Time for an Update #amwriting #writingcommunity #WIPs

Typewriter, old book and a quill pen with a inkwell on an author desk table background.

Hello! It’s been a while (January?) since I shared how my writing is progressing, so I thought it was time for an update. After all, this is a writing blog. 🙂

Several short stories aside, I’m mostly focused on two novels.

The Keeping Place

This was my NaNoWriMo project, which I didn’t finish until December. A mystery that combines the recent past—a disappearance/murder from the year 2012—with the present, it also addresses relationships. Family drama plays a large part, examining the forced reunion between an estranged mother and her twenty-seven-year-old daughter.

For the most part, this is a straight mystery, although it does have threads of an old legend woven in. Apparently, it’s impossible for me NOT to play with a little folklore. In the case of The Keeping Place, the legend is one I invented for the novel, involving a derelict shack and the daughter of a railroad tycoon.

abandoned building overgrowin with trees and vines along railroad tracks

My critiques partners have been through the manuscript chapter by chapter and have provided feedback. I’ve tweaked what needed to be tweaked. Right now, the story is waiting for a final read through. This is a manuscript I hope to market to literary agents. I’ve yet to begin that search—which I know is going to be time consuming—but I’m in no rush.

In the meantime, I’ve been concentrating on my WIP.

The Ghosts of Wingate Hall

I guess there’s no question this one has a supernatural theme. 🙂

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve probably seen mention of a story that has haunted me for decades. Wingate started as a novella (different title) when I was in my 20s, then evolved into a novel (different title again) in my 30s. Both were complete, but I wasn’t happy with either. I’ve dug the novel manuscript out again and again. During those times, the story went through several plot and character changes, but nothing worth keeping. Even so, this tale refuses to leave me alone.

I’m now in the process of yet another major plot overhaul. Several existing characters have been dumped (or seen their roles drastically altered) in favor of new characters. For the first time, I feel I might actually finish. I’d love to have the book ready to release in October for Halloween. Right now, I’m planning to indie publish.

A Follow Up to In Search of McDoogal

It’s always been my intention to turn my McDoogal characters into a series of short reads and novellas. If you’ve read this short story, you know it’s completely different than anything else I’ve written­—a comedy of errors. It was such a diversion, and so much fun to write, I would love to visit with Declan, Brady, and Clark Barr again. 

The second story (no title yet) is partially formed in my head, I just have to find the time to write it. I promise a fun and “out there” adventure when I do finally get around to it. In the meantime, if you haven’t checked out McDoogal, and you’re looking for a short, off-the-wall read, the link is below.

… and that’s my update. I’ve been sticking to my regular weekend writing schedule, even squeezing in hours on Saturday (in addition to Sunday), which has really helped moving my WIP along. I’ve only got one quarter of Wingate written, but I’ve worked out the worst of the hurdles in my head. I’m feeling pretty good about 2021 as a writing year.

Now, I just have to find that literary agent!

66 thoughts on “Time for an Update #amwriting #writingcommunity #WIPs

    • I know it’s going to be a long haul for the agent, Denise, but I feel I need to take the next step at this point in my writing journey. Glad you’re excited about the new McDoogal, too. I have a lot of fun planned for that one!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so true, Judith. We’re always looking to what we can do better. I guess we’re on a constant journey of improvement. I am happy with all I’ve accomplished, but the loss of my publisher last year has put me at a crossroads. Now, it’s time to venture in new directions! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You’re an amazing writer, Mae, so whatever evolves will be incredible. As for me, I’m intrigued already, and look forward to reading a new McDoogal and your other works. Fingers crossed that the perfect agent appears! 🌝

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you for such a lovely compliment, Gwen. All three of the projects above are vastly different, but I’m enjoying the prospect of each. McDoogal II is still in the thinking about stage, but the rest are well underway. I can only hope to snag the attention of an agent with The Keeping Place. If that doesn’t pan out, at least I know I have a novel ready to go!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Priscilla. The Wingate book has haunted me (haha, on word choice!) for far too long. I’d love to wrap it and finally tell the tale the way it should be told. So glad you’re looking forward to it!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, you are certainly doing MUCH better than I, Mae. I haven’t written a word on my WIP in over a month, and I think it’s because I’m not satisfied with the anything about the way I’ve started this one. I’m happy with each scene I’ve written in the first 5 chapters, but they just aren’t enough of a foundation for a novel. So, I’m rethinking my entire plotline with this one.

    I’m excited to hear that you aren’t just spinning your wheels (like me) and are actually writing BOOKS! And making such good progress on the Wingate project and The Keeping Place. Both sound intriguing, and I’m looking forward to reading them. As for another McDoogal novella or story, I’m READY! The first one was so much fun, I can’t wait for a second installment.

