Posted in News, Writing

My Big News Post!

I’ve been sitting on happy news for a few months while the details got ironed out, kind of wondering if I was dreaming, but I can finally share with everyone and make it more real: my debut novel, a YA romantic fantasy, is going to be published by Month9Books in 2015! Not only that, but Month9 is on board for the second and third books in the trilogy, too, with number two scheduled for 2016 and number three for 2017!

The announcement sent to Publishers Marketplace:

THE VEILED MAN’S GODDESS trilogy by Amy McNulty is a twisted young adult fantasy romance where one girl fights to save the boy she loves from a spell that forces all men to wear masks and only ever love one woman, each their “goddess,” only to discover that she herself is bound to the mysterious lord of the village, whose very life might be the source of the curse. Georgia McBride acquired World English rights to publish via Month9Books beginning in 2015 from Jason Yarn at Paradigm.

(The title of the book is almost certainly going to change, so keep an eye out for updates!)

Month9Books is a speculative fiction YA and MG imprint (related to YA, NA and adult romance imprint SwoonRomance). Founded by Georgia McBride, also the YALitChat.org founder, in 2011, Month9 launched with their first title in late 2012, and they’ve been making some pretty impressive waves in the YA genre ever since.  When my agent and I discussed what independent publishers I wanted to send my manuscript to, Month9 jumped to the top of my wish list.

I’ve been floored by the enthusiasm Ms. McBride has shown for the manuscript, and I’m looking forward to working with her and her team on getting this series out there into the hands of readers. Ever since this story took hold of me, I’ve been hoping I could share its characters with you. And have an excuse to write the rest of their story! It would have broken my heart to shelve them and never finish the full tale.

This is the manuscript that landed me my agent, Jason Yarn, in May of 2012. The one I wrote the first (rough) draft of in only nine days in February of that year. (Well, I pinched some scenes and names from an old mess of a manuscript that’s permanently retired, and I’d been working on that on and off for nine years in one form or another.) We weren’t on submission the whole time—we tackled multiple rewrites—but it still has been somewhat of an uphill climb, sometimes getting to what felt like “almost but not quite” at various places, many of which offered kind and encouraging thoughts. Thanks to Jason’s never-waning enthusiasm for the project and his brilliant editorial insights, we finally got the manuscript where it needed to be to find a home.

I’ll be blogging with news as I get it over the next year+. I hope you’ll check it out in 2015!

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon Check-In #7 (3)

I had kind of a hellish, busy week, so I wrote only on Sunday and Wednesday. *sigh* I might still write today, but since I have so much else to do, I’m not sure I’ll be able to. *sighs again* I’ll count any words today toward next week, then.

Last Check-in Wordcount + ChapterCount (+ scene count if you’re revising): 19,391 words and seven chapters

Current WC + CC (or SC): 21,839 words and eight and a half chapters

WIP Issues this week: Not too many issues with the WIP itself, just finding the time and energy to write.

What I learned this week in writing: I’m still working “off-synopsis” in a way. (I’m expanding on a few sentences in the synopsis that didn’t go into detail.) It’s quite possible to plot and pants at the same time!

What distracted me this week while writing: A lot of work and a lot of stress.

Last 200 words: Can’t.

I have news I’ll be able to share soon! I know at least one of you saw it and was kind enough to give me a shout-out about it anyway. 😉 But I’m waiting for the big announcement next week.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon Check-In #6 (2)

I only managed to fiction write three days this week (so much for aiming for 5-6 days per week), but I still made some progress.

Last Check-in Wordcount + ChapterCount (+ scene count if you’re revising): 14,947 words and 5 1/2 chapters

Current WC + CC (or SC): 19,391 words and seven chapters

WIP Issues this week: I’m still having a little trouble keeping my tenses straight, but it’s getting better. Instead of writing almost every sentence in present tense and then having to fix it, it’s like 1 in 10 in present.

What I learned this week in writing: I’m working off a synopsis and this entire section that probably needs to be 5-ish chapters is like two sentences in my synopsis because it didn’t seem that important, just part of a slow build-up. So it’s kind of been fun discovering how I’m making those two sentences come to life. More drama and tension that I anticipated, which is good.

What distracted me this week while writing: Work, so much work. I saw a couple of movies this week, too.

Last 200 words: Can’t share due to spoilers.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon Check-In #5 (1)

Check-in #5? What happened to 1-4? This is my first WIPMarathon Check-In for the December-January marathon because I didn’t write or edit a single word for my fiction projects in all of December, but I thought I’d number it to keep up with the rest of the people involved. December was busy for me with work, and I needed a break after being disappointed with my NaNoWriMo WIP. And the holidays. The month flew by, though, and now I’m going to try to get back to writing. I don’t think I’ll be as productive as I was in August or November, though.

