The Silver Lining | March Madness check in day 9

Welcome to check-in day 9. How is everyone doing?

Week 2 started out really well for me. I wasn’t working yesterday so I actually produced a word count more than my combined last week’s total. Today I’m working 12-hours again so I’m not sure the tradition will continue but I’ll try. I loved the scene I wrote yesterday, though I’m sure I’ll feel differently once I let my crit partners see it and they expose the problems!

Week 2 is always difficult because the momentum of the beginning is over. You’re probably working on the sagging middle and getting frustrated.

KEEP AT IT! Even if you’re struggling, my philosophy is you can always fix the not-so-great first draft stuff in revisions.

Since we’ve had such a wonderful turnout, we’ve decided to offer more prizes. As some of you know, I’m currently searching for an agent for my new book, the super secret retelling. I consider query writing a strong suit of mine (and my results prove it) so I’d like to offer up a QUERY CRITIQUE as a prize. My critiques are not for the faint of heart! I will shred it if I think it needs work, but I’ll help you figure out what’s high-concept about your book and the best angle to showcase in your query. So this critique is not just for one version. I’ll work with you until your query is so awesome that agents stop glazing over when reading slush and sit up, excited to request your book.

(My previous query for my other book had a 100% request rate. I have a lot of experience writing pitches.)

So how is everyone doing this week? Are you on track? Falling behind? Any advice to other participants on how to keep going?

And don’t forget to check in at Jen Hayley’s blog tomorrow:

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40 Responses

  1. I’m on track – I had an AWESOME writing day yesterday. I’m up to 165 pages, and thinking I’ll have a first draft done at 200 pages or so.

    Wow, you are amazing – 100% request rate – go you!!!

  2. Congrats on your request rate!!
    I am 1/3 of the way through revising my middle-grade novel. Yesterday was spent going over the chapters I’ve revised, making sure that the language is middle-grade through and through, and that the details and the pacing are just right. Looking forward to tonight’s revision session. Happy writing!

  3. Congrats on the new scene, Shana! And… _yes_ on the new prize, a query crit!

    Finished up to chapter seven on my YA revisions. Chapter eight is lined up for today. And, had that great tingly moment where I know I still love love this story…hope I am doing it justice.

    Happy writing all!

  4. Oh wow. These prizes are awesome. 🙂 It’s like a triple bonus: motivation and community while working on writing, getting actual writing done, and prizes!

    I wrote 750 words yesterday, finished my previous scene, and went on to the next one. It’s not coming fast, but it is coming. Unfortunately my professors also decided to pile homework on me, so this week may not be as steady.

    • That’s what we’re hoping with the prizes! Motivation!

      750 words is great! Sorry about the homework. Don’t these professors know we have our priorities?

  5. I had a productive day yesterday, getting in over 2k and writing a summary for the next scene I need to tackle. Good thing, since in the afternoon I got notes from my agent, so I have to spend today on revisions for that. Not sure how long this will take, but hopefully I can get back on track with current WIP tomorrow.

    Can’t wait to hear the good news about your soon to be new agent!

    • I am jealous of your 2k! And that’s awesome about your notes from your agent. Good luck with revising!

      (I hope I have good news soon. I’m feeling all naked and antsy being between agents. I hope someone loves this book and wants to represent it!)

  6. Congrats on the productive Monday, Shana, and I hope the agent quest is a success. We’re in the same boat. Let’s hope we both have good news to share sometime soon!

    Not worrying about making the first draft perfect is great advice. That’s exactly what revision is for:-)

    Today the WIP moved forward 900 more words. At this rate, I should be able to meet my goal of finishing the story by the end of the month. Yay!

    Thanks again for the encouragement.

  7. I have, sadly, fallen behind. Could have been that two-day migraine. I was feeling fine again yesterday, but didn’t get as much done as I would have liked to.

    • Sorry about the migraine ad falling behind. When I am behind, I try to squeeze in an extra few hundreds words on the next few days and catch up that way. Good luck!

  8. Yesterday was a bad day (I did some critiquing but no writing of my own), but today will be better! I’m going to try to finish my work early so I can sneak in about an hour of revising at the office, then do some more at home…woot!
    – Heather

    • I always think critiquing helps strengthen our skills. If you can spot it in someone else’s book, you can spot it in your own. So even if you didn’t write yesterday, you were still productive!

