Tag: EE18

EE18ers ~ Writing Guest Post by Alyssa Hollingsworth + Giveaway!

Posted March 28, 2018 by Nori in Giveaway, My Features / 2 Comments

How to Write a Draft in Three Weeks

My debut The Eleventh Trade came together in a fairly unusual way. See, I’d signed with my agent (Amber of Skylark Lit) with a YA fantasy. While working on that, she asked to see other things I’d thought about doing, so I happened to send her a synopsis for a middle grade book about an Afghan boy living in Boston.

She came back to me and said, “So, do you think you could write this?”

I said, “Gulp.”

That was February 2016. I asked her to give me a month. By March 2016, the manuscript was back with her–and we’d decided it would be my debut.

I cannot overemphasize how much revision happened between that first draft and the final book I’ll hold in my hands come September. But I thought I’d share some of my tricks for turning a readable draft around in about three weeks.

1. Write. A Lot. And Let Go.

The Eleventh Trade went from not existing January 2016 to being sold at auction in December 2016. If that sounds ridiculously crazy, it’s because holy cow it definitely is.

But that’s the simplified version of what happened. The truth is, I started writing when I was 12, and got really serious about it when I was 17. I queried my first manuscript when I was 18 (it was awful and went nowhere). I wrote throughout college and then got my master’s in Writing for Young People. In all of that, I probably wrote around eight manuscripts. Some of them were revised, some didn’t make it past first draft stage.

I didn’t really understand how stories work until my seventh manuscript. For whatever reason, that’s when story structure really clicked in my head. That book lead to Illuminate, the manuscript my agent signed me on. We revised the heck out of that (and it’s basically ready for submission once I fulfill my middle grade contemporary obligations).

But then The Eleventh Trade happened.

The moral is: I’ve had to let go of many stories in order to grow myself as a writer. And that’s okay–because everything I wrote honed my skill.

I wouldn’t have been able to pump out a book like The Eleventh Trade without all the terrible manuscripts in my past. So, thanks, terrible manuscripts.

2. Plot It Out

I’m an epic plotter, 100%. I can’t write well if I don’t know where I’m going. Of course, I still let creativity come into play and I’m happy to follow my sixth sense if it diverges from my outline. But if I don’t have chapter-by-chapter notes, I spend all my writing time staring at the screen trying to remember what should be happening.

Plotting it out well takes some serious time. For The Eleventh Trade, I did normal plotting methods (I love K.M. Weiland’s structure series–it’s great for this). Then I wrote out a chapter outline.

Then, without rereading what I wrote, I wrote out a new chapter outline.

Then, without rereading what I wrote, I wrote a third chapter outline.

By the third one, I was familiar enough with the story that the outline wasn’t terrible, so it became the skeleton for the book.

3. Find Your Own Rhythm

Lots of writers are all, “Write every day!” And, “Just do 700 words!” etc etc, endless advice.

I’ve discovered (and forgotten, and rediscovered) that I work best with larger wordcount goals on fewer days. For The Eleventh Trade, my sweet spot was 2000 words Monday through Friday, with weekends off. For my second book (The Invisible Boy) it’s been three days a week, 3000 words a day.

That’s what worked for me, but it definitely isn’t what works for everyone. So play around with different daily goals and see what holds your attention the best.

Also, use timers. Timers are great.

4. Set Mini-Deadlines

My goal was to get my manuscript back into Amber’s hands in about three weeks. But I had multiple smaller deadlines for myself along the way. (Reach X-number of words by a certain date, that sort of thing.)

I still do this when I receive revisions from my editors: Break the big deadline into smaller chunks, like weekly and daily goals. That helps make the task feel more doable, and if it feels more doable I won’t procrastinate so much.

5. Just Do It

All the methods and strategies in the world mean nothing if you don’t actually get going. Make sure you aren’t using preparation as procrastination. Get writing. And keep going.

You won’t know what your book needs until the end of the first draft (or sometimes the second, or the fourth)–even if you’ve outlined like a maniac. So train your gaze forward and carry on working. Hold yourself to your daily and weekly targets, and it will get easier and easier as your habit builds.

I’m rooting for you!

*~~About the Author~~*

Alyssa Hollingsworth was born in small town Pensacola, Florida, but life as a roving military kid soon mellowed her (unintelligibly strong) Southern accent. Wanderlust is in her blood, and she’s always waiting for the wind to change. Stories remain her constant.

Social Media Links: Goodreads ~ Instagram ~  Twitter ~  Website

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Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to check out another enchantingly epic #EE18ers post! 😉

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EE18ers ~ Spotlight on Lauren ..

EE18ers ~ Spotlight on Lauren Spieller!

