I've always considered myself a plantser because I start every book with an outline but I deviate often from it when the story starts to get its own legs and the characters decide to head in a different direction. I've always considered it the best of both worlds because my story outline gives me enough structure so that I'm not meandering too much but I never feel totally locked into it either. It's like a guide. It's there to help but I don't have to follow it to the exact letter and creative license ultimately rules! That's why when someone recently asked what craft book I use the most, I didn't hesitate to reference Save the Cat! Writes a Novel but I also very quickly said that I use it fairly late in my editing process. Every writer does things differently but we all end up at the same place (hopefully!) which is a finished manuscript ready to share with the world!
I should be working on edits for my NaNoWriMo book but instead I've spent the past few weeks working on short stories which really help my creative juices. My latest one is based on the below pic that I took during a trip to Florida last year. Tell me what you think the story is about and no, it's not fairies! :)
For the first time, I won NaNoWriMo! I hit 50,308 words on my new middle grade contemporary on November 29. I'm proud of myself but there's lots of editing and rewriting ahead. The story includes several Caribbean recipes and I may include more during the editing process. It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to tweaking it and making it even better in the months ahead. For now, I will rest my brain and enjoy December!
I hit the halfway mark with my NaNo project this past weekend and it's full steam ahead. I've written every day and I'm on pace to complete 50,000 words by the end of the month. The words are flowing and the street food theme has proven to be lots of fun to write. The best part is digging out Caribbean recipes to include. I can't wait for readers to experience this side of Guyana. I'll post another update at the end of the month. Wish me luck y'all!
I'm off to the races with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year. I'm starting a new project which is always fun. It is set in Guyana, my country of birth and is another middle grade story that includes Guyanese street food and the mix of cultures - Black and Indian. It will also include an element of Amerindian culture with one of the characters and that age old tension between indigenous people and those that were brought to a country as indentured servants. I don't plan on digging deep into the history of Guyana but the characters will be grappling with some prejudices that they don't even realize that they have and of course there will be a dose of family drama and growing pains to make it interesting - it's middle grade after all! I can't wait :)
I am thrilled to announce that my short story, WHITE STUFF has found a publication home with The Caribbean Writer magazine. I can't wait to see it in print April 2022!
I will be sure to add a link to it here on my blog but in the meantime, check out their website at https://www.thecaribbeanwriter.org/
I found this great quote that I've added to my email signature, I love it so much. Very inspiring but I wouldn't expect anything less from Harriet Tubman!
Every great dream begins with a dreamer.
Always remember, you have within you the strength,
the patience, and the passion to reach for the
stars to change the world.
Next week is Thanksgiving so this week is a great time for an update. This month I wrote a quirky short story, outlined a new book, and continued my query journey. As the year winds down, I feel just as busy because the query process still requires work and organization. Work - keeping up with the list of literary agents I'd like to query and looking for new agents who might be a good fit. Organization - tracking responses and contest deadlines. The good news is that new projects (whether a short story or new novel outline), help to keep me sane! :)
Below are the updates...
1 full request
2 partial requests
8 outstanding (standard query)
2 publishers (seasonal open inboxes)
5 no response