It’s been a super long time and I feel like I owe you a blog entry.
So, those of you that know me know I have an anxiety disorder. It’s gotten loads better over the years through a lot of hard work and the occasional medication. I haven’t had a panic attack since I lived in my Ottawa apartment about five years ago. I can go out and, like, be with people. Honestly, it’s nothing short of a miracle.
That doesn’t mean I’m not afraid. My body may not enter flight or fight mode over not being able to find a hair brush anymore (long story), but I still get very, very nervous over silly things.
Like my third book.
After two previous books of varying quality, I’m finally sitting down to write the book I’ve always wanted to write. And that’s a lot of pressure. I need to get it right, you know? So I’m terrified. What if I’m not a good enough writer to pull this off yet? What if no one wants to read what I have to say? WHAT IF IT’S TERRIBLE?!
I know, I know. Just write it. Get it down. You can’t edit a blank page and all that jazz. All my advice to other writers just spins through my head. I’m doing the best I can. I tried outlining and plotting, but I can’t. Looks like I’m a pantser and I’m just going to have to get this first draft written. I have a goal to write 300 words a day, just like I did for IT GIVES A LOVELY LIGHT, and this will get me a 70K first draft by the end of the year.
I use this great calendar by Karen Kavett and you should go check it out. I have the week of the May 24 weekend off to do writerly things. I have my second book, THE NEW ROMANTICS, out to my alpha reader so I can’t touch that until she gets around to it. So I’ll be heads down, writing THE SCARS WE BEAR.
Did I mention I’m terrified?
Me, two weeks from now:
Thanks for reading, folks. I won’t be doing a live blog of my week off this time, but I’ll post some updates, if y’all at interested. Follow me on the Twitter!
Talk soon ❤
Long time, no see. Sorry I haven’t updated in a while. I’ve been working away but there hasn’t been much news.
I’ve received responses from all the agents I queried, save one. All rejections and I’m taking the last one’s silence as the same.
In all honesty, though, it’s fine. IT GIVES A LOVELY LIGHT isn’t up to snuff yet. I’m actually a little ticked at myself that I queried at all since I can’t requery those agents I’ve done already. Sigh.
I’ve been putting IGALL through critique circles. It’s already gone through one and it was almost done in my general fiction circle. Well, my big climax chapter got absolutely torn apart in that general fiction circle. Like, it was painful.
So, it turns out, I have to completely chop off the last five-ish chapters and go at them again. Fun times. I’ve decided to shelve it for a few months and get my passion back for the project. I’ll come back to it. I hope.
On the front of my second novel, code named THE NEW ROMANTICS, I’m making excellent progress. I’ve completed the first draft at about 63K words. Then, I plotted it out, found some holes, and I’m working on fixing those. The second draft I’m expecting to come in between 75K and 80K for word count. By far the longest thing I’ve ever done.
And I have novel number three percolating away in the back of my mind. My bestie/writing partner says it’s because I want to avoid editing. During the editing stage, I always get an idea for a new novel. Hence the birth of TNR.
Anyway, that’s what’s happening with my writing. The group is going fantastic and I appreciate all my writing buddies in whatever form you take. I’ve been posting lines from my works in progress on my Twitter! Go check that out and give me a follow if you like it!
Thanks for reading. ❤
So, I’ve moved on to the next phase of my process of getting this book out into the world: Beta readers.
I have a lot. Seven, actually. Too many, probably, but I’m excited to hear everyone’s opinions. Excited and terrified. So far, I haven’t heard back from anyone other than general “so far, so good” comments. These are nice but leaves a lot up in the air. I’m hoping to have Draft Four, a.k.a. The Querying Draft, ready by the end of this year, so I’ve asked for feedback by the end of November. This is going to be a long month.
In return, I’m Beta reading for a few of them. Everyone is so talented. This is what I have to go up against in the pile of submissions for agents. Again, terrifying.
