Fall Goals and New Stories!

Sep 28, 2015 Main blog 16 comments

Happy, happy fall! It is the most wonderful time of the year where I live, in my humble opinion. Our nights are already cold enough for flannel PJs (went down to the 30s last week!), there are pumpkins on sale everywhere, and the apple picking is spectacular. I made an apple pie from scratch the other day, along with turnovers and a delicious jam spread for toast. You bet I loaded everything up with cinnamon and brown sugar – yum-O.

I’m trying to cut back on social media in order to focus on my writing goals for fall. I won’t be on Twitter as much, you’ll notice, but I can’t seem to stay away from PPP. I keep checking on it like it’s my kid at daycare! So I’ll likely still be answering comments on Wattpad and posting the odd picture or two on Instagram, but I really need to unplug a bit so I can focus on my projects.

What are these projects of which I speak?


YA Epic Fantasy:
October means a fresh new page on the calendar with which to cover with stickers! Reward stickers for hitting my writing goals, that is. I’m trying to write 3K new words every single day this week. So far, so good. The schedule I’ve made for myself consists of writing fresh words on weekdays and outlining on the weekends.

If I keep this up, the manuscript should grow by 15K every single week. That’ll help me stay on track to finish by early-to-mid November, at which point I’ll send to a few trusted CPs and then prepare to revise! Then it’s off to Tamar hopefully well before the holidays (depending on when said CPs can get it back to me). I’m thinking positive!


I am so proud and honored by PPP’s success on Wattpad so far!

Writing is one of those rare professions where you can work your ass off for YEARS and literally receive no reward. Not a single one. (Except for the joy and fulfillment of completing a novel, that is!)

So I am truly grateful that I can share this story with my intended audience. The comments I get from readers are pure gold. I know what works for them and what doesn’t, and how they relate to certain things. It’s given me so much insight into what my target audience enjoys and what they don’t enjoy.

They’ve already started hinting that they want another book in this series, which I am more than happy to provide – if time allows, that is! I’m planning a companion book that will also be posted for fun and exclusively on Wattpad. I think I’ll wait until PPP is completely posted, first, and I’d like to hit a solid 50K-75K views before that happens. We’re at about 25K right now, with six or so chapters left to publish.


MG Action/Adventure:
I don’t have a title for it yet, so it’s just going to be referred to as ADVENTURE BOOK whenever I speak of it. This will be prioritized above PPP2 once I get a solid outline going! I’ve tried writing two books at the same time in the past, but I think they are often too similar in theme and that’s tripped me up. This story is different enough from FOTL that I think I can get a solid chunk written whenever I want to take a fantasy break. I’m already in love with my characters – or the idea of them, I suppose, since they haven’t come to life on the page just yet – and I cannot wait to write about their adventures!


Pitch Wars:
Lorien turned in her revised manuscript to me last week, and I’ve been reading and making notes! We are well ahead of schedule, which makes me super happy. I’m confident we will collect all of the materials we need in time and have them ready for the Agent Round in November. I’m proud of her and her story, and I really think they are going to do well – if not in the contest, then querying afterward! Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed!

Check out her great new blog here: https://lorienwordpresscom.wordpress.com/ 


Hope you are all doing well and enjoying the start of fall! What projects have you been working on lately?


16 Responses to β€œFall Goals and New Stories!”

  1. That's awesome you're getting such great feedback on Wattpad. I keep thinking I should try it, but I need a short story to post first.
    Hope you hit your weekly writing goals!

  2. Tiana Smith says:

    I really need to unplug too…

  3. …I think you need to mail me a piece of that pie πŸ˜‰

  4. June says:

    Exciting!!! Best of luck : D I can't wait to hear more about your new projects.

  5. I'm enjoying PPP so much! I'm so so glad it's doing well on Wattpad. Can't wait to read the final chapters!!

    Good luck with your goals and have fun! HAPPY AUTUMN!!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  6. I'm glad to hear you have so many project ideas to work on. And envious.

