloshy. I got some beta reader comments back on a few chapters and–shock–I couldn’t process the criticism. Combine that with having to do this revision work, and it’s like I’ve never written anything before.

I hate writing. This whole book sucks. It turns out I’ve been punctuating questions in dialogue wrong my whole life. At what point did I learn that wrong? And how did I learn that wrong? It’s amazing I’m good at anything.

Fine, whatever. I “revised”, if I can continue to use that word, considering how likely shitty this is all turning out.

  • Daron Chased and Sage’s Daughter.

I get the feeling the word count is going to drop dramatically because when I get pissy about writing I purge.

Word count yesterday: 124,044
Word count today: 123,846

Day 161 – 177: June 9 – 25, 2017

I went on vacation and my wife insisted I not touch my laptop or do any writing. So, that’s what happened. I am back. This is my first update. Some things did happen, like I got an idea for another book, and I made some notes for it (many notes and chapters in fact) in Google Keep on my phone. It’s amazing what you can do with your thumbs as far as writing in a pinch.

I’ll get caught up this week. I also did a Twitter contest last week and got an agent like (hurrah), so will be sending a query soon. I’ll update on that too. Not sure if I’ll name the agent. We’ll see what happens. Onward and all that.

Day 159: June 7, 2017

More easy work today. Had a bit of tricky dialogue that needed to be redone. But otherwise, there were only some pesky grammatical issues I found. The second part of the chapter, Aubrey’s part, had some subtle things happening. Kind of interesting, really. Maybe I’m getting interested in simply reading, rather than revising. Is that a good sign though? Hmm.

  • Chimdawn and the Power

Word count yesterday: 124,374
Word count today: 124, 218