The End (number 7)

No matter how many times I type those magical words THE END, it never gets old. On Friday—two weeks later than my goal but also 15,000 words past my goal—I finished the first draft of The Trail Rules, book two in the Rules series. (In case you’ve missed it, YES! This is now a series!)

I celebrated by going to work, then playing a double-header in softball, then going to a work event Saturday night. Do I know how to live it up, or what? I also started reading RIPPLE by Heather Smith Meloche (OMG SO GOOD) and plan to read at least one more book before diving into edits. There’s a general rule that you need to let a first draft sit for a bit before editing because you see it with fresher eyes blah blah, but after writing so much every day it’s really hard to leave it alone. (twss) I also have some personal things going on that make idle time even more difficult—I prefer the avoidance method of ALWAYS BEING BUSY. (In case you haven’t noticed.)

So what’s next?

After my first round of edits, I’m hoping to get through my first round of beta readers, more edits, then send it to another beta reader by November so I can start writing the still untitled book three (working title TXR) for NaNoWriMo! It’s been years since I’ve started a new book with NaNo—I’m usually in the middle of a draft and use it as motivation to finish, and last year I was rewriting a novel (which I truly did not enjoy).

I’m hoping to publish The Trail Rules in April/May 2018, then if all the stars align properly, TXR in fall of 2018.

In the meantime, I’m working on a blog series called Whipping Your Wip into Shape. I’d planned to write it over the summer but, well, it was summer and I had a novel to finish. So now I’ll be writing it AS I’M EDITING. So meta.

As you may know, I have a regular newsletter, but I also have a special group called Hoo’s Crew. If you’re interested in reading an advanced copy of my novels in exchange for reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, you want to be part of the crew.

And finally, a teaser

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve probably seen some of the teasers I’ve posted as I’ve been writing, but now I’m sharing the opening scene of The Trail Rules! (This may change in edits, but it gives you an idea of what to expect.) I’d love to hear what you think.

Heck yes, show me The Trail Rules!

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.

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