Things I’m Glad I did in 2013: I finished my second completed manuscript (after burning out on an unfinished one in late 2012 and barely starting another in early 2013, I wasn’t sure I could do it again). I burned out on my NaNoWriMo one (which is still unfinished), but I’m glad I at least I got 50,000+ words done in another manuscript.

And I have news I’ve been wanting to share for months now, but I haven’t been able to. But it’s good news, writing-wise, that happened in 2013!

In 2014, I’d Love To Be/Do: I’m definitely finishing one manuscript, but I’d love to finish one or two more. Maybe tackle the two 50,000+ unfinished ones and figure out what went wrong. Also, I hope to go on submission (well, if the agent likes it and I don’t have to trash it ;-;) with the manuscript I finished in the August WIPMarathon this year. Edits come first, of course.

Last Check-in Wordcount + ChapterCount (+ scene count if you’re revising): 9591 words, 3 chapters. As you can see at my intro page, I had a lot of goals for this marathon despite not doing anything for the first half of it; it’s probably a bit premature, as I’m still waiting on feedback, but I wanted to work on goal #2, diving back into a YA fantasy I started over a year and a half ago. It probably won’t need to be a finished draft as soon as I once thought, though.

Current WC + CC (or SC): 14,947 words and 5 1/2 chapters

WIP Issues this week: I kept writing in present tense! I KNOW this is an issue and I correct it as I notice it and keep telling myself not to, but I keep writing in present. Wow. I’d only written in past tense before NaNoWriMo, and for that one, I felt it would be fun to try present tense and I think it suited the tone of the manuscript. It took me a short time to get used to writing in present then. I didn’t anticipate when I went back to writing in past AFTER A MONTH-LONG BREAK from the present-tense manuscript I’d subconsciously want to write in present still. Bizarre.

What I learned this week in writing: I’m having fun discovering the new nature of one of the characters in my WIP. Since the last time I wrote for him (about a year ago in edits, but I first wrote him two years ago during a first draft), something major happened in the story that would naturally change his character. I just didn’t realize how much so until I started writing him again. Interesting to discover, and definitely better this way!

What distracted me this week while writing: Work, shoveling endless snow, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

Last 200 words: Can’t share due to spoilers.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon Intro

Back in August, I participated in a “WIPMarathon” put together by some of the other writers I follow on Twitter. Unlike NaNoWriMo, the WIPMarathon allows for personal, flexible goals: If you only want to edit and not write a new WIP, that’s totally fine. Whether you want to write 100 words or 2000 words a day, that’s totally up to you! And everyone’s a winner. 😀

I used the marathon to motivate myself to work harder on a YA fantasy I’d started the month before, and I actually finished the first draft that month! I wrote over 55,000 words in under a month to do so, too.

This time the WIPMarathon is running for two months: December and January. It’s not too late to join!

Learn more about the WIPMarathon and sign up here!

Marathon Goal: Well, I’m going to be honest and say that the first week of the WIPmarathon, I don’t plan to do a thing. Maybe brainstorm a tiny bit. But I desperately need a break from my creative projects after a lackluster NaNoWriMo.

After that, I have a number of things potentially going on, so it’s going to be a bit of a mixed bag of goals:

-Do edits (like a 6th or 7th revision? I can’t remember anymore!) on a YA fantasy

-Continue work on a YA fantasy WIP (currently 9591 words, needs to be a full first draft in a few months)

-Do edits (2nd revision) on a different YA fantasy (the one I finished during the last WIPMarathon)

…Those things are all my top priorities, but they also depend on talking with other people, and that depends on their schedules, so I’m not ready to dive into them quite yet. But I will be soon, I hope! I’ll definitely be working on at least some of them before the WIPMarathon is over.

My not-as-important optional goals to keep me busy when/if the above goals can’t happen are to finish the first draft of either my NA romance from NaNoWriMo (50,250 words at the moment) and/or a YA suspense I wrote last year (53,910 words currently). Both of these sputtered to a halt because I just felt that things were off about them. I’m not even sure I know how to fix them or if I can summon the ideas to at least finish drafts and try to fix them later. I think the YA suspense might even need close to a page-one rewrite. I just don’t know.

Stage of writing: See above. Five projects I’m juggling here! Two in revisions and three in drafting.

What inspired my current project: Reading The Hunger Games a couple of years ago really inspired me to get serious about my writing again. I wrote the first draft of the first YA fantasy mentioned while on a HG high. (Not that there’s much in common, I suppose, but there are some dystopian elements.)

What might slow down my marathon goal:  Having five separate projects to work on for starters! Other than that, the holidays and keeping my motivation up. (And trying to fight the desire to give up on those two unfinished drafts.)

