Planning, Planning, Planning

Happy 2019! *throws pixie dust* I’m so happy to be back in the steady blogging game! This year, I promise to bring you, what I hope will be, some very entertaining posts.

If you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll know that last month brought the completion of my second draft. (Now, this is my full second draft–there were many half drafts before that!)

If you are stopping by for the first time…here’s a warm chocolate-chip cookie gif…

Welcome! I’ve been working on my current novel for two years now. It is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, and I am very happy to report that I am entering the planning stages of the query process.

The Query Process…where to begin? This isn’t my first rodeo, but it is the first time I am tackling this process in a long time. My last attempt at querying agents was in 2014. Five years later, with a YA Fantasy in hand, I am ready to BEGIN!

So, what does that mean exactly? There are tons of books, websites, hashtags, blog posts, and more to help a writer navigate the complicated world of publishing. However, I always begin with an organizational method. It’s how I operate as a human.

I took a poll on Twitter the other day regarding Query Tracker. I used this method of organization the last time I queried, but I’m still on the fence as to whether or not I want to use it. I think creating a custom spreadsheet might be a better fit for me this time around.

With that, I have purchased the latest addition of Writer’s Market: Guide to Literary Agents. I will spend the next few weeks formulating a list of agents in that book and then hunting them down on social media to ensure that they are open to submissions. As I move forward, no doubt adding more columns to my spreadsheet, I will surely refine my process. Right now, I’m just excited about getting started.

You have to begin somewhere, right? I’m happy to start the New Year off this way.

I wish you tons of luck on your 2019 writing goals! Thanks for joining me here today. Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. You can look for a new post next Thursday.

Until next time,

Christine

how to track character emotions

Many years ago, I finished a young adult, paranormal-romance novel. It was my first completed manuscript and I was pretty new to that level of the writing world. When it came time to start editing, I felt a little lost. Unsure of how to tackle such a task, I turned to some writing books. In doing so, I found many instances where the importance of character development was brought up. I thought, “Duh. Of course there is character development in my story.” How could there not be?

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Just to be safe, I decided I would map out some details about my character chapter by chapter. Boy, was I surprised. Suddenly, it dawned on me. While my character made changes and evolved, there were certain details that weren’t quite consistent. Now, before I continue I will admit that the novel I speak of wasn’t very good and I did ultimately end up shelving it after many rejections. My personal life got in the way of the book and now it’s in a drawer somewhere. Since then, I’ve worked on many other projects and I’ve taken my experience with tracking character development with me.

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I’m currently working on a young adult fantasy novel and I absolutely adore my main character. Last week, I took a moment to consider my progress with her. As I contemplated a blog topic to cover for this week, I realized that my character development exercise is one that comes at a perfect time. What I’d like to share with you today is my emotion tracker for the characters in your W.I.P.!

Character emotions are an important part of character development. As you read a novel, you want a character who is progressing in one way or another. You definitely don’t want one who is happy one second and miserable the next for no good reason. Emotions can be unstable, but need to be monitored. For some writers, this may come naturally. Let’s just put it this way…it doesn’t hurt to check. I would rather double and triple check my manuscript before I find out that’s the reason an agent rejected me.

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Here is my simple method for tracking character’s emotions chapter by chapter:

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For each chapter, write one emotion that your character is feeling at the beginning, middle, and end. See what that progression looks like. Is your character consistently flat? Is your character too happy in dire situations?

This is a great exercise to build into your outlines too. I am currently finding it to be very helpful as I navigate my main character through a very tricky situation. I have found that I often make her overly anxious. She’s constantly in a state of panic or heartache. While it is fitting, now that I’ve tracked his pattern, I can expand her scope of emotions and play around with her inner thoughts in a different way.

Thanks for joining me here today. Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay.

Remember, you can join me here every Thursday for new posts!

Until next time,

Christine