R.S.W! One Week Recess…

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

Sorry…gone traveling! And after over TWELVE hours of planes, immigration, and customs: we’re in Trinidad!!!

View from Breakfast (Some kind of fruit tree...you can't see in this picture, but it's green & gorgeous!)

View from breakfast (Some kind of fruit tree…you can’t see in this picture, but it’s green & gorgeous!)

However–ALL things writing, reading, and taking caring of one’s self did occur last week and will continue this week. We shall check in next week and regale you with all of our tales. Until then, good luck to you all and happy writing (and reading…and general goal-ing!)

Okay, we can’t resist! Here are a few more (not so great) pictures of the view from our room. And to our sis, Racquel, if you’re reading this, WE WISH YOU WERE HERE!

A room by the ocean...how are we supposed to get ANYTHING done??

A room by the ocean…how are we supposed to get ANYTHING done??

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RSW! Week 3: Still Going Strong

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

We’ve been participating in Ready. Set. Write! for three weeks now and we’re STILL on the path of success. We know…we’re pretty shocked, too ;P Wondering how we’re doing? Wanna know what’s in store for us this week? Then keep reading, yo!

Pam’s Check In 

  1. How I did on the previous week’s goals:
    1. Begin reading the previous draft of my YA thriller–>I DID begin reading this…and I’m about a third of the way through.
    2. Create character sketches for my WIP–>I began using Jody Hedlund’s awesome character worksheet (which can be found here) to flesh out my main character. I’m learning so much about her!
    3. Complete strength training this week–>Hmm…Do you count Bollywood dancing? My arms certainly got a good workout from that!!

Quita’s Check In

  1. How I did on the previous week’s goals:
    1. Have a clear revision plan for YA contemp novel–>I’m getting there, peeps! I know the major plot points for the novel and I kinda know what I want to do with my MC to make her motivations more clear.
    2. Revise at least one scene of YOU WILL LOSE HIM–>I started the beginning of one scene. That counts. I’m not asking…I’m telling you it counts.
    3. Plot new WIP–> I realize that I didn’t put a measure on this goal, so having a general idea of what I want to write about is good enough for achieving this goal and I DO know what I’m writing about. I also have two scenes plotted. BOO YEAH!
    4. Work on my endurance–> I did this weird superhero quick workout and during it, the lady said one of the exercises “builds endurance.” Also, Bollywood dancing…any kind of dancing builds endurance, right?

2. Our Goals for the Week

Pam:

I’d like to finish reading my YA thriller, create a dent in reading Paper Towns (which shouldn’t be hard since I’ll be sitting on a LOT of airplanes next week), and leave the hotel room during my conference in Trinidad next week. Because, you know, I’ll be in TRINIDAD!!

Quita:

I want to read a good chunk of Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson, finish revising that scene I started this week, use that awesome character worksheet Pam found for my WIP, and do some site seeing with Pam in Trinidad.

3. One Word/Phrase that Encompasses What We Wrote/Revised:

Pam:

Impressed. I started reading my YA thriller with one eye closed, but was slightly surprised that it’s really not a bad draft at all. Distance definitely makes the heart grow fonder.

Quita:

Excited. At first, I did NOT want to do anything else to YOU WILL LOSE HIM because I was at a loss about what to do. Now that I have some constructive feedback, I’m genuinely excited to revise.

4. Biggest Challenge We Faced This Week:

Pam & Quita:

Once again, that dreaded monster TIME. Dealing with work and a family health scare ate away at our writing/reading/revising time.

5. Something We Love About our WIPs/Novels We’re Revising:

Pam:

My characters. I’m so used to writing from the male POV that it’s refreshing to know that I can write about strong females.

Quita:

Strong females, FTW! I love that my female MC is a star wrestler and that is the one thing that I’m not changing during revisions.

Okay, your go: how y’all doin’?

Ready. Set. Write! Week 2– Progress & Success??

Ready. Set. Write! Summer 2015

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

Last week was the start of Ready. Set. Write! and we set a few goals to get us on a path toward all things writing, reading, and self-care-ing (???). So, how did we do? And what are our NEW goals? Well, ch-ch-check it out!

Pam’s Check In 

  1. How I did on the previous week’s goals:
    1. Finish revisions on my YA thriller–>I have not even begun my revisions yet. HOWEVER, I did manage to finish another writing project this past week.
    2. Write at least 15k words of a new WIP–>See response to goal numero uno. So even though I did not get started on THIS particular project, I still got my creative writing fix.
    3. Read at least 5 books–>Alas, I have not had time to pick up a book this week. I know–the horror! However, I finished All the Rage by Courtney Summers two weeks ago (which was, of course, brilliant), and have my eye on Paper Towns by John Green next. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf FOREVER, so with the movie coming out, I figured now was the perfect time to crack it open.
    4. Exercise 3-4 times a week (including running)–>This week, I tackled ab work, leg work, and dancing. Alas, no running since we’ve been having a heat index of 100 in VA. Blah.
    5. Do something fun for myself at least ONCE each weekend–>If by “fun” you mean begin binge watching Orange is the New Black then BOOM, nailed it.

