2011: A writing retrospective

January: Attended my first conference ever. Had a capital disastrous first page critique but walked away with a full request for FOUR STONES from a very well respected agent.

February: Continued to query FOUR STONES. Got rejections, got a few requests, you know the drill. Heard a song on the radio and couldn’t get the title out of my head. Dreamed up an entire book in my head from a title. Started writing it.

March: Blackberry buzzed. Email from the agent who requested my full at the conference. Opened it. Saw something about wanting to represent me. Blinked. Blinked again. Shot off a reply that was something like “I know you said you wanted to represent me, but I just wanted to make sure you actually meant you wanted to represent me.” Not kidding. I really did that. Talked with said agent, notified others and signed a contract.

April: Dove into revisions on FOUR STONES and put the new book on the back burner. Went out on submission. Tried to refrain from emailing my agent every.single.day.

May: Tried to focus on the new book but couldn’t deny that something felt off. Tried not to refresh my inbox eleven thousand times a day.

June: Realized I was going to have to start over on the new book. The mood was all wrong. It was light when it needed to be dark, fluffy where it needed depth. Opened a brand new Word document and started anew.

July: 30,000 words into a new draft, and something still felt off. The story wasn’t working. My main character didn’t really have a motivation, and I didn’t feel like I knew her at all.

August: Stopped writing. Stepped away from the computer. Spent weeks writing outlines, doing character studies, really diving into the world I wanted to create.

September: Started from scratch one more time. Completely changed the main character and the plot. Wrote like a mad woman. Finished the entire book in a month. Realized I loved this book. A lot. Made the decision to focus on the new one and let FOUR STONES go, at least for the time being.

October: Let the new book rest. Went to Europe.

November: Started revisions on the new book, which included completely rewriting the last third to up the stakes and adding about 20,000 new words.

December: Sent book to critique partners. Spent three long, miserable weeks being too sick to function. Made minor tweaks to book based on feedback. Got book ready to send out. Felt truly very grateful for all I’ve learned this year, for the friendships I’ve made, for the hurdles I’ve leapt over and … well … for you. For caring enough to come on this writing journey with me. Thank you.

And that’s (a relatively simplified/edited version of) that. 2011 was good to me. Very good. Whatcha got, 2012? I’m ready!

How about you? How was your 2011? What are you looking forward to in 2012?

Posted in Me, Writing Tagged , ,

9 Responses

  1. Cherie Reich says:

    It sounds like you had an exciting 2011, and I wish the best for you in 2012.

    As for myself, I didn’t get nearly accomplished what I hoped, but I feel like 2012 is the year for great things. :)

  2. Connie says:

    Wow! What a year. Can’t wait to hear what happens this year with the new book.

  3. Wow…so you rewrote Four Stones after you got representation and then decided to bag it? I’m stunned. If that isn’t perseverance then I have no idea what that word even means.

    • Meredith says:

      Oh no, not a complete rewrite of FOUR STONES. Just a few minor revisions. Maybe some day I’ll think about another big overhaul of it, but that day is not today. :)

  4. You had a pretty awesome 2011 writing-wise. Can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!

  5. You had quite an exciting year! I hope 2012 is even better and that the new book is an immediate success. πŸ˜€

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