Anyway, that’s where I am. Sitting and waiting. In the meantime, I’m working on novels two and three. I’m about two-thirds of the way through novel two, so it’s really my focus. Novel three is more of a pet project that I’m working on in my spare spare time, which is sparse (like the novel itself).
Hope you update you soon when I get back all my amazing comments! Thanks for reading.
Day five is over. What can I say about day five?
It did not go well is what I’m saying.
I started my read through. I tried reading word by word. I tried reading out loud. I tried reading it like a reader. None of it worked well.
I am officially so sick of this book.
What am I supposed to do with that? I’m still determined to finish the read through tonight. I’m only about four chapters from the end, so I should be able to do it. But at this moment I feel like this book is terrible and I’m a failure because of it. My writing buddy assures me this is not the case and I’m just going to have to get by on her faith in my project for now.
To calm myself, I’ve decided I’m just going to send my manuscript off to her for beta reading first before I subject anyone else to it. I’ve convinced myself there will be many changes for draft four as there are a tonne of new things in draft three. I have lost confidence. But, hopefully, having someone read it and the distance it will give me while I wait will restore it, or the little I had to begin with.
Okay, I’m off to finish reading. This will be my last blog on this draft. Thanks to the folks that have read the whole week, or even just one day. The blogging has helped in my accountability. Overall, I had a really good week. I wish I could do this forever, but alas. I return to the life of an aviation analyst on Monday.
Day four is over.
I feel like I shouldn’t be doing happy gifs. Though I’m happy the day is over and with what I have accomplished, I don’t want this week to end. I’m living the true writer’s life right now. I have no responsibilities except those to myself. I’m my own boss. I make my own hours. I work from home. It’s been a bit of a struggle getting used to doing work without so much structure, but I’m really pleased with my progress so far. I think I’m doing really well and that’s making me really happy.
I’ve increased my word count pretty significantly today. About 900 words! So, now I can say it’s a 66K word novel. That’s closer to 70K, right? I did a lot of BIG changes today. I moved some scenes around, extended some, wrote completely new ones and deleted any that didn’t seem right. The List, as far as plotting and characterization is concerned, is complete. I still have some editing stuff to do, change some names, strengthen my verbs, realign the chapters to flow better, but all significant plot and character changes to the book are done.
I’m pretty excited. So, tomorrow, that leaves the final read through. The final with-a-fine-tooth-comb read through. This is where I’ll look at every single word and sentence and paragraph and chapter within the context of the whole book and determine if it stays or goes. I can see a lot of making sure my characters don’t do so much “looking” (they’re constantly looking around, it’s a terrible habit) and that I’m not over doing my speech tags. Trying to get into active voice and not using weak verbs. That kind of stuff. It’s going to be a long day.
But after that, I expect to be done! Then it’s to the beta reads. I don’t want to think of the beta reads right now or that paper bag will not be enough.
Thanks for reading. I’m off for a swim and a hang with my writing buddy. ‘Till tomorrow!
Day three is nearly over. I’m in a coffee shop downtown waiting for my bestie to get off work so we can go celebrate her birthday.
So, I’m writing this early. I’m going to continue writing for about another hour so, this isn’t final final.
Reading the whole book took longer than I would have liked and I’m not sure I got what I needed out of it. I fixed some things on the way such as superfluous speak tags, incorrect commas and dialogue/thoughts punctuation and things like that so the first half of the book matches the style I went with for the second half. Apparently, those little asterisks I used as scene breaks for a while counted as a word in my word count. As you might expect, taking those out decreased my word count quite a bit. Devastating.
I made up for it today, though, by increasing my overall word count by about 300 hundred words! I’m officially over 65K now. I’ll never get to 70K and I’ve accepted it. I made significant progress on The List. Most of it was little stuff. I’m saving the big stuff for tomorrow and Friday when I have time to really settle into it. One that I’m not looking forward to is completely changing how one character finds out about something. It’s a big, big change