Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Year In Writing: 2009

I promised Michelle that I wouldn't do much thinking for the rest of this year, so today I'm going to open the floor to everyone and ask you to talk about your Year In Writing. Tell me:

1. How your 2009 began
2. What you accomplished in 2009
3. Where your 2009 ended
4. Plans for 2010

I'll start, shall I?

At the beginning of the year, I had finished my fifth revision of "So Honest A Man," my novel that riffs on Shakespeare's "Hamlet." In February I began querying agents, and in March I found an agent I wanted to work with. Good conversations with him led to two more revisions of the novel, and presently my agent is doing a "line edit" preparatory to sending the book out onto submission in 2010. A couple of months ago, after the last revision to "So Honest A Man," I began a new novel called "Cocke & Bull" and I am presently about halfway through the first draft of it. In 2010, I hope to finish that draft and begin revisions by springtime. I also hope my agent and I manage to sell "So Honest A Man" to a publisher next year.

Also in 2009, Davin Malasarn invited me to join him and Lady Glamis on this very blog, and that's been fabulous. I hope to help make 2010 a fabulous year for the Literary Lab as well. Don't forget that in about a week and a half, we hope to announce winners of the "Genre Wars" short story contest. Stay tuned for that!

So that's my 2009. Your turn!


  1. At the beginning of 2009 I finished Monarch and then decided to rewrite it all a few months later. I successfully rewrote it and had an agent express some interest. I'm currently working on a few more rewrites and plan on querying the book mid-2010.

    The all-wonderful Davin asked me and Scott Bailey to join the Lit Lab, and that has been a wonderful endeavor!

    My plans for 2010 include writing a fantasy novelette based on a fairy-tale princess my daughter happens to love (but the novelette will be adult fiction, and quite dark, I'm thinking), finish rewrites on Monarch and query it, and start rewrites on my first novel The Breakaway. I think that's all I'll bite off for now.

    I've got to go choose my winners for the contest now!

  2. The year in writing, huh? Well... three flash fiction pieces accepted for publications, critique group formed, discovered blogging, entered blog contests, won two, entered Genre Wars, still waiting to hear on that one.

    2010? Novel, more short stories, more flashes, more submitting, and a goal of 120 rejections by year's end. And hopefully a few acceptances, too.

    Happy New Year, LitLab!

  3. In January I was still in revision mode with Masqerade. By March I had finished with it and started to query. I took the month of April off and worked in the yard. In May I began Mismatched. June brought Mimi's Ring. For the rest of the summer I worked on both and counted the rejections for Masquerade. By fall I realized I was finally a writer when I found the blogosphere and Davin said to say that in a mirror. I am a writer. I finished writing a book. Then counted the rejections, put it behind me, began work on the next book.

    And that's what I'm doing. Working on the next book(s).

    In 2010 I really do hope to have Mimi's Ring finished and sent out for query. I would also like to at least finish Mismatched.

    And I'm really, really glad that I found The Literary Lab. You guys totally ROCK!

  4. Fun post, Scott!

    This year, I got three short stories (God In Frogs, Enchantment, and Red Man Blue Man) published and also got to work with some wonderful writers on a collaboration piece that was published--although I'm still waiting for the three issues I ordered! I also "finished" Rooster to the point of submitting to agents, although I stopped again after a few failed attempts and am making some small changes. I also wrote a short novella for my nephew--more on that another time.

    It was in January of this year that I started Lit Lab and I've had so much fun doing it. I feel so lucky to have Scott and Michelle as my partners and also very lucky to have met so many cool people out there.

    For me, the biggest thing I gained this year was confidence. After having six months when I could really focus on writing, I'm more self-assured than I ever was before.

    Next year? I need to decide what I want to do with Rooster. I also want to commit to one of my other projects and work hard on it.

  5. I began 2009 hot at work on a YA fantasy I had begun a few months earlier. I submitted the first chapter to a SCBWI conference in spring and was elated to be chosen for a one-on-one with an editor at a large house. I realized after that conversation that I needed to do some serious tweaking of the magical elements. So I began a revision that is now stalled. But in November I jumped into NaNoWriMo for the first time and wrote more than 50K of a brand-new YA fantasy, which I am still finishing. So in 2010 I plan to finish one or both of them and start the query process. Eek.
    I also started blogging in May, and while it took away from writing time, it gave back so much in meeting great people like you and learning a ton from all the wonderful writers who blog.

  6. In February I won a query critique from agent Nathan Bransford. The feedback was mostly positive with a few pointers, and I took them to heart and submitted a formal query and ended up with a partial request. I sent FATE'S GUARDIAN in for review, and ended up getting rejected but the rejection included very good feedback. I decided that the best way to fix the novel was to re-write it.

    Around that time I started on another novel, EARTH'S END.

    In the summer I pulled out a 500-word MS for a picture book RUDY TOOT-TOOT and sent it to an editor-turned-agent, and she liked the premise but didn't think there was enough to the MS. She encouraged me to keep in touch, so I expended it to 4,000 words and re-submitted. It was enough for her to take me on as a client, but not enough to send to a publisher. More feedback, more writing, and Rudy grew to 17,500 words. I'm waiting for her feedback now.

    Somewhere in 2009 I started a blog for query critiques called The Public Query Slushpile, and I'm very proud of the community of writers who participate in that forum (many of whom also grace the Lab with their wonderful insight).

    Goals for 2010:
    - Get Rudy published.
    - Finish THE CHRONICLES OF CHRISTMAS, a pre-history of Santa Clause (4,000 words in, recently started)
    - Continue to learn more about the craft from other writers, and share the things I have learned.

    Have a safe and Happy New Year!

