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Progress Report - Novel and Other Things

I haven't posted any progress reports for a while, because as I mentioned earlier I had to take a break from the novel. So for those of you interested, here are where things now stand.

Two weeks ago Friday I finished the second part of the novel, which now stands at 102,000 words. (That entry can be found here. For the past two weeks, however, I have been working on something else.

Although it's a long shot, I decided to apply for the Boston Public Library's Children's Writer-in-Residence Program. More information about the fellowship can be found here. Although I'm not a children's writer or a young adult writer per se, I've worked most of my career to make sure that my prose was accessible to middle school and high school students. (I have a lot of experience teaching both age groups.) Furthermore, I've had a young adult novel idea in the back of mind for many years -- in fact, I've had it in my files since the year 2000.

So this seemed like a good opportunity to work it out a bit.

The fellowship application is due tomorrow. So for the past two weeks, that's where all my creative energy has gone. They required a five-page outline and a fifteen page sample of my writing, so I finally plotted this book and then composed one of the scenes. I'm pleased to note that I mailed the application in yesterday, so they've probably already received it.

If I get the fellowship, it would be a nice opportunity. There's a stipend involved, but there's also access to the collections of the Boston Public Library, and anyone who knows me knows my love of libraries.

And if I don't get the fellowship, I still have an outline and fifteen pages done for that book. So it's not a waste.

I want to acknowledge stakebait, who pointed me towards this fellowship.

This leaves the burning question, of course: what about the novel? Well, I spent yesterday and today revising the stepsheet outline. I've fixed it up so it now accurately reflects what I actually wrote in part two, and I'm plotting away at part three. I expect to get the final plotting done tomorrow -- so starting Monday, I'll be back at work on the actual first draft.
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*grinbounce* Yay! I hope you get it.
Thanks! I honestly don't expect to, but at least I had fun working out the plot of a novel that's been bouncing around in my head for quite a long time...
What's a stepsheet?
Stepsheet is the word I'm using for a traditional plot outline. Normally I would call it an outline, but when I started this project I used the outlining method described by Donald Maass in his book "Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook." Since he calls that an outline, I felt I ought to use a different name for the fleshed out plot outline. The word "stepsheet" comes from James N. Frey's books on writing, including "How to Write a Damn Good Novel."
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