Tag Archives: young adult novels

Preptober


It’s the first of October. For some, it’s simply that, another day in yet another month. But, for some, it’s the first day of Preptober – better known as the first day to begin preparing yourself for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – the month of November) to begin next month.

This will be my first year to participate in NaNoWriMo. College, mom duties, and life kept me extremely busy that I did not have the time to write as much on a daily basis, which is part of the challenge for NaNoWriMo. Now that I’ve graduated college, I have some time that I could use to actually write.

Today, I begin preparations on book two in my young adult fantasy fiction series. I know this time, it won’t take me 5 1/2 years to finish the first draft, another year before redoing the tense, then many more months revising, writing, and editing.

It’s a wonder I hadn’t driven my editor nuts these past few years. I mean, I had changed the manuscript from present tense, to past tense. Crazy, right? It seems to work though and in doing so, I had added almost twelve thousand more words.

Now my manuscript is finally finished and will be published very, very soon … can’t tell you exactly when … yet … but very soon.

Now that it is out of the way, I can begin book two and am using NaNoWriMo as a way to challenge myself into getting the first draft done a lot sooner than it had taken me on the first book.

For those of you are don’t know what NaNoWriMo is exactly, it’s where writers challenge themselves to write a novel within a month. The minimum word count is 50,000. However, some people exceed that amount and some people aren’t able to finish. The plan is to write at least 1,667 words a day in order to come up with 50,000 words in a month. I plan on writing as many words, but I am not going to stop there. Some are lucky enough to be picked up by a publishing company. Some find a literary agent. Some going on to self-publish.

Wishing the best of luck to all doing the NanoWriMo challenge this year!

Links where you may find me:

-Add me as your writing buddy on NaNo: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/jennifer-n-adams

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennifernadamsauthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferNAdams/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JenniferNAdams

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Redrafting a Query Letter


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I’m often asked, “You’re so busy, when do you find time to write?”

Of course I reply with, “I find the time.”

I do have a full schedule, or a full plate, whichever way it’s put, I am quite the busy person. Single mom, work, college, plus a huge list of other things to add that I wish not to discuss publicly. I’ve often stated when I fit in my writing. It’s usually scribbling ideas down onto paper whenever I have a free minute, such as standing in the grocery store check out lines. Then late at night, or right before class, I’ll type them up. Usually, it helps to have a printed manuscript for me to scribble on, but I always have a notebook where I keep all my notes.

Currently, I’ve been adding the last pieces to my manuscript. A sentence or two here, cut and paste that over there… As I type this, I’m 200 words shy of making 60,000 words. Wow! Well, isn’t that enough? Apparently not! It is a young adult novel, so there is a minimum and a maximum amount of words required for a publisher to actually look into publishing an author’s book…so I’ve been told…by a couple of actual publisher’s.

I didn’t come up with that entire word count over night…I wish…It took me five, long years to come up with that amount. So, you can see, I may seem to have accomplished a lot, it just took me a long time to get here. I don’t spend all of my time on the computer, writing…though some of my relatives may think otherwise.

Honestly, after hearing other authors tell me how long it’s taken them to come up with their first manuscript for a full novel, I don’t feel so bad on how long it took for me to get this far.

I’m now at the point to where I should prepare a query letter. I have written and rewritten a query letter for this manuscript, though it just hasn’t caught an agent’s attention. It’s taken me five years to write a novel with 60K words, why should it take me so long or be so hard to write up a short professional letter? Well, it is a hard market for us authors. So hard in fact, that a query letter has to have the essentials, yet catch an agents eye for them to pick you and your manuscript. It has to be perfect.

I’ve had a few ‘maybes’, but they weren’t a definite ‘yes’. So, it was back to the drawing board, so to speak. I couldn’t understand what my query letter lacked. It had all the important details; genre, word count, title, synopsis, a little bit about me…yet, no yes’s. I had a hard time coming up with my query letter. I honestly didn’t know how to write one. I had to research and research this on the internet, through the writer’s digest magazine, even thumbed through several books on ‘how to get published’.

Until one day, I had stumbled upon a blog that proved most helpful in every way. Jane Friedman, a publishing consultant, with many years of experience, had written a ‘Complete Guide To Query Letters…’ After scrolling through this post, I finally had the understanding of how my query letter should read. It clicked. The part about her ‘Hook Instruction’ was proved most helpful to me. After having a few people read my query letter, it seems that’s what it lacked, a hook.

