Saturday, 1 January 2011

Writing Resolutions

It’s almost impossible not to think of things I want to achieve this year. I’m not going with typical resolutions. Instead, I’m revolving them around becoming a better writer.

Here’s a rundown of what I want to achieve this year writing-wise.

1. Finish writing the Resistance series. The third novel is outlined and ready to go. It’s the next project on my to-do list, and although I’m taking a small break from writing after the completion of my side project, I will definitely be starting it this month. From my outline, I’m guessing it’s going to be one of the most emotional and maybe even one of the best things I’ve written. I’m incredibly excited for this final end to the series, and I hope my first draft turns out just as amazing as I've planned.

2. Write less. I know I’m defying everything resolution with this. I mean 'write less' in two aspects. For the most part, my first drafts are far too long. Typically, YA novels are in the region of 60,000-80,000 words. I’ve managed to get my first edited novel down to 75,000, but trust me when I say around 60,000 words had to be cut before I got to that point. Thankfully, they all needed to go, and although there are exceptions to this YA rule, I'd rather keep to the general specifications. My side project was the shortest novel I’ve ever written, which came in at roughly 72,000 words. Usually my first draft tops 100,000 words and I want to shorten this when I’m writing so I don’t have to do so much editing afterwards. Also, last year I completed one novel from the year before and wrote four novels from scratch. All those first drafts are waiting to be edited fully. I’m focusing on editing instead of writing and hope to only complete one or two novels this year.

3. Try to gain publishing credentials. I’m going to start being consistent about entering writing competitions and attempting to gain publishing credentials – the sooner I begin, the more time I have to try and build any up before I begin querying and entering the novel publishing process. That definitely won’t be happening this year, but I want to be prepared, and I’d love to see my name in print regardless.

4. Find some writing and critique partners. I’d love to share my work with other people, gain their advice, and help them in any way I can. When I’m editing I need all the opinions I can get to try and make my novel better. Also, I’m sure I would gain some great friends in the process.

5. Edit. Edit. Edit. Basically, I want to edit a lot this year. Which means more printing; more red biros; more hours spent speaking to myself as I say the sentences in my manuscript out loud to see if they sound right. It should be a great year.

There’s a lot I want to achieve this year, but I’m sure I’ll get there. I can’t wait to get my novels edited and completed by the end of this year. Good luck for 2011, and I hope you all have a fantastic writing year.


  1. I am totally shocked by 2 - write less?!!!!

    Also, since outlining is my present obsession, how do you outline?

  2. I'd love to read a summary of something you need a critique partner for :) Keep in mind I'm definitely a YA fantasy/paranormal girl. I can read sci-fi and dystopian. I'm not too into contemporary... So hopefully we can be a good fit :)

    I get what you mean with writing less. Here, I've been thinking I've been conserving words and I'm way over my expected word count at the point I'm at.

    Thankfully, I think the word-count-specifications have changed a bit. Readers are willing to read more and more.

    Here's a great round-up:

    I look forward to hearing from you! I love critique partners :D And I love critiquing.

  3. Sonia: I know, it's shocking. A writer writing LESS.

    Basically, I get up a fresh word document, then I write in chronological order all the scenes and events that need to take place in my novel. I don't mind if the order changes as I'm writing because I still have the basic outline of what will be included.

    While I'm writing I can highlight the bullet points when I've written the scene, and I can see what else I still need to include, along with the smaller things I've only jotted down in my notebook. How is your outlining different?

    Jessica: Oh, that's perfect then! It's dystopian with scientific twists. And it sounds like you'll love my other series Shifters - it's completely fantasy. The funny thing is I didn't realise until a friend pointed it out that it WAS fantasty. But as soon as she said it, I knew she was completety right. How I managed to get through the two novels without the thought of it being fantasy occuring to me, I have no idea.

    I think in first drafts you always go over, because you have so much to fit in and you feel like you want to write it all. I'll always have to cut whilst editing, but it would be so much easier if I didn't have to cut so much, and had more workable material.

    Yeah, there have been variations in recent years, with novels like Harry Potter and Twilight completely exceeding the spec. Teenagers are more willing to read longer books. Thanks for the link, I'll check it out now!

    I'm the same, I love helping other people and reading their work. Sharing mine with other people will be fantastic too.