Hello! I’m going to start sharing insights (and all of the honest ups and downs) of a book from the beginning of a draft through…hopefully submission! In theory, I’ll post every Wednesday and it’ll be categorized and tagged as WIP Wednesdays. For those who don’t know, WIP stands for Work-in-Progress and it’s how many authors refer to the books they’re drafting.
But today is Thursday, because last night I wrote/revised, and then did freelance, and I was too tired to write a blog post. I’ll do better next week. I hope.
What am I working on?
A middle grade novel! It’s about a girl who is the youngest in her family and she doesn’t feel like she fits in with her sisters, and also there’s a monster that needs to be slain, but only boys are allowed to slay monsters in her world. Her name is Bea and I love her.
This is a new category for me! What’s the hardest part?
It took me awhile to get the voice. I pitched this book to my agent last fall and am just *now* getting somewhere with it. My agent’s advice was the turning point for me. She told me to change the content of what I was writing, but not my voice. I think I’d been trying too hard to write a certain middle grade voice I thought was commercial, and that was resulting in me sounding like an Adult Talking To Children. Now it just sounds like Bea, my main character.
How many words did I write this last week?
I revised the first 1.5k last night and added 500 words. My agent gave me notes on the first 3 chapters I’d sent her (because this isn’t my first attempt at middle grade) so I’m working on those so I have the right tone going forward!
How long is the draft now?
Just about 6k.
What was the biggest challenge this week?
I replotted the first act this morning. Balancing pacing, voice, and grounding the story with enough setting and enough immediate stakes is my biggest challenge so far. Pacing is hard, friends. I need to heighten the stakes! But also describe more setting! But without slowing down the pacing! But I do need to slow down the first act! All of those things are possible? I guess? That’s what I’m working on.
What am I most proud of this week?
I really love Bea’s voice and her tenacity. I think that comes across really well so far in the book, and I’m proud of that.
I’m going to polish up the first act this weekend, trying to hit all those challenges I mentioned above, and send that back to my agent on Monday.
I hope this is interesting and helpful! It’s like a Twitter thread, but longer. Or you know. Average for me.
In other news,
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