Marching On

Written By: Jess - Mar• 03•17

Hi people. Sorry it’s been a while, but update time. I really do mean to post more regularly enough, but, well, life. That, and my writing comes first and this blog second. Anyways, here’s what’s up. I’ll keep this short.


It’s Conference season! Am I going to any? For a variety of reasons, probably not.

With that said, writing retreats and workshops are a different story. I might try to host a retreat for some friends or at least try to orchestrate one of some sort. It’s still up in the air, but I’m hoping I can figure that out in the next week or two.

There is a workshop I applied to I’d like to attend. If I get in, I’ll post more about it then. But it’s a heck of a deal and well worth the money to be able to get feedback from some major writers, editors, and agents that will be attending. It’s a tough call because of the money, but since this would be the only writing thing I’d be paying for this conference/workshop season, it would be worth it.

So, hopefully more on that soon.

Hiring an Editor

So, another reason for not going to conferences is because I had to make a choice: go to conferences, or hire a freelance editor to help me with my writing. I had one go through the first 50 pages and I really loved her feedback. Since then, I’ve hired her to help me with my submission package as well. In April I’ll be sending her my query letter, synopsis, and sample chapters (I’m not sure how many this is. I hopefully will hear back from her on her thoughts on this. My first chapter is a beast, and longer than typical chapters, so I’m a bit confused on how to treat it when I send to agents).  So, that’s happening.


How the edits have gone:

3rd Draft

Starting Word Count: 91,466

Ending Cord Count: 89,094

Total Cut: 2,372 words

I’m extremely happy about this. It’s better than I was expecting, especially when I look back at how the 1st draft finished at 93, 094 words.

New Goal: Keep it under 90,400 words. That way I can round down when I submit to agents. From what I understand from research, you round to the closest thousand. I’m not going to be happy if I have to put 91K on my query letters, so that’s the new goal. As of right now, it’s at 89,609. I’ve had to clarify and change some as my critique group goes through it (they’ve gone through over half of it now), and when the editor I’ve hired returned her feedback. I want to be able to write 90K. I know it’s only a thousand words, but gosh dang it. I want to keep to the stupid 90K limit (I’ve read most agents are leery of taking more than this for my genre).

In the works:

My query letter and synopsis. I had one of my critique groups (I’m in two. One meets every week, the other group meets every other week) tear my query and synopsis apart. It was very frustrating, but good. I think I have a much stronger query letter now. I went through the process of rewriting it Thursday evening, and I’m hoping to rework the synopsis tonight. I’ll likely go through them another couple times before sending them to my other group and then finally to the editor in April.

What I’m reading:

I’m reading two books right now. One is “Heartless” by Marissa Meyer, and the other is “Wyvern” by Grace Draven.

heartlessI’m only two chapters into “Heartless”, so there isn’t much to say except that Meyer is proving once again why she’s one of my favorite YA authors. This woman can write anything and I’ll read it. She just writes charming and really fun tales all around. And although her next novel, “Renegades”, doesn’t exactly interest me from it’s description alone, I know I’ll be buying it anyway because it’s Meyer. I trust her.






“Wyvern” is awesome. I love Grace Draven’s novels and novellas. This one’s a novella. It’s fun and like always she has me hooked from the first page. I can’t put my finger on why, but I am absolutely in love with the way she writes. She’s fantastic at creating very different stories that I’ve never seen before. I really admire that about her. Anyway, “Wyvern” is about a fiery fiddler who’s off to charm a dragon in order to save her father. It’s a romance through and through, but it’s the kind of romance I eat up and don’t roll my eyes at (yay! No cheesey stuff). So kudos for Draven. I’m slowly working through the stories she has out.


Books I’m looking for: I want some sci-fi stuff, but not hard science fiction or military science fiction. I don’t have much interest in those. I’m open to suggestions of what to read next in this genre, so please point some out to me.

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