Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The Race 2009

Now that the presidential race is finished we can all start to think to our for Race 2009. In someways I find it hard to believe we are ready to roll up to Race 3 but we are. 2008 saw the Racers grow to 40 and we have coped well with the increased numbers. Coffee participation has been good and the rota has worked brilliantly with fantastic topics. Getting to visit the racer blogs is tougher with the bigger group but still seems to be happening. We are all such a huge support for each other so that I'm looking forward to a even more sucessful Racer year in 2009. Just look at Capt. B's wonderful widget to see how well the Novel Racers are doing!

So thinking hats need to be on...

First have you finished this year's race? Did it push to a place you didn't think you'd reach even if it wasn't quite where you'd hoped to be?

Second what Catagories would we like for 2009? Last year we had three:
1. complete first draft
2. complete rewrite
3. finish an already started project

Now - what prizes? Last year it was champagne, books and a chapter crit. What would motivivate you further and faster?

What is your race for 2009?

Have you got the time for the new race? I ask this question because of our eager waiting list people. This gang have added a great deal to our coffees and I know they would like to add more. If you already know that you can't race next year could you think about offering your place in the 'active' racers? By this I don't mean fall away but move to the racer in sabatical mode with a separate catagory on the blog. Attend coffee when you have time, drop by and visit racers as time permits........

This year already has been a fantasic year for the NRs and I know 2009 will be even better. Think forward so that come 1/1/2009 you can be off the starting blocks.


Caroline said...

I've enjoyed the race this year and finished novel 3, Like Bees to Honey. I'm looking to place it now. So that's 2 novels and a novella thanks to the novel racers :)

I am happy to start January 1st with novel 4, a complete first draft that I'd like to finish by June. I haven't written for a few weeks, due a number of stressy things and I am now focusing on the new year for a fresh start.

So, I am very much in. I am not bothered about a prize. It's the structure and support that I love.


Debs said...

I've thoroughly enjoyed my first year as a Novel Racer, the encouragement and advice has been tremendous and much appreciated.

I finished my redraft of novel 3, High Heels & Scandals, in July, and am three quarters of the way through the first draft of novel 4
I'm almost finished working on suggestions received from my RNA NWS report on novel 3, and will send it out in the next month or so to do the rounds.

Next year I'd like to redraft novel 4, and then send that out too.

I'm also not worried about a prize, as my experience of being part of this group is worth so much. Thanks.

Lucy Diamond said...

Debs, I love that title!

I've really enjoyed the race this year especially meeting lots of you in London, yay! Let's do that again soon! (please)
I've just started my fourth novel which I need to finish for August 2009, so would like to be in category 3 for next year's race.

(Re the presidential race... OMG, I just felt so shivery at Obama's victory speech when I heard it this morning... I feel so excited about it all I don't know how I'll be able to write this morning!)

Leatherdykeuk said...

2009 will see me editing a novel, second drafting another and writing a third (and possibly fourth). The first couple of months will be manically trying to sell my first published one. What i'm saying is, I'll join all three 'races' but it's not the racing that's important to me but the camaraderie and support.

ChrisH said...

I know that the Novel Racers will be even more important to me in 2009 as I'm trying to regroup after the disappointment of FTT (which is still 'out there' - waiting for decision on it... again!). I would like to join in with a complete first draft for 2009. I'd also like to say thanks to everyone for being such a supportive and generous bunch of people. The coffee mornings have been really useful too with great contributions from all, including those on the waiting list. As other folks have said all this is more important than a prize!

Helen said...

My fictional writing has fallen by the wayside during the last six months or so (although I've done a lot of planning), and if I'm honest I don't expect much to happen over the next two months as I have a massive change about to happen in my life.

I am extremely excited about restarting in January once the baby has popped out (it sounds so easy written like that doesn't it?!) and my body is back to normal. I will be doing a complete rewrite of Burnt Chocolate.

Again for me, it isn't about the prizes but the support and seeing my word count creep up.

Flowerpot said...

I quite agree - it;'s not about the prizes but the taking part. In 2009 I will finish last draft of Give me Time and send it off and hopefully have found a publisher for The Current Beneath. Then there's a possible non fiction book and the journalism to be taken into acccount. Im up for it!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Thanks for this, Liz. Prizes are irrelevant for me too - I find the 'race' itself is motivational. But even more so, as others have said, is the support of the group, the coffee breaks, the meet-ups, the emails... all of it really! Next year I'm hoping to do a complete rewrite and get the novel off to agents again, so I'm in for category 2.

Captain Black said...

I did not finish any of my projects this year, but they were certainly given a kick up the backside, thanks to encouragement from NR. I wrote nearly 94,000 words in 2008 (and the year's not out yet), probably double what I would have written without the support from NR, WaW and other groups.