      (Revising at the office is the best place to do it, haha)

  9. Yesterday was a completely unproductive day for me, but I have plans to revisit a whole chapter today while my baby takes his nap. I’m glad to have a daily check-in. It’s going to keep me rolling.

  10. Wow, you are a query superstar!

    I had the day off yesterday too. I wrote almost 5K and really like the new scenes. My original goal was to write 10K before launching into revisions on another project. Since my editorial phone call has been pushed back another week and I’m already at 8K, though, I think I’m going to increase my wordcount goal to 18K. That will put me squarely at 50K before I pause.

  11. I turn in my research paper tonight so I can start doing revisions on my novel tomorrow!! Am I insane to be so excited about this? =D LOL Doing the research paper relly made me miss working on my novel. I highly recommend research paper writing to anyone struggling to revise right now. 😉

    • I don’t think you’re insane to be excited about it! I would be. I bet you get tons done now that you’ve had proper time to miss the characters and the book. Good luck!

  12. Due to REALLY weird circumstances, I had to “check out” of my check ins (and writing) after day 2 (sigh). But I’m back now. Since last we parted, I’ve managed to scrounge together 817 words.

  13. Well day 9 was an exhausting one so I didn’t do any writing, chose to critique someone else’s work instead.
    I’ve had several days where I’ve gone over my planned word count so that’s helped a lot. Think I’m still on track.


    • I think critiquing is still being productive. If you can spot problems in someone else’s work, you can probably find them in your own. So I think you did great!

  14. Yesterday’s writing left me a little confused over the middle of the book. The timeline wasn’t quite working, but at the gym this morning, I had a revelation (if you’re stuck, go to the gym, everybody – it works!)

    So today I got busy and back on track with things. I actually got through 2 big chapter revisions. I’m really happy with how it’s going.

    • That’s awesome about the 2 chapter revisions!

      But I must disagree on the gym suggestion. You know how I feel about exercise. So I will offer up an alternative. When you’re stuck on a plot, mull it over while lying in bed and lose sleep over it. It works for me all the time! I’m practically on only two hours of sleep today! But I figured out plot points!

  15. It’s great that you got that scene done, Shana, and congratulations on your impressive query results. I think I’m finally back on track after a few sluggish days. I have one more chapter revised and right now am slogging through another that requires a lot of reorganizing. We have family visiting from out of town this week so I will be fitting my writing into unpredictable nooks and crannies of time. I’m in a cranny right now. 🙂


    • That’s great that you’re finally back on track after the sluggish days. I know exactly how you feel. I personally love reorganizing chapters. I find it easier than writing from scratch. Good luck finding more crannies! (Whenever I hear that word, I want an English muffin.)

  16. These new prizes are so exciting. I’ve had a pretty decent request rate on my queries, but, er, 100%? Not even close. *faint*

    Anyway, after two days with a so-so word count, I finally managed my daily minimum again today, bringing my total up to 14k. I ironed out some plot problems and am chugging along nicely, but know I’ll have a few other problems to deal with soon, so I should really start to look ahead…

  17. I recently started over from scratch on my WIP and am now writing in second person, and let me just say this–I love it! I know it’s risky, but it is perfect for this story.

    Can’t wait to get deeper into everything.

    Congratulations on your request rate! That is SO great.


  18. Wow, what an amazing request rate! Yay you, Shana!! I admire anyone who can write a winning query. Which brings me to my check-in. I spent all day revamping my query – yet again – and haven’t written word one on my WIP. HOWEVER, I intend to make amends and pledge 500 words before I hit the sack. Should be a breeze next to the query.

  19. I came in spitting distance of my modest goal (500 words). Considering what an eventful day it was (I’m a Carolrhoda LAB author and today I got to show my cover and and say, “I’m a Carolrhoda LAB author!”) that seems pretty good. And I also indexed a bunch of Texas history. Yahoo!

    Cover and my “LAB partners” here

    And my agent request rate is 40% partials, 0% fulls. N of 5.

  20. Well, I still have 25 minutes until today is officially over but there is no way I’m going to get anything accomplished. I’m floating on cloud 9 because I sold my mg, The Weaver, to Guardian Angel Publishing. So I haven’t been able to complete a thought all day. Back to work tomorrow I hope! -Kai

  21. Trying to plug right along. Been having major computer and internet problems everywhere. Managed to write and get some editing done yesterday. The only problems with having to write a new section is that it is officially “rough draft” and is going to need a lot more work 🙂

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