Thursday, July 31, 2014

Query Trenches, Or, So You've Written a Novel. Now What?

by Katy White

For those of us who want to publish novels, a time will come, if it hasn't already, when we finish the herculean task of writing a book. In many ways, it feels like the hard part should be over at this point.

We all know it's not.

By now, we've discussed things like edits, critique partners, more edits, beta readers, more edits, lather, rinse, repeat. Once we have our manuscript super clean and polished and pretty, the hard part should be over then, right?


Welcome to the Query Trenches.

Querying is a lot like dating. There's a reason why Bridget Jones called her married friends "smug marrieds." Because (assuming you have a good marriage, which I hope is the case for every married person!) not having to date is infinitely more enjoyable than dating. Similarly, not having to query anymore (whether because you've landed an agent or an interested publishing house or because you have decided to self-publish) is just so, so much better than querying. Yet, it's a necessary step for most writers' journeys.  

So what is a query? Although every agent/agency will have personal preferences about query format, you can think about a query as the back-of-a-book blurb. You want to condense your novel into around 250 words and make it sound absolutely fabulous. Introduce the main two or three characters, show the reader what those characters want, set the stakes, and end it. You need to give enough detail to make sense and arouse interest, but not so much that you give away the ending or important twists. Nathan Bransford gives this explanation:
A query letter is part business letter, part creative writing exercise, part introduction, part death defying leap through a flaming hoop. (Don't worry, you won't catch fire and die during the query process though it may feel precisely like that at times). In essence: it is a letter describing your project. 
The first thing to know about writing query letters is that there are as many opinions out on the Internet about query letters as there are, well, opinions on the Internet. You will find lots of dos and don'ts and peeves and strategies and formulas.... The important thing to remember is that you will need to choose the ideas that work best for you.
As the immortal Douglas Adams said, don't panic! Write the best letter you can, be yourself, don't overthink it too much, don't sweat it if you realize the second after you sent it that you made a typo or accidentally called me Vicky. If an agent is going to get mad or reject you over something trivial like that they're probably not the type of person you'd want to work with anyway.

Fantastic advice from someone who reads queries for a living. And writes queries for a living.

Here are some excellent resources to help you better understand queries and to see some examples of successful queries:

Query Letter Mad Lib - essentially a plug-and-play query generator, from none other than Nathan Bransford. An excellent place to start you on your query journey.

Query Shark - In my opinion, this is hands down the best place to get a feel for what not to do, as well as an understanding of what an agent honestly thinks about the queries that she sees. The infamous Janet Reid keeps it real, yo.

23 Literary Agent Query Letters That Worked

Anatomy of a Query Letter 

Also, here are some resources to help you find reputable agents (you should NEVER pay to have an agent agree to work with you!): AgentQuery, Preditors & Editors, Writer's Digest New Agent Alert (it's always helpful to find people who are actively building their client list), and Literary Rambles (the blog host interviews reputable agents who rep from picture books to young adult and includes what the agent is looking for and how to format your query for that agent. INCREDIBLE site!).

QueryTracker is a great resource to help you organize your agent search and keep track of your submissions and responses.

And lastly, if you haven't already, consider joining and participating in a writer's organization (e.g., I'm a member of SCBWI and ANWA), as that will help agents know that you're serious about your craft.

Please sound off in the comments below with your query questions, advice, and any additional querying resources you may have. And stay tuned in two weeks for Query Trenches Part II, where I'll share additional resources beyond the query itself!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Religion and the English Novel

by Anna Jones Buttimore

I did my degree in English Literature (ironically, at a Welsh university) aeons ago - I graduated in 1990 with a respectable 2.1. There was a bit of a "what next?" moment following graduation, during which I briefly considered doing a Masters. Instead, as befitted a woman of my educational achievement, I took a minimum wage job in the stockroom at Argos.

If I had decided to go ahead and do that Masters degree, however, I know what subject I would have chosen. "The Puritan Influence on the Development of the English Novel." It's a fascinating subject, and of particular interest, I think, to those of us who are both avid readers/writers of fiction, and of a religious bent.

Were it not for Christianity, you see, the idea of the novel--a piece of fiction written in prose--might never have been born.