The race categories seem fine to me. I'm on target to finish an already started project (Insight) by February, and then immediately enter it for the complete rewrite category. I would also like to submit a complete first draft entry: Blood on the Rooftops.

I'm not bothered about prizes, the kudos will be enough!

JJ said...

Prizes are irrelevant for me too.

I'm not sure what I've been doing the last two years. This year I've finally got going and worked out roughly what I'm doing, so I guess I'm in No 3.

Rowan Coleman said...

Hello all, how wonderful about the new leader of the free world - nearly as wonderful as at racers! I finished 3 novels in 2008, two kids and one adult and it was flipping hard. I fully forgot to tell you when I had - but I did do it and the racers helped, its great to check in with you when I have my head above the parapet! In 2009 I am very excited that I am starting two completely new project my new adult novel and my new kids paranormal series. I am so excited about both projects! I also have one more Ruby Parker book to write to complete to series, so in total three books to finish in 2009 but as ever I think I'll join the race more in spirit than in hope of winning it, in the complete first draft category for my adult novel due to for delivery July 2009. I love starting from scratch, its the best thing. Good luck all you racers with your writing, so much has been acheived this year I am sure much more is to follow.

Fiona said...

I am going to do a complete re write of Sitting Pretty and if I were to win then I'd like a king sized bar of Cadburys Milk please.

Calistro said...

In 2008 I completed the rewrite of novel 1. I did start novel 2 but abandoned it after 20,000 words.

So, for 2009 I'll be completing the first draft of the NEW novel 2. So category 1 for me next year please.

Paige said...

I'll be racing again! I think I'll be catagory 2 again - Complete rewrite.

I've decided I'm going to try get this first draft of Novel 2 done by the end of the year then it's onto editing/rewriting the blooming thing so it makes sense!

Tell me more about this 'racer in sabatical' mode. If the person wanted to be a full time racer again would they have to join the waiting list? Or would they automatically be reinstated?

Sarah*G* said...

Firstly, YAY for Obama winning the election. I turned on my TV at 6am and was so chuffed to see he had one. Now he has to deliver and I hope he does!
I unfortunately did not finish my WIP during 2008. I got slightly caught up in the palaver that is fund raising. I do hope to it in 2009 so I guess I would fall into category 3 'Finish an already started project' As for prizes, I am not too bothered by that. The main thing is the support, motivation and camaraderie.

KeVin K. said...

(Hmm. I posted once, but there's no sign of it. This is a semi-repost, then, since I didn't save the original.)

I got humbled in 2008.

As a tie-in writer it was my worst financial year ever. Income from writing in 2008 was 10% of what I earned in 2007. None of my novel pitches to various IPs found a home and I foolishly ignored proven markets to pursue new ones. (I did make one story sale to a new universe. I hope that will lead to something -- but nothing will happen in time to help 2008.)

As a writer writer I began but did not finish two original novels. That's in addition to failing to finish the original novel I began the year with -- the objective of my 2008 race. I did not write a single original short story all year -- another first for me.

Though I've been almost entirely dormant the past few months -- I can't remember the last time I visited a fellow racer's blog -- I very much enjoy being a member of this noble band. I've learned new things about storytelling, gained insights into how others work, gotten good advice on plot and structure for my own works in progress, and made a few pretty darn good online friends. So I think I'll be around for a while longer yet.

I don't really care about prizes. But my original fiction goal for 2009 is to complete -- and mail -- two novels. They may be two of the three I have half-finished already or two new ones -- I'll decide when I get to them. And that's in addition to whatever media tie-in work I manage to scare up. I'm going back to working smart in that arena as well. Don't know if that matches the criteria of any of the race categories, but I'm sure we'll think of a way to make it fit.

Juliette M said...

I finished my first draft in October 2008 (mostly thanks to my partner and Caroline kicking me in the bum) and am very excited that I actually finished something.

Next year I plan to do a complete first draft of novel 2 'Queen of Cups' and see where that gets me, along with editing novel 1 and trying to get a publisher (eek.)

Could we not expand the Racers to include some of the waiting listers? If we've coped well with 40 this year then why not 45 or 50?

Lane said...

As this year hasn't exactly gone to plan, I'd like to race next year in the 3rd category.

Prizes, schmizes. Mind you, books are always a good motivation, particularly seeing fellow racers in the bookshops.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Sorry to be late to the party, but that seems to be par for the course with me these days. I don't know what this coming race time is going to be like, but I know I haven't been the best of racers, so I'll step aside and let some of the waiting people have a shot at it. Sabbatical mode sounds great, Liz. I don't want to leave the Racers completely, but like I said, I'm not being the best racer these days.