Now it’s time for me to go re-type my query letter, though with motivation and determination that I will have the perfect one written and sent out to all those agents I’ve picked to query.

Be sure to check our Jane Friedman’s post about, ‘The Complete Guide To Query Letters That Get Manuscript Requests’. Also scroll through her other posts, you’ll find them all very helpful.

Happy writing!

I’m still here


Hello readers! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve been on here. I’m a junior in college and find it is quite harder than the last few semesters I’ve been through. I have at least two years left before I receive my bachelors degree in anthropology. I’m looking forward to that moment.

Meanwhile, I’m still looking for an agent or a publisher to pick up my manuscript – young adult urban fantasy novel. I had revised it once more, adding over 11,000 words, making it over 54,000 words total. I feel much better about it this time around, than when I thought I had first finished it.

I had started querying agents a few weeks ago and had received a few no’s, but a few of them were really, really good no’s, the type that keeps you motivated in pushing on, the no that makes you realize that agents really do read your query letters, the type of no that has you believe that you’re so close to getting someone to represent your work.

For all those writers out there, looking for someone to represent your work, don’t give up, no matter how many emails you send out. There’s someone out there waiting for you, you just have to keep searching for them.

Four more weeks left in this college semester and I’ve started working on my next writing project.

Searching for a Literary Agent


For the past month or so, I have been working diligently on editing my young adult manuscript. I found a wonderful editor, who taught me a lot about what is important and what isn’t, pertaining to certain characters, as well as paying attention to detail. (I’m still horrible with comma usage).

I had cut a huge section out of one area which wasn’t really important to the story; sometimes, too much detail is just that, too much detail and it has to be cut. I then added more here and there to help strengthen certain areas. I also changed a character’s name after seeing it closely resembled another character’s name.

After deciding my manuscript was finally polished, I began to send out query letters to literary agents in hopes of finding someone to represent me and my work. This can either be hard, or easy. I have a book called, ‘A Guide to Literary Agents’. Over half of the book is nothing but agencies and agents. I started out with a few, checked out their websites, then checked out each agent’s bio, as well as their submission rules. It’s crucial to follow their submission guidelines.

Though I’ve received two rejections so far, I’m not letting that bring me down. It just tells me that there’s someone else out there, I just have to find them. Plus, it also tells me that someone actually read my query letter; some agencies receive over 100 query letters a day, so they don’t have time to read every one of them.

If you are in the same boat as I am, searching for a literary agent, I wish you the best of luck, and remember to stay positive.

Here is a synopsis of my manuscript, it is a urban fantasy for young adults:

Eighteen year old Noelle Bailey didn’t believe in supernatural beings like werewolves, vampires, or Bigfoot. You couldn’t tell her sixteen year old sister, Anya, that, though. She believed everything she read or saw on TV. So, when her uncle told Noelle she was part shifter, she didn’t think anything of it. She never showed signs of being supernatural, so she thought he was just telling her a story. Then one day she had a premonition.

She rode with her uncle James, the town’s sheriff, to work. Before they could arrive, though, he received a message about a homicide that had just occurred. With no time to drop Noelle off, he took her with him. Though she stayed in the car, it wasn’t long before she knew the details of the homicide. The what, where, when, and how were entirely felt by Noelle from her seat as a premonition of the murder.

As James tried to put pieces of the investigation together, a part of his past comes back and he is painfully aware that he can no longer hide his supernatural abilities, even from himself. To make matters worse, another murder happened under James’ watch that both his nieces were a witness of. This murder caused Anya to be kidnapped by a rogue werewolf. One thing lead to another, as a doorway to Anya and Noelle’s future opened, pulling them inside.

Now that I am done with this manuscript and am in the query process, it’s time to begin working on manuscript number two, which is book two. Book two picks up where book one ends. So, yes, the manuscript I just finished it the first book of a series. I already have twelve chapters sketched out and three of those chapters are already typed up. Spring Break begins this Saturday for me, but I have plans to keep myself busy, busy in hopes of getting manuscript number two finished soon. It took me four years to have the first one complete and in first rough draft form, so I don’t want want it to take even half that time to complete this next one.