Quita’s Check In

  1. How I did on the previous week’s goals:
    1. Work on revisions of YA contemp novel–>I was able to begin a smidgeon of revisions (one page counts, right?). I won’t keep it, but it was something.
    2. Plot/ begin writing at least 10k of new WIP–>Yeah, nothing happened there, either. But I swear, I thought about it!
    3. Read 4-5 books–> I finished Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver about two weeks ago and that was amazing. If you haven’t read it, ya need to. Oh, and I’m beta reading…does that count?
    4. Less work, more play on the weekends–> As Pam mentioned, OINTB, BABY!!!
    5. Exercise at least 3xs a week–> Again, same as Pam’s. Exercise was on fleek this week!

2. Our Goals for the Week

Pam:

I’d love to begin reading the former draft of my YA thriller, create character sketches for my WIP, and do some strength training this week.

Quita:

I want to have a clear revision plan for YOU WILL LOSE HIM by the end of the week and also revise at least one scene. I’d also like to plot for my WIP and work on my endurance.

3. One Word/Phrase that Encompasses What We Wrote/Revised:

Pam:

Again, though I didn’t write anything related to my goals, for what I DID write I’d say: Fun. 🙂

Quita:

For the little bit that I did revise (and my thoughts so far about the novel) I’d have to go with: Fragmented.

4. Biggest Challenge We Faced This Week:

Pam:

TIME. I had a lot of work commitments this past week, so that’s why it was so difficult to read for pleasure, as well as get started on my actual writing goals.

Quita:

Of course, I have to agree: Time. There’s never enough. I was in two classes (one just ended–WOO HOO!) and I had to finish up several assignments which made it hard to focus on reading & writing.

5. Something We Love About our WIPs/Novels We’re Revising:

Pam:

Since I haven’t been able to get started on revisions or a new draft, I’d say everything (mainly because I haven’t had time to start hating anything yet) ;p

Quita:

I would say that I still can’t shake the characters and I want to tell their story…even after three or years of drafting & revisions.

What about you all: how y’all doin’?

Writers Unite: Ready. Set. Write! Summer 2015 Goal-Setting

Ready. Set. Write! Summer 2015

Ready. Set. Write! Summer 2015

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

Next week (and for the rest of the summer) we will update you all about our progress and set new goals using these headings:

  1. How we did on the previous week’s goals
  2. Our specific goal(s) for this week
  3. A favorite line from the novel we are revising or writing OR one word/phrase that encompasses what we wrote/revised
  4. The biggest challenge we faced this week (i.e. finding time to read, figuring out WHAT to do next with our WIP, etc.)
  5. Something we love about the novels we’re revising or our new WIPs                                         

Since today is the first day of RSW 2015 everyone is setting their goals. You can find our ambitious, yet doable (…Right? RIGHT?!) goals below:

Pam’s Goals for Summer 2015:

  1. Finish revisions on my YA thriller, THROUGH OUR TEETH
  2. Write at least 15k words of a new WIP
  3. Read at least 5 books
  4. Exercise 3-4 times a week (including running!)
  5. Do something FUN or FOR MYSELF at least once each weekend

Quita’s Goals for Summer 2015:

  1. Work on revisions of YA contemp novel, YOU WILL LOSE HIM
  2. Plot/ begin writing at least 10k of new WIP
  3. Read 4-5 books
  4. Less work, more play on the weekends (especially on Sunday) translation: force myself to relax
  5. Exercise at least three times a week (or as often as Pam makes me :/)

So, those are our goals. What do you think? And do you have any new goals…writerly or otherwise?

Blog Series: Two For One (Co-Writing a Project)

A while back we promised a post on how we went about co-writing our MG project. Since writing the book(s) has been a process we decided to turn one post into a series. Yes, we know…consider it our gift to you 🙂

Phase 1: Drafting

What we did: We sat down together to write out the plot, character sketches, and develop the world & setting. Next, we took turns writing chapters one-by-one. One of us would write a chapter, the other would read over it (revise/edit if necessary) get a feel for the voice, and continue the story.

How’d it  turn out?: The first draft needed plenty of work. While our voice was consistent with each other’s (in terms of the writing style), there were places where the story was disjointed and we needed to make the plot flow and hone the MG voice. We also needed to work on pacing and aspects of tone during revisions.

Will we do it the same way next time?: Most likely we will continue to use the same formatting (writing a chapter, sending to the other writer, etc.) for the next project; however, we might possibly tighten the methods that we used when reading each other’s chapters and continuing the story to save time and work during revisions.

Suggestions?: Are there any other co-authors out there who have better methods for drafting a project?