Graeme K Talboys said...

I have no idea about next year. Way too tired to think about it. I hope to have 'Thin Reflections' ready to send out to agents by the end of this year, and the sequel will require huge amounts of research (and that depends on whether I can place 'Thin Reflections'). I do have a couple of non-fiction projects which may come to the fore while I do the research. So I guess I won't really be a novel racer next year. Perhaps it would be best to let my place go to someone else?

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I have enjoyed this site immensely since joining and been able to access advice and information from fellow racers. Still "getting there" I feel a bit of a fraud but I have finished a very rough draft of a novel. Not the novel I'm concentrating on but one I started to write a few years ago and am now using to draft my current wip.

I congratulate Novel Racers on their successes throughout this year and hope I will be able to join them in some way in 2009, hopefully with a completed work.

Crystal Jigsaw xx

Clare Sudders said...

I'm going back to being a full time writer in Jan so I'd love to remain a member if you'll have me! For 2009, I plan to do 2nd draft of the 1st draft I finished in 2008 and then finish at least one more first (and second) draft, and hopefully two! I am feeling very ambitious about 2009...

liz fenwick said...

By my count that's 23 racers accounted for so far.....I'm keeping a list of all plans so far and will update when we have heard from the remaining 17 :-)

L-Plate Author said...

Well as a winner last year, I’d have to say that I love prizes! I was so pleased when I met up with some of the Novel Racers in Manchester and had no idea that I would be presented with a bottle of champagne. It was a lovely thought. However that said, I would have raced with you all without a mention of a prize. It is a cliché but it really is the taking part that counts.

I’ve had tremendous support this year from the NR’s and would love to stay a part of the group. I am at the moment halfway through the first draft of book two which I aim to have finished by the end of the year, ready for a second draft come the start of the New Year.

So far this year, aside from the novel I am drafting now, I’ve written 45,000 words with three ideas that are on hold for now. I intend to use all but one of them in later books. Because I want to write a third book next year, I’d like to join the first draft competition next year please. I want to get the second draft of book two completed first once January is upon us and after that I will start book three.

I'm a newbie to the NR's so wasn't part of the smaller group. But I remember waiting last January to see if there was a place for me, and Leigh, and it was nail biting! I so wanted to join. So this newbie would love to agree with Juliette about adding the ones who are on the waiting list today to the new roll call. So far two NR's are going on sabbatical and there are seven people waiting. If we closed that list now, and if everyone else wants to hang around could it be run with 45? Just a thought?

And it goes without saying but I will say it anyway, a huge thanks for what goes on behind the scenes. x

SpiralSkies said...

Oh dear, how am I so behind with everything?

I finished the rewrite of Novel 1 in the summer and will be starting on Novel 2 in the New Year, initially as part of my OU course.

Like so many have said, it's not the prize but the support of the NR group (and many of the individuals therein) that keeps me keeping on. I'd never never have written a novel without the Novel Racers and I can't believe I'm even thinking of writing another one - aaarrgh!

sheepish said...

Better late than never with my comment. I haven't been well the last few weeks hence the lateness of my response. My year has been difficult so my wip is still to be completed, so it will be cat 3 for me. Prizes are not what counts but the incredible support that is offered by everyone is priceless. And thanks to the organisers for all their hard work.

Cathy said...

I'm still in with novel one...having had a really bad year, as many of you know, I have picked it up seriously again now. I am currently redrafting what I had already written and hope to have my first draft complete by the end of next year. I also hope to plan novel two as part of my OU course. So I'm in with finish an already started novel please. I'm going to need all the support I can get :)

wordtryst said...

Sorry about the lateness, but I wanted to give this some thought. I've enjoyed this year immensely, and the support and fellowship of the Racers have contributed in no small way. Thank you, and yes, thank you to the ones behind the scenes who keep things running smoothly.

I completed the rewrite of my second novel but I'm still tweaking. Couldn't decide whether I wanted to focus on starting a new novel next year, or completing the other two WIPs that have been languishing on my hard drive.

So, I'll play it safe and go with category 3 for the next race: finish either the memoir or the mainstream novel - or both. Preferably both.

CC Devine said...

Sorry, sorry, sorry. Have been sick and also without internet access at home so have been off the radar for a couple of weeks. Apologies for my tardiness.

I have made alot of progress with my rewrite on Novel 1 this year but disappointingly I cannot type here that it is definitively finished!

There have been a few false starts but I seem to have cracked many of the plot problems. Now I need to focus on the language and get it done and sent off.