    I am falling out of love with my YA Historical Mystery WIP. I'm not sure how much longer I can keep moving forward on it. I have two ideas for MG stories, but neither one has come together as something I could start drafting. I'm at a very early brainstorming and pre-writing stage for both of those ideas.

    I miss being in love with a draft (well, as much as I ever love my first drafts).

  7. dolorah says:

    Focusing on writing is a good reason not to participate in social media. Until it time for a writing break πŸ™‚

  8. Yay! I wish I was brave enough just to focus on writing. Of course then my kids would never get their school done. We have to celebrate the small accomplishments along the way, eh?

  9. That is a lot going on. I'd take a break from social media, too. Very cool that readers are reaching out to you. πŸ™‚

  10. I spotted you on Wattpad the other day. πŸ™‚

    This month I have a goal of 60k words or 60 hours spent editing or some combination of the two. Which also works out at 3k or 3 hours if I only work on weekdays.

    Right now, I'm already behind, so I'll catch up on Saturday.

  11. I love October, too. I am eating my first Fuji and Honeycrisp apples that I grew this year. They are sooooooo good. And I grew two Cinderella pumpkins. πŸ˜€
    I'm so happy to hear you've got all this creative juice going, Julie! Can't wait to see what's next.

  12. Shelley Sly says:

    Wow, sounds like you've got lots of fun projects to focus on! I've just started a sticker calendar myself, and I like how it keeps me accountable. Congrats on PPP doing so well on Wattpad! I plan to read it as soon as I can.

  13. Julie C. Dao says:

    Alex: You should totally do it! I would advise having a big chunk of the story written, if not all of it. But only post one chapter at a time to build readership/conversation. Let me know if you join!

    Tiana: It's amazing how much we get done without the internet!

    Kristen: I would love to mail you a whole pie if I could!

    June: Thanks, my friend!! <3

    Laura: You are the sweetest! So thrilled you are enjoying PPP! HAPPY AUTUMN! I hope everything is well with you <3

    Dianne: Gah, I hate when that happens! But I just know you're going to fall in love with a new story soon. Hoping it is one of your fresh new MG ideas πŸ™‚

    Donna: Totally! It's nice to take a social media break sometimes πŸ™‚

    Crystal: I will never not admire writers who are also mommies. All the kudos to you and hoping you squeeze in some time for yourself!

    David: I'm getting a tiny taste of what it must be like to be you! Can't imagine how cool it must be to get real fan mail and interactions at book signings πŸ™‚

    Misha: Yes, I got excited when I saw your message! πŸ™‚ Good luck with your awesome writing goal.

    Tricia: Mmmmm I love apples! Such a great season for them. And I'm thrilled you have Cinderella pumpkins <3 <3 Happy autumn to you!

    Shelley: Cool! Maybe we should compare sticker calendars at the end of the month! Here's to a lot of productivity for us this month πŸ˜€

  14. Shari says:

    I think I'm going to start calling you Queen of Productivity! πŸ™‚ More than productive, though, you sound happy, which makes me super happy FOR you!

  15. I'm so bad at figuring out Wattpad but what I read so far of PPP is freaking amazing, and I'm not in the least surprised by the success!! I can't wait to read more. I just have to get over my wattpad intimidation lol. I've been plowing along this WIP still and starting to see some progress! πŸ™‚ best feeling ever.

  16. I absolutely LOVE fall around here too. I love the pumpkins, the cooler weather, the leaves, the cider…everything! πŸ™‚

    I think it's great to unplug every now and then. I find I do the same when I'm engrossed in writing a story. I love your goals for your epic fantasy! You can totally do it!!

    Wow, 25K readers on Wattpad seems HUGE to me! That is so awesome! And how wonderful to already have that fan base built up!

    Congrats to Lorienβ€”I know she'll do awesome with her ms with you as her mentor! πŸ™‚

Julie C. Dao