What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from WOW! Women on Writing Blog (The Muffin))

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<September 2012>>
new posts in all blogs
Viewing Post from: WOW! Women on Writing Blog (The Muffin)
Visit This Blog | More Posts from this Blog | Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Blog Banner
WOW! Women On Writing is an e-zine that promotes the communication between women writers, authors, editors, agents, publishers and readers. Our blog (AKA: The Muffin) posts about women and writing, publishing industry news, and updates for our quarter
1. Gaining Momentum In Your WIP

Gain momentum on a writing retreat
I recently finished a wonderful workshop with some middle-grade writers, and one of their comments gave me the idea for this blog post. I had been working with them on their debut middle-grade novels since spring, and most of them were ALMOST finished with their first or second draft. The workshop was set up so that they turned a chapter into me each week, which I critiqued, and they also critiqued each other. They all hoped to keep up with the one chapter a week goal and finish their novels before fall. But as we all know--life happens--and it's a lot harder to give yourself a deadline than to meet a deadline for someone else.

So back to the momentum comment--basically, the writer was talking about how she had been having trouble writing and sticking to a schedule. But recently she was glad to have revised her first chapter and to be writing again. But she still wished she could get some of the momentum going that she had during our class/workshop.

Momentum--what does that mean for a writer exactly? What I think this particular writer meant was because she was writing a new chapter every week during the spring and summer, ideas for her characters and plot were constantly at the surface. She was really making progress on her work-in-progress. She was going, going, going forward with the story. This is one of the best possible things that can happen for a writer.

The opposite is when we're stuck. We are not moving forward in our WIP. We are editing the same chapter over and over again, or we work on the novel so infrequently that we can't remember where we are in the story each time we actually get our butts in the chair; so part of our writing time is spent reviewing notes and past chapters and trying to figure out where we are in the story. This is miserable for a writer.

So, what can you do to get momentum going in your writing life?
  • Take a class--online or in person. WOW! offers several classes on writing for beginners to advanced, on general writing to genre-specific classes in young adult, crime fiction, memoir, middle-grade, picture books, and more. The classroom schedule can be found here. For writing classes in person, look at your community college or a local writing conference. 
  • Join a critique group--I have an awesome critique group, whom we've named Lit Ladies. Every single lady in this group works hard and wants to be published. Two of us have publishing contracts now, and the others have had positive feedback from industry gurus. A good critique group helps your momentum because they expect you to turn in pages from your WIP. They meet often and provide helpful feedback that makes you want to work on your manuscript.
  • Plan a writing retreat--The Lit Ladies just went on a writing retreat this summer. That's three of us pictured above at Bennett Springs State Park near Lebanon, MO. We planned the weekend ourselves, including huge chunks of scheduled writing time to work on our novels and submission materials, like query letters and a synopsis. We all felt much more organized and productive after this weekend, and I am happy to say that I have a good start on a new mystery series for middle-grade readers now! (I plan to post more details about our writing retreat in the future.) 
Find some way that works for you to get your momentum going in your WIP. If setting your own deadlines doesn't work or you find yourself constantly creating a writing schedule you don't stick to, try one of these ideas above. Your WIP and cast of characters will thank you.

Get your momentum going if you are interested in writing middle-grade novels by enrolling in one of Margo's fall middle-grade novel classes. The beginners' class starts on September 7. More information can be found here. The advanced class (for writers who have at least three chapters of the novel written and a plan for the rest) starts on October 19. To view the syllabus for the advanced class, go here. 

6 Comments on Gaining Momentum In Your WIP, last added: 9/8/2012
Display Comments Add a Comment