The Big Bumper Friday Check-In Thread

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

CamJMcFadden

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Hello everyone! Technically it's Friday in Australia, so it's Big Bumper Check-In Time!

I've spent the last month reviewing feedback I received from a Men-in-Black-style MG manuscript I've been writing (though it's hard to figure out who to listen to, especially when some give directly conflicting opinions :(). I've managed to chop it down to 67,000 words, which I know, is still pretty lengthy for a MG book. It's more of a fantasy spy adventure, though, and there's no way I can dip below 60,000 without some serious gutting of my precious plot. It almost (fingers crossed) might be ready for querying!

Toothpaste - are you still working on the second book in Explorers?

Supergirlofnc - how's your new project moving along?

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!
 
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playground

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I wouldn't say 67k is too long. I'm pretty sure the Lightning Thief series is around that size (and we all know Harry Potter was larger). Especially since it sounds like yours is an adventure novel, I'd say those and fantasy novels are fine around there. Once you start creeping into 75k plus then it might be something people get wary of (unless you have an established fanbase of course).
 

Toothpaste

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Honestly don't worry about the length quite so much. My very first MG sold at 87K and was eventually cut down to 80K. Just make sure it's not overstuffed etc, that all the words are necessary. That's far more important. :)

Yup still working on book 2. First round of edits are due in two weeks. Had my first interview about book 1 yesterday (out in April), it's getting really exciting! Also interesting the kind of stuff in the book that people find compelling vs what I thought they would find so. This is the time when the book takes on a life of its own.
 

CamJMcFadden

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Whew! That's a relief!

All I ever hear from editors at the workshops I've attended is 67,000 words is too long. (And then I say, 'but it reads fast!' and they don't care).

Toothpaste, that's really exciting news! Is there a certain character or plot point that people found compelling that surprised you?

Hope you all have an awesome NYE!
 

writbeyondmeasure

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I'm not entirely sure what day it is since I'm on holidays (uni student here), but I wanted to post because I just finished the first draft of my first ever book. It's a MG time-travel, detective mystery. I'm sitting at about 23-24k but I have one scene and a few descriptions I've decided to add plus some areas need fleshing out so I'm aiming for about 30k by the end of the second draft.

Hello, fellow Melbournian ^^ by the way.
 

Supergirlofnc

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Hi everyone! It's Thursday, but that's close to Friday, so I figured I'll check in. CamJ - my MG sold at 72K so I agree with Toothpaste that 67K seems fine. Writbeyondmeasure - It's good to meet you and so many congrats on finishing your first ever book!!!

My Christmas was a bit crazy, but I finally finished my draft and sent it to my agent. I'm crossing my fingers he'll like it because I really like it! It's what I call a Southern gothic beachy MG? I'll probably need a better pitch than that, though!

Laurie
 

playground

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Started querying my sixth book last week (sent out ten queries). Will probably try to do about five more this week. About 7,000 words into my seventh novel. Keep plugging along.
 

SuperKate

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Hi everyone! It's been a while. I've been having a hard time writing lately with the state of the world, but am slowly dragging myself back to the page. How is everyone else doing? Supergirl, congrats on your trilogy! So exciting to see it all together!
 

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Howdy! I'm working on worldbuilding right now for a mg fantasy This week, I changed my setting and built a map. I love it now. I have one more map to go (for the academy!) and am busy interviewing my characters.

I am looking at writing short stories for some magazines and have built a list of magazines and am working out some stories for them. I need the practice and these will give me practice at writing, editing, querying, and dealing with rejections :)

@SuperKate - I hope you get back into it. I find that my desire to do anything ebbs and flows. Good luck!
 

playground

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Been doing good. Querying my fantasy story, about 10,000 words into my next mg fantasy story, and started writing a youtube series I plan to film (five episode a season at ten minutes total each). Wrote half of episode one and half of episode three. Hope to have the five episodes written in the next two weeks for heavy editing and planning for end of March/early April to try and get everything going to start filming.
 