    Keep up the good work. You’ve inspired me to push myself harder with Riverbend #4. And good luck with your progress, too! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Marcia, it sounds like you are going through what I’ve gone through with my Wingate book for years. Well, decades in my case. I’ve changed the plot so many times (only keeping the core) that I’ve lost count. I know it won’t take you as long as it took me to find firm writing ground. I have every confidence you’ll nail it, and then you’ll be writing up a storm.

      Thanks for the wonderful comment and encouragement. I’m sending you writing mojo your way. Fingers crossed we both finish our WIPs, my PenderPal friend!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I guess it was bound to happen to me sooner or later, Mae. With my other books, I just started writing and let the story tell itself. Even I didn’t always know where it was going, just WHO it was going to be about. This time, I don’t even have that nailed down, and it just feels like an update on what the Painter Brothers are up to. Which is a fine thing to include, but I don’t think I can structure an entire novel around it. No serial killer. No tragic, broken man missing. No horribly injured person trying to rebuild a life. Just, “Hi Everybody! We’re fine, and oh, yeah … Forrest is still growing up a bit more.” That’s a newsletter, not a BOOK. Urk.

        Guess I have things to sort out before I continue with this one. 😀 (Ya think?) I’m using YOU as my inspiration for sure. YOU have multiple plots going and nowhere near as many available writing hours as I. If you can do it, there’s HOPE I can do it, too. Probably. 😀

        Thanks, Penderpal of mine. (And speaking of which, WHEN are we going to get more A.X.L.??? I’ve missed that guy!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hey, I know YOU can do it, too! I’m cheering you on because I want another Riverbend. You’ve just been away from that little town for a while, that’s all. I’m convinced it will all fall into place for you.

        And we are WAAAAY over due for a new A.X.L. I’m going through withdrawal!

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Staci. I think McDoogal will be a nice summer diversion for me. I might even attempt to write some of it longhand while poolside.

      I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me to find an agent. I really need to take a few days to do research and knock out several queries. And I’m excited about Wingate. These characters are so determined to have their story told, LOL!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s sounds like you are making much progress! All the stories truly sound wonderful and I can’t wait for them to come out 🙂 Teri’s right – you and your progress are inspiring!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Tessa. I feel like I’m plodding getting there, but at least it’s progress, LOL. I would love to have something to publish in 2021. Even more, to be able to contract with an agent. That would make the year for me!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the well wishes, Sue. It’s definitely a challenge tackling Wingate, but I love the core elements of the story. Even if I’ve ripped out everything else and have to find different ways to connect the dots, I’m hoping it will be worth it in the end. These darn characters are just so insistent that they get their story told, LOL.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Well, I’m not sure that elusive agent will ever make an appearance, Betsy, but I figure it’s worth a try. I just have to make the time to research and query. Ugh! In the meantime, as you said there is still joy in the writing! 🙂
      Thanks for dropping by and happy spring!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Fraggle. McDoogal is really different than my normal stuff but I had a blast writing it and it’s been well received. I hope you enjoy it.

      And yeah–characters from all over the place clamoring for attention. They are such an insistent bunch! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. All three books sound great. You’ve probably already done some research, but I found this site for agents when you mentioned you were going that route for The Keeping Place: https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/ It’s only a start. When you look at authors’ bios on twitter, they often mention their agents, too, if you see someone who writes things similar to yours. Anyway, good luck with your search! And have fun with your projects. I hope you’re right. Hoping 2021 is a great year for you!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I wish you success in landing an agent, Mae. It is no easy task, and as you say, time-consuming. With the books you have in your catalog, any agent would be smart to take you on. 🙂 At least, that’s my opinion. Anyway, these stories sound fantastic. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for the “McDoogal” characters next.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi, Jan. Thank you so much for the wonderful comment. I’ve worked hard to build my backlog, but I worry that they’re all tied to my publisher and that won’t last forever. I really need to get busy in paving a path for the future but it’s rough with working a day job. I’m hoping I can carve out some time to start the journey. Thanks for all your support, and I’m glad you’re looking forward to the stories, including more McDoogal! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Robbie. I’m glad you like the sound of all of them, and I hope you enjoy McDoogal. It’s very different than my usual work, but playing around with a silly, quirky tale was a blast. Happy reading and happy Easter!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a wonderful update of your WIP, Mae, and all the projects sound exciting. Wishing you the best in finding that lucky agent. October is right around the corner for your Wingate book. And I’m excited to hear McDoogal came up to the top #3 on your list!


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