If you've studied ancient literature you'll know that for a long time most of it, from Beowulf to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, takes the form of poetry. My theory (I would have been looking into it more deeply had I done that Masters) is that this is because storytelling evolved from singing. Before it was easy to write things down, people remembered long stories and legends by turning them into songs which might be performed by bards and storytellers, as well as being sung by mothers to their children. The rhyming verses and melody made these often very long stories easier to memorise so that they might be handed down accurately.

When they finally got to be written down, of course they lost their tunes, and so long, eloquent poems are all we have now. But for centuries, it seems, all fiction was in the form of poetry. The idea of using non-rhyming or metered prose to pass down a story just hadn't been conceived.

Maybe the first piece of prose which might be considered a precursor to the novel is the Prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, as well as some of the tales themselves - although most are in verse.  There are several contenders to the title of the first English novel, but the two main ones are John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678), and Robinson Crusoe (1719) by Daniel Defoe.

What do these books have in common? They are all about religion. Canterbury Tales is an assortment of stories about individuals in a motley bunch who are on a religious pilgrimage to Canterbury. Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory in which Christian, representing man, struggles to carry his burden (sin) to the celestial city (heaven). Robinson Crusoe, which many contemporary readers, used to their fiction being in the form of poems or songs, believed to be a true story due to its simple descriptive narrative style, focusses heavily on Crusoe's religious awakening and conversion, and contains many moral messages. Gulliver's Travels, first published in 1726, is a satire of human nature, and Pamela, the first epistolary novel, is subtitled Virtue Rewarded. Jumping forward in time, even such characters as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens used writing to make moral and ethical points about the societies they lived in. The Narnia books of C.S. Lewis are another example of religious metaphor.

The Puritans became a major political force in England from the mid-seventeenth century. They were unhappy with the reformation, and felt that the Church of England was still too similar to the Roman Catholic church. They advocated a purity of doctrine and practice, and were strident and evangelical about their beliefs. They battled the Bishops and clergy of the Church of England through hellfire sermons, pamphlets - and books. The great advantage to writing moralistic books was that they had great popular appeal and were widely read by the public, so the authors could disguise their preaching as entertainment.

Daniel Defoe was a Puritan moralist. John Bunyan identified himself primarily as a Christian but followed certain Puritan practices. Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, was a Doctor of Theology and Dean of an Irish Cathedral, and his book might be viewed as political and anti-puritan, but again with a moral message for society. Samuel Richardson, author of Pamela, was a pious puritan who had hoped to be a clergyman by profession.

In modern times, there is still a thriving market for religious fiction. Five of my six novels were published by LDS publishers (the other was self-published) and five of the six have a religious aspect. My Haven trilogy (being republished over the coming year) tells of how the faith of one kind woman has a profound effect on those around her. Easterfield, my only historical novel, is about giving up everything to follow what is right. The Saved Saint is about how misunderstanding and opposition can have devastating effects, and Honeymoon Heist is... well, the couple in it happen to be LDS.

I think this blog post is almost as long as my thesis would have been, but it is fascinating to see how religion and the desire to impart ones beliefs to others has led not only to the development of the novel in the first place, but to many of our most beloved works of literature.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thoreau is my homeboy: Strap on your hiking boots and step up your writing.

by Merry Gordon

When I’ve stared at the blinking cursor so long it’s burned a permanent vertical line in my retinas, I think of my favorite inspirational writing quote:  “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” I remember the first time I read that, how it resonated with me. I poked around a little until I found attribution for it in the form of one Henry D. Thoreau, author of Walden and all those other things I pretended to read but didn’t in AP lit.

So I finally picked up Walden for real this time and soon I was crushing hard on Henry David…he of the original hipster neckbeard, the skinny-dipping and cabin building, the civil disobedience. This guy had a solution for writer’s block, one that hadn’t occurred to me in the asphalt jungles of suburbia:

N A T U R E.

