Hello my friends! I’m popping in to give you all an update as to how things are coming along. It’s been a while since you heard from me so I figured you’d want to know that I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.
I’ve finally finished my initial rough draft and am pleased to say that it’s about 95,000 words. Now I have to go in and flesh it out to make it a nice juicy read that hopefully none of you will want to put down. I’m about thirteen chapters in which, because of the way I’m writing it, translates into about 33,000 words. Sounds like I’m about a third done, right? Wrong. As I’m writing, new and different things are coming out that I want to add because they either increase the tension or make a character more layered and complex.
I also have some very exciting news to share with you. At the end of May, I went to the Dallas/Fort Worth Writer’s Conference in Hurst. It was amazing! Just being around other writers was energizing and made me want to write even more. The keynote speaker was the one and only James Rollins and I got a chance to talk with him one-on-one. He is an amazing man, humble and personable all wrapped into one. His advice to me? At some point in time as you’re making your way through your novel, it will start to feel like you’re writing nothing but crap. It happens to him all the time and he said that us writers just have to power through and keep writing. I guess that’s good advice because look where that’s got him!
The best part of this conference, however, was that I pitched my novel to three agents and two of them wanted to see the first three chapters when I get finished with it! You know what was even more awesome? One of those agents I wasn’t really pitching to. She was just letting me practice with her because the next day, was the real deal. And she still wanted to see my chapters! I have to keep telling myself that just because they want the chapters doesn’t mean they’ll take me on as a client. It just means that they like the premise of my novel. Now I have to wow them with great writing!
I came away from the conference with new friends too. One of them has turned into a first reader and she is great. (Her novel is about the only woman emperor of China, the Empress Wu.) She’s also tough. She sees so many things that I’ve overlooked, sometimes because I didn’t think of something, other times because I was just being lazy, but regardless I’m grateful for her eye. She’ll help me to be a better writer.
There were many different published writers there offering their advice and leading classes. There was even a leading equestrian there who wrote a book called The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Horses. She brought one of her horses and I learned more from that beautiful creature in 45 minutes than I could ever have learned reading a book or listening to a lecture. Her website, Fantasy Horses, is a great tool to help authors pick horses for their characters.
I’m going to do everything I can to go back to the conference next year. But first I have to stop dinking around on my blog and get back to work!