Tag Archives: publishing

NaNoWriMo (Now’s the Hard Part)

 

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Guys, I did it, with only a few hours to spare. Yet, my novel isn’t finished. I still have 24,961 words to go to hit my real word count, and for the first time, I think I’m going to finish a full novel. My problem before was I tried to fit so much into the 50K word count, I thought that quantity was better than quality. That’s changing with this novel.

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This is the second (actually third) time I’ve tried writing this novel. The first time was for NaNoWriMo, that year I did not finish it, and then I tried finishing/editing it for a few Camp Nano’s. My goal is to reach 75k before the year is up, that’s half of NaNo in a month. I might be in over my head since I’m feeling a bit burnt out on typing.

I’d like to edit it once by myself, a full read through, in January and then give it to my husband for grammar editing (I suck with dialogue structure). Then I’d like to get some beta readers that love YA novels. I’ll let you know when that time comes.

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So what IS The Last July? My novel is a ‘coming of age’ YA contemporary romance novel (possibly New Adult since my character is heading to college). It’s about Penelope who is working at her childhood summer camp, in the hopes of getting hired for next summer. She’s going through some problems with her parents, her co-counselor Viv and a possible love triangle (my favorite troupe), but instead of so much romance and drama, I wanted this novel to be about a girl trying to find her way.

It’s set at Camp Arthur (a fictional camp) in Tennessee (a real place believe it or not haha) along the hills of The Smoky Mountains. We see Penelope’s life along one summer and eventually flash forward to October (my favorite month). I’m going to work on a better synopsis when it comes time to get some beta readers. I’m still working through some of the plot, so nothing is set in stone.

I’d love to have this finished as soon as possible so I can get a summer release.

In the mean time, I’ll be posting on here every Friday but I’m going to start expanding what I post about in order to keep my moral up. Less cheesy book tags, more ‘quality’ content maybe. All I know is, right now I need a few days off writing! I just busted a novel out in a month guys (well, part of a novel)!

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Bookshelf (Library) Tour 2016

I didn’t realize until I started this post that my bookshelves are actually one huge hot mess. So this is a bit embarrassing but maybe we can just pretend that this is a before post and I’m going to do an after sometime this year. Surprisingly, my shelves are kind of organized. This is me and my husbands books combined but this isn’t even all of them. There are three large moving boxes filled with books in our garage that we need to clean. Yes, clean. My husbands aunt had a house fire and some of the books she was giving to him were in that fire. They’re covered in soot on the outside, but the inside is fine. We’re going to be needing a new shelf soon, so we’ll be making some room soon.

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Above is the overview of our ‘library’. The very top shelves hold misc items that just don’t fit anywhere in our house (Stu’s Star Wars legos, the model VW bug me and my dad made when I was younger, some of Stu’s notebooks from college and art supplies. I need to figure out what to do about these items. Whoops.

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The three above pictures are obviously most of my YOUNG ADULT books along with various knickknacks. My favorite of those shelves has to be my Sarah Dessen/Jenny Han/Other YA Contemporary books!

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The next bookshelf is our random shelf. It has all of Stu’s miniatures that he hand painted along with some SyFy books and historical non-fiction (those are some of the books from the fire). Only one of these books is actually mine, You by Caroline Kepnes.

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The above bookshelves are again mostly Stu’s SyFy books with some memoirs, biographies, self-help and horror mixed in. The bottom shelf is actually just some of our text books from college that we couldn’t bring ourselves to get rid of.

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Now we have my second favorite shelf above. It’s full of so much knowledge! Again, mostly Stu’s books, he’s the brains in this marriage. I like this book shelf because it’s where most of our books come together. We have our collection of bibles and books we consider classics. My favorite set of books has to be the pretty red and gold group of classics.

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The final bookshelf in our library has even more bibles and various old books. The gigantic ones are actually just German medical dictionaries I believe, but they just look cool!

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Ah, now to my favorites shelf. It’s ever changing. It contains some of my favorite books and some of my TBR books. I keep this one in our bedroom. The top shelf holds one of our wedding pictures and my jewelry, the next one just holds miscellaneous items like tissues, a bible and more jewelry. The middle shelf is favorites ending at Stolen and then my TBR starting at Enshadowed. The other books between those two are actually Stu’s TBR. The bottom shelf is where I keep my favorite comics/graphic novels, a copy of Stu’s series, my Twilight collection, another TBR book, a copy of The Odyssey (the first gift Stu got me) and some photo albums.

My goal for the rest of the year is to get our books better organized. How do you organize your books? By genre? Color? Author? Size?