I don’t generally do nature. First off, I’m from Cleveland. It wasn’t too many years after I was born that the oozing Cuyahoga River was so polluted you could set fire to it. When we went swimming as kids, it was in our underpants in a plastic kiddie pool in the driveway, not in any of Ohio’s less-than-pristine waterways. I have always lived within ten minutes of a Target, I wore hiking boots with lace slouch socks only when the outdoorsy/vintage look was hip, and the closest I got to the forest was the Woodland Pine scented candle we put out every Christmas. I didn’t even go camping (without flushing toilets and suitcases and a 3-jet hot tub on the balcony) until I hit my mid-30s.

But this year I slung a backpack over my shoulder and resolved to try the Thoreauvian approach to writer’s block anyway.

Step one:  Get into nature. Not just get out into nature…get INTO it. Nature is messy. It’s beautiful mountain vistas and trailside wildflowers, but it’s also mud and pine sap on your adorable new L.L. Bean boots and a cloud of mosquitos swarming across your perfect blood orange sunset. Embrace the less-than-National Geographic moments. The unexpected contrast between the mundane and the sublime is often enough to jar your mind back to inspiration.

Step two:  Write. Journal, blog or blurb like crazy. Thoreau would have killed it in the blogosphere (in fact, he is…over 150 years after his death). His journals filled 47 manuscript volumes, and most of the time I can barely manage a 140-character tweet. Thoreau observed and recorded everything…some really sweeping, epic stuff, like the divinity in a snowflake, and some really boring stuff, like tables of plants blooming and water levels. Point is, he mined the little, sometimes tedious details in flora and fauna until he struck literary gold with such nuggets as, “We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” That’s deep.

Step three:  Look for connections and metaphors. Ultimately, going out into nature is as much an inward journey as an outward one. If we look at the natural world as a microcosm of the infinite and search to see our connection to it, our once barren creative fields suddenly emerge white and ready to harvest (ooh!—see what I did there?). Thoreau was acutely aware of this. Even humdrum rural sights like the stream he walked by nearly every day of his life provided food for thought:  “Time is but a stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it, but when I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away but eternity remains.”

Getting my nature on didn’t come naturally. At first, stripping myself of the suburbs to connect with Mother Earth seemed a little too granola for a girl whose hiking is generally confined to full parking lots at outlet malls, but being outdoors lent a meditative quality to my thoughts that the agitation of day-to-day life in a major metropolitan area never would have allowed.

I still live in the sprawl, but I don’t restrict my headspace to my zip code anymore. My “woods” consist of a few vacation snaps on the fridge and a half-dead succulent on my kitchen table, but if nothing else Thoreau has taught me a little more about how to simplify and live deliberately, and that’s something worth putting on paper.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Why it is Time to Start Calling Yourself a Writer. Right Now.

by Kasey Tross

Once upon a time, there were two people, Mike and Ted. They both enjoyed creating art. They both had other interests as well, but art was at the top of the list. They did it whenever they had a chance. They studied great artists and tried to expand their artistic horizons with new techniques. Art was their passion.

Mike was very talented, but since he had another job, he never really called himself an artist. When it would come up in conversation he'd say something like, "Oh, I just like to make art sometimes.” In his mind, however, he dreamt that someday he'd have the time to create more pieces and the guts to get it into a gallery, or enter an art contest or something. But he just wasn’t sure if he had any talent, so he rarely shared his work with anyone.

Ted felt the same way as Mike. He dreamed of making it big with his art someday and being able to quit his regular job and do it full time. But Ted was so passionate about it that when it came up in conversation, Ted would say, "I'm a computer consultant. And I'm also an artist." Ted, like Mike, had never had a piece on exhibit, and never sold any of his work. His work wasn't any better than Mike’s, and, like Mike, he didn’t know if it was any good. But because he created it and he was passionate about it, he boldly proclaimed to the world that yes, he was an artist.

Eventually, word spread that Ted was an artist. Friends found this side of him fascinating, and one day, a friend who had spoken with Ted about his passion passed his name on to a woman who happened to be looking for an artist to do a low-budget mural in a public space. The friend got Ted in contact with the woman, Ted showed her some of his work, and before Ted knew it, he had a paid gig.

Because the mural was in a public space, Ted the Artist got his name in the paper, and because he had done such a nice job, the woman passed his name on to other professionals, who began to offer Ted more regular jobs. His confidence soared, and the steady work pushed him and improved his skills. A gallery soon approached him for an exhibition, and after a few years of commissions and some gallery sales soon Ted was able to quit his job and become a full-time artist.