Captivatedlife

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Been doing good. Querying my fantasy story, about 10,000 words into my next mg fantasy story, and started writing a youtube series I plan to film (five episode a season at ten minutes total each). Wrote half of episode one and half of episode three. Hope to have the five episodes written in the next two weeks for heavy editing and planning for end of March/early April to try and get everything going to start filming.

super curious about your youtube series! What's your premise, audience, etc!? I'm super nosy....
 

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I have found writing incredibly difficult since the election. I managed to finish a Cthulhu space opera for an anthology call out. But I am really struggling to get my SFF Sekret Solstice story done. And I haven't edited SQUAT on my latest MG novel. I have a bunch of rewrites waiting that I haven't done. And worse yet I really want to get that one on sub!
 

jlmott

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I have found writing incredibly difficult since the election. I managed to finish a Cthulhu space opera for an anthology call out. But I am really struggling to get my SFF Sekret Solstice story done. And I haven't edited SQUAT on my latest MG novel. I have a bunch of rewrites waiting that I haven't done. And worse yet I really want to get that one on sub!
Same here. I haven't done any work on the MG novel I started at the beginning of November once the results hit home. At first it was a feeling of numbness I couldn't get past. Lately though it has become more of a bad habit to do everything I can to avoid getting back to work. I know what I need to do, I just need to give myself a swift kick in the ass to get it done.
 

CheG

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I'm still struggling on a short story but it's not good and I keep avoiding writing. I can't seem to brain words- aside from rage filled tweets about politics. That seems to be what I do now...
 

Captivatedlife

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Sorry for everyone's difficulties. I've been working madly away on my WIP. I've also been working on my website / blog. If you want to take a look, I would not mind that AT ALL! (You can also just go straight to the synopsis using this link: https://kimsgoode.wordpress.com/untitled-about-my-story/ )

NaNoWriMo camp is a little over a month away - how many of you are going to work it then! Good luck everyone
 

playground

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Seems like no one has checked in here recently.

From my end I am waiting on another beta reader to give back feedback on Stargazer and will adjust it a bit more possibly before sending out another small batch of queries. Sent out 13 so far, have heard back from maybe five or six and one was a personalized rejection while the others were form rejections. Also got an idea for an MG novella about a week ago and just finished the first draft a couple days ago. It's about 12k words right now but I have holes to fix and everything so hope to have that done by May and might try shopping that around. I had put two novels I had been writing for the last two months on hold (they are both about 25k words long right now) as I thought of another novel I want to get going on too so I started that yesterday and am about 5k words into that. I tend to write a novel a year so I'm not sure if this year I might juggle two.
 

playground

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Any updates for anyone? Been querying my latest novel, no requests yet but a good bit of personal rejections, so there's that I guess? Started a new novel about two and a half weeks ago and about halfway done with the first draft. Other than that just been trying to read a novel to two a week still.
 

writbeyondmeasure

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Two and a half weeks and halfway done! Wow, you write fast (compared to me). I'm editing my novel by turning sections with passive voice into active voice and spicing up my choice of verbs. Then I'll do a thorough grammar edit and I'll finally let another person read it for the first time (mum or brother) *eep*. I'm also trying to get to 50 posts so I can post in SYW and perhaps try and get a beta.... all while doing a Masters degree that's completely unrelated to writing.

Question:
Do you work full time? and if so, do you have a writing routine/when do you find time to work on your book?
 

playground

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Two and a half weeks and halfway done! Wow, you write fast (compared to me). I'm editing my novel by turning sections with passive voice into active voice and spicing up my choice of verbs. Then I'll do a thorough grammar edit and I'll finally let another person read it for the first time (mum or brother) *eep*. I'm also trying to get to 50 posts so I can post in SYW and perhaps try and get a beta.... all while doing a Masters degree that's completely unrelated to writing.

Question:
Do you work full time? and if so, do you have a writing routine/when do you find time to work on your book?


