Ready. Set. Write! Week 3


For details on Ready. Set. Write!, hosted by Alison MillerKaty UppermanErin Funk, Elodie Nowodazkij, and Jaime Morrow, read this.

How I did on last week’s goals:

  • Plot out new YA book: After some seriously frustrating days of trying to turn my shiny new YA idea into something it really did not want to be (and something I really wasn’t excited to write), I finally decided to just write the kind of book I wanted to write and out came a brand new, shiny, swoony book idea (all about kissing and good luck and curses) and I now have a full chapter-by-chapter initial plot outlined, plus character development sheets and lots of fun ideas. Win!
  • Write 1,500 words in new YA book: So, yeah, I only got about 500 words this week. But see the above goal and the below goal, so I wasn’t totally unproductive!
  • (More) UNEXPECTED WORK: I knocked out all of the second round of edits from my editor (which were really just tweaking a few final things from the first round) and created a list of potential (well, really, I-would-die-if-these-authors-blurbbed-my-book) blurbers. Things are moving forward nicely, so we’ll see what comes next!

My goal(s) for this week:

  • Write 1,500 words in new YA book
  • Start reading I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN (both for fun and research purposes)

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised:

This new YA story is about two sisters who have the ability to give a year of good luck to a boy if she kisses him during the mysterious love-fueled Kissing Season. Here are the opening lines:

You know that saying, “A kiss for good luck”? It originated with my family.

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write):

Ugh. This week was so fraught with challenges. But the biggest one was learning not to fight myself. I had it in my head that my YA books need to SAY SOMETHING on a larger scale to be good. There are so many amazing books that do a beautiful job of saying something important about teens/society/diversity/what have you while still telling a gorgeous story. I had to be okay with telling a good story that has components of those ideas, but doing it in my way, which is much lighter and magical and swoony. I’m not saying my books won’t be important, because I really hope they will be to some readers. But I don’t need to try so damn hard to make it something that it’s not. I am who I am. My books are what they are. And I love them. That is more than good enough. 🙂

Something I love about my WIP:

I love that I’m trying something new (writing in first person and in dual timelines) but it still feels 100% like me. I’m challenging myself and hopefully continuing to grow as a writer, but at the same time making sure I am true to myself and the kinds of stories I am good at telling.


15 thoughts on “Ready. Set. Write! Week 3

  1. OMG. I seriously NEED to read your new book, so get cracking on it. That sounds amazing! And I loved I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN! Best book I’ve read in a long time. Good luck this week! 🙂

    • Oh, yay! That makes me so happy that my new idea sounds good. Thank you! 🙂 And so excited to read I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN. I’ve heard so many good things aboutnit.

  2. Courtney Leigh says:

    girl. GIRL. your “biggest challenge” section. just all of it. i know EXACTLY what you mean about feeling this pressure to SAY SOMETHING when sometimes that can feel so forced and unnatural. i’m so happy you got a brand-new shiny idea (umm, details please!) that feels true to you and to all the things you love. and knowing you, your book will definitely be important to people and have something to say, but it’ll say it in a sweet, magical, swoony way.

    also, first person and dual timelines? you know how much i love those two things! so excited for you! good luck this week! ❤

  3. Alison Miller says:

    I absolutely love what you had to say about loving your books and writing the books that are YOU. Also, I love that first line! So intrigued. Especially if it’s a story that involves kissing and curses! Also, I saw your comment on my post and I live literally an hour away in Jacksonville! I’m down in Wilmington all the time. Let me know if you ever want to meet up for coffee and discussions of all things books and writing!

    • Thanks, Alison. I have to keep reminding myself to write the books I want and not get too bogged down by what I think I should write. It’s so hard but so important.

      And yes, I would love to get coffee and chat books in person. Let’s make this happen soon!

  4. Good for you for deciding to write what you want to write and not what you feel pressured to write. I think your WIP will feel a lot more genuine for it. You know, there are tons of stories out there that aspire to have big profound messages (and not all of them succeed), but some of the best stories are those little gems that readers really connect with on a personal level because they’re sweet and swoony and exactly what they were in the mood to read. I love books like that. Best of luck on your goals this week, and I hope this SNI continues to take shape! 🙂

    • Thanks, Erin. I completely agree about books feeling more genuine when the author is true to themselves. And I love the sweet, feel good books too because they still have emotional pull and that’s what it’s all about!

  5. It sounds like by dropping your old idea, you’ve had a much more productive week, and your new story sounds absolutely brilliant! I love that opening line, it’s so full of intrigue.

    I swear, kids these days are spoiled with the YA books being written. 😉 When I was a kid YA books all Had A Message and I could never get on with them… so the idea of lighter, magical and swoony stories really appeals to 12-year-old me, while adult-me is cheering you on. 🙂 Good luck with this week!

    • Thanks, Pax. Yes, it was such a productive week once I got out of my own way. 🙂 And yes, kids have no idea how lucky they are to have the quality and quantity of amazing YA now.

  6. I feel like that too a lot. I read so many great books that have something important to say and make me think about things and then I think about my writing and…well, I write to entertain. That’s who I am. If something helpful gets inserted in there–awesome! =) Best of luck to you this week!

    • Leandra, I’m so glad it’s not only me who thinks that some days. But there is a lot to be said for entertaining people! As long as people are enjoying my books I’m happy. 🙂

  7. I’ve stopped attempting to force myself to write. And, amazingly, the process of writing the story that pours out of me,and revising it, I find that there often is a message, and it feels truer because I connected to the story first, and the message came through naturally…

    I love this post, and I’m so excited for you! =D

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