Progress in my first week…

Here is the folly of Camp NaNoWriMo… I am editing – not just writing.

When I put in my starting word count, the NaNo meter went wild. It was like it could not believe I had gotten THAT many words already. And that was great – a WONDERFUL feeling! But… in the week since, my word count has jumped slightly and then inched and then stopped – as I have actually subtracted words at this point. 

As happens with editing.

Some days you add 500 words and don’t subtract any. Some days you add 300 and take away 250. Some days you add 10 and delete 400. Some days you simply read through and do absolutely nothing. Hey! It happens. I KNOW I can’t be the only one who actually writes some parts perfectly the first time.

But what do you do when you are revising and you actually subtract more than you put in? Do you just leave your word count where it is or do you correct it and cry as you do and your little line goes down and the computer goes… HEY WAIT! What are you doing!

Well I chose to leave it… it has to go back up at some point – right?


Anyway that has been my first week in Camp. I wrote. I edited. I deleted some words. I added others. I laughed. I sat and stared at the computer with a weird look on my face. And I drank more coffee in one week than I have in the past month. Oh yeah… and we held our first meeting of the NaNoWriMo Inspirational Authors group at a local Starbucks and we’ve planned our next one – this time at a local Barnes & Noble.

Now I’m off to week 2! FUN!



© Rachel L. Miller 2014

Packing, Moving, Unpacking and… Finally getting back to it.

April 11th –

I posted a special sneak peek at the Prologue of “A Mother For Leah”


And on May 6th –

I announced that I was approaching the finish line – on my final edit before querying.


However, between April 11th and May 6th, we found out that we were moving. And initially I did pretty well keeping to my schedule. I wrote each evening before bed. I got to the point where I was ready for the final edit. I was doing very well.


If you’ve ever moved then you know, as it gets closer to the deadline, it gets more and more difficult to find time for anything other than packing and cleaning.

And so I put the laptop away. I packed and cleaned and then we moved. And for over a week, I did nothing but unpack and put away – because locating things like socks and plates and shampoo was my first priority… as it really should be when you move.


The boxes are not all unpacked but most of them are. And I am determined to get back to my poor neglected manuscript.

So back to the laptop I have come.

The finish line is not as near as it looked a month ago but it is still in sight. And I am running for it!

Pray for me…




© Rachel L. Miller 2014

I am almost there. The Finish Line is in sight!


I am on my last draft before I officially begin the query process.


Yes, I’m excited! Who could have thought that a story I wrote, basically on a dare, would end up being a serious project for me?

Since I am aiming at a young adult crowd, I plan to keep my project in the 70,000 word range since that is what experts recommend. Plus, I’ve seen plenty of other books in the Amish fiction genre that are around that length so I feel very comfortable with it.

Do I think it’s perfect?

No. I’m not that foolish. I’m certain there will be things an agent or an editor will want me to change, areas that need to  be expanded on or even subtracted from. But I feel that knowing this ahead of time will actually help me in the process.

Too many new authors think they are the next C.S. Lewis or Shakespeare and are offended when their work is critiqued. That is what an agent or an editor is supposed to do. They know what sells. They know what the public wants. And they know what works within a specific genre.

That is not to say there aren’t things in my book that I won’t fight for. There are things within my story that may be flexible and there are things in it that are not – things I will go to the mat over. But I’m confident that none of them are what an editor would consider a deal-breaker. And… spelling errors, weak scenes and phrasing issues are not among them.

Of course, the terror I have to deal with then – is the proposal. Oh the horror!

Pray for me…


© Rachel L. Miller 2014

A Special Sneak Peek! | From the Prologue for “A Mother For Leah”

A Mother For Leah Quote from Prologue 3

Some time ago, you might remember my lamenting that my mother suggested I might want to add on a prologue.

Well I didn’t want to but since she is my biggest cheerleader, I decided to give it a try. And there’s no nice way to put this…

It stunk!

I mean it stunk bad. And I didn’t like it. I edited and edited and edited but no matter how hard I tried, I could not make it sound good.

Then, a few days ago, I received a very upsetting phone call.

And apparently, that was the catalyst that God was waiting for because it gave me whatever I needed to pour life (even by way of grief) into Leah’s story.

Since then, I have worked doggedly to pour as much of my ragged emotions into the story as possible and I just want to share a little bit of it with you.

The picture above has a quote from that same prologue – well, not the same prologue… the much edited one. The one I poured my emotions into.

And that one – I LIKE!

In the last couple of days, I have edited the following two chapters and made a point to pour that same level of emotion into them as well.

And… BONUS! I’ve added over 1,000 words to the manuscript as well!

So…now on to the rest of the book.


© Rachel L. Miller 2014 (Author of Amish Fiction)

70,000 words… Easy right? Is it????

Anyone who follows my other blog might remember that I began “A Mother for Leah” back in November for NaNoWriMo. I made it through the month and I got to my 50,000 words required for the contest.

However, when I stripped it down to the essentials and took out all the nonsense that I had written when I was half asleep (LOL), it boiled down to just over 40,000. I began working on it again in earnest, in February. I wasn’t just editing, I was attempting to add more words and plot points.

This has been a much more difficult prospect than I expected and I do believe that it has taught me NaNoWriMo is not for me. Yes I can work under that insane amount of pressure and get to a word count but the words in that count are not always good words.

I applaud the tremendous number of people who are successful writing that way but I think my writing will be much better if I do not push myself to write until the wee hours of the morning on no sleep and an insane deadline hanging over my head with a subject I’m still a little iffy on.

Who am I kidding! That’s what writing is all about!

I like having time to properly research and I like having time to get a good draft going but that’s what a first draft is for. By the time I get to the insane deadline and the wee hours writing, I’ll have the research done and it will be down to tightening up the story. That I can do!

But back to the point of why NaNo is not for me…

I want to write about the Amish faith and community in an entertaining and inspirational way that is also REAL. I don’t want to sell a book based on soap-opera appeal or because it’s full of overblown intrigue. I want it to be as truthful as possible a portrayal of how that community lives, loves and worships.

And that is not what most of NaNo is about. In the world of NaNoWriMo, those of us who write Christian fiction are pretty much lone reeds in a sea of sci-fi, romance and a myriad of other genres and sub-genres that are nothing at all like Inspirational Christian fiction. And as nice as everyone was, I never felt the camaraderie that is supposed to be a large part of the experience.

It was fun…just not for me.

So I will continue to seek out good Christian writer’s groups and until I find them, I will keep doing what I’ve been doing.

I have a strong desire to present a book with a message. I want to show young girls who are sad or lonely or confused about life the true extent and strength of God’s love. I want to show them that God’s love is boundless and all-encompassing. I want to show them that God has a purpose for them, a plan for their life, a path that he wants them on.

I want to show them that it’s not about the “stuff”. It’s about the faith! I want to show them that their life has meaning and that God wants to fill them with joy and contentment and LOVE!

So I will continue with the start I have and I will go on!

I have over 55,000 words now and I’m not done yet!

GOD is leading! I am following!


© Rachel L. Miller 2014