This is the main character from a story I’ve worked on since 2011. Her name, Poppy Minor. I’ve had lots of great comments about her story, lots of great suggestions. But I’ve never gotten it quite right. Maybe this spring I will.
In mid-April Callie Metler-Smith from Writing Magic started advertising a class, Write Your Own Book Now. It was a little pricey for me, so I asked a few questions before making a decision.
My first question – which story to work on? Callie did a free conference for anyone considering her class. I was torn between two ideas. A new picture book or good old Poppy Minor. Callie suggested Poppy.
The WRITE YOUR BOOK class was scheduled to run for nine weeks, from May 1 through June 29. Callie thought I’d grow more as a writer from working on Poppy.
I can write a picture book in a week or two, but it takes a year to work out the bugs, to make every word count, to make it submission ready.
Callie was right. My chapter book is a better fit for her class. Poppy’s middle grade story is 30 chapters long. When I did the math, I could do 3 chapters a week and still finish on time.
This is Queen Antinet, another character from Poppy Minor’s story. If you’d like a coloring page of my favorite ants, click on this link: http://www.rindabeach.com/for-kids.html
I’m on week 6 for this class. I should be on chapter 18 by the end of the week. I’m working on 13/14, so I’m a little behind, but I’m in the ballpark.
I have learned a lot from this class. The plot is working, so far. When I finish the whole book, I’ll go back and do some character building in the first 5 chapters. Five ants appear repeatedly. They each need to have their own voice, their own unique character. Sounds easy, but it’s hard to do. I’m learning!
I've worked on characterization since chapter 5, and I must be getting better because Callie hasn’t left notes about it for a while.
I plan to finish 13 & 14 tomorrow. My next goal is chapter 18 by Sunday. If I fall short, I won’t worry. It’s OK. My best is all I can do. I’ll just set a new goal to keep me moving toward the final deadline, the first week of July.
PS – I’ll update this post in July to let you know if I finished on time. I’ll also let you know what my next step will be. Poppy has waited a long time to go out on submission again, and I want her in top writing shape.
If you’d like to learn more about Callie, my writing mentor, here’s the link to her website: http://www.calliemetlersmith.com/
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!