Discussion: Hardcover VS Paperback

Welcome back to another weekend discussion post! I’m so glad you’ve stuck around! If this is my first post that you’re reading, welcome! Follow me for book reviews, book tags and other fun discussions!

This weekend, I want to talk about hardcover versus paperback books. We’ve already discussed e-books vs hardcopies so now I’d like us to look into hardback and paperback. Everyone has his or her preference in what type of book they have. Some people refuse to buy paperback books, while others will wait for a recently released book to come out in paperback.

Me personally, I don’t really care but I do have my preferences. My big issue is having part of a series in paperback and the rest in hardback. Some readers like this because it shows when they caught up in a series. I’m not too fond of that. A current example of this would be my Raven Cycle. I have the first two in paperback and the last two in hardback. They look so goofy on my shelf together! There’s no turning back on those though, considering all four are signed. I don’t want to give up any signed books!

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Hardback Books

Pros:

  • They get less damaged, you can take off the dust jacket and pretty much never hurt your book while reading!
  • They look amazing on a bookshelf!
  • Art for your eyes, wait, that’s just art…
  • When you take of the dust jacket, it’s fun to see what the actual book looks like.

Cons:

  • They’re a bit pricy sometimes.
  • Take up more room than a paperback
  • Heavier, if you’re like me and you carry a book on you at all times, hardbacks weigh a decent bit more than paperbacks.
  • Your bookshelf takes a beating from the weight of hardback books (if yours are cheap like mine, they start to buckle under the weight).

Paperback Books

Pros: 

  • Easier to carry around, since they’re smaller, they weigh less in your bag.
  • Cheaper if you’re on a budget.
  • I personally worry less about lending out paperbacks. I hate lending out hardback books because I feel like they are a bigger investment.
  • You can carry two or three books in your bag and not feel like you’re carrying around a brick.

Cons:

  • They can get damaged easier, the cover corns get bent, they never go back to the original feel (as in the spine is easier to bend).

 

What about you? Would you add anything onto my list? These are just the things I like and dislike about both forms. I’d say my books are spit evenly in hardback and paperback.

25 Bookish Facts About Me

Yet another book review Thursday has gone by and I haven’t finished my current read. I’m sorry! Things are going to be crazy the next few weeks! I’m almost halfway through The Dream Thieves, and I’m at the part where Blue and Orla are on the boat with the boys. OH.MY.GOD. Loving this scene! So instead of a book review, I’ll be doing the 25 Bookish Facts About Me. I promise to read all weekend!

25 Bookish Facts About Me

  1. I’m married to a published author. How cute, right? We actually met online through our love for writing and reading.
  2. I majored in English with an emphasis in creative writing, this almost didn’t happen because my school required two semesters in a foreign language to acquire the English degree and I did not want to do that. spanish
  3. I’ve never read Harry Potter, though, I would love to own the books so I can read them with my future children.
  4. I prefer paperback books over any other form. I’m still thinking about getting an e-reader for my birthday but I’m not 100% sold on it. I love paperbacks because they take up less room on my shelves.
  5. I only write in non-fiction books but I’ll occasionally underline a favorite quote from a book.
  6. I’m not a fan of reading the ‘booktube famous’ books. I’m not big on Rainbow Rowell or any of those authors booktubers gush about.
  7. My cats interrupt my reading more than anyone else.  mad bro
  8. I can’t sleep in a room without books. Literally every room in my house has some sort of book in it!
  9. I get most of my reading done during the winter or weekends. I always take a book with me when I go on vacation during the summer but I never actually read.
  10. I love writing on my novels but I hate editing! edit
  11. Sometimes I just stand and stare at all of my books, for me, it’s therapeutic. My books are a collection. I like knowing I’ve read most of them.
  12. I used to hate bookmarks, I always used the receipt but recently, I’ve grown to love collecting bookmarks. I think it started when I did the Reddit Bookmark Exchange. Here’s the super cool bookmarks that started my obsession.
  13. For one year (maybe longer), I only read vampire themed books. Twilight, True Blood, Vampire Academy, Vampire Diaries, even erotic vampire books (awkward). I couldn’t get enough, but finally I jumped into YA Contemporary when I started reading Sarah Dessen. vampires
  14. I currently have three novel ideas that I’m working on, but as of right now, I’m concentrating on one of them. Almost 30k words in.
  15. As much as I love walking around Barnes and Noble, I prefer to shop online because it’s easier to find things. I have a membership with them so it’s nice that I still get free shipping.
  16. I’ve always wanted to be a librarian, but apparently you have to have a masters degree for that. I guess book blogging is the next best thing.
  17. I think I get my love for reading (and writing) from my granny. Sadly, she can hardly see to read or write anymore.
  18. My favorite part of high school was going to the local elementary school and helping the younger kids with their reading.
  19. In my opinion, horror books are more scary than horror movies.
  20. I can never remember character names or the whole plot, but I do know if I liked the book or not.reintroduction-50-first-dates
  21. I hate when I see people with huge TBR piles. How do you afford all those books? Do you actually plan on reading them? Why?!
  22. I don’t like un-hauling books. I did it once and I regret it.
  23. I can’t really read in my favorite spot anymore because my cats like to cuddle a bit too much.
  24. I’ve tried reading YA Fantasy, and I just can’t get into it. Same goes for the dystopian genre. I love when I can read a simple book about a girl who falls in love with a boy. Love. Love. Love. how-to-deal
  25. And finally, bookish fact number 25. Did you really read all of them?! Let’s go with my least favorite place to read: outside. I love the idea of reading outside, but not the actual act of it. There’s too many distractions, I live in the midwest so the weather never cooperates, bugs in the summer time are awful and my neighbors are always way too loud!