One day Mike saw Ted’s art in a gallery. He sighed and said to himself, "I wish I could be a real artist."

The moral of the story? You are what you say you are. Mike was a real artist, but he refused to believe enough in himself to call himself an artist.  And because he refused to believe in himself, nobody else believed in him either.

I shared this "Tale of Two Artists" because Ted's story is similar to mine, though I’m still in the middle of mine. I had a couple of confidence-boosting accomplishments (like winning the short story contest right here at MMW and being invited to become a regular contributor) that pushed me to finally call myself a writer. Because I "came out" as a writer, someone recommended me to one of their family members for a paid gig, which I accepted and completed, and soon I had another friend asking me for help with a project, for which I would be compensated, and then, before I knew it, another friend-of-a-friend happened to be getting in on the ground floor of a new local magazine and offered me a writing position there.

All of these things didn't start happening until I owned the title of writer. Once I did, it was like people said, "Oh, you're a writer? Well why didn't you say so?" When the work started pouring in and I started completing it- and not just completing it, but getting paid and putting smiles on my clients' faces, I realized, I can do this. And I can do more. That was when I started writing my book. And then I started attending writing classes and conferences. Because I am a WRITER!

If you are reading this blog, if you are passionate about writing, then please, please, call yourself a writer. Ignore that little voice in your head that says, But I've never been published. But my work isn't even that good. Now J.K. Rowling- THERE'S a writer.

Just stop it. You. are. a. writer. Get over yourself and admit it already. Because when you believe in yourself? That is when the magic begins...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Planting Some Seeds

by Becky Porter

My kids go back to school this week which is insane even by Arizona standards.  

I know some amazing moms who get all dewy-eyed as they send their children off to the first day of school.  In fact, I know some moms who would be a wreck if they were in my situation: ALL FIVE of my kids will be in school for the first time ever!!  My youngest (I'm not allowed to call him "my baby") will be starting kindergarten!

Now, before you pull out a hankie and cue up the tears, I have to inject a dose of reality.  Sorry.  I adore my children.  Really.  I happen to know that they are some of the most amazing kids to grace the face of this earth.  But, I am not crying.  Oh no.  Friends, I am dancing!  I am absolutely giddy!  Think of all the wonderful things I can do for the three hours of morning kindergarten!  If you can't come up with any ideas, I can help you out there.

I have always loved the first day of the school year, even when I was a kid.  There's a line from that Meg Ryan movie, "You've Got Mail", floating through my head--something about a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.  I adore office supplies.  I have a strange compulsion to buy colored binder clips, patterned file folders, and dozens of composition notebooks every summer.  I long to grab everything in those tantalizing stationery aisles and toss them into my overflowing red cart (ahem; don't judge my Target addiction).

But the main reason I love a new school year is because it signifies a fresh start, a clean slate.  It is the symbolism of a fresh pack of crayons and a blank book that speaks to me.  And so, I set goals in August or September.  I make lists and more lists (I have to do something with my cute new notepads and pens!) and make grandiose plans.  Too often, I lose my lists and my enthusiasm about the same time which is, oh, approximately two weeks after I start working on my goals.

As I was flipping through my August issue of the Ensign magazine, I read an awesome article by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf that made me ponder what I can do differently this year.  He states, 
"Just as earthly seeds require effort and patience, so do many of the blessings of heaven.  We cannot put our religion on a shelf and expect to harvest spiritual blessings. . . . God's answers to our prayers do not always come immediately--sometimes they do not appear to come at all--but God knows what is best for His children. . . .our goal and great joy is to walk in the footsteps of our Master and Savior and to live good and refined lives so that the promised and precious harvest of God's priceless blessings can be ours."
Patience.  There's something I've spent a long time not having.  But I'm working on it.  And this time as I set my goals, I'll be doing more of it on my knees seeking the guidance of my Savior so that I can become the person He needs me to be.  He created me for a purpose.  He is the Master Gardener.  It is my job to put down roots and bloom.

