YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp: Week Two Check-In

Is it St. Patrick's Day already? I can't believe we're more than halfway through March—especially given the latest cold snap that's hit NYC. Sigh. Well, chill in the air notwithstanding, the YA Buccaneers' Spring Writing Bootcamp is going forward full-force! Here's my Week Two check-in. YAB-Spring-Writing-Challenge-2014

Last week, I wanted to start reworking the first 50 pages of an old YA manuscript into middle-grade. And on Friday afternoon, I got to the end of the set of chapters I want to send to my agent! Of course, I'll read over everything a few (dozen) more times before I send it, but the bulk of that revision work is done. Yay!

So what does that mean for this week? I've just spent about an hour and a half starting my chapter-by-chapter outline of the rest of the book, which I'll send to my agent along with my sample pages. I'm starting by going through the manuscript and typing up an outline based on what was there in 2012, the last time I worked on this project. However, I can already tell that I have some revising and rethinking to do. By cutting out a secondary plotline (that honestly does need to go), I'm losing a lot of interaction with an important character, so I need to find a way to keep that character in the story in other ways. I'm also noticing some pacing issues in the middle of the book, which means I'll need to do some condensing and tightening. On the plus side, once I have this outline figured out, revising the whole book (if my agent wants to move forward with that) should be a breeze!

(Ha, ha. Like any of this is ever a breeze…) :)

I also heard back from my three beta-readers on the first 30 pages of EVERYTHING'S BEAUTIFUL. I got some mixed feedback, so I need to sit with it and think about how I want to move forward. This book has been frustrating me a little bit because I love the idea and want so desperately to get it right…and I can't quite seem to crack it. But maybe this will be the week that something clicks and it starts to fall into place. it can't hurt to hope, right?

Oh, and one other piece of Spring Writing Bootcamp business. It's time to introduce my fellow bootcampers! We've named ourselves Team Mazama, aka the YA Bucklers:

team mazama finalWe're a really diverse group of writers. Our WIPs and finished projects span MG, YA, and adult in a wide array of genres—contemporary, fantasy, thriller, romance, historical, and beyond. But we're all committed to cheering each other on as we try to accomplish our spring writing goals! Here's my team:

Kate Scott

Emma L. Adams

Tonette de la Luna


Riley Darkes

Angel Leigh

That's all for now!