Hope you guys enjoyed getting to know me a little bit!

 

Discussion: Why I Love my English Major

Awhile back I did a post called Why I Hate my English Major, so I thought I’d now do my post on why I actually like my English degree. You can find the previous post here. With some people graduating high school, and heading into college this August, I thought this would be a decent post.

Reason #1 for why I love my English major:

I actually do use it in real life. Every day when I speak, I use it. Every time I open a book, I use it. Every time I’m working (even though I’m not a teacher), I use it. Every time I work on my novel, I use it. Yes, I’m not teaching English, translating, or working at a library, I still do use my major. I mean, I started a book blog! I’m typing to you right now!

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Reason #2 for why I love my English major:

I can do this blog and justify it as I’m just using my degree. Every time I read, I can say that I’m doing my ‘job’/what I went to school for.Oh, I want to buy another book? Well look at me using my degree! Haha.

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Reason #3 for why I love my English major:

I enjoy it. I did exactly what people told me to do. “Major in something you love.” I get to daydream about things I want to write, read and travel to places that I want to see. While most people go home after work because their job is complete, I never stop, I get to go home read, blog about my thoughts on the book or what I’m writing. I love my ‘night time job’.

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So, this list is short, but hey! Who cares? If you’re thinking about going into an English major, do it as long as it’s what you love. But I also recommend that you minor or double major in something else that will get you a better paying job. Those school loans aren’t going to pay themselves!

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Overall, my relationship with my English major is a love-hate type. Part of me wishes I never went to school because I’m in a job where only a high school degree is required and I don’t plan on switching jobs, but the other part of me appreciates every writing skill I acquired from a few professors. Mainly my novel/creative writing professor that I had almost every semester.

Sorry for such a short post, but it’s been a very busy weekend! I’ll be sure to put more thought and time into next weekends discussion post.

 

 

 

World’s Worst (NaNoWriMo) Camper

Well, another month of Camp Nanowrimo has come and gone. I’m just sitting at my desk, my eye twitching while staring at that little target that only says 50% finished. My plan was to finish editing a novel I previously started and add on the ending, but that didn’t really happen.

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What did happen is a ton of changes to my novel. GOOD CHANGES. I finally feel like my novel is going somewhere instead of just sitting on my laptop, taking up space. So what changes have I made?

  • I expanded my novel from only being a one month time, to a whole summer.
  • My main character is now a year older, on the brink of college. This made it more believable that a college guy would fall for her.
  • I took out my death scene, it was unnecessary drama in a YA Contemporary.
  • I’m planning on shelling out my characters more.
  • I’ve turned my camper into a junior counselor, giving her an extra week at the beginning of the novel to get to know her surroundings.
  • Will be changing the name, currently it’s called ‘The Last July’.
  • I also took out every part where I was writing a male perspective. I can’t write male perspective…

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I started this novel with 31,651 words and ended with 26,894 words… I took out about 8k words and I’m still taking out parts but I’m also adding in way more quality sections. What I felt when I took out all those chunks of words was awful, that’s why I hate editing. It feels terrible when you wrote so many words, only to realize that you need to delete all the progress you made. I guess that’s why they say you should never edit during camp!

