Monday, September 15, 2014

Progress Report: What I'm Working On

A writer's work is never done. There's always something we could be working on, right?  I have three projects in different stages of development at the moment.

My novel, Red Butterfly (out in Feb, 2015), will soon be ready for its very last round of edits. I'm waiting to get that final, final print out, which is my last chance to tweak.

While I'm in waiting-mode with that, I've been busy on a couple new books.

One is a middle grade time-travel novel, written in prose. I want to say this is the third draft, but to be honest, I've lost track. I heard back from one of my critique partners recently and have been treating the book like a jigsaw puzzle ever since, ripping it into pieces and rearranging. The whole beginning has been rewritten/reorganized, so I'm at a place now where I'm doing a straight edit on the last two-thirds, which hopefully will be able to stay pretty much intact. (Except for the ending; endings are my nemesis.)

The other is a historical verse novel set in 1920s China. I love this book, but I won't lie, the research it requires has been challenging. As many of you know, I traveled to Hong Kong last April to get a head-start on my research. My main character has joined a traveling Cantonese opera troupe, and there is not a lot of written history about this lifestyle, and most of what has been written about it is in Cantonese. I've set this one aside for a little while as I try to finish up the time-travel story. Hopefully I can come back to it in a month or so with new eyes. Meanwhile, if anyone knows of any great biographies or histories about 1920s southern China, let me know the titles in the comments! There definitely could be something I've missed.

If you're a writer, are you working on anything new or exciting? How's it going? 

Photo credit: pedrojperez from


  1. Wow! It seems you enjoy challenges. I'm not sure I'll ever tackle prose. I love researching history and cultures, though. That's usually my favorite part of the process.

  2. Congrats on your final round of edits for RB. Almost there, right? Yes, there is ALWAYS something we writers can write about. I have an extremely difficult time to shut off my brain. I think that's part of my problem while plotting and outlining. I have too many ideas. LOL My agent encouragement me to do a reading/writing exercise over the summer months to give me a better feel of where my writing niche truly lies. I've switched from writing otherworldly tales to contemporary. I'm outlining my story now, and really looking forward to getting it onto the page.

  3. You are busy!!! I love historicals but man, the research can get unwieldy at times. Worse, if you cannot find what you need easily.
    I'm in revision purgatory ... I both love and hate this because there are always new ideas demanding my attention. But life is good.

  4. Gosh, Amy...You have so much going on. You've made so much progress since we "met" in either 2008 or 09. I'm so happy for you!

    For me this has been a year of learning. I finished my mg novel, but got caught up in a project with an agent friend and critiqued I can't even count how many manuscripts for her this spring into early summer. I realized how much I loved I am launching a website offering my services on a variety of things. It's exciting. I just started asking people I've critiqued for testimonials. My heart wants to burst every time I read one. They are all saying such lovely things about my skills and my character.

  5. Wow, Amy, you are BUSY! Good luck with all 3 projects. Can't believe it's almost The Year for The Red Butterfly. So excited for you. It's been a joy to watch your progress on your blog for these few years I've been following. :-)

    I am currently in down time before I get my next round of revisions from my agent. She has me reading a book to see how the author does girl friendship and also romance between the main character and the boy. I'm excited…and sticky noting like crazy! ;-)

  6. I haven't had to do anything that requires that much research. But there's usually something I've gotta look up.

    I'm doing micro-edits, preparing for querying. I just want to start the query process, but I need to finish this first.