Honorable Mention

Finally got the result for the Writers of the Future second quarter (there’s always so much waiting!). My sort story “Hero” received an Honorable Mention. That makes two HMs and one Silver HM.

I’m thrilled that my writing is consistently good enough to make it into this category, but I’m also disappointed. I need to get *better*!

In searching for some kind of advice on how I can break through to the next level with my writing, I came across this article written by the judge of the contest specifically addressing what lands a story in the honorable mention category:

http://www.writersofthefuture.com/why-you-only-got-an-honorable-mention/

Unfortunately, without knowing which applies to me, it’s a lot like saying, “It was good, but it was missing that… certain something.” Without knowing what’s missing, it’s hard to figure out how to put it in there.

Ah well. I’ll keep writing and hope I find that certain… whatever it is. 😛

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The Next Step

So, my agent wrote yesterday that she’s sent my manuscript off to the first round of publishers. Yay! I have no idea how long it will take for them to get back to us, but it’s still another step forward. 🙂

Also, I just finished the first scene of my next book: Hannah. More info will be coming on that soon!

Positive Feedback

The second of the three agents who requested my full manuscript has responded, and the feedback is encouraging!

Here’s what they said:

We have read the full manuscript and have been discussing it. Your writing is very good and the story line works well, the debate has been about where to place it. At the moment urban fantasy is down. I can suggest a couple things. The first is to add a bit of romance. Not a full romantic arc in the first story, but a slow burn that could unfold over the series. That will open it up to more editors. The second is to hold it hoping the urban fantasy market returns. We would be willing to work with you on both fronts, as well as read anything else you may have written. We do enjoy your writing voice and would like to get your career started.

I haven’t yet decided what to do about their advice, but I’m super excited that they liked my writing enough to want to work with me. 🙂

Twitter

You can now find me on Twitter!

I’ll be using the account to talk about more than just writing, but that will certainly be a part of it. I’ll also post about all the other aspects and interests of my life, including art, games, kids, and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Follow me @LaurenRBraden

Third time’s the charm?

I just got a third request for my full manuscript, A Drop of Magic!

I really like the agent. She’s near my age, and has a lot of similar interests. I feel like we could get along.  *Crosses fingers*

Whatever the outcome, this round of querying is going way better than the last. Maybe I’m finally getting the hang of things.

Looking Forward

Happy New Year everyone!

2016 saw a lot of changes for my family, and there’s still more on the horizon, so I thought I’d take a moment to take stock of where my projects are and what I’m hoping to get done in 2017.

First off, my art projects have been taking up a lot of time lately. I get more orders for my chainmail jewelry around the holidays, and the launch of my husband’s game development company has had me getting back into asset creation and dabbling in animation for the first time. As for my writing, let’s break it down:

A DROP OF MAGIC is still looking for agent representation. I had two agents ask for the manuscript. One passed, stating that the plot and pacing were excellent, but the character of Alex wasn’t quite what they were looking for. The second hasn’t gotten back to me yet, so fingers crossed I’ll have news on that front soon.

I’ve finished the first round of editing for THE PRICE OF TOMORROW, my young adult science fiction novel. Next up is voice reading for the individual narrators. Then I’ll be looking for a couple early beta readers, so let me know if you’re interested. 🙂

COURTING DARKNESS, the second book in my MAGIC SMITH series, is on hold until I figure out what is happening with book one. That said, I have been poking around with it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a complete first draft rears its head in the later part of the year.

The preliminary work on HANNAH is coming along nicely, and I’m hoping to get a first draft out in 2017.

I have two other novels that are in the pre-writing stage, and are nearing the point where I will attempt a coherent outline, so look for those progress bars to be popping up later in the year.

I’ve finished three short stories, am halfway through a fourth, and have outlines for at least three others. My intention is to write one between each stage of my novel work. I haven’t yet decided how I want to disseminate those. Maybe I’ll release them as exclusive content for people who follow this site.

My two complete children’s books: WHERE I DREAM and DANCING WITH THE WORLD are on hold while I decide whether I want to do the illustrations for them myself or not. The third, THE WORDS THAT GOT AWAY, is still in progress, though the first draft is done.

Since my daughter will start kindergarten in the fall of 2017, I’m anticipating a significant change in my schedule that should free up more time for writing. Here’s looking forward to a productive year!

Moving up

So, I received my results from the 4th quarter of the Writers of the Future contest today. As you may recall, I got an Honorable Mention last quarter. This time around, I got a SILVER Honorable Mention.

Confused? I was.

I had to look that one up, but it turns out it’s a step between Honorable Mention (what I got before) and Semi-Finalist. So it’s totally a step in the right direction! Go me! 😀

I’m halfway through the first draft for next quarter’s entry. Here’s hoping I can keep improving!

Manuscript Request

One of the agents I queried after the Colorado Gold Convention responded that they liked my synopsis and wanted to read the first 100 pages. Last week she wrote to say she enjoyed those pages and wants to read the entire manuscript!!! (this totally deserves extra exclamations)

Who knows where this will lead, or even how long it will take, but I’m definitely moving in the right direction! I’m so excited 😀