On Beta-Readings, New Writing Projects, and the Future of This Series
Chronicling The Craft is a series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE. These articles alternate between progress reports, fun WIP-related content, and writing / revising / editing tips. Today’s post serves an update on TKC’s beta-reading stage and the beginning of Draft #1 of “The Novella.”
Starting a new phase of the writing process is always exciting. And nerve-racking. And scary. But mostly exciting. However, what makes this “new beginnings” Chronicle unique from past ones is that it covers not just one writing project, but TWO!
Today’s Chronicle is mostly updates on my YA fantasy novel The Keeper’s Curse and my fantasy novella-in-progress, which is tentatively titled The Novella. (Not very imaginative, but I don’t have any title ideas yet. *lol*) I’ll also share my plans for the upcoming round of Chronicles – and if you’re interested, I could use your help with deciding what “fun stuff” to share during the progress reports.
Also, because I saw the movie “Moana” recently, I declare today as Moana GIF Day. ❤
Ready? Let’s start with…
The Keeper’s Curse Is Now With Beta-Readers
As I mentioned in November, I divided my beta-readers for TKC into two groups. The first group received the manuscript in December (with the first responses expected very soon), and the second group received it this past weekend. Realistically, I’m not expecting to start Draft #4 of TKC until March or April. This should give everyone enough time to read and respond to the manuscript, and I can get a headstart on my new writing project.
So, until I have more news on TKC, keep an eye out for next week’s post. It’s not a Chronicle, but it will ask for your feedback on something very important for TKC.
Draft #1 of The Novella is Underway (a.k.a. Wait a Minute – Sara’s Writing Something NEW?!)
I spent part of my blogging hiatus plotting the novella and working on profiles for some of its supporting characters. (I’ve already known the protagonists Eva and Nomaro for a while.) But the actual Day 1 of Draft #1 was Tuesday, January 3rd, and I’m almost done with Chapter 1. So, yes, I’m finally working on something NEW. 😀
Unfortunately my excitement over The Novella has been tempered by frustration with time management. I found myself rushing to adjust to my writing schedule after taking several weeks off for the holidays – on top of going back to my day job after a week’s vacation. I had even forgotten to print out my outline / notes beforehand. Oops.
Yeah… It might not have been the smartest idea to deal with both “returns” at the same time. But I think I’ve figured out what changes I need to make so my writing schedule can work again. Hopefully things will smooth out by the next pair of Chronicles.
You know what else feels weird so far about this new project? It’s not TKC. Ever since I started writing that novel 4 years ago, I’ve never shifted my focus away from it. I’d work on one draft, then take a couple weeks off before tackling the next. That was my pattern from January 2013, when I began Draft #1, until now. (Being a slow writer and having limited writing time due to a full-time job have stretched things out, too.)
But now that TKC is out of my hands for a while, I can work on a different story. No words, animated GIFs, or emoticons can adequately express my joy – or my trepidation – about this. It’s an interesting conflict of emotions that might be best explained in its own post.
Which reminds me…
The Future of Chronicling The Craft
After thinking about how to continue this series, I’ve decided to take a “wait and see” approach with future Chronicles. It’s partly because I have two writing projects going on, and partly because I have no idea how quickly The Novella’s first draft will progress. Between my adapted writing schedule and The Novella’s expected word count, it should take less than the 25 months it took to crank out 132K for TKC’s first draft. (I’ll scream if it doesn’t. *lol*) But until I’m further along, and with a once-a-week blogging schedule, I’m hesitant to commit to any timelines or milestones right now.
That said, I have a few ideas for topics to cover in upcoming Chronicles:
- Conquering fears about starting a new writing project
- Writing a novella versus writing a novel
- Writing a dual-POV story versus writing a single-POV story
- Additional beta-reading tips based on my experience with TKC’s beta-reading stage
- Planning revisions / edits based on beta-reader feedback
By the way, thank you for suggesting that I split the progress reports and the writing / revising / editing tips into separate posts! Doing this gave readers the opportunity to check out one half of each milestone pair or the other, or both halves on different days. It made the posts more reader-friendly in the long run, and easier for me to prepare. In this way, the splitting turned out to be the best way of formatting the Chronicle series to date.
Also, the advice posts earned more views and shares than the progress reports, which didn’t surprise me. But judging from your comments during the Draft #3 cycle, long-time and dedicated readers have really enjoyed the progress reports, and so do I. They have an enthusiasm and intimacy (or personableness?) that the advice posts lack because of the “behind-the-scenes” glimpses they offered into TKC.
The thing is, I’m not sure what fun or “behind-the-scenes” things to include in the new progress reports. So far I’ve shares songs from TKC’s novel playlist, offered excerpts for your critique, and done various story reveals from world-building to character profiles. This time I’d like to offer something different, maybe something pertaining to The Novella instead… but I don’t know what.
So, what “fun stuff” would you like to see in the next progress reports? What have you seen other writers post about their WIPs on their blogs? Is there anything you’re itching to learn about TKC or The Novella that hasn’t been discussed yet? Feel free to share any suggestions in your comments – they’ll be warmly welcomed!
25 Days to Go for the GoFundMe Campaign for the Iceland Writers Retreat!
With about 3 1/2 weeks to go, the GoFundMe campaign for my trip to this year’s Iceland Writers Retreat is just under 40% funded ($1,355 of the $3500 goal, when I last checked). So many people have been so generous with their donations and willingness to spread the word, and I appreciate all of it more than I can express.
The campaign’s deadline is set for Saturday, February 4th. So if you’d like to help however you can, here’s what you can do:
If You’d Like to Donate: Submit it via the campaign’s GoFundMe page by February 4th. We’re down to the last two U.S. Tea Lover perks, so get your donation in soon if you’ve had your eye on that one. Plenty of other perks are still available, too (the same tea perk for international donors, first-chapter manuscript critiques, writing coach sessions via Skype, access to an online photo album of my trip, etc.) And if you’re not interested in perks, simply fill in your desired amount and mention it in the donation’s comment.
If You’re Unable to Donate But Still Want to Help: You can share the campaign’s link on Facebook, Twitter, your blog – whatever you feel comfortable doing, and whenever you choose. And if you see my campaign posts on Facebook or Twitter, you’re also welcome to share or retweet them.
Thank you all so much again for all the support and encouragement you’ve voiced for this trip and the campaign, and for continuing to follow me on my writing journey. If I ever meet any of you in person, I’m giving you a big hug. 🙂
How are things going with your current writing project(s)? Are you planning to a start new one soon? If you’ve reached the critique / beta-reading stage of a manuscript before, how do you like to spend your time while you wait for feedback?