YATT: Doorways Update

Young Adult Teen Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by S.A. Larsen from The Writer’s Ally.

Because I’m a bit challenged when it comes to remembering these things, I don’t post every week, but now I’m planning out my posts weeks ahead, so I plan to alternate YATT with Interview Tuesdays.

Basically,  YATT celebrates all things YA, whether by writing YA books, or writing about writing YA books. Since I have a no-review policy on my blog, I stick to the latter.

This pretty much leaves me with updating you on my progress with Doorways, my YA epic fantasy. Progress is slow but steady and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to finish edits by 31 August.

One of my CPs has finished the entire novel, and he likes it! ^_^

Sorry. I know squeeing about one CP sounds silly, but there’s something really satisfying about having people you don’t know read your book and they come back with prasie.

So yes… I have two more CPs to who are still going through my work with a fine toothed comb, then I need some beta readers. I currently have three, but might still need one or two more, but I’m not worrying about that too much yet.

In the mean time, I wrote the query letter for Doorways and submitted it for critique.
It’s really strange though, writing a query. I didn’t struggle with it or anything. But there’s something… real… about it, you know? Like I took one step closer to a cliff I will jump from one day.

Still, now that it’s done, I feel pretty good about it. Now I just need to start stalking my dream agent.

Are you writing a YA novel? At what stage of the process are you?  

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Time Issues

I feel so guilty that I haven’t been writing a YATT post in such a long time. And it’s rather stupid, because a lot of my Tuesday posts were YA related. Sigh.

Still, going back and adding the badge feels like cheating, so… here I am, still feeling guilty.

AAAAAAaaaaanyway.

I’m really starting to miss when I was still in high school. Wow. There was a phrase that I never thought I’d use.

But no, this isn’t an attack of nostalgia on my part. I’m not missing the hanging with friends, or all the other things that people miss about that time of their life.

No. I miss that I had A LOT of writing time. I mean, six hours at school? With me finishing the homework before the class was finished? Yeah… writing…. writing… writing… writing.

Nothing to do in the afternoon? Pht. Write.

I almost want to cry at the amount of writing time I wasted.

Especially now, when my writing time has taken a huge hit. See, my quiet working days aren’t quiet any more. So there goes eight hours out of every work day. And then there’s the fact that I’m exhausted when I’m done working. Two hours more. Six to eight for sleeping… Three for eating with the family. Two a night for random non-writing activities… That adds up to 23 hours. I have one freaking hour to write. Per day.

That is unacceptable.

Un. Ac. Ceptable.

I am going to crack.

And soon.

Where do you create time to write? I’m already at the point of changing my sleeping patterns to fit it in. I’m even *shudder* pre-writing my blog posts. I really don’t want to dump non-writing activities because that will make me a hermit, but I already dropped one because it was wasting writing time. Any suggestions?  

A Call for Help

Young Adult Teen Tuesday is a meme hosted by the wonderful Sheri Larsen to showcase all aspects of creating a Young Adult Story.

So… Although I am one of the original participants, I can safely say that I’m far from a regular one. Which makes be feel bad. But today, I have something that’s weighing on my heart.

Something, involving my YA Fantasy Epic, Doorways. See, my one crit partner extraordinaire  won’t be able to critique the ms anymore, because he’s about to release his own book.

And that left me with a bit of a problem. Because I have a little more than 100 days left to finish the story… and now am needing a cp whose core strength lies with copy editing.

And who made me laugh. Even though he was so brutally honest that it stung sometimes.

And I need a cp like that if I’m to have any hope of finishing on time. I did start looking for cps and came up with a promising one, but she’s still drafting, which is something that I don’t want to interrupt with my editing. So although I will definitely be her cp, I can’t get the work out right now.

And I’m really really scared of just putting my baby out there to for a stranger without a familiar face to read.

So here I am. Asking begging you. If you are getting to the point where you want to send your work to be critted and you’re good at copy editing other people’s work, please please please think of me. If you want, I’ll ask my other cp’s to contact you so that you can see that I don’t only take without giving in return.

