Holding Up the Sky: NaNoWriMo + snippets + plans!



~ NaNoWriMo SUCCESS !! ~


My goal for NaNoWriMo 2018 was to finish the third draft of my contemporary YA novel Holding Up the Sky. And guess what? I DID IT!! 


NaNo-Horizontal-Logo-Web2The plan was to write the final 45,000 words of the 85,000 word target I had for the third draft of this WIP.


NaNo-Horizontal-Logo-Web2I predicted the third draft would be 85,000 words when I was at the 40,000 word mark. The final word count is 84,203 words, which is SO CLOSE to my prediction!


NaNo-Horizontal-Logo-Web2For NaNoWriMo, I wrote 43,863 words, which was a little short of my 45,000 word target, but since the third draft is done I have achieved my goal!!


NaNo-Horizontal-Logo-Web2Throughout NaNoWriMo, my plan of attack was to spend 1-2 days rewriting a chapter, then 1 day editing and fine-tuning. I did this for 12 chapters + the epilogue!


Below, you can find a day-by-day play of how NaNoWriMo unfolded for me. The high-count days were those I spent “rewriting” while the low-count days were those I spent “editing”. Then, I have included some snippets from this WIP (and I’d love to hear what you think of them!). Finally, I reveal my plan for Holding Up the Sky from here!











During November, I participated in #NaNoLino, a Twitter hashtag game created by Mikki Noble so NaNo participants could a few lines of their WIP each day. It was great fun seeing what everyone is up to! Here are some of the most popular snippets from my WIP, and if you want to read more, they’re all still up on my Twitter profile.


The rest of the world fell away, and there was only this. Only him and me and the blooming pressure in my chest. Only this overwhelming, unbearable feeling that was too big for one heart to contain.


A breath shuddered out of me.

It was hopeless, then. It had all been hopeless—everything I’d done, everything I’d endured and suffered and worked for.

I’d failed.


“It hurts,” I gasped. “Why does it hurt?”

Jamie’s smile was sad. “The first light always hurts when you’ve spent so long in the dark.

They were words only a musician would think to say.

They broke me.


“You know I’d do anything for you, right? I’d even take the fall for that body you hid in my yard.”

I smiled through my tears. “I know.”


There were tears in her eyes. Twin pools of liquid green. “He was just a boy,” she whispered. “Just a boy, and he was so afraid. You’ve always been so much like him. I couldn’t let you walk his path.”






So, the third draft is done. What now? This is the plan from here:


NaNo-Horizontal-Logo-Web2First, I am going to take a few weeks off. Like all NaNoWriMo participants, I AM EXHAUSTED…and I am also now on a work trip until mid-December anyway.


NaNo-Horizontal-Logo-Web2On my return, I’m going to do a rapid read-through to identify any glaring issues that remain. Then fix them. Hopefully by Christmas!


NaNo-Horizontal-Logo-Web2In the new year, I am going to put this WIP through a beta-reading process. HELP I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT BETA-READING!! Any advice much appreciated!!


NaNo-Horizontal-Logo-Web2I would like to (eventually) try out the traditional publishing route. I want to give it a shot—but if it doesn’t work out, I will definitely self-publish. I want people to read this story!!


As mentioned above, I will definitely be putting feelers out for beta-readers next year. I need some (unbiased) feedback from people that aren’t my (biased, but well-meaning) family and friends. I’ve never done anything like that before, so if you have any tips on how to (A) find beta-readers, and/or (B) how to effectively manage the process, I’m all ears! If you’ve posted about beta-reading in the past, feel free to share a link!!





Holding Up the Sky: a contemporary YA novel


HUTS_Mock cover x3

“The weight of the sky—of the whole world—was pushing down, and it was crushing me.”


Carter Cantwell seems to have it all: brains, athleticism, musical talent, and a winning personality to boot. But he’s gotten good at pretending. No one sees through his façade, to the real him, buried deep inside.


Then Carter meets Remy. And that’s when it all starts to fall apart.


Read the first chapter of Holding Up the Sky here.




Did you participate in NaNoWriMo 2018? How did you go? If you have any advice about the beta-reading process, I’d love to hear it!!


RA_logo _backdrop-01_miniRebecca Alasdair


  One thought on “Holding Up the Sky: NaNoWriMo + snippets + plans!

  1. 05/12/2018 at 11:23 PM

    Best of luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 13/12/2018 at 2:58 AM

    It’s so important to take a break once in a while. Good luck with your hiatus and with your writing! -Liza 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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