I’m quitting my MFA program. Though money was partially an issue, in the end it came down to me not enjoying the program and my classes not helping me as a writer. I think that I’ll be more productive on my own for now. I have the Online Writing Workshop for my critiquing fix. So the plan is for me to work on the current novel projects this year and come next year apply to a couple of other MFA programs. I’m thinking Stone Coast and Seton Hill, since they offer Popular Fiction tracks.
In the good news from all this, however, a girl in my workshop who writes pretty delightful regency romance has agreed to do chapter exchanges with me. So I’ll be emailing her chapters of Chwedl and she’ll give me chapters of her current novel project. Editing novels is tough partially because they’re so damn long that getting people to read all of it takes some doing. It’s been my experience so far with the OWW that novel chapters don’t get as many critiques as short stories, plus there’s often no one to look for continuity errors or flow since people might only read a few chapters and not the whole book. I’m thrilled that this girl and I will be exchanging chapters. We’ll both get eyes on the whole of our novels. Not to mention that I’ve read the first couple chapters of her novel and am totally hooked. Hopefully she’ll feel the same about mine once she sees the first chapters (she’s pretty brave to want to exchange without seeing the novel first, but she has seen two short stories of mine, so I guess that’s something).
I aim to have Chwedl finished by the beginning of July with an edited version ready by the end of August. At that point I plan to write up a query letter and start the fun and exciting agent hunting part of the writing life. I have a short list of agents I want to query and it’s my hope that I’ll maybe get to meet and chat with a few at Worldcon, though I intend to keep that informal. It would be nice to talk to some of the agents I’m considering, however, so I can get a feel for it this project is right for them. And of course, I have to find a real title for the book since “Welsh word no one can pronounce” probably isn’t going to fly.
Hmm… “Aine and the Hounds”? Nah. “The Hounds of Clun Cadair”? Too Holmes-ripoff. Grr. I’m not good with titles. If only I could bribe Elizabeth Bear into thinking up titles for me, hers always rock.