Okay… begging aside, here’s a bit more:

Doorways is the first book of a four book YA Fantasy epic. But I’m willing to crit almost anything except erotica and too dark fantasy. So period novels, thrillers, procedurals, sci fi, romances, fantasy etc all welcome.

My strengths: characterization, world building, plot, voice, pacing.

I need: someone strong on copy-edits, who are honest, but who knows the difference between critting and being critical. Someone who can start within this week.

So if you are that person, and you need a person like me or you know such a person that you can vouch for, please contact me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com. Thanks very very much in advance!

And… because I am so very grateful that you read all of this, if you need a crit and don’t suit my profile, put your needs, strengths and contact details in the comments section. Who knows? Maybe you strike it lucky. X

Something weird that works

Today’s post is for Young Adult Teen Tuesday, which is hosted by the wonderful S.A. Larsen.

As some of you might know, I am not only editing Doorways. I’m also slowly starting to work on the rough draft of the sequel.

Insanity, some might say, but I believe there’s method to my madness.

See, the real insanity would have resumed if I didn’t do it. I simply CAN’T wait another two years before continuing the story. I want to know what happens. And I want to know now.

Which would lead me to something really illuminating that I stumbled upon recently.

My crit partner and I let our main characters meet.

Yes. Meet. And interact.

Yep. It does sound weird. But after the initial WTF moments, we discovered that the interactions between the characters form a treasure trove of information.

I think it’s because there’s no story into which to force them, so they can just hang out, be cool, or not, or do awesome stuff. OR mess up.

And I’m there, making notes.

This is particularly illuminating when it comes to two of my male main characters, because neither of them actually talk to me in character interviews. It ended up that my crit partner and I forced a bunch of them into a room and let them get drunk.

With some VERY interesting results. Half of the stuff I now know about my main characters will never make it into the books, but like backstory, it’s something that forms the foundation of their actions and choices.

What weird and wonderful things have you tried in order to get to know your characters?

Why I write YA.

As the badge to the left shows, I’ve signed up to do S.A. Larsen’s Young Adult Teen Tuesday.

Although I won’t be doing this every week, Tuesdays will be when I discuss all things YA related. Which of course is a bit like cheating for me, because I mainly write YA.

But then, I’ve always been a fan of leeway. 😉

So… there are more than a few things that I’m wondering about YA, so I’ll probably get around to it eventually, but for today, I think the Why I Write post is a good idea.

Why do I write YA? It’s actually a question that I have asked more than once since I started Doorways. See… when I saw my one main character and he got me considering the idea, I thought I’d write a modern Chronicles of Narnia.

Within a few days though, I realized my mistake. See… the character who inspired me is… well… Not standard hero material. Nor, for that matter, is he standard brooding hottie material.

Oh no, don’t get me wrong. He broods. He’s hot. He’s heroic. When he wants to be. Which is interesting because more often than not, he doesn’t give a…

Also… he grew up in a pretty much medieval world. So… eighteen is plenty old to do certain things. Certain things that puts Doorways in a very interesting situation where it’s YA, but for older audiences. Doorways itself isn’t that bad, but the rest of the series will definitely push limits of what a lot of people consider to be “rules”.

But you know what? I decided to be brave and write it anyway. Because it’s a damn good story. Even if I say so myself. And the characters are awesome. And they happen to be teenagers.

So, I guess I could post about how I want to influence young minds (uh… optimistic), or how I love the possibilities of coming of age (I do), or how it’s an interesting market to be in (don’t care). Instead, I’d say I write YA because my biggest story idea is YA. And because my inspiring character holds my mind hostage and only characters with guns and wicked cool super powers survive in my thoughts with him guarding them. Sounds like I’m complaining, but then, there are worse things than having a hot guy cruising around in my imaginary world. Much much worse things.

Do you write YA? Why or why not?