I did it, it’s done!


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I have finally added the finishing touches to the rough draft version of my Young Adult manuscript, polishing it to the best of my abilities. I have finally made it to, a hair over, 41K words. I feel excited and yet, very accomplished. I set a goal for myself and have reached it.

I printed out my manuscript and handed it over to the one who is editing it for me. I told her to be very critical, as it is expected from real editors, agents, and publishers these days. I have two weeks left of school and will be spending it wrapped up in completing last minute essays and studying for finals.

As soon as I’m done with this semester i’m going to be working on my query letter and searching for agents. Quite a few people have asked me, “What about the using the publisher you already have?” I used them for my children’s book, due out next month. They are a Christian based company and probably won’t accept my manuscript as it is Fantasy-Fiction. I will ask them though.

It took me three years to write this novel, but I had many road bumps that prevented me from completing it sooner. I cannot wait to read my edits and get to work on them already. Since it is book one I’m already feeling itchy to begin working on book two.

I have at least fifteen chapters of written out in notes on how the book will be written and at least seven of those chapters have already been written. Yes, I’ve started this one long ago as well, when book one was a rough draft of a rough draft. I did not know how I wanted the story to end in book one. I then changed it many times, until I finally found the ending that worked best.

I’ll keep everyone posted on what I’m working on and my progress. Cross your fingers that I do find the right agent for me.

Wishing everyone a blessed day!

Book Review on The Darkest Minds


Title of the book: The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Genre: Fiction

I tend to write reviews on books that I love and can’t put down. To me, it’s a way of spreading the word and letting others that are in search of another good book, to look for this one the next time they’re in the book store or library.

I found this book at the library about a week ago. I loved it to the point that I found it hard to put down. It’s one of those ‘stay up late reading, because it’s that good’ type of book. It’s set in the modern day, in America. A certain disease has hit all of the children to the point that they either die or they inherit psi powers. The stronger their powers, the more danger they’re in with the adults, mostly the government. They receive a number and are categorized by color depending on their strength and level of power; Green being very low, Blue, Yellow, Orange, and finally the worse being Red.

They are gathered up and taken to these camps to be monitored. There are a few camps spread out across the US. Some of the kids have escaped these camps in search of a person called the ‘Slip Kid’. The main character, Ruby, nicknamed Green by a small group of her friends, is one of the children that has managed to escape her camp and is in search of the Slip Kid.

Along the way her and three of her friends escape bounty hunters, called Skip Tracers, and also escape the PSF’s, which are the newly formed Army of Psi Enforcers. The PSF’s are in charge of the encampments. They also roam the streets in search of escapees to bring back to the camps. They also escape and Anti Psi Group, called The Children’s League. The Children’s League is in search of children that have very powerful psi powers; Ruby just so happens to be one of these children, she just doesn’t know it…yet.  

This book is packed full of adventure, action, and a little bit of teen romance. It also leaves you wanting more. I would definitely read this one again, but first I’m going to pick up the next one in the series, Never Fade.  

You can check out her website for more of her work: http://www.alexandrabracken.com or her twitter page: @alexbracken

I’m back at it again…


Now the rush of Christmas is over, oh yeah and the power is back on, I’m back to work on my manuscript…my young adult novel that I’ve been working on (see blog post https://jennnadams.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/the-next-big-thing/ ).

I was curious about my word count…again…and I’m a little short of 5K words from being 40K total. Well, almost 5K, I just rounded up…not sure if that’s a good idea in the writer’s world. However, I already knew it wasn’t finished before I did the word count. I’ve already completed a first draft and found out that I have to add some details here and there, cut a part off the ending, and lengthen the last chapter. I got in a rush and put everything in the last chapter; I just left out a lot of details…bad habit of mine that I’m trying hard to break. I’m getting close to breaking it though.

The part about being a good story teller is, to show people what you see, instead of telling your story like it is. Imagine a blind person going to an action movie without any way of knowing what’s going on; all they can hear is what’s being said and the sound effects from the big screen. If it were me, I would be asking every two seconds what the heck is happening, what was that, what’s going on?! Now I just have to take this into effect myself.

Tomorrow I’ll post where my information for my novel came from.