Ready for Fall

Everywhere I look on social media are postings about fall. I’m sure ready for it. Plus right now we really need the rain in Washington. I’ve never been a fan of the heat and prefer the dreary days. Proof I’m a Washingtonian.

There is a lot I’d like to achieve in the next few months. I’m working on a novella that I plan to submit to a few publishers. It’s different and sort of out of my comfort zone, but I’m trying to expand as a writer. I wrote a different novel where I completed a rough draft but want to give it time to cool off.

I hope to get my manuscript back from my editor and see what the next step is. I’m guessing more rewrites and self editing. It’s a long process and harder than I thought.

Writing is my outlet for stress right now, every time I read the news there is something terrible going on. I can’t control the world, but I can control my stories. I’m just going to keep on writing.

On a side note, I really hope to get out of the house this weekend. I’m thinking a hike sounds refreshing right now.

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WIP Update

A lot’s been happening in my writing life which makes me nervous but excited all at once. My manuscript has been sent to an editor for her to copy edit. I’m not expecting to get my novel back until the end of September. I understand that won’t be the end of the editing process. I’m sure changes will follow and then a final proofread.

On a fun note, I hired a cover artist whose work I’m in love with and can’t wait to see what the outcome is. I’m not artistic whatsoever, drawing a stick figure is the extent of my artistic ability.  Trying to picture what kind of cover I want is difficult but I have an idea in mind. I’m hoping once it’s done it’ll give me some extra motivation!

There’s so much to self publishing it’s overwhelming, but I’m trying to take it one step at a time. I hear formatting the paperback is a pain and there’s no way around it.

I don’t have a specific date when my book will be available. With this being my debut novel, I need to make sure it’s the best it can be. This consists of a lot of time, effort and money. Self publishing isn’t cheap but I hope it’ll be worth it. Holding my own book in my hands is the end goal and I want to be proud of it.

For now I’m going to celebrate the small victories and see how far I’ve come. A glass of wine is in my future.

If anyone has tips or advice feel free to share!

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I Wrote Another Novel

Since picking up writing again, I revisited a romance novel I’ve been working on and threw myself into it. I’m a writer who can get work done fast when I need to. One day I wrote 10,000 words. That’s a huge achievement for me.

There is only one way to become a better writer and that’s butt in chair typing away. Some nights I couldn’t sleep. I’d get up at 1 AM and type, edit, add chapters, delete chapters, drink more coffee, write down ideas. My fiancé thought I was crazy at times.

It’s a novel I’m proud of and I hope to make something of it. I have a lot of work to do and have hired an editor to help me with the process. This is a big commitment and pricey but I have to go the distance. I’m really trying to make my dream come to life and I’m doing it because I want to.

Last week, I sent that manuscript to the editor so I won’t hear anything for a few weeks. I’m anxious and excited to see what she recommends.

Since then, I’m already starting another novel and trying to aim for 1000 words a day. I also want to try plotting. I’m usually a person who goes by the seat of my pants but would like to try it for once. I plan to do a blog post about that soon.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

 

Diving Back In

I did it! This weekend I got back in the groove and wrote more than I initially thought. It took me a long time, but I finished it. I’m trying to find a happy medium of being a writer and having an average life.

I think time off did me well. I’ve been catching errors that I didn’t before. My novel had a  lot of unnecessary fluff. It’s a work in progress that I’ll keep chipping away at.

How is everyone else doing with their current projects?

Working With an Editor

I found an editor and it’s been a great investment. I’ve been using the services of Kristen Corrects. Her information will also be at the bottom of this post.

Kristen did a First Chapter Review for my novel Bounded, but I was blown away at the detail she included. It’s one thing to have a friend read your work, but to hire someone who provides valuable feedback is well worth it. I used Kristen because she is the only editor. I’ve seen many editing companies but you never know who the actual editor is. She offered to speak with me over the phone if had questions. That’s pretty awesome!

She gave me details on:

  • Plot
  • Character
  • Setting
  • Dialogue
  • POV
  • Conflict
  • Writing Voice
  • Pacing

This edit didn’t include copyediting, but she still went through the manuscript and highlighted mistakes and items that could be changed. A common error I make is switching between past and present tense in the same paragraph.

I’m editing and rewriting Bounded, with the information she gave me in mind. There is plenty of work cut out for me, but I feel there is a direction to go.

I’d recommend this if you’ve been querying agents and not getting a response or rejected. The first chapter will either make or break you, so I need to be sure it’s the best it can be. This information would also help if you want to improve your craft. I feel like this was worth it.

Here is Kristen’s website.

http://www.kristencorrects.com/

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Have a Drink! With your Character

Many of us enjoy having a drink, so why not have a drink with your character? A story isn’t developed without knowing your characters. Some of my characters I didn’t understand until later in the writing process. Sure, you can do a table with their certain attributes, looks, what they like, dislike and all that. It still may be hard to determine what they’re really like. I could write all day about what John Doe likes, but it’s not until I get down to writing that I learn what he’s all about.

I like to do this exercise with my characters; imagine what it’d be like to have a drink with them in real life. This could be what kind of bar they’d frequent or what they’d order tells me a lot about them. It also shows how they’d talk when their guard is down after a few drinks. It helps me understand what kind of mannerisms they’d have and how they’d approach a suitor in a bar. This may sound silly but this has helped me.

Some characters would stick with beer, whiskey, scotch, maybe a cosmopolitan. Some are strictly wine drinkers, but what kind of wine? Is it white wine or red wine? I think this can make a huge difference in what kind of person they are. At my day job, I’ve dealt with drunks for years and whenever a situation arises I ask, “What were you drinking tonight?” their answer usually tells me a lot about them, at least in my experience. I’m pretty good at determining if they were drinking beer, mixed drinks, wine or straight Jack Daniels.

It’s just a game I play when I’m fiddling with character development. I’ve found this little exercise useful in character development and it’s also fun. If you don’t drink, that’s okay to, you can still imagine what they’d be like.

A lot of writers give certain advice to pretend you’re the character, well pretending to have a drink with them is the same notion. After doing this little exercise, I sometimes wish my characters were real people.

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Other Projects

I wrote a novel! That’s great, now I need to work on another one. Successful writers are always coming up with new ideas and continue to write. I have to keep this in mind when it comes to writing.

I finished editing one of my novels and I’m ready for something new. It’s easy to get wrapped up on one story, and not work on other projects. There are so many ideas I have and I keep them written down for later.

My new book is a thriller with some mystery. It’s an idea that’s been floating around for quite some time, and I feel like it’s the right time to write it. The creative process is so much fun and I love making new characters. This new story has gotten me into the creative flow and I try to keep the ideas coming.

My goal for the next two months is to complete a rough draft. I estimate about 1000-2000 words a day, so I think it’s doable.