Category Archives: Rewriting

#WriterRecharge {Update Three}

Writer Recharge

Writer Recharge is a month-long motivational challenge similar to last summer’s Ready. Set. Write! So many of us benefited from setting goals, connecting with other writers, and social media-based accountability. So, let’s do it again! Whether you’re delighting next to the crackling fireplace of a Shiny New Idea with a warm cup of tea and or spinning out on the ice-covered roads of revisions in an attempt to avoid the snow-packed ditch, we want to write with you! Learn more HERE

First, a confession: If I hadn’t started watching Friday Night Lights a couple of weeks ago, I’d probably be completely done with this draft of my WiP, Good Girls. I’ve spent several nights hanging with the Dillon gang when I should’ve been revising. But, I’ve still made some really awesome progress, and let’s face it: Tim Riggins is an incredibly worthy distraction.

~ AHEM ~

On Friday, I finished my Cut All the Crap revision round, reassessed my To-Do list (two full pages), and then dove right back in. Now, I’m about a 1/3 of the way done fixing the issues I’m aware of and polishing further. Guys, I’m getting excited! This thing is almost ready for readers, and I’m still thinking it’s got great potential. I can’t wait to see what sort of feedback I get from my brilliant CPs, and I can’t wait to apply their expertise to my future drafts.

Until then, I’ll be pushing hard to meet my goal of having a readable draft ready for readers on Friday. *crosses fingers* *guzzles coffee* *buys Jelly Bellies*

How’s #WriterRecharge going for you?
If you’re participating, don’t forget to post about your progress and share your link at Sara’s blog

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On Insanity…

(This is one of those posts in which I attempt to make myself feel more normal by commiserating with all of you. Thanks in advance for humoring me. ♥♥♥)

By “the same thing over and over again,” I’m referring to revising and/or rewriting repeatedly with the goal of one day launching a publishing career.

So. I understand that with each completed draft I become a stronger writer. And that makes me SO happy. And I understand that publishing can be slow and frustrating and that there are no guarantees. I understand that not every writer becomes a published author, and I get that all writers experience moments of doubt and defeat. I have a well-researched, realistic view on the industry, and I realize that no matter how glamorous an author’s life may seem, no one has had an easy go of it. Writing is hard. Rejection is hard. Publishing is hard.

That being said, I  have a determined (stubborn?) streak that will not let me give up. I will continue to march toward my goal for as long as I am mentally capable of imagining and physically capable of typing. But…

Lately, when  family and friends (who are very sweet and well-meaning) ask me the dreaded, “Hey, when’s your book going to be published?” question, I have to suppress cringe. Because… I don’t know. I don’t know when my book’s going to be published. I don’t even know if this particular book will  see the light of day, ever. It’s kind of out of my hands at this point.

So, when asked that dreaded question, I end up answering with mumbles about an umpteenth revision, and then the family member or friend ends up giving me The Look. You probably know the one: It’s kind of confused and kind of piteous. Like, Oh, you cute girl (or bored housewife or crazy person). You must have such fun with your imaginary friends. Another revision, huh? How many revisions have you done on that book, anyway? When will the madness end? 

Yes. Yes, I am revising again. Yes, I know that probably sounds insane. Yes, sometimes I feel insane, and that sucks. But my story is better for it. And when my first book sells, trust that I will shout about it from the rooftops. In fact, you’ll probably be sick to death of hearing about it by the time the book ever sits on a bookstore shelf.

Until then, I’m going to embrace the insanity and continue to plug away, honing my craft, reading everything I can get my hands on, and just… writing.

Want to get in on my brand of crazy?

One Word Wednesday

Happy
{That’s the smile of a kid who’s halfway through her second week of spring break. We’ve had all kinds of fun so far – treats and movies and kayaking and the park, plus a week-long visit with her grandparents, Mimi and Baba. Fun!}

Tedious
{Oh, look… I’m rewriting again. A different story now, one that’s full of characters I love and just can’t give up on. This manuscript had a plot that just wasn’t marketable enough, so I’m giving it a big ol’ facelift. I’m “done” rewriting about half the story, but it’s the back half that’s going to be most troublesome. Good thing Costco sells Jelly Bellies in bulk!}

Yum
{My husband and I have been doing the no-carb thing for awhile now, and it’s becoming harder and harder to come up with tasty and unique dinners that don’t include a bunch of bread/rice/pasta/potatoes. The other night I had a moment of inspiration and made what were essentially a crab cakes (sans bread crumbs). I  packed the mixture into portobello mushroom caps and baked it all in the oven. Even my girlie was a fan. Win!}


Awesome
{Yesterday we went whale watching, which was the coolest. We saw humpback whales (there’s a tail barely visible in the lower right corner of the above image), grey whales, sea lions, and tons of dolphins. The best part? I doubled up on Dramamine and didn’t feel the slightest bit seasick!}

Love
{We’ve been having a bit of a stay-cation over the last few days thanks to my visiting in-laws. It’s been so fun to hang in our town like tourists, and we’ve had a blast showing Mimi and Baba all the cool things the Monterey Bay area has to offer. Above is evidence of our trip down 17-Mile Drive.}

Tell me: What’s been the best part of your week so far?

I’m a (Re)Writer

The other day I read a fantastic piece written by YA author Jessica Spotswood entitled On Being a Slow, Inefficient, Imperfect Writer. Jessica talked a lot about comparing oneself to others and insecurities, specifically those writerly insecurities we all struggle with from time to time:

…I’ve still been sitting over here, judging myself for it. And it’s taken all the fun out of writing for me lately. If it’s not fun anymore, what the hell is the point?

Right?!

In the spirit of Jessica’s wisdom, I’d like to share a recent epiphany I’ve had about my writing:

I am a REwriter.

