Writing Review – April 2016

After graduating in January, I spent the remainder of my paternity leave (a couple weeks in January) working on a revision of my middle grade novel. Then I went back to work, and the writing slowed down quite a bit. A well-timed weekend writing retreat at the beginning of April was just the kick in the pants I needed. We set writing goals, and now it’s time to report on my progress.

Writing (like a boss.)

Writing (like a boss.)

Days Writing: 18

Okay, that’s 18 out of 30, good for 60% of the month. Not bad, but I think I can do better.

Words Written: 17,372

Hey, not bad. That’s about a third of a middle grade novel.

Words Per Session: 965

I’ll take it.  I didn’t really have any marathon sessions this month. I was pretty consistently around this number each day.

Blog Posts: 3 (counting this one)

This is much higher than my usual output.

The Secret to My Success: Coffee

Seriously, it’s the only thing that got me out of bed at 5:00 AM to write. Without coffee, I’d be nowhere. Thanks, coffee.

Project: Draft 3 of my Middle Grade Novel

It’s probably more like draft 3.5. Anyway, my first two drafts were written as an epistolary, and now I’m trying my hand at taking it out of that form. I’ve added a couple new storylines, so it’s spiraling out of control a little bit, clocking in at 39,206 words as I get into Act III. I’m going to have to do a lot of cutting in my next round of revisions. My last draft was 50,706 words, which I think is a good number for this novel. I’m going to eclipse that in a big way, so I’ll have to break out the hacksaw in the next round.

Goals for May: Finish this Draft!

I want to actually finish this draft and do another major revision in May. My next pass will be mostly cutting, I believe (and hope,) so it probably won’t take as long as drafting round has taken. Then, by June, I hope to be at the point of line editing.

I want it to be in tip-top shape by summer so that I can begin the soul-crushing process of querying agents. Stay tuned.

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Josh Hammond writes things. He has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University.

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