Spotlight *~~About the Author~~* Lauren Spieller is an epic literary agent who lives in New York with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found drinking lattes, pining for every dog she sees, or visiting her native California. YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @laurenspieller.. Social Media Links: Goodreads ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Tumblr ~ Website Grand Prize Giveaway a […]

Posted March 27, 2018 by Nori in Giveaway, My Features / 1 Comment

EE18ers ~ Author Interview wit..

EE18ers ~ Author Interview with Lynn Larsh + Elise Kova + Giveaway!

Author Interview I must start by asking…how did you two meet & decide to write a book together? Elise: I’ve been thinking about co-authoring for a while. I loved the idea of someone bringing new skills, a new voice, and brand new viewpoint to my work. There are a lot of authors out there whom I’d love to co-author with, but Lynn was a special opportunity. We met a decade […]

Posted March 26, 2018 by Nori in Giveaway, My Features / 1 Comment

EE18ers ~ Character Aesthetics..

EE18ers ~ Character Aesthetics from Bree Lenehan + Giveaway!

Aesthetics + Meet the Characters!   What better way to learn about PEMBRIM: THE HIDDEN ALCOVE than to get to know my characters, their world and the questions that lead to their darkest secrets?   First of all, I would like you to meet Halia, of the ground people, although she’ll never take liking to that label. One might say she’s controlled by her curious tendencies, vulnerable heart and sarcastic ways. All […]

Posted March 25, 2018 by Nori in Giveaway, My Features / 1 Comment

EE18ers ~ Excerpt from THE ACC..

EE18ers ~ Excerpt from THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL by Maxine Kaplan  + Giveaway!

          Excerpt When I was writing THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL, it functioned for me as a kind of rant; an angry kick to the patriarchy’s groin. I was angry that seventh-grade girls were getting sent home from for daring to wear leggings; angry that anyone who reported assault to the authorities would be required to answer questions about their behavior; angry that girls could do everything […]

Posted March 24, 2018 by Nori in Giveaway, My Features / 0 Comments

EE18ers ~ Character Interview ..

EE18ers ~ Character Interview by Annie Sullivan + Giveaway!

Character Interview If you’re tired of seeing the same fairytales retold over and over again, then today’s blog is for you. Today, we’re interviewing Princess Kora from Annie Sullivan’s debut young adult fairytale retelling A Touch of Gold. Princess Kora is the daughter of King Midas, and in order to save her kingdom, she has to face cutthroat pirates, thieves, and betrayals to bring back her father’s cursed gold after […]

Posted March 23, 2018 by Nori in Giveaway, My Features / 6 Comments


EE18ers ~ ROAD TO EUGENICA Aesthetics by A. M. Rose + Giveaway!

Aesthetics Welcome to my first aesthetic post for ROAD TO EUGENICA, a story that started out as a novel written for my amazing niece. The pictures selected represent the heart of the story (as best as a few pictures can reflect the mood, tone, and theme of a three hundred page book J This story is not just about seventeen-year-old Drea and her search to uncover who or what she truly […]

Posted March 22, 2018 by Nori in Giveaway, My Features / 0 Comments

EE18ers ~ Spotlight Love Songs..

EE18ers ~ Spotlight Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington + Giveaway!

  Spotlight       *~~About the Author~~* Jessica Pennington is an epic young adult author and professional romantic. When she’s not writing kissing books, you can find her planning swoon-worthy events as a professional wedding planner and floral designer. Her debut novel, LOVE SONGS & OTHER LIES, will be published April 24, 2018 by Tor Teen/Macmillan. Jessica lives in a Michigan beach town suspiciously similar to the one in […]

Posted March 21, 2018 by Nori in Giveaway, My Features / 1 Comment

EE18ers ~ Guest Post on 20th C..

EE18ers ~ Guest Post on 20th Century Stunts by Amy Trueblood + Giveaway!

  Guest Post on 20th Century Stunts When people first started beta reading NOTHING BUT SKY I frequently received the same comments in the notes. They went along the lines of something like “No way did someone actually do this stunt” or “It’s not possible to do this trick and not get hurt.” To be honest, I would have said the same exact thing if I didn’t know the background […]

Posted March 20, 2018 by Nori in Giveaway, My Features / 0 Comments

EE18ers ~ How I Build A Book b..

EE18ers ~ How I Build A Book by C.G. Drews from PAPERFURY + Giveaway!

        Nori’s Note: TODAY IS A SUPER SPECIAL AMAZING DAY, BECAUSE I GET TO FEATURE MY #1 BLOGGER GOAL & SOON TO BE PUBLISHED AUTHOR…THE AMAZING C. G. DREWS!!! I have always looked up to her, and am beyond thrilled to have her on my blog!  How I Build A Book One of the most enchanting thing about the author life is how we all have different ways to […]

Posted March 19, 2018 by Nori in Giveaway, My Features / 1 Comment