Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Uh-Oh. Now What?

Has it really been two weeks since I posted anything? Wowza.

What can I say? There are big changes brewing in the Earp household, and they have nothing to do with my writing. Can you say STRESS? (I can!) If I don't chill out my head will permanently ache, and I really don't want any more gray hair.

I guess it's not THAT big of a deal, but me and Change? We're not friendly. Just so you know.

Moving on now...

So, here's my big Uh-Oh:

You might remember a couple of weeks ago I mentioned a conference in March. (Of course you don't remember. That's okay.) It is our state SCBWI conference, and there are 10 page critques available. WooHoo! I was so psyched about getting a pro to give me some feedback for improvement. But then a few days ago one very small detail smacked me between the eyes.

My MS isn't YA. Technically.

Let me explain. When I began my novel so many months ago I thought it would be a YA. I know lots of young readers like to read up, so it seemed logical to me at the time that high school readers might read about a young college student. I have since come to the realization that 18 (and certainly 19 and 20) year old MCs are too old for YA.

Considering content and style, my novel would fit YA. But I haven't heard of many (if any) YA agents or editors picking up novels with characters this age. I guess I didn't really think about this until SMP held the New Adult contest. (If I'm wrong about agents picking up this age, please correct me.)

Should I submit 10 pages of a "New Adult" for a SCBWI critique? I don't want to be the ding dong that doesn't have a clue, but if this was a conference for adult novels, I wouldn't feel like I fit in there, either.

So, now I ask you. What do you think I should do??

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm On a Mission, and I'm Wishin'

. . . someone would cure this WIP's condition!

We're one week down and 51 more to go this year! How has your first week been? Still sticking to your resolutions?

My first week of 2010 had a slow start, but at least it's going now. I didn't make any resolutions, because I NEVER keep them, but I did set a few goals for myself. And it will be a gradual process to reach them.

I won't bore you with my list, but I'll let you in on a few:

1) I found a couple of conferences I want to go to. One is in late March, and the other is in April. I'm not sure I'll make the one in April, but March is looking good right now. But here's the problem - my WIP isn't finished. I haven't even finished the first draft. It's not that I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I'm just not there yet.
So here I am needing to finish it, revise it, revise a few more times, send it to betas (after I find a few), revise again a few more times, and edit. All by March 27. Is it possible? I have no idea. I've never been in this position before. Which leads us to . . .

2) Go to bed earlier (before midnight) and get up earlier. In a house with kids and not enough focus to be able to write with said kids around, I find myself staying up till the AM trying to get words down. Which means I'm not getting up earlier either. Then I feel lousy, which brings us to. . .

3) Get moving. I have slacked off. Period. It's amazing how fast one can lose her stamina when she's not using it. I need to walk more and work up to jogging more. There's a 5K in town at the end of April, and my goal is to work up to that. But it's hard to get motivated when you want to take a nap, right? I'll let you know how it goes, unless I slack off even more. Then you won't hear about it ever again. (Smile!)

It's a process to improve ourselves. I can't say "I will exercise, eat right, get enough rest, and write 2,000 words a day, every day!" It just won't happen. But I can work to do a little better today than I did yesterday, and a little better this week than last week. If I keep at it, then with a little luck I will be able to say this year was better than last.

And isn't that everyone's mission?

Here's to all of us having a great year!