I've got a fortnight off over Christmas so I have grand plans of finishing it once and for all and start subbing. For that reason I am going to plump for completing a first draft of Novel 2. Oooh er, exciting stuff. That's the fun bit the actual writing rather than the rewriting and then tedious editing.

The fantastic support and guidance of the Novel Racers is invaluable. As so many of you have said that is more than enough.

Kate said...

I haven't meant to take such a long break from blogging or writing.
I've had to scramble around for a new job (finally got one in July, but cant play on the internet from work anymore), and I've split up with the hubs (very amicably) and I'm moving into my new flat this Friday!
I'm hoping the new job, new move and the new year will see a new surge in writing!
Kate (Quilling Time)

Leigh said...

Oh, God, many apologues for lateness. Have had major family crisis in the last couple of weeks.
For me, 2008 has been a Bad Year. If it weren't for the support of my fellow racers, I think I'd have given up writing long since. Things are starting to stabilise for me, and I am hoping that, NR-wise, things will pan out pretty much as I intended them to in 2008 (huh). I like the races - I'm in for the complete rewrite, if you'll have me.

Kate said...

Apologies from me too - on holiday, then on internetless writing retreat (starting new project) and in the middle of it all, a death in the family (funeral tomorrow) so there've been other things to deal with for the last fortnight, sorry...

I'd definitely like to stay on board, in category 3. I'd be happy to offer chapter crit and could probably also persuade Orion to offer some books as a prize for winners of 1. (especially as the Orionites on here are growing it seems!!!!!).

I've started book 8 so that'll be the one to finish - by May! No pressure, eh?

KayJay said...

I'm madly late and needed to be reminded - sorry!

Yes, still very much here and looking forward to hosting coffee later this week! I'd be doing a first draft next year. I have got time for the race and I definitely don't want to be 'disappeared'! I love novelracers and it helps me so much. Count me in.

hesitant scribe said...

As you no doubt all know, it's been a somewhat challenging year for me, and the writing has taken a bit of a back seat.

In 2009 I intend to;
1. Stay Alive (crucial!)
2. Finish the first draft of the novel.
3. Re-enrol for PhD after a year's intercalation (off sick).
4. Have submitted some stuff so will be waiting to hear on that too!

Un Peu Loufoque said...

First of all many ,many slobbering crawling apologies for being so absent this last few months or so, commitments on the home front, not to mention trying to get my ceramic stock out for christmas ( which starts september in the retail trade!)added to a larger than normal dose of world travel has meant that I have neither blogged nor managed to read much at all. I have commented madly on blogs when I have grabbed a minute but have I fear let down the group some what. Mia Culpa!

Now as for prizes I didn't know there were any so obviusly not a motivating factor for me. I have finished my second draft of my novel and want to re edit it this year plus do the second draft of a childern's book which is so short it can not possibly count as a novel at all.

If you can bear with me as I struggle to get all the plates spinning again I promise to try harder in the new year..

B said...

(two on sabbatical??? i think that means that DK and i have made it to the real race... trying not to get too excited over here....!)


Kate.Kingsley said...

Apologies for being so late in commenting on this post, and many thanks to Zinnia for the gentle nudge ~ I have pregnancy brain and literally cannot keep a thought in my head for more than a micro second right now!

Writing-wise this has been a mixed, but ultimately productive year for me ~ I'm still progressing with the WIP (albeit slowly ~ see previous note re pregnancy brain!) and although I have a baby due in May 2009 I would like, if possible, to stay in the race as I really am aiming to finish the first draft of the WIP before the baby is born (stop laughing at the back there!) So I think that puts me in category 3.

Also I agree with everyone who says that the prize isn't the "prize" ~ it's being a part of this wonderful group that is the real prize :-)

K.Imaginelli said...

So, I'm probably the latest of the late. (Thanks for the reminder Zinnia).

Now that the election is over (yay OBAMA!), I have a few more brain cells available to devote to my creative writing.

Please keep me in the complete rewrite category.

I haven't been able to participate in the friday coffee breaks for a while, but I wonder if people would find it motivating to briefly state where they are in their wip at the beginning of their comments before responding to the question/topic. Since there are so many of us, I haven't been able to check in with everyone's blogs, so this would be a quick way to see what everyone is doing. (And somehow seeing a quick reminder of how much each person has progressed in the past week is a more immediate motivation than the prizes. Although if I were actually to come in first, a prize would be most welcome. :P ).

One final thought--I've seen some blogs that show the most recent post title for the blogs listed in their sidebar. I don't know how to set up my sidebar list to show who's most recently updated their blogs but if anyone else does, that might be an easy way to pop in on fellow racers every now and then.

Thanks to Liz and everyone else for keeping this community organized and active!