Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WIP Wednesday

A fellow author I follow, Tami Veldura, started holding herself accountable for her writing progress by posting a "WIP Wednesday." In that spirit, here is an update on my writing projects:

I have slowed down the query process on BLOODSISTERS, for various reasons. It's not in a drawer yet, but I will probably not send out any new queries at this point.

Out for submission to an anthology.

Out for submission to a contest.

Out for submission to a contest.

Out for submission to a pro market.

Searching for a submission market.

Searching for a submission market.

My biggest work to date is now at 107K words. My original goal was 120K, which -- using the Stephen King-approved method of paring down 10% of your wc in revisions -- I intended to revise to between 105 and 110K before querying it next year. That goal, unfortunately, had to be adjusted to 110K, with a revised draft goal of between 95 and 100K.

The reason for this was pacing. For most of the novel, I feel the pacing is fine. I have good lead-ups, plenty of foreshadowing, and lots of character and setting development. After I hit the 100K mark, though, I felt the action needed to be sped up -- but I ran out of smaller plot points that would lead up to my big, climactic finale. At some point while writing yesterday I realized I was stalling. I had to get to the point. My characters were where they needed to be; what needed to be revealed had been revealed; all that was left was the big showdown. And so, rather than keeping myself chained to a word count that no longer felt realistic, I cut it down to 110K, and with that, I should have a complete first draft by the end of tomorrow.

I'll take a one week break before jumping right into revisions: I've already made notes as I've gone along so I know the major changes I need to do, and I've promised my critique partners they'll have a draft by Labor Day. My goal is to have a query-worthy draft by spring 2015.

How about you? How are your writing projects coming along?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Green-Wood Cemetery Photos, Part 1

I have what I consider a healthy obsession with the cemetery nearby, Green-Wood. It's a designated National Historic Landmark, was the site of the famous "Battle of Brooklyn" during the American Revolution, is home to famous permanent residents such as Basquiat, Leonard Bernstein, and Henry Chadwick, and has been the setting for two of my short stories so far: "Atheists in the Cemetery" and "The Healer." They even have live theater, concerts, and yoga at Green-Wood. We can see the main entrance and most of the northwest hill from our apartment.

There's something very inspiring about Green-Wood: it's part urban greenspace, part enchanted forest, part necropolis. As a historical fiction writer, I love reading the epitaphs and thinking about the lives of the people who now populate Green-Wood; as a fantasy writer, I love the spooky trees, the long shadows, the hills, the really old and weather-beaten stones, the statues, the gaudy mausoleums.

In addition to writing, one of my other creative loves is photography. I studied for three years at an audition-only gifted & talented middle school, and it's never really left me. Here, for your own inspiration, are some of my favorite photos I've taken at Green-Wood. I'll post more in the coming weeks.

Use them as you wish, but please make sure to credit me, Meredith Morgenstern, and link back to this blog at

I asked my 5YO to put his hand on this
really old and faded tombstone, because I thought it
would seem extra creepy. What say you, world?

Speaking of creepy, check out this memorial
to some kid. My 5YO saw it and told me that
this little boy is lost.

Someone decapitated the Weeping Angels!

She's unofficially called "The Bride," and she's famous
for those staring, creepy eyes.