Best time of the day for writing: I work from home (as a writer), so my schedule is pretty flexible. I probably write best in the afternoons if I have the time.

Posted in Writing

NaNoWriMo Check-In #4 (Final)

2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover

My first official NaNoWriMo is at an end! I “won,” but I don’t feel like a winner. I know I am just for working on one WIP every single day this month and writing so much, but since I lost all passion for this WIP, it doesn’t feel like a winning experience. Oh, and I didn’t even finish a first draft. I don’t know how much more is needed (not a ton more, but still), or if I’ll ever finish this one.

Initial Wordcount + ChapterCount:  36,601 words and 11 chapters (+ some work on a scene ahead I skipped to)

Current WC + CC: 50,250 words and chapter count no longer relevant because I wrote in a crazy, skip-to-scenes-I-want-to-write-most way. I even wrote the last few chapters despite there being so much missing in between. (Btw, my official NaNo stats say 50,019 because the counter is different, I guess. But I’ll stick with Word’s word count since that’s what I usually do.)

WIP Issues this week:  I did a bit better this week than last week, mostly because that “50k” goal was in sight and I found it easier to skip ahead to the scenes that seemed like they’d be most fun to write than to plod on chronologically. However, I was still sad that I wasn’t feeling the love for this manuscript. And I knew I was producing a mess by skipping scenes. Still, I figured out some sticky plot points even in this jumbled way I might not have otherwise.

What I learned this week in writing: I can produce something in the write-every-day-even-if-you-don’t-want-to way, but if I don’t have the passion for the project, it’s a struggle. I have written two projects I really loved every step of the way, even through all the edits, even through first drafts (which I wrote pretty fast because I loved them!), so it’s not just a “all writers hate their stuff at some point” thing going on here. I’ve hated most of my works, but not the ones I’ve put my faith in and shown other people. This one is sadly in the “this is not a good one” pile.

What distracted me this week while writing: Not too much. A little work earlier in the week. Two Thanksgiving dinners. 😀

Last 200 words: Spoilers, but also I’ve gotten too embarrassed by this manuscript to share.

nanowrimo progress

And… I continue on to the WIP Marathon for December and January! Blog post coming up after this one.

Who else participated in NaNoWriMo? How did you do?

Posted in Writing

NaNoWriMo Check-In #3

Wow, I was a lot more optimistic and confident last week. This week, not so much. (My 4th and final check-in will happen on Saturday next week, btw, the last day of the month.)

Initial Wordcount + ChapterCount: 26,137 and 7 1/2 chapters

Current WC + CC: 36,601 words and 11 chapters (+ some work on a scene ahead I skipped to)

WIP Issues this week: Oh boy. You can call it burnout or the fact that I started panicking a bit when there were some days I couldn’t meet my minimum goals (see, feeling I “have to” meet certain word goals by certain deadlines might not be a good idea), but I’m not happy with my manuscript anymore. It could also be working outside of genres I’m used to (my first NA and my first straight-up contemporary with nothing that couldn’t happen IRL going on), too. But I feel like the passion isn’t there anymore, and I’m just finishing it because I’m tired of not finishing projects. (I have three manuscripts I stopped writing but don’t want to trunk forever, either…)

To be more accurate, I never felt “passion” for this one like I have with works in the past, but I didn’t dislike it either until this week. I don’t feel like “Oh, I’ll fix it in rewrites” is a thing here. The execution is just not matching anywhere close to the idea I had in my head, and I don’t think there’s a better way of doing it. It just is what it is… And it’s bland.

What I learned this week in writing: I can certainly not love my works even after finishing two manuscripts I do love. (And I could pump those out really quickly because I felt passionate about them.) This is not a good sign, especially going into the last week. I’m determined to make it to 50,000 words just to say I properly did NaNoWriMo once and “won,” but it might be a struggle. I’m also worried because I’m quite certain it won’t be finished at 50k or even shortly after that. If the month ends and I take the break from writing I desperately want to take, how am I going to convince myself to go back and finish the first draft?

What distracted me this week while writing: Lots of work and appointments.

Last 200 words: Can’t share due to spoilers.

How’s it going for all of you so far? (Whether you’re participating officially or doing your own thing!)

Posted in Writing

NaNoWriMo Check-In #2

I can’t believe it’s already the second check-in, and that NaNo’s halfway over! But I made it past 25,000 words, so I’m confident I’m on track.

