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Winter Update!

imageHey everyone!  So excited–logging on today, I see that my blog just rounded 800 followers!  I’m feeling guilty because I haven’t been on as often lately, but I’ve been working on a couple of projects that make my heart siiiiiiing!

BENEATH US took second place in the YA division of the Golden Claddagh Contest. 🙂  I had an amazing time building this book’s dark world and tangling my quirky characters in its problems.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that maybe this book will be “the one.”

I recently began revisions on my New Adult WIP, and I don’t know how I ever lived without Scrivener!  I don’t compose in the program, but it helped me to plan much more carefully so that the revision of this book will go faster than any of my previous projects.  I also incorporated Michael Hauge’s story structure and other planning tips I’ve picked up over the years into the pre-writing stage.  In drafting, I owe a lot to Margie Lawson’s workshops which helped me to tune up the visceral and literary elements.  I’m holding back on details about the book itself (the title is still eluding me!) and thought it was completely nuts while writing it.  But now, as I’m looking back, I’m feeling like: Yesssssss.  This.

I’ve also been catching up on my reading, the most amazing of which in the past few weeks has been: Shatter Me, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and Isla and the Happily Ever After.  Reviews to come!

What have you been up to??

Michelle Joyce Bond

 

Stick Figures

End of Summer Reflection

imageDid you accomplish everything you wanted to this summer?  We technically have a few weeks until the end of the season, but as August closes, many of us come to the end of a significant chunk of time we spend reading, writing, and relaxing with our families.

This summer was incredible for me for several reasons–the top being that I attended my first RWA Conference!  I finaled in my first writing contest: the Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers with my YA time slip romance, STARCHILD.  I took road trips, caught up with family, and read, read, read.

I also completed another manuscript and began revising it with my critique group.  The new baby’s working title is BENEATH US.  This YA paranormal is as strange as anything else I’ve written (no vampires, werewolves, or “normal” paranormal here), but I’m going to hold off on specific details for now.  I used Scrivener to reverse engineer BENEATH US, strengthen, and rewrite it.  I’m feeling very good about it now. 🙂

During the conference, I connected with new writers, have been communicating with some of them online, and have been checking out their social media.  I learned from YA and adult romance author Marty Mayberry about Pitch Wars which I plan on participating in during their next run.  She’s a Pitch Wars mentor and it seems like an incredible program!  Contemporary romance author Aly Grady clued me in about Pitch Madness which begins on September 10th.  This is a twitter pitch session which lasts the entire day.  I’m getting my 140 character pitches ready for that now.  So excited!

How about you?  How did your summer go?  What are you up to now?

Michelle Joyce Bond

Stick Figures

To Scrivener or Not to Scrivener?

imageWhat are your thoughts on this software?  I’d love to hear them along with any advice you can offer!

I just started using Scrivener because getting organized wasn’t a problem–it was maintaining organization once I started changing things in my manuscript.

I am a plotter who turns into a pantser about half way through my first draft.  This is fine.  In fact, I know a lot of writers who think a mix of plotting and pantsing is the bee’s knees.  What’s not fine is failing to go back and change my supporting documents.  I typically have notes across several notebooks, index cards, Word documents, and on stray bits of paper I reach for blindly in a writing haze.  If I made changes to the plot or characters, there would be no way I could find those original documents.  I was trying to hold it all in my head.

I’m doing my best here not to sound like a commercial for Scrivener, so I’ll keep it brief.  The thing does what it’s meant to do–help me organize and stay that way. I won’t lose characters halfway through the book by confusing their major goal or struggle to invent new reasons for characters to complete actions that don’t make sense after changing X, Y, and Z.  Well…at least I won’t do this while writing the actual scenes.  The idea is to revise plot cards, characters sheets, etc. so that I can get a handle again on the big picture and tighten every screw.

How does that sound?  Any part plotters, part pantsers out there who feel my pain?  What organizational tools do you use to keep on track?

Michelle Joyce Bond