Writing Updates

I rarely ever post about writing here because this blog has always been primarily about books and reading. But this past week has been topsy-turvy in a really awesome way and I’m dying to talk all about it!

It’s been almost a year since I finished the first draft of my YA contemporary novel and I’ve been revising it for the longest time after having trusted bloggers and writer friends, like Paula and Shelly, critique it. A few months ago, I decided to take a leap and work with a freelance editor to help me bring out the essence of my story.

Working with Tehlor Kinney was awesome because she understood my book and what I wanted to express through it. As a fledgling writer, I felt like I found a mentor in her as she gave me feedback and recommendations. Her editorial notes were my guiding light and taught me so much on how to improve my craft. After another intense round of revision, which led to my recent hiatus, I slowly began to feel like my story was ready. I listened to it over and over (writer friends take note: text-to-speech is an amazing tool when you’re editing!) then finalized and formatted my manuscript.

Level Up: Querying

I first began working on my query when I joined the First Five Pages workshop, where I had the chance for my first five pages and query letter to be critiqued by fellow writers, established authors and a renowned agent. Again, Tehlor also helped me with my query and a few more revisions after that, I was confident. My query was solid and my manuscript was the best I could make it to be.

Last Monday, I sent my first round of query letters to seven of my top choice agents. Never in a million years did I imagine getting not one but TWO partials within the hour. So yeah, I went a little bonkers on Twitter then. It’s not even an offer yet, but I was beyond happy.

The next day I got my first form rejection. Funnily enough, I didn’t feel let down. In fact, it was that moment that made me feel like I was truly a writer, receiving that email. It made me feel connected to the thousands of writers out there, not to mention J.K. Rowling, and everyone who’s received their fair share of rejection letters.

So far, I’m up to three partials and I’m crossing my fingers they’ll become full requests soon.

As of Now: Working On My Next WIPs

I’ve got two other writing projects I’m trying to work on at the moment. I say trying because I keep getting distracted from them and can’t decide which to concentrate on first.

The first one is another YA contemporary set in Manila and New York, with Filipino main characters. I’m super excited about this one, even though it’s darker and more emotional than my previous project. The next one is a story that just came to me this week and it’s a YA/Adult crossover novel of a second chance romance that’s a direct result of my Gilmore Girls TV marathon. Maybe I’ll talk about them in more detail once I’m in the thick of writing these stories.

Soon To Come: #DVpit

I’m joining my first twitter pitching event on Tuesday! #DVpit is all about showcasing pitches about and especially by marginalized voices. (More info here) I’ve already worked on my pitches so I’m all psyched up for the coming week.

I have to admit– it feels great to talk about this part of my life on the blog. You’ll definitely be seeing more writing posts in the coming weeks. ;)

Writer friends, how are your WIPs going? Any tips on querying and pitching you’d like to share? Are you joining #DVpit too?

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6 thoughts on “#AmQuerying and More Writing Updates

  1. Well, I don’t write or anything, but I can tell this was an amazing accomplishment for you! You’re such a cool person, and even from your blog posts I can tell that your writing is spectacular! Have a great time working on your WIPs and tweeting! :)
    (btw, YOUR BLOG IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!)

    Posted on April 17, 2016 at 5:22 pm
  2. OMGGGG 2 PARTIAL REQUESTS WITHIN THE HOUR?!?! *SHRIEKS HAPPILY FOR YOU* I so hope they become full requests and then offers for representation. Fingers crossed!!! That is so so amazing Hazel and must be so encouraging!! :D

    Posted on April 17, 2016 at 7:04 pm
  3. Yay! This is awesome! I’m glad you’re sharing your journey here in the blog, and hope you continue to do so!

    Posted on April 18, 2016 at 7:05 am
  4. This is amazing news, Hazel! Congratulations! I’m so thrilled for you, and I’m crossing my fingers and toes for your partials to become full requests <3

    Posted on April 20, 2016 at 12:37 pm
  5. That is so wonderful, Hazel! It must be super exciting! Here’s hoping these end up in full requests! I’m always happy to read about other’s writing and WIPs, and exciting news like this should definitely be shared on twitter and on your blog! Best of luck! <3

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    Posted on April 23, 2016 at 2:58 pm