*What seeds are you planting?  Any goals you can share with us?* 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Conference Notes and Insights: Part 2 Lacey Gunter

Here is my last set of notes and insights to share from WIFYR14.  Hope they are helpful.

Notes and insights from J Scott Savage:

1. When your confidence is shot as a writer it can severely impede your creative process and motivation.

2. If you define your personal success on how well a book sells or how well it meets sales expectations, you will inevitably find yourself thinking you're an unsuccessful writer, no matter how well you write. Your job is to write great books, it is the publishers job to sell them.

3. In some situations your participation in helping market a book will have no effect on sales and you can use up all your profits trying. In other instances your participation in helping market a book can have a sizable effect. It is difficult to predict before hand which will occur though. So if you enjoy the marketing, go for it. If you don't, spend your time writing your next great book and don't feel guilty.

Great idea from Shawn Stout:

Write down what your current writing schedule/routine is. Next write down what you would consider to be your ideal writing schedule/routine. For most of us, it is unlikely you'll be able to change enough in your life to make your ideal a reality. But, comparing the two, you may be able to find one aspect you can change today that will bring you closer to your ideal.

Notes and insight from Michelle Witte:

1. Don't take the time to tell the reader things are typical, just let the reader assume it.

2. You don't need adverbs if you use strong verbs.

3. The level of visual detail needed in today's publishing market is far far less than what it was before the internet was around. People's attention spans are much shorter and the world is a smaller place where people are much more exposed to different environments.

4. Remove redundancy in your details. Respect your reader enough to have gotten the information the first time.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Writing - in a Nutshell


I created some badges this week that wrap up the writing life in four quotes. 

Is this TRUE, or what?!?!

 Been there.  OUCH.

Absolutely!!  Rah, rah rah!!

4.  And finally...
Love that Denzel!

For me, that's it in a nutshell.  What about you?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Critique Groups

When I began writing  in 2010 I sat at my computer blissfully unaware of gerunds, queries, things to avoid on page one, and the whole publishing process. I wrote because it was a dream I'd had for a long time, one that I finally tackled when my best friend called me and told me she was writing a book. I'm grateful for the ignorance at the start of my writing life because it let me explore freely and focus on getting ideas and stories on the page.

That said, once I attended my first writing conference in 2011 (Writers and Illustrators for Young Readers WIFYR) I realized I had a ton to learn. I needed to hone my craft. I needed to learn grammar. And, I needed feedback from people who didn't already know (and love) me. What I needed was a critique group.

Five members of my WIFYR class created one. And my writing improved significantly. Over time though, we've gotten to be such good friends that we've become cheerleaders and beta readers, but not so much critique partners. So when I moved to North Carolina where SCBWI is strong, I joined Capital Eyes, a critique group that meets once a month just fifteen minutes from my house. Introverted me was nervous to meet new people, even kindred writer people like myself, but I didn't have anything to worry about.

No only have I made really good local writing friends, but I've also been able to pool from all of their knowledge and grow my craft even more. So if you're nervous about getting your writing out there, about others reading it and possibly NOT liking it, I would encourage you to still take that step and get outside feedback. Join a local or online group. Reach out and let yourself be vulnerable and watch your writing self develop. You just might make some great friends in the process. And you just might write the next big thing. Besides, you need someone to thank in your acknowledgments page.

Write On.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The almost right word and the right word...

By: Kristi Hartman

Ever since I was a child I have loved listening to music.  I would sit on my bedroom floor, legs crossed, pushing the rewind button on my cassette-tape player over and over so I could listen to my favorite song repeatedly.  

My taste in music has changed over the years, and certainly the technology has as well.  But one thing has not changed, and that is my love for music.  One of my all-time favorite things to do in life is drive in the car and listen to music, while I attempt to sing along.  I remember after getting my first car in high school, carefully selecting the CD's from my collection and sliding them into the sleeve of a case logic cd holder, and driving around town listening to my favorite jams. No one was there to tell me my taste in music wasn't cool, or that my singing was bad. It was just me, my car, and my tunes.  