  7. 1. How your 2009 began

    A bit depressing, actually. I'd just realized that the book I'd been working on for a year was dead, that there wasn't really a way to bring it back, and I'd started writing something that was totally different from everything else I'd written (first person present POV, with alternating POV characters, and it was sci fi)

    2. What you accomplished in 2009

    Well, that very different novel that I thought would go no where...landed me my dream agent! Actually, I can't even call her my dream agent because, even in my wildest dreams, I didn't think I ever truly had a chance to sign with her!!!

    3. Where your 2009 ended

    With an agent contract signed, a plan for short revisions, and submitting my novel to publishers at the start of the year.

    4. Plans for 2010

    Turn that strange little novel I started last January into a trilogy!

  8. What a great blog post!!

    My 2009 began with a New Year's Resolution to write at least 1000 words a day and I was successful! Till I finished my novel, Spellbound, anyway! But that was the point of the resolution anyway. I added about 30,000 words to it on under 4 weeks. I then spent almost the rest of the entire year editing- that story and my other novel- A Bitch Named Karma, and I wrote two short novelettes and of course, editing the beejeezus out of them too!

    My accomplishments for 2009: finishing Spellbound, being published in Flash Me Magazine, feature story, signing an ePublishing contract for A Bitch Named Karma, and a nomination for a Pushcart Prize.

    2009 ended with me completing my first round of copy edits for A Bitch Named Karma with my editor!

    Plans for 2010: My first writers conference end of March, the e-publication of my first novel (no release date as of yet)...who knows what else!! Hoping to secure an agent!

  9. My 2009 began with me revising my first novel NOT HER MOTHER'S FATE (a working title, usually referred to as book 1 for convenience). I worked enough on revising I decided it was time to write the query and synopsis for agent submission.

    I accomplished the revision, query and synopsis finally (still no viable title for book 1, no title at all for book two) and began submitting to agents. I found the world of blogging, created my own blog in late August, and got some excellent feedback on the query from TPQSP (thanks Rick and fellow writers). I also made a few internet friends through networking. I have overcome my fear of the internet!

    I'm ending 2009 with four rejection letters (it will build, I haven't given up) for FATE, a couple new story ideas from writer's group prompts, and several short stories I never knew I had in me. I'm waiting to hear back from some e-zines regarding publication.

    My plans for 2010 are to continue the query process, not get discouraged, and perhaps start on one of those other story ideas. Maybe the current trilogy needs to sit on a back burner for a while and simmer.

    I really enjoy this site Davin, Scott and Michelle. It has been an educational experience for me, and I've enjoyed learning from your posts. I hope the next year finds you all still blogging and keeping up the excellent site.

    Happy holidays to all, and may all your blogging experiences be constructive.


  10. 1) How your 2009 began - okay, I'm lucky to remember my name most days, and you want me to remember how 2009 began? Seriously?? I really can't remember how 2009 began.

    2. What you accomplished in 2009 - well, this I can remember. Go figure! I finished the final, pre-query, revisions on one project - see Item 4 below. I finished the First Draft of another project. I entered a short story contest. I outlined for the first time - EVER! I connected with some great writers in the blogsphere and on Facebook. I set-up folders for three potential new projects that (see Item 4) below. So, not a bad year, not at all.

    3. Where your 2009 ended - hmmm, one project ready to query, one project ready for revisions, three ideas for new projects, a short story finished and entered to a contest, one outline done, and another started.

    4. Plans for 2010 - begin querying on one project, do the revisions on the next project I hope to query at some point in my life, write the rough draft of a least one of the three potential new projects just begging for my undivided attention. Bask in the glory of my short story winning - hey, some positive thoughts are allowed! And such is 2010 . . . so far!


  11. good luck with your book, Scott! keep us posted on your progress. it is very interesting to hear about your dealings with your agent and the long and winding road toward publication.

  12. In Farm Town I achieved level twelve, won three awards:

    Apprentice Shopper
    Addict Shopper
    Compulsive Shopper

    Oh wait, you wanted to know about my writing accomplishments, not how I wasted time while procrastinating about writing. Oops, my bad.

  13. I have more details on my blog, but here are the basics:

    o Left my job. Decided to F the software biz and to write full-time
    o Worked on revision Dawn's Rise. Gave up after 6 months.
    o Wrote a lot of something called The Immortals. Still a WIP.
    o Wrote Steam Palace for NaNoWriMo. Working through a revision
    o Wrote a few FridayFlash entries.
    o Hopefully connected with a lot of great people.

  14. Um. Almost 50 short stories written or finished in 2009. One novel written and finished. Other novels continued. Several short stories accepted and published. I blogged more.

    I think I tallied my total word count at near 500k.

    In 2010? Goals are: finish WIP, rewrite another novel, revise a dozen short stories and sub. That's it. I'm keeping it low-key this year. ;)

  15. Thank you for sharing your goals and accomplishments, everyone! This blog has been a really great experience for me. I'm hoping to stick around here for quite a long time if Davin will let me. One of these days, soon, I will actually post again...

  16. Yay! I love this reflection/resolution-y time of year.

    At the beginning of 2009 I got into the online writing world--started following blogs and made a writing blog of my own.
    I learned and observed a lot about today's publishing world thanks to the Internet, and I feel like I can just write for me now. I don't feel anxious about writing/not writing like I used to.

    I met several awesome people online, mostly from this blog! Lit Lab has a refreshing voice that is hard to find in other blogs.

    For 2010, I plan to write more. I want to send out some short stories and figure out which of my novels I can actually finish for querying.

  17. I'm planning to query my first novel in early 2010, find my ideal agent and begin serious work on my second. Oh, plus master the art of flash fiction and write more haiku.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.