Archive for the ‘Golden Heart prep’ Category
Had you asked me last week whether I was going to win NaNoWriMo this year, I’d have laughed — most likely right in your face.
With two entries for the 2012 Golden Heart competition to polish, I’d pretty much written off finishing NaNo. When I popped my last GH entry in the mail on Monday, I had 15,000 words left to write and three days in which to do it.
And here’s where that old power of persistence kicked in. I didn’t want to fail. I had Monday off, so I spent most of it at Starbucks, writing away — and then did some late-night word sprints with the Power Writing Hour Facebook group I belong to. On Tuesday, I did as much writing as I could until it was time to go to work … And on Wednesday, after working until 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and then sprinting until 12:30 a.m. or so, I hauled myself out of bed at 8 a.m. so I could put in a full day at Starbucks before heading to work.
The persistence paid off. At about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, I crossed the finish line with 50,094 words. (Yeah, I was supposed to be at work by 3 p.m. — but I was too close to give up. Lucky for me, my hours are somewhat flexible.) The NaNo validator came in slightly lower, at 50,016 … but still enough to declare me a winner.
Finishing something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do felt great. I have to give shout-outs to Jamie Raintree and Anne Marie Becker, my writing buddies who wouldn’t let me give up. (They both hit 50K, too.) My new Power Writing Hour friends helped, too.
Another shout-out to the new CPs who helped me whip those GH entries into shape. I received confirmation just this morning that the second of two was received — so all that’s left is to wait …
And to keep writing, of course. I already have a new challenge in my sights: Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest. Its mid-December deadline is creeping up fast.
What do you do when one trusted friend tells you to scrap the first chapter of one of the stories you plan on entering in the 2012 GH?
If it’s a chapter you love, chock-full of hilarious lines and
you’re not ready to hear the fateful directive to “chop it,” you seek a second opinion.
And when the Starcatcher sister offering said second opinion concurs, saying that she, too, thinks the beginning makes both hero and heroine look less-than-heroic …
Well, you bite the bullet and cut your beloved first chapter, which began life as a prologue to begin with. (I should have known that no one would be fooled by my slapping it with a “Chapter 1” header.)
It wasn’t easy to cut a chapter that starts out like this: “When Melinda’s now-ex-fiancé admonished her to grow up, she doubted playing tonsil hockey with a man old enough to be her father was what he’d had in mind.”
Okay, maybe a wee bit of “ick factor” lurks in that beginning. (Thanks, Anna, for putting your finger on that one. It may be why I didn’t final in the Rubies’ first line contest this time.)
Finally, I was willing to admit to myself that the pages didn’t paint either of them in the best light — even though they you see right away that Mel was overexaggerating Dave’s age.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t as painful as I expected. I plan to work in some of the funnier bits as part of the backstory — and when this novel makes it to publication, don’t be surprised to see Dave and Melinda’s “how it all began” pop up on the blog as an online extra.
I will survive my MS’s massive surgery — without too much bleeding, I hope.
I’m glad to have friends who’ll tell me the cold, hard truth — even when I’m not quite ready to hear it.
Longtime readers of my weight-loss blog know that when I go AWOL from the blog, it’s because I’m not doing so well at the whole diet and exercise thing. That’s not the case here. I’ve been writing up a storm — I just haven’t had any time to blog about it.
With my 40th birthday looming — as well as the 2012 Golden Heart contest deadline and the NaNoWriMo, it’s time to reassess.
Unless I sign with an agent and get a publishing contract in the next two weeks, I’m not going to be published by 40. That’s okay. I know I’m getting closer. It shouldn’t be long now.
I can’t believe September’s almost gone, leaving the big-40 just 13 days away, on Oct. 7. Where did it go?
But I’m beginning to think it’s impossible for me to write another 25,000 words on my single title WIP and prep it (and another entry) for GH entry by the end of October so I can clear November for the NaNo.
With that being the case, I might end up throwing two contemporary series MSs into the ring — thus competing against myself (and hundreds of other entrants). Yikes.
Guess I’ll see what happens with the Rubies’ Make it Golden first line contest. I entered three first lines — from three potential entrants — on Friday. Finalists will be announced Tuesday.
I have a sneaking suspicion that my best first line is the one I hadn’t been planning to enter, from Dave and Melinda’s story. Beth and Cody (single title) and Kenny and Kristi (CS) were going to be my go-to entries. But Dave and Melinda’s story might be the strongest of all.
Who knows? Maybe I can write 10,000 words this weekend.
I’m off from the day job for this long, holiday weekend (thank goodness), but I plan to use my time wisely and get lots of writing-related things accomplished.
On my to-do list (after updating the blog, of course):
- Finish my current WIP, tentatively titled “Diva in the Dugout.” It’s the companion to my GH finalist, “Beauty and the Ballplayer” — the one I started in March, after getting the GH call … the one I figured “If that’s the story that’s going to succeed, I’d better write another one in the same series.”
- Get back into the swing of writing “Trouble in Paradise?” — the one I put on hold to write Dave & Melinda’s story … and the one I plan to enter in the 2012 GH. I’d like to write at least 5K new words.
- Re-edit “My Fair Fiancee” so I can get it out to my volunteer beta reader. (I lost the edits somehow — probably the same way I lost the edits on Meg & Matt’s story — and have to re-enter them. Thank goodness I have a hard copy to work from.) I’m planning to put that one in the GH this year, too (different category).
- Judge at least 2 of the 5 Golden Pen entries I received. I don’t want that deadline to creep up on me with 5 left.
- Write a synopsis and query for “My Fair Fiancee” so it’s ready to go.
There you have it: My weekend plans. Wonder if I can squeeze it all in before the Boyfriend gets back from his tennis tournament and wants to play? I sure hope so!
If I do, I’ll be able to curl up with Anne Marie Becker’s “Only Fear” when it’s delivered to my Nook on Monday. Right now I’m reading Jaci Burton’s “Changing the Game.”