I would suggest holding off on sending your work to friends/family until you've done a couple rounds of edits/betas. Honestly, I wouldn't send it to them until you are at a spot where you feel you can't make it any better. Unless they have a background in writing, it can be detrimental as they aren't looking for the same things that writers look for when editing.

Yes, I have a full time job. I did technical writing for a while and would wake up at insane times to write (2 am, etc.) as that was the only time I could find to write. I recently transferred to a much less demanding job where, due to my background, I blaze through the work and write for most of the day. Before this transfer I was writing maybe two hours a day at bad times to write (aka: dead tired), now I can write/edit for a good three-four hours a day without being dead tired as well as read two books a week during lunch and when I am home.

But I also gave up a lucrative career for a more average lifestyle so I could write more. You have to do what is best for you and works for your schedule. Writing is everything to me and all I really care about so I'm okay with that sacrifice (I still have a life with hanging out with friends obviously but I try to balance it well).
 

Supergirlofnc

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I thought I'd do a check-in since it's Friday. I've been helping a family member with cancer treatment so I haven't been online as much lately. My new book is on submission right now so I'm hopeful it will get picked up. (I really love this book but you never know what will hit an editor.) And I'm working on two new stories, too, which is always fun. One is really rolling along. The other one not so much. But I feel like it has something going for it. I may raid the main character and part of the premise and stick her in a different story. I'm still thinking on that one. How is everyone else doing?
 

CheG

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Well, at long last I DO have something to check in about! I sold my Middle Grade novel "The Bird Fairies" (better title pending) to Filles Vertes Publishing. I submitted it last December or so and got an R&R in January. I spent 6 months editing and resubmitted in July. And well, they liked it!

Now I just need a MG pen name because I swear A LOT on the interwebs...
 

Supergirlofnc

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Well, at long last I DO have something to check in about! I sold my Middle Grade novel "The Bird Fairies" (better title pending) to Filles Vertes Publishing. I submitted it last December or so and got an R&R in January. I spent 6 months editing and resubmitted in July. And well, they liked it!

Now I just need a MG pen name because I swear A LOT on the interwebs...

Many congrats CheG!! Also, I have to say I find pen-names awesome. Do you have any ideas for a name?
 

Toothpaste

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Ooh congrats CheG! That's so exciting! And what a process to go through, I'm very happy it all worked out in the end!

SuperGirlNYC - fingers crossed on the submissions (I am sorry to hear about your family member though)!

Me - I finished Book 3 in the series and am taking some time off. It was a whirlwind writing experience and I definitely could use a break. Though I'm so impressed with the speed of publishing. Sometimes it feels slow you know, other times a week after you hand in the draft of your book they are asking you for cover ideas! Super cool (I will never not find covers exciting :) ). Catching up now on some movies (The Florida Project is fantastic), but pulled my back (the second time in two months) so right now literally lying around.
 

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Ooh congrats CheG! That's so exciting! And what a process to go through, I'm very happy it all worked out in the end!

Thank you so much! I was really glad that the edits I did paid off!

Many congrats CheG!! Also, I have to say I find pen-names awesome. Do you have any ideas for a name?

I am trying to find something 1-I can live with and 2-that I can answer too! LOL! I am trying out some riffs on my full name, middle name (but I HATE my middle name) and also something that will put my book next to some other authors (thinking of this for the future) who have smi-comp titles. But I am super stuck! The only one that doesn't turn up a million other Google hits is Shay Baskin...
 

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Congrats everyone! Super exciting Cheg, make sure to link it here so we can see it!

Supergirlofnc, are you comfortable giving a high-level what the books are about or maybe a comp? What length are you aiming for?

That's wicked toothpaste. Are you touring at all for the second book?


As for myself, I entered Pitchwars, didn't win, but one liked it so much they want to continue helping me. Offered some books to read on structure and I've basically completely re-written my sixth book with it and finished a seventh. Went to a conference up in NJ a month or so ago, pitched two books to two agents they both liked a different book and asked for me to send it, so plan to send my sixth book out hopefully by December on queries and work on editing my seventh and eventually start an eighth book.
 

Happy Thanksgiving

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