Wednesday, July 10, 2013

So, What's Next?

Last week I completed the second major draft of Half-Truths and sent it off to my writing coach, Rebecca Petruck

Ta dah!

I didn't quite realize the significance of this accomplishment (that has taken almost two years) until my writing friends congratulated me and I read several posts on the YA Muse blog about how momentous it is to press "Send." 

But I felt empty. What was next?

Rebecca recommended taking a break from the novel while she read it. One month from now I expect to receive her comments and "big edits." Things like "this scene doesn't move the story along" or "you need to add depth to Kate's personality" or "I think you should try writing this in first person point of view" You know, little things like that. 

My draft is full of questions. For example, in this scene Kate is worried about who she will meet in downtown Charlotte when she's shopping with Lillie: 

Kate breathed in deep to calm herself down. Her imagination was getting the best of her. Probably the worst that could happen would be seeing someone from the luncheon or school.  How bad could that be ? [need different language?]

Who was the worst person she could run into? Hands down, it would be Shirley Wright. She imagined Shirley sashaying down the aisle toward them. First she would see Kate, then her eyes would shift to Lillian. Shirley’s eyebrows would go up in shock—she wouldn’t have time to try and conceal her surprise.  [is this too long?]

Kate would be as dead as a rabbit caught in one of Uncle Milton’s metal traps. She swallowed hard. What would she do? What would she say? [good simile?]

I'm hoping that Rebecca will answer some of these questions...but that might happen in the next round of edits and revisions. Because  as I teach in my writing workshops, writing and revising happens in a cycle, over and over again. 

Until it's the final time to hit the send button. 
Which probably won't happen for another 6-12 months.

So, what is a writer to do while she waits for feedback?

Plenty. I've been...
  • Working on a teen writing workshop at the Matthews Library on Friday, July 12. Writers in grades 6-9 will learn how to write science fiction and fantasy stories. There's still room and you can register your child here
  • Developing my fall Writing Fiction Workshop at the Levine Campus of CPCC. This is the first time I'll teach intermediate writers and I'm looking forward to helping students delve deeper into characterization, plot, and scenes. 
  • Preparing the SCBWI-Carolinas blog. If you write or illustrate for children and live in North Carolina or South Carolina, our fall conference is the place to be. 
  • Preparing next week's guest blog from my fellow writing judge, Kim Van Sickler. She'll be sharing her positive experiences entering writing contests. 
  • Reading The House at the End of the Road. For those of you who enjoyed the series on Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond, I think you'll enjoy another series about a multi-racial family in the Jim Crow era in Alabama. 
  • Finishing the July issue of Talking Story. As always, Joyce Hostetter and I will have several books to give away, so if you don't subscribe yet, you can do so by pressing the "Subscribe" button here. New subscribers automatically are entered in our giveaway contest. 
  • And last, but certainly not least, my oldest daughter is getting married in three weeks. 
I guess that's enough to keep me occupied while I wait for feedback on my manuscript. Don't you think?


Linda Phillips said...

Impressive amount of work you have shown us here, Carol. Kudos to you!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, LInda. Now you know what's been on my "to do" list this week!

Linda A. said...

Congratulations to you! Whatever suggestions come your way after your novel critique, you'll tackle them and soon have that novel ready to send out to the world. I can feel it.

Carol Baldwin said...

THanks, Linda. I appreciate your support and enthusiasm!

Kathleen said...

Congratulations Carol on completing your second draft!!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Kathy!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Bravo for persevering and doing all the right things to give you a much greater chance of SOLD after the big SEND! Cheering for you, Carol! Now, enjoy what you've accomplished and get ready and set for that special wedding!

Carol Baldwin said...

Here's hoping you're right, Clara! Thanks so much.

Rosi said...

Well, at least one of us is being productive! Very inspiring.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Rosi. I'm pretty driven--and my "to do" lists often run my life! :)

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Carol,
Fill that void with thankfulness and wondrous life experiences. Take your daughter to lunch. Read a great book. Celebrate your accomplishment.
I am very proud of you.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Joan Y. Edwards said...

What a wonderful accomplishment. Celebrate you!
Enjoy your daughter's wedding.

Good luck in all your endeavors.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Carol Baldwin said...

Joan, thanks so much for your sweet notes!!

Kim Van Sickler said...


You do have plenty on your plate. A wedding alone is enough to hijack your time! Good luck with the edits!

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Yes, you've got lots to do and meanwhile your muse will be working so when Rebecca sends it back you'll be off and running (writing)!

"You're Almost in Labor!" A Celebration of Stages

  If you're reading this and have been pregnant for nine long months, or if you've been close to someone during that-seemingly-endle...