The Teenage Writer and the Quest for a Productive Summer

Salvete, my dear friends! I’ve conquered my first ever high school final exams (the results of which have yet to be seen) and I’m ready to jump back into blogging, reading, and writing. It’s been such a long, busy year that it’s altogether quite strange to be sitting here with no commitments, nowhere to be, and nothing pressing to do.  And to think–I have over two months of this boundless freedom ahead of me! But I must caution myself, for having an abundance of free time only makes it that much easier for time to slip away. To that effect, I’ve set some goals for the summer that I can berate myself for not accomplishing if I spend the entirety of June, July, and August in my room on Skype with my friends, drawing on my hands and throwing wads of paper into the trash from across the room.

First and foremost in my list of goals is to “finish” editing my novel. By that I mean getting it to a state at which I’ll be comfortable handing it back to my beta readers and getting further advice on it. I have quite a ways to go, but it’s really a feasible goal if I put in an hour or two every day. To be perfectly honest, I’ve been in a truly horrendous writing slump of late, and I plan to pull myself together and write this summer.

I’ve also put together a self-imposed summer reading list. I have a few books I have to read for school, but aside from that, my reading life is open. This summer, I’m going to tackle a few classic plays: Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. I’d also like to read something–anything–by H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, and H.P. Lovecraft, respectively. If you have any recommendations on a good way to start off with any of these authors, by all means, let me know. If possible, I’m also going to finish reading Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series and some other YA books I have around.

I have a few side projects planned, namely, making an archive of the older sections of my local cemetery and teaching myself to play piano and sing at the same time. Mostly, though, I’ll be focusing on my writer-ly and reader-ly endeavors, and I’ll be sure to chronicle this Quest for a Productive Summer.

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4 responses to “The Teenage Writer and the Quest for a Productive Summer

  1. Hi Allegra,
    Loved your post and your commitment to getting back to writing and reading. (I love your voice.) Congrats on finishing the year!
    Just a thought–As far as editing your novel–how do you break it down? If you have 8 weeks of summer how many chapters will you edit a week, and how will you tackle this? Do you print out your chapters and mark them with a pen? Do you look for plot holes? Do you work on beefing up your Storyworld? Specifically, how do you do this?
    Thanks, The curious one,
    M

    • Thanks for your questions! I have a hard copy of my manuscript that my beta readers and I have marked up with pen. Based on these comments, I’ve been making changes to a second version of the digital copy of the manuscript. Through the editing process, I mostly look at inconsistencies in the plot and overall story world. I also work on fleshing out characters.
      As for how many chapters I’ll be editing a week, I don’t really know at this point. Ideally, I’d like to finish a chapter a day, but it’ll depend on how everything works out.

  2. Kayley Schiller

    Hi! I was just searching the “world-wide web of confusion” for other writers to talk to and google sent me to you!!! I’m 15 and have been writing for about 3 years and have never heard a stronger teenage writing voice than yours, your super talented. I noticed that you’d written you’ve just finished your first high school finals, which I’m assuming means you’re about the same age as me:) I’ll be sure to continue following your blog, if you don’t mind that is.
    -Kayley

    • Thank you! I’d love to have you as a reader, and I look forward to talking to you more. And yes, I’m 15. Thanks again for the compliments, it really means a lot.

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