Fast forward an undisclosed number of years and things haven't changed much as far as my love for music. The car rides, however, have changed drastically.  I often listen to a variety of music, but now I have 2 and a half people in the backseat who always have a constant opinion about what's on the radio.  Being the music lover that I am, I try to have them listen to a variety of songs and artists, just so I'm not stuck listening to Kidz Bop or Disney on Pandora constantly.  
Most of the time, it works... 

Part of the reason I love listening to music so much is I love to listen to the lyrics.  Songs tell stories in such a short period of time, that I love to listen for the message or story they are trying to tell.

One artist in particular whom I have listened to ever since my case logic days is Sarah McLachlan.  
I was lucky enough to see her in concert about 3 weeks ago at Red Rocks amphitheater in CO, and let me tell you, she gave me chills the whole time.  Her talent for singing amazes me, as well as her ability to write and craft words together beautifully.  Song writers like her are such an inspiration to me as an aspiring writer, because they have so much to say in so little time, that when combining the right music and words something awesome happens.

It is a constant reminder to me that we don't need thousands upon thousands of words to have a great story to tell.  Sometimes it's just a matter of using the right words.

Mark Twain once said:

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter- 'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.

Have you ever had that experience, where you suddenly think of the perfect word and BAM! It's amazing.  The sentence shines off the page in all its glory like the sun among the stars.  

Unfortunately for me, that experience doesn't happen all the time.  But, the few times it does, I soak it up and think to myself, 'Yep.  I can do this.'

We don't need to worry about hitting so many thousands of word counts all the time (although that really helps get our creative juices going), sometimes we just need to find those right words to help us tell with our story.

Have you ever had those sun-shiny moments of writing?  How do you keep it going?

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Post About Not Much- But it comes with a WRITING SPRINT!

I had a whole, long, nicely written post for today, and I was getting ready to put it up and I just...didn’t. I don’t know why, it just didn’t feel like the right post. Go figure.

So now I am left with...not much.

Remember those goals I set about a month ago? Well, I am still slogggging through that book, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. It’s not that it’s boring, it just has a lot of big words and heavy concepts and requires me to digest each sentence with intense focus and that’s hard to do when you have 4 kids home for the summer.

The good news is that the book is giving me great insight into my WIP. I’ve realized that the first draft was just the skeleton of my story with some added fluff. Now it’s time to remove the fluff and add a heart, lungs, and circulatory system. It needs guts. And they’re coming, one juicy organ at a time.

Yeah, that was gross. Sorry. Did I mention that I had a whole other nicely written post for today?

Ahem. Anyway, the bad news is that I can’t watch a movie or read a book now without my mind dissecting the story elements. Ooh, there’s our hero. I think that guy is a Threshold Guardian. Aha! He just refused the Call to Adventure. Entering the Special World...okay, we’re approaching the Inner Cave. Is that person a Shadow? Ooh, I think I just caught some symbolism there...that guy is definitely a Mentor.

You get the idea. Like I said, great for fleshing out my own story, not so much for sitting and enjoying a Friday night movie.

So, I am eager to finish off this book because:

1. I won’t let myself read any other books (even FUN ones!) until I am done. Must. stay. focused.

2. I won’t let myself dive back into my manuscript again until I’m finished. Because chances are good that if I did that a) I would get distracted and not finish reading the book or b) I would still be reading the book and get 5 more epiphanies about my WIP and have to go back and rewrite AGAIN. Because I have an epiphany about once every 3 pages I read in this thing.

Okay, with that said,


"But wait," you say, "I thought you just said you weren’t working on your MS until you finished that crazy book?"

Indeed reader, you are correct. But I do have a good idea about the general direction I want to take the story now and I need to spend some time tweaking my outline. I go running every morning and my brain goes even faster than my feet (like 5 miles an hour instead of 4) coming up with new ideas for my story and I need to get this stuff out of my head!

So meet me here, tonight, at 9pm EST (that’s 7pm MST, 8pm CST). I know it’s a bit early for some of you, but do your FHE early and then unload the kids on the hubby or put them in front of a movie and come join me! We’ll write as much and as fast as we can and post our progress (either in word count or, in my case, just a general summary of what we’ve accomplished writing-wise) every 15 minutes. It’ll be fun! We’ll cheer each other on! We’ll celebrate our awesomeness and pat ourselves on the back for being amazing!


See you tonight.


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