I have to write something (a sentence, a scene, a story) wrong at least once before I figure out how it should actually be written. Sometimes it takes two tries. Sometimes it takes ten. Let me tell you… Rewriting can be a frustrating experience for this perfectionist. But it’s a process – it’s my process – and even though it can be tedious and wearisome, it’s how I get to know my characters and their voices and their motivations and their goals. It’s how I get to know my story. I don’t think I could do it any other way.

So, instead of worrying that my process is abnormal or stressing about the eons of time I spend getting a manuscript just-so, I’m going to take Jessica’s advice and respect the process. I’m going to learn to be okay with where I am and how I do things. I’m going to have fun!

Tell me… What kind of writer are you?

FINALLY!

Over the weekend, I finished my WiP with these words:

I couldn’t stop smiling. I STILL can’t stop smiling. There are few feelings better than knowing you’ve drafted an entire story.

Technically, this WiP was a re-drafting, or a rewrite. I imported scenes from the original story (which I wrote in June of 2010), but approximately 80% of the manuscript is new material. The characters are reimagined (I love them so much more now!) and their story is fresh and more complex. The romance is more authentic, the conflict bigger, and the stakes higher. It’s far from perfect, but for the first time in a long while, I’m truly excited about it.

And now I get to tackle my slightly intimidating list of revision notes:

  I much prefer revising to drafting, though, so I’m looking forward to diving in. Time to make this manuscript shine so I can send it to my brilliant CPs and, eventually, Agent Vickie (cue nerves!).

As the summer carries on, my blogging will continue to be sporadic, but I’m slowly crawling out from my cave of WiP madness.

Yay!

Where are you in your writing journey?

Friday Five…

It’s been so long since I’ve done a Friday Five,
I couldn’t help myself…

1. Writing Update – I’ve been deep in the throes of revising one manuscript and rewriting another. Sheesh… The writing process is HARD! And, it’s mostly the reason for the relative quiet here on my blog–revising and rewriting have sucked up all my creative energy. Plus, my husband’s been home for about a month now (yay!) and we’re still in that happy place of wanting to spend tons of family time together. So, when I’m not squinting at my computer screen and eating my weight in Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, I’m hanging with my two favorite people.

2. #MarchPhotoADay – I’ve recently fallen in love with Instagram, a photography iPhone app that lets you edit your photos with all kinds of cool filters and then share them with your friends on a feed. This month I’m participating in one of Instagram’s many photo challenges: #MarchPhotoADay. I’m thinking of it as another way to stretch my creativity, and it’s super fun to see how other people interpret the prompts. Here they are:

And here’s my submission for Day 2, FRUIT:

You should definitely join in if you’re an Instagram-er! Oh, and if you want to find me there, I’m katyupperman.

3. Flawed – I was lucky enough to read this stunning contemporary YA novel by debut author Kate Avelynn early (it’s being released this July by Entangled Teen) and let me tell you, it is absolutely heart-wrenching. Like, you won’t be able to put it down because you’ll be THAT stressed about the future of the characters. If you’re a fan of books like Elizabeth Scott’s Living Dead Girl and Tabitha Suzuma’s Forbidden, you should definitely check out Flawed. (Click the cover and you’ll be redirected to Flawed‘s Goodreads page.)

Flawed
Sarah O’Brien is alive because of the pact she and her brother made twelve years ago—James will protect her from their violent father if she promises to never leave him. For years, she’s watched James destroy his life to save hers. If all he asks for in return is her affection, she’ll give it freely. Until, with a tiny kiss and a broken mind, he asks for more than she can give. Sam Donavon has been James’s best friend—and the boy Sarah’s had a crush on—for as long as she can remember. As their forbidden relationship deepens, Sarah knows she’s in trouble. Quiet, serious Sam has decided he’s going to save her. Neither of them realize James is far more unstable than her father ever was, or that he’s not about to let Sarah forget her half of the pact…

4. Homeland – I know I’m a little late jumping on this bandwagon, but have you seen Showtime’s Homeland? Holy hell… The first season was AMAZING. My husband and I don’t agree on many TV shows, but we flew through this one and are already itching for more. Homeland is fast-paced, powerful, and densely layered. No character goes without garnering at least a bit of sympathy (seriously–even the terrorists have clear motivations for acting the way they do), and every single episode is a game-changer. Plus, Claire Danes is freaking fantastic. Recommend!

5. Military Ball – Last weekend my husband and I lived it up at his unit’s Military Ball. Have I mentioned how happy I am to have him home? 🙂

So… What’s on your plate for the weekend?

Musings of a struggling rewriter…

Rewriting… easy-peasy. *rubs hands together* This is going to be FUN!

*stares blankly at computer*

*embraces procrastination*

Okay then. I might be in over my head a bit here. Perhaps I should revisit my beat sheet? Complete basic outline? A DETAILED outline?

Eek.

*yanks at hair* How the hell do you replot a WHOLE STORY?

I used to know these freaking characters inside and out, but now… Who have they become? Who do they NEED to become?

*runs miles and miles and miles*

*ponders*

Huh. All this time I thought I was REWRITING, but I was really just tinkering… polishing a turd, if you will.

*has epiphany*

Must start from square one!

Okay… I might actually be making progress now. No, wait…

*groans* *cries* THIS IS SO MUCH HARDER THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE! *shovels handfuls of bittersweet chocolate chips into mouth*

*finally secures a fragile hold on sanity*

Good thing my 2012 word is RESOLVE, because that’s what it’s going to take to get this thing done.

*writes*

*writes some more*

Last week SUCKED. Meeting my word count goal was like pulling teeth. But this week… Hmm.

Wait! Is that…? Oh! I think it is! The urge to write! I actually WANT to write.

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Happy Friday the Thirteenth. 🙂 How’s YOUR writing coming along?