Status of my Life: I finished FREEBIES--a dystopian sci fi novel--today. Yea for me. It's my fourth finished novel, but probably only the second one I'll let anyone read. My first novel, SHADOWS is going through the wringer with two critique groups and a couple of online friends. Thanks guys!
So I finished a MS today. Does that really mean it's done? Of course not. It's just the first draft. Still, it felt great to have the story out of my head and on the computer. I'll leave it for at least a week. (I will, I will, I will!)
Then I'll come back to it and make an outline. Since I never write from an outline, the story just goes wherever it wants, whatever I think of in the shower, or the car, or the line at the post office. So then I go back and outline my major story lines, making sure everything fits together the way it should. I learned to do this from this great post at the QueryTracker blog.
Then I'll go back and examine the scenes, the dialog, the word choice, the sentence fluency. Then I'll probably torture my critique groups with reading it where they'll chop and slice my scenes, dialog, word choice and sentence fluency. They'll make me question why I write at all. They'll make me wonder if this story isn't just pure garbage. I've felt all of these things as SHADOWS has gone through the group, and I'm only on chapter 8!
At some point, I'll try to write a query letter, which will, ultimately, suck. Then I'll post that at AgentQuery and QueryTracker and let others help me get it just right. Then it will change at least ten times as I attempt to write it again and again using just the right words in just the right order.
Then I'll start compulsively researching agents who represent YA sci fi, making a list and checking it twice. But I won't query until the MS has been beta-read, polished, sat for another week, and then read again.
Because one novel can take 6-8 months for a crit group to read, I should be ready to query for this novel by next spring. I'm planning on querying for SHADOWS just after Labor day, and it's been done for two months. Well, done is such a relative term. Is it ever really done?
By then, I'll have another novel done, SHADOWS may not be through the crits yet, and again I'll wonder: Why am I doing this?
Oh yeah, I love to write.
Reading: AIRMAN by Eoin Colfer
PS. A big shout-out to one of my critique buddies. His first hundred words got an honorable mention on the Bookends blog. His story was Hannah's Voice. Way to go, Robb!