So, there was a little bit of 2013 that I seem to have skipped out on. Where did I disappear to and why? I wish I had an adventure story to share, but sadly, stuff got in the way. More work equaled less time to write, so I focused on my manuscript rather than my blog.
So, what big things happened this year?
I jumped into conferences with a fairly local (as opposed to the tempting Maui conference) workshop at Ball State in Muncie, Indiana. On the long drive there and back, I composed a few blog posts about the workshop in my head. I have since forgotten them.
In a nutshell, I had a great time. The first day was a one-day, intensive workshop with one instructor. Day two and three were broken out into hour-long sessions. These sessions covered everything from dialogue to ballistics.
You could also have a manuscript critique (first 5 pages), a query critiqued, and you could pitch an agent. All those were extras and I jumped in feet first.
As terrifying as it was, I enjoyed the agent pitch. OK, not enjoyed, I learned a lot…and got a request. It was subsequently rejected, but I GOT A REQUEST! I learned I really needed to work on my query and THINK about my book so I could better show the stakes…which lead me to the fact that manuscript wasn’t necessarily ready.
But by far the best part of the workshop was the people. Sounds corny, right? But really. Being around people who are just as excited about books and reading and writing as me was a breath of fresh air. It pumped me up and got me excited in a way I hadn’t been for a long time. I’d been plugging away on my own, but now I was giddy and smiling about plugging away.
2) I won NaNoWriMo!
When I’ve participated in the past, I’ve started from scratch, maybe an outline, maybe not. This time, I used it to get myself back on track with a current WIP. My original plan with this WIP was to have 100,000 words, and the manuscript, completed by the end of the year. I’d written about 20,000. I didn’t aim to write 80,000 in one month, that’s a little crazy. I aimed to write the NaNo 50,000 and to whip my WIP into shape. There were gaping plot holes in my original outline that I wanted to plug or at least start on.
While I didn’t hit 100,000 words by December 31, I did have a completed story and am now working on revisions…so, mission accomplished!