Happy 2017 everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season full of food, family and fun. Are you ready to be back in the real world? Nope, neither am I.
What I Read
Between the holidays and some major revision work, December was a light reading month. But I did get to experience the magic of the year 2118, peek into life on a Christmas tree farm, and learn a new algorithm to improve your story
GRAND TOTAL: 3
The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee ★★★★☆
NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE. WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.
What a great tagline. Set in a tower with – you guessed it – one thousand floors, McGee’s debut novel follows around a group of teenagers. Think Gossip Girl but in the future. Fair warning: lots of drugs, a little bit of incest, and one particularly brutal murder. Not exactly the most literary of books, but I was drawn in by the strength of her characters and the glittering uniqueness of a future world. I was waiting for someone to jump out and say…
What Light by Jay Asher ★★☆☆☆
As you all know based on my review here, I was just a little obsessed Asher’s first novel, so I went into his second with extremely high hopes. I wanted to love it so badly, but I was disappointed. Thirteen Reasons Why was a beautiful, tragic testament to an issue that haunts all teenagers. What Light is a sweet and light Christmas story, not necessarily a bad thing but a major let down for me. I did love the setting of a Christmas tree farm, but the vanilla characters bored me. Maybe his third will be more up my alley.
The Story Solution by Eric Edson ★★★★★
I would say, I stick to fiction 98% percent of the time. But I am known to read the occasional nonfiction book, especially if it deals with writing. Edson’s book explains the twenty-three unique steps that every hero must take. It’s practically a formula for a great novel. I’d read it once before while at SMU, but it came in handy again while revising.
What I Wrote
As you may remember from last month’s wrap up, I’ve got revision on the brain. For the first three weeks of December, I took red pen and multiple different colors of highlighter to a printed version of State of Grace and slowly edited my way through. Then the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I locked myself in my apartment and got to work.
I cut 26,000 words.
I added six chapters of brand new material.
I focused on increasing the stakes, speeding up the pace, and balancing the subplots with the overarching main plot.
And I am really proud of the finished product.
Coming up in January…
Soon I will be sending the new draft of State of Grace back to the four agents who requested revisions and will resume querying. Fingers crossed everyone!
As far as reading goes, I know I will need a pretty good list to keep me distracted. The first two are leftovers from last month’s list that I didn’t get to, and the last two were Christmas presents.
- The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
- Nutshell by Ian McEwan
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Yes, I have read this before… several times, but I received a gorgeous, illustrated version for Christmas. That combined with finally getting to see Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them makes me think it’s time for a HP reread.)
Let me know how you did on your holiday writing, and I wish you a fabulous start to the New Year!