Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Excuses, excuses

Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. I know I haven’t updated this blog as much as I set out to for my resolution and I only have myself to blame for that, but I’m been busy. It all boils down to one word: school.

This has probably been the worst and best time of my college career. 

I’m graduating in a month (eek!) and this is the first time in about 15 years that I won’t be in school. It also doesn’t help that I’m graduating without my closest friends because I’m graduating a year early. And it definitely doesn’t help that I’ve lost complete motivation for anything remotely related to class. Worst of all, I really don’t know what I’m doing with my life or where I’m headed. To make it worse, it’s all anyone can ask me about.

But it is the best time I’ve had in college. One, I’m so close to being free (free I tell you!). Two, this past year, I’ve figured out some rather important things about myself. What I love. What I need to do. What I can’t survive without. For the first time in my college career, I’ve actually had some free time. I’ve explored my true passion and fallen even deeper in love with it (if that’s possible). I’ve been able to balance school, friends, reading, and writing. (At least I think I did a good job—we shall see once grades are released at the end of April). Nothing is better than being done with homework before it’s dark out because of the small amount of classes I’m taking. 

But I’m still busy. Stressful is an understatement some days. If you want to call my last semester terrifying, stressful, anxiety inducing experience of my life, then I will agree with you. I thought starting college was bad. 

Long story short—there have been too many things competing for my attention lately and I just haven’t had the energy or time to blog. I know it’s an excuse, but I swear I’ll do better. I’m going to try to stick to my resolution of updating my blog twice a week (I’m thinking Mondays and Friday). 

I’m not giving up. I made myself a promise and I’m going to work as hard as I can to keep it. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Long Road: Revisions

Getting a book ready to query is a long road. It’s easy to get discouraged at how much more I have to do, but today is not one of those days.

I recently completed my first revisions on my manuscript, THE LOY. (Notice how I said my first revisions. I have a lot more revisions to get through for this book to be ready.)

Revisions are different for every writer. There’s no perfect formula (trust me, I’ve looked and looked). Revising is tough. No other way to put it. Revisions for me will always be difficult. It's obvious how much I struggle with revising because up until this set of revisions, I would always stop a couple of chapters in because I got discouraged.

So being able to say that I have now revised a book is an accomplishment in itself. (One I’ll keep saying while I dance in my chair a little bit.)

In my first revision pass, I focused on perfecting the plot. This involved scraping entire scenes and chapters, cutting and adding characters, removing one subplot and beefing up another, etc. I did a lot in this first draft of revisions and I’m proud of myself. 

But what I love is that I get to do again. I never thought I would say this. I really didn’t, but I’m starting to grow fond of the revising process.

I’m excited to start my second round of revisions because I have so many other things to tackle. The plot isn’t quite where it needs to be in terms of pacing. The world building is a little lacking. Then there are all these characters that I haven’t really touched in my revisions. I can’t wait to start working with character arcs.The list is really never ending and for the first time, I don’t feel overwhelmed. I’m in no rush because I know I can make this story a lot better. 

And yes, I may not be able to get an agent with this story. I’m starting to see that it’s just a little too cliche and a little too unoriginal, but is that going to stop me? Hell, no! 

I started writing for myself and I’m going to continue to write for myself. And even though it’s my absolute dream to get published and share my story with others, my love of writing comes first. I absolutely love it. No matter what happens, I’m going to keep writing. 

Every book I write is only going to make me a better writer. So that one day, I will be ready for whatever’s out there for me. 

I’ve overcome my fear of revising (a long battle). That’s one large step down the long road and yes, I have a thousand more steps to go, but if I take it one step at a time, I’ll eventually make it.

Any one else struggling with revisions? 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Need To Read (1)

This is the start of a series of posts that I’m going to try to do early every month for the books I NEED to read. Not because I really have to. I’m still a new book blogger so I haven’t received ARCs or anything like that. These are books I need to read because I really want to read them.

Now onto my list (in no particular order other than what comes to mind first)! 

1. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray: It’s pitched as Orphan Black meets Cloud Atlas—two works I absolutely love. The cover is gorgeous. The second book is coming out sometime this year. Why wouldn’t I want to read this book? 

2. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: This has been on my TBR list for a long time. I’m a sucker for historical fiction. It’s one of the first genres I remember reading as a kid. I’ve also heard so many great things about this book and I am determined to read it this month. 

3. On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: I’ve heard this is a great book. An agent I admire loved this book. It’s not something I would usually read, but I’m trying to be more open to all sorts of books. It will be a great break from sci-fi and fantasy.

4. Revision and Self-Editing for Publication by James Scott Bell: It’s no secret I want to publish a novel one day. I’ve finished the first draft of revisions for my novel, but I know there’a lot more to do. This book is going to help me figure out what I need to do to make my novel even better.

What books are you looking forward to reading this month? If you’ve read any of these, what did you think?