Year End Writing Wrapup

Six days left to the end of the year on St Stephen's Day. Let's see... What have I actually done this year, writing-wise?

January - At the start of the year I wrote a post called Where I'm At; looking at it now, it's obvious how little I'd written of the novel. I didn't even have a title! And Rosa was still all mixed up with a boy called Joseph. A little later on I was excited to have written 1,000 words in one day.

More importantly, January was when Baha came into the picture, thanks to an amazing exercise that Claire posted on the Compuserve Books and Writers Forum. The story was still meant to be Young Adult (YA), but the idea of Baha dying was there from the start. Ah, if only I'd known what was coming...

February - A Post About Posts to Come. I'm impressed to see that I was actually getting up early and writing, as well as doing some research. Looking at my writing diary though, I see it was a matter of a mere hundreds of words per day. I'd begun research, though, and kept it up steadily throughout the year.

March - I posted a snip from the novel. This scene is now gone, though the fact of Rosa finding herself at the bottom of the cliff still happened; it's simply not shown in real time any longer. Also, Rosa is definitely Rosa now, not Rose, and no, she doesn't wear spectacles...

April - Ron posted a brilliant exercise on the writer's forum, which led me to finding out more about Rosa's brother, and about Arcturus, but most of all led me to a very important scene in the novel; the one where Baha rescues another woman at the grotto in Capri and Rosa realises that she's more than a little jealous. Between January and April though, I barely managed 10,000 words, and was hoping to finish the first draft by the end of the summer. Meanwhile I was sending queries to agents for my YA, The Face of A Lion. A few partial requests, but nothing more, sadly.

April also began a new feature on my blog - Canadian Musicians and What They Read. First up was Vince Ditrich of Spirit of the West!

May - I held a writing marathon upon reaching 50 followers. If I hit 100 before the end of the year - only one week left - I'll have gained 50 more followers in eight months. Thank you to all of you!

Houseparty!Houseparty!Houseparty! Houseparty, London, 1940, hosted by Claire. Austin, Kedi, Rosa and Arcturus attended.

Meanwhile, Roni of Fiction Groupie did a critique of the first page of The Face of A Lion.

June - And We Have A Title! Instead of Rosa, 1492, I actually started calling the novel by its real name, Out of the Water. I also had an idea for a post-apocalyptic story, but of course it'll have to be on the back burner for while.

July and August - Houseparty!Houseparty!Houseparty! The houseparty came at the end of the month, and this was the month when everything changed. At the start, in the middle of my marathon, I matter of factly and rather optimistically said "at the half way point of my 51 day marathon and I've been writing nearly every day... As soon as I get all the handwritten scenes typed up I'll up my word count widget; should be at 55,000 words at least. Only 20,000 more to go until revisions start - and then perhaps some celebrations (read: contests) might be in order."

And then Houseparty, Cherry Hill, Georgia, 2008, hosted by Zan Marie, hit. Rosa was still only friends with Baha, who was still slated to die. Rosa met Lord Rochester for the first time and I posted outtakes twice. Thanks to the energy from this party, I kept up my marathon and slowly but surely wound my way towards changing the story from YA to Romance, and discovering the exact nature of the relationship between Rosa and Baha. I was at 60,000 words, and posted a number of snips in our Writers Forum Toolbox. This was when I realised that Baha might live...

September - I was writing in earnest and didn't find time to blog about it. Other writing news came from fellow forumite Marte Brengle, who published her novel Closed Circuit! I guest posted at Kait Nolan's about the houseparty to come, which I - or rather my characters - were hosting.

October - Contests galore. I won a copy of Linda Gerber's Trance, and of kc dyer's Facing Fire, both brilliant YAs. I also entered the Dear Lucky Agent contest and won a copy of Regina Brooks' Writing Great Books for Young Adults.

I attended a local meeting of the Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers and picked up - and was hugely impressed and inspired by - books by Jill Murray, PJ Bracegirdle and Alan Silberberg.

And then I won this month's Middle Grade/Young Adult category of OUT OF THE SLUSHPILE, Novel Journey's Fifteen Minutes of Fame Contest, with The Face of A Lion!

And then... Houseparty, Constantinople, 1493, hosted by me. I posted the statistics after the party; I wrote over 44,000 words in two weeks, and the novel itself was at 85,000 words. And I worried that the novel might seem dull after the party! I'd forgotten the galvanising power of romance.

November - National Novel Writing Month! 51,300 words at 24 November, setting Out of the Water at over 120,000 words. I promptly turned around and began cutting words out, editing, even as I continued to write more. Clarissa featured a critique of a chapter from Out of the Water; all the cutting I've done means that this is now Chapter 2 or 3 of the novel.

December - I'm at 95 followers! Okay, that's only obliquely a writing-related item, as it refers to the blog and not the novel. Don't forget to enter the 100 Followers Thank You Contest! Other writing news has to do with fellow authors:

Kait Nolan's novella Devil's Eye is out!

Zan Marie Steadham has both A Christmas Walk and An Easter Walk flying off the shelves!

Talli Roland held an amazingly organized and successful blog splash for her debut novel The Hating Game!

Hélène Boudreau's latest Middle Grade Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings had me laughing for days!

As for Out of the Water... I posted my schedule of what I hope to accomplish in 2011. Wish me luck and energy - I wish the same for you all, no matter what stage of the process you're at. And chocolate for everyone!


Zan Marie said…
Wow! Deniz, you have had a banner year! And thanks for the shout out on my books. I'm amazed at the creativity of all the people at the Forum. Creativity loves company, doesn't it? ; )
Deniz Bevan said…
Oh yes - I couldn't have done it without you guys! Both the houseparties and everyone's participation in NaNo really got me going.

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