Today I had to turn in a study plan, signed by my advisor, that outlines what I plan to read and write for the next five and a half months.
So here it is:
- Complete the first draft (approximately 100 more pages) of my YA mystery, which is currently in progress. In my writing I plan to deepen the emotional resonance of the main character as well as show the relationships of the people within the small, rural community where the story takes place.
- Draft one nonfiction picture book manuscript about the canine sense of smell.
- In my reading, I plan to study the openings of mystery novels. I also plan to study how the plot in mysteries weaves (or doesn’t) with the emotional / under story. I’ll also research dogs, particularly hunting dogs, and how their sense of smell works.
- Write two critical essays, one about the results of my research on effective mystery openings and the other about emotionally restrained characters and how to portray them effectively. If I remember correctly, I'm supposed to write two essays per packet, so these two topics will probably be in the first or second packet. Other topics will arise from my reading or prompts from Rita.
- The Boy in the Burning House by Tim Wynne-Jones
- Acceleration by Graham Mcnamee, The 7th knot by Kathleen Karr
- Dangling by Lillian Eige
- Harriet Spies Again by Helen Ericson
- The Mystery of the Haunted Caves by Penny Warner
- Red Card : [a Zeke Armstrong mystery] by Daniel J. Hale & Matthew LaBrot
- Are You in the House Alone? by Richard Peck
- Dovey Coe by Frances O'Roark Dowell
- Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen
- The Clearing: A Mystery by Dorothy Reynolds Miller
- The Absolutely True Story of My Visit to Yellowstone with the Terrible Rupes by Willo Davis Roberts
Sounds like a lot of work. Since I did my modified version of National Novel Writing Month last November, I'm confident that I can turn out new creative work.
The first deadline is Feb. 6, so that's coming right up. Rita wants to see 20 new pages and a synopsis of my novel so far in addition to the two essays.