So, Rachel's got her book revised and off to beta-readers and critique groups...and I'm still revising.
I think it's really good that Rachel and I are on this journey together because I get to compare my progress against someone else's. If I didn't have her constant tweeting about how awesome she is (because she is!), I might think I'm doing alright. And I guess I am, really, I just wish I were a little further along in my process.
But, I've only got 17 more days of school (plus records' day, but that doesn't REALLY count). After that, I've got approximately three glorious months wherein I'm going to live the life I eventually want to live full-time: the life of a writer.
I say this every summer. Every summer, I have a list of things I plan to do--writing is usually one of those things. But I'm lazy by nature, and other things seem to win out (lame movies and TV on DVD are perennial winners). But this year, it's real. I think having a goal in mind (namely ebook publishing and having all three books of my trilogy out by August) will keep me focused. And, of course, a little friendly competition.
It's good I've got support for this venture. Not that people in my life haven't always been supportive of my wanting to write--this is just a different kind of support. Not only do I have Rachel, I have another friend who is also writing YA who is giving me LOTS of feedback and advice, and I know Awaking will be much, much better for it.
It also helps to have a timeline for everything. Yes, I want the Naturals trilogy to be out by August. But that's not the end of the dream. Rachel and I have plans to be 30 and out (as evidenced by our created Twitter hashtag). Now, I know I can't control how many people buy my books. I mean, I can encourage them to do so, but, really, I can't force anyone. So, I'm focusing on the one thing I can control: the books themselves. I'm working on these revisions to turn this book into the great story I know it is (somewhere, deep down). I'm still working from the advice given to me by my mentor teacher in high school: you can't assume the reader knows what you know. I used to start scenes all the time with dialogue and just assume that the reader would know that the characters were at lunch, at a baseball game, on the moon, etc. I would, of course, reveal said location a few paragraphs in, but I didn't realize that the reader needed to be told before that. It's kind of the same thing in Awaking right now: The reader will realize certain things down the line, but if I don't get her attention to begin with, she won't read far enough to figure it out.
So, now that I've got the bare bones down, I need to finish my surface revision/edit (adding simple scenes, fixing awkward wording and typing errors) and then start on the real work. I need to amp up some characters, I know it. I need to add more interactions with said characters. I need more intrigue, I need more investment...
I know what I need. I have ideas in my mind of what needs to be added and modified. I just have to do it.
And I will. I'm going to start right now.