Initial Wordcount + ChapterCount: 15,075 and 4 1/2 chapters

Current WC + CC: 26,137 and 7 1/2 chapters

WIP Issues this week: I’m a little afraid of the size of this WIP. It’s a contemporary and I meant it to be between 50,000 and 60,000 words in the end. But I’ve gone past 25,000 words, and I don’t think I’m halfway. (Not according to my outline, anyway, but I have gone off the outline more than once before making my way back to it.) We’ll see. I just don’t think reaching 50,000 this month will mean I’ve finished the first draft! I hope it’s not too much longer than that, though.

And I didn’t realize I’d written a good chunk more the first week than I did the second. That’s a bummer. But I’m still on track, so it’s cool.

What I learned this week in writing: Working on the novel just a little bit each day really does add up! That seems obvious, but previously, I’ve done my best writing in massive spurts, and those other projects I worked on just a little bit a time never seemed to go anywhere. I think it helps to aim for 1000-1500 words a day because if I just aim for a couple hundred it takes way longer and I’m more easily discouraged at the overall pace.

What distracted me this week while writing: Work, reading, errands–just my normal life.

Last 200 words: spoilers/removed

How’s it going for all of you so far? (Whether you’re participating officially or doing your own thing!)

Posted in Writing

NaNoWriMo Check-in #1

I’m participating in my first NaNoWriMo officially! (You can find me here.) I really liked the format of the WIP Marathon I participated in during August, so I decided to check in every Friday with my thoughts on the week’s work by answering the same questions I did then.

Initial Wordcount + ChapterCount: 150 words (I just jotted down the opening couple of lines that popped into my head when I first came up with the idea a few months ago).

Current WC + CC: 15,075 and 4 1/2 chapters

WIP Issues this week: I haven’t quite fallen in love with the work yet, but I don’t dislike it much, either. (I haven’t stared at a blank page for overly long, which is nice!) This is my first stab at contemporary with nothing supernatural (I tried a YA contemporary suspense last year but that included mutations; I think that’s where it went wrong, actually, and if I ever figure out how to fix it, I’ll probably take out the fantasy part.) It’s my first NA, too. Mostly I’m attracted to the genre because I want to write about a new adult facing issues that aren’t that prevalent when still in high school, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull off anything but “sightly older YA.”

Also, this is my first time writing in present tense, and more than once I’ve accidentally switched to past. (But I fixed it really quick.)

What I learned this week in writing: Even when I do have the “pressure” of a deadline (well, what’s going to happen if I don’t get to 50,000 words this month? Nothing, really!) I can forge ahead and write. In fact, I think I do better with a little structure and a clear goal. I haven’t had many low count word days like I had with a few past manuscripts, so something’s working!

What distracted me this week while writing: Work, finishing Ace Attorney Dual Destinies (I’ve been waiting for a new AA game for YEARS), and reading.

Last 200 words: spoilers/removed

How’s it going for all of you so far? (Whether you’re participating officially or doing your own thing!)

Posted in News, Writing

My First NaNoWriMo

2013-Participant-Facebook-Cover

Okay, so I’ve known about NaNoWriMo for years. In fact, I’ve used it and my friends’ participation as the motivator for a couple of unofficial spurts of writing over the years. Instead of signing up with a profile and seriously aiming for 50,000 words in a month, I set my own goal: write for at least 30 minutes a day in November. It worked for me. Of course, that was the manuscript that’s permanently retired and is a total mess (120,000 words and not even halfway done, ha), but it was also the manuscript I mined small passages and inspirations from to form my first completed manuscript, so it wasn’t for naught. Plus, just practicing writing was helpful.

I have written 50,000 words in under a month twice for both of my completed manuscripts. Once I finally got on the inspiration-train, they took off and poured out of me. But both those times weren’t in November or part of NaNoWriMo. Just feeling like I “have to” write 50,000 words in a month has kept me from participating before. (Not like the WIPMarathon, where you could set your own goal, no matter how big or small, whether writing or editing.) Because then I get depressed on those days where I don’t write enough words or I can’t write at all.

But I have a new WIP I’ve been thinking about since late August I’d like to get drafted somewhat soon. The past couple of months have been crazy, so all I have to show for it is one paragraph (I had the opening lines in my head right away) and about 2/3 of an outline. I meant to get to work sooner (although I’m taking a detour to write a fun short story), but I just haven’t been able to. So why not? I’ll do my best to finish the outline before November and make it my NaNoWriMo entry. (Sorry if I “break the rules” by having 150-ish words written before November begins, ha. I promise not to count myself as a “winner” unless I get 50,150+ words done.) I will NOT feel sad if I don’t get 50,000 words done. I will NOT force myself to work on Thanksgiving and every single day in the month. I’m just… writing.

So add me if you’re partcipating!

I actually wrote a pitch for the WIP while I was at it. That’s a first for me. (I don’t often share pitches online before I’ve even written anything!)

~removed~