Friday, August 6, 2010

"Food" for Thought, and New Goals!

Happy Friday Everyone!

I hope I find some time to write this weekend, but there is a huge food festival taking place downtown and I plan to be there! Sigh. I love anything with food and festivals--put them together and I'm in heaven.

So I mentioned goal setting earlier this week, and I think I am finally ready to commit (scary, I know). I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew, especially considering that we're in the last month of summer and every weekend from here on out is pretty much solidly booked with things to do/catch up on.

I want to finish this novel by the end of August/early September, and start querying by the November timeframe--but before the holidays because I read that it's a bad time to reach out to agents.

Do you think it's too much in too little time? It will be sort of like a pseudo NaNoWriMo, (in August) especially seeing as how I need to get from 13k to 80k *shifty eyes*.

I just want to finish--even if it takes me longer to do revisions later and I end up needing more time to polish and don't end up querying this year, I think it will be okay, because at least I'll have something to work with, right? Right!

How about you guys? Do any of you have specific deadlines? Are you reaching the querying stage? And of course, do any of your weekend plans involve food? ;) If not, what you up to?

24 comments:

Tabitha Bird said...

I say have your goals, but be flexible. I am wonderignn if you have left enough time to set the work aside and come back to it with fresh eyes? And I recommend getting someone (another writer or editor) to look over your work before querying. You are probably planning on doing that anyway. :) All the very best!

Nicole MacDonald said...

Good luck :) I'm working on a similar goal. am up to the seventh revision... with I suspect another going over due after this one. Try at least (before you query it) to have the first 5 chapters as perfect as possible. That way if you get requests for partials you have something to offer. You don't want to make a fool of yourself as i did *grin* BIG learning curve ;p

Piedmont Writer said...

I'm on the same time frame with September as the goal. Out to query by Sept. I mean. I've got 30k left to write and I already have the revisions done on the first act and it's out to beta readers so I think I'm ahead of the game there.

I wish us both luck as we will need it to stick to our lofty aspirations.

Jan Cline said...

I had a self imposed deadline of Sept with my current WIP, but I dont see how I can manage it. I have been sidetracked a few times, and after all, it's summer. I will get busy now though and set a new reasonable goal for November. There's just so much reasearch to be done for this one.

Suzi McGowen said...

As Tabitha Bird said, I'm not sure you've left yourself enough time for revision, editing, and polishing in between "finish by end of August" and "start querying in November".

It's better to query with a polished product later, then to lose an agent now with an unpolished piece.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I hope my weekend involves pizza.
My plan is to complete the first rough draft sequel by the time the first book comes out in October.

Theresa Milstein said...

Enjoy the food festival.

My advice is don't rush it. Some people revise in a couple of weeks, submit, and get offers soon after. But they are exceptions. Most of us query too early and get a load of rejections. Then we look back at our work or show it to another writer who critiques, and realize how much more we have to do.

If you query before it's ready, you can't resubmit to the same agents once you've changed it.

Good luck. Do you have someone else to read it?

Theresa Milstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Red Angel said...

I must say, that food festival sounds mighty nice. ;)

That deadline is definitely doable, but it'll take a lot of dedication and effort. I'm sure you can pull it off though, especially at the rate you're going. :D Best of luck!

~TRA

http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

Amanda Sablan said...

Have fun at the food festival! Sounds like a ton of fun. All I'll be doing this weekend is working and lounging around the house. It's just too hot to go outside...

Krispy said...

Yay food festival! I think you can do it, but like you said, it'll be a big push. Most of my self-imposed deadlines are set for October, but I think I'll have to prioritize a different one over the WIP one. Ultimate goal is to have a draft done by the end of the year.

GOOD LUCK!

Melissa Gill said...

I would agree with those who have said to take your time. I made the mistake on my first novel of finishing, doing what I thought was revision and then querying within two months of finishing. Not nearly enough time for revision. Once you put something out there, you can't take it back. if it labels you as an newby, it will be hard to undo that stigma.

I'd stick to a short time frame for finishing the novel, and then get some books on revision, like Self Editing for Writiers (this isn't the exact title but it's something like that. Once you've gone through that with a fine tooth comb, you'll probably have a pretty good idea about what the real work of revision involves. Then you can decide how much more time you need.

Medeia Sharif said...

I always make personal deadlines, but I never meet them. I won't stop making them because I find them motivating.

In the past I made the mistake of sending off a novel that I thought was finished, when in fact it was still rough. So I don't beat myself up if I miss a deadline. I'd rather hold onto something longer to polish it up.

Sandra Cox said...

Goals are good. Just don't stress yourself out if you need to extend your time line.

Stephen Tremp said...

Hope you get a lot accomplished. I'm working on a couple WIPs and moving right along. They're both about half finished and I know what I need to do. So my fingers are flying across the keyboard this weekend.

Stephen Tremp

Melissa said...

I have to write 16 chapters in two weeks because life keeps getting in my way. I'm disappointed in myself, to be honest, that I haven't gotten more writing in. I don't know how I'll finish, especially since I am busy for the next two weeks. Sigh.

I wish you luck on your 13K

Jan Markley said...

Go for it. It's good to have ambitious goals. Even if you don't meet your goal you'll probably get more done than if you hadn't had a goal!

Lynda Young said...

I love food festivals!!
I should have finished my first draft by next week... but then I'll need time to edit. TBH I don't know how long it will take me to edit. I want it right. Then I need time for my critique readers to go through it.. and then re-edit. lol.

Tamara Narayan said...

I agree with the comments that advise waiting. It's so easy to fall in love with your own writing and think it's ready when it's not. That's what good beta readers are for. Sending out a partial and then finding typos, slow-plotting, or flat characters is not fun. Time away from a manuscript between writing and editing is a good idea to catch all types of weaknesses.

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Dude. I'm right there with you. Trying to wrap my last eight scenes before the end of August so I can FINALLY write "The End" and then put 'er up for 30 days so I can revise in October and send out for November. We can do it - just be real and manage those expectations :D Good luck!

MT said...

Yes, I give myself deadlines, but not strict ones. I like to be a little flexible for my own well being.
My weekend plans involve a pic nic at the beach. Sounds nice, huh?

Mohamed Mughal said...

ALL of my weekend plans involve food, unfortunately :)

Velvet Over Steel said...

Good luck, but don't be too hard on yourself. Goals are a guide, not set in blood. :-)

I'm looking forward to ready your novel later! :-)

Hugs,
Coreen

WritingNut said...

Thank you so much for the amazing advice and support everyone!

I promise I won't rush this--I know how easy it is to get carried away! And the first novel is actually the only one we have all the time in the world to complete without crazy deadlines and pressure :)