 

Here’s a screenshot of my statistics:

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One thing that drives me nuts, is when I get assigned to a cabin and no one writes! I like the competition! I’m a competitive person when it comes to things I’m doing. The last two Camp Nano cabins I’ve been assigned to have been lacking. If you enjoy doing Camp NaNoWriMo, let me know! We can be cabin buddies!

So here’s my new plan! The next round of camp starts in June, I’m going to keep writing through May, sign up for camp again, finish my novel in June and then I’m going to have my husband help with edits. And then…. hopefully The Last July or whatever I end up titling it will get published.

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Book Blog Newbie Tag

Hey readers! Me again! Today since it’s Friday, I thought I’d do a fun book tag. I was going to do a Camp Nanowrimo update but if I’m being honest… I’m slacking on my novel. There’s always June’s Camp Nano right?

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Welcome to my Book Blog Newbie Tag!!

1.) Why did you start this blog?

I started this blog because I feel more comfortable writing than speaking in front of a camera. I did booktube stuff for about a year and got a handful of subs and about 14k video views but I just don’t feel myself when recording. I feel like I can put more effort and creativity into a blog that I couldn’t do with the videos. If you do want to check out my video’s you’ll find them here.

2.) What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

Do cat memes count?

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Haha, I’m serious though. I’m a major cat lady, so I thought it would be fun to put a bunch of cat pictures into my blogs. Cats + Reading = World Domination

3.) What are you most excited about for this new blog?

I’m excited to finally be doing something I love. I went to college and received a degree in English, and I feel like this is a decent way to use it. Yes, I’m not making money but everyone does tell you to do what you love. Well here I am!

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4.) Why do you love reading?

Ah, I’m not too positive. I used to hate reading, up until my senior year of high school I dreaded books. Then the Twilight pandemonium hit and I devoured the books! I mainly read young adult so I think I like reading because it let’s me live the high school life I never had. Does that sound cheesy or dumb?

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I was kind of a quiet person in high school, I had a great group of friends, but I never partied or really dated anyone. The characters in the YA novels seem to have way more entertaining lives that I did/do.

5.) What book or series got you into reading?

Twilight! Durr! I was 17 when I read those books and I believe Twilight was already one or two years old. My friend recommended it because I wanted to start reading more, when she showed me the book I was all…

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But then after I read it…

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I will always love those books and disown anyone who says they’re awful.

6. What questions would you ask your favorite authors?

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But seriously, I read mostly contemporary YA, so the book usually ends without me having an questions. If anything, I want to know what happens after the final kiss. I’d also just want to know how long it takes them to write a full novel, where they get ideas from, just your basic writing questions.

7.) What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome?

Probably reading books enough to post a review. Sometimes I get in a reading rut and can’t seem to get through at least one book a month. I work full-time and have a busy schedule, so reading happens right before I fall asleep. I also have the issue where I use the same books over and over for every tag.

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8. When did you start reading?

Can’t pinpoint an actual age… I just remember growing up with a bunch of books in my room.

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 9. Where do you read?

You can find the answer to that, here, in this fabulous blog post for that question. Enjoy!

10. What kind of books do you like to read?

Contemporary YA mostly. The occasional New Adult/ Romance. I usually stay away from fantasy and what not but I’m trying to branch out a little.

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Looks like that’s all. If you guys come across a tag you’d like me to do, send it my way! Have a fantastic book weekend! I’m currently reading the first Raven Boys book! They’re so dreamy!!

Why I Hate my English Major

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If you’re like me, you had no idea what you wanted to do once you left high school, you just knew you wanted to go to college because that’s what ‘everyone does’.

Just because everyone’s jumping off a bridge, doesn’t mean you jump too.

Ah, but going to college is what everyone expects you to do, especially if you want to get out of your home town. The way I saw it in my home town, you had two options.

  1. Go to college
  2. Stay in the town and marry your high school sweet heart/ have a baby

I mean this in the nicest way, I went to school with some great people but staying in that town wasn’t going to help me. Most of the kids I went to school with were farmers sons and daughters, they worked on the farm their whole life and they were going to work their for the rest of their lives. Sometimes I wonder when it would have been like if I had taken that path instead, there is something charming about a mid-west farm town.

There were also a few teachers in middle school/high school that told my parents that I would never amount to anything and I wasn’t intelligent enough for college. I was tossed in ‘slow reading’ classes and yet I read two grade levels above where I was supposed to be. I even tested out of most of those classes but I told them I wanted to stay (easy A and I was already pissed about wasting three weeks in the class).

So college was basically my way of ‘sticking it to the man’.

They tell you once you’re in college, to study something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. And that, my friends, is exactly what happens when you study something you enjoy. I’m turning 26 and still working at the same place as I was when I was in college.

I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, so I just went with something I enjoy. I liked reading, I liked writing. Boom! An English major was born!

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Don’t get me wrong! I love my English major (check back next week for a post on Why I Love my English Major) but there are a few things I hate hearing about it. Here are a few things that get said to me regarding my degree that I absolutely hate being asked/told.

  • Do you want to be a teacher?
  • So what do you do with that?
  • I guess you never use that in real life then?
  • There’s a spelling/grammatical error in your post, I thought you majored in English.
  • So have you published a book yet?

The last thing I wanted to do with my English major was become a teacher. I love kids, but at a certain age, I start to be terrified of them.

I do use my English degree. I work in an office where I have to type everyday and speak clearly, I get asked how to spell things all the time at work. I may not be an English teacher or write for an actual living, but I do use things I learned while in college. I also started this blog that I’m really enjoying… so there’s that.

And guess what, everyone makes mistakes. So what? I spelled something wrong? Who cares, just you Grammar Nazi.

As for book publishing. I’m trying my hardest. My dream would be to become a full-time author. Sitting at home, writing all day, it sounds perfect but it takes time. I’m currently editing something I started two years ago. Goal is to have it completed before the year is up.

If you’re thinking about majoring in English, don’t let anyone let you feel like it’s the dumb thing to do. I don’t regret my major at all, I just hate the stupid things people assume about it. Knowing every classic book might not be as beneficial as anything you would learn as a mathematics major but it’s still a fun thing to brag about, right?

Come back next week to see why I love my English major!

 

Books vs E-Books (The Great Debate)

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Here lately I’ve been purging a lot of items around my household (clothes I haven’t worn in forever, shoes that never actually fit me, old kitchen stuff we never used and never will use, all my useless items). One thing I can’t purge though, books.

I’ve always been anti-e-book. I love smelling an actual book, being able to see how much I’ve read, feeling the copy in my hands, being able to stare at my bookshelves and see how many books I’ve read and so on. I bought a Nook (Barnes and Nobles version of the kindle) in college and I read a couple books on there but didn’t enjoy books as much when reading the electronic version. Plus I hate the idea of having to charge a freaking book!

I’ve been getting into the idea of ‘tiny house living’ too. I’m not saying I want to live on a trailer with a compost toilet and hardly any bed space in the loft, I’m saying I just want to move into a small little cottage one day. Maybe a 2-3 bed, 2 bath, small finished basement or upstairs house. The house we currently live in is 3 bedroom, 2 full baths, 2 half baths, and finished basement. I like my house but I feel like there’s too much space for just me, my husband and our future child (and when I say future, I mean a child in about 3-5 years).

Let’s get back to books.

You can’t have a ton of books and a tiny house. We currently have five bookshelves full of our books. Is it time for me to stop and just go to e-books only? I’ve been debating it, but then I just keep on buying paperbacks because of the beautiful covers. I also like having the actual copy when I do my video book reviews because it gives my viewer something to look at instead of just me. I think if I purchased a kindle, I might be more likely to start reading less paperbacks and more e-books, but my heart is still torn.

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Maybe once I finish my current TBR pile, I’ll go to e-books. Or maybe I’ll keep on buying the actual book because I’m terrified of the day that books and bookstores no longer exist.

For now, picture me as this cat. Happily surrounded by my ever-growing book collection.

***This cat is Mr. Boogie’s long lost twin!!***

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Leaving for Camp (Nanowrimo)

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Ah, in just eight hours, Camp Nanowrimo opens up its doors to me and my fellow writers. So what are my plans for April Camp Nano? I’m editing and adding onto a novel I previously started two summers ago. And go figure, it’s a Young Adult novel about a girl who goes to camp and falls for a guy a few years older than her.

I have to say, I’m excited about writing this year. I feel like I’m getting close to having something worth publishing (with the help of my two readers and editing husband). I admit, my grammar sucks but I love coming up with fictional characters and a new world.

I currently have 31k words on this novel and they goal is to hit 75-76k words before April is over. It would be nice if I could have it sent to a publisher before the summer is up, considering the title is ‘The Last July’ and it makes for a great teen summer read. We’ll see what happens!

I’m not excited about the after camp editing, but I am excited for adding in scenes and growing my characters.

 

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I’ll update every Friday about where I am in the process and some tips on how to survive Camp Nanowrimo. Time to rest my fingers for the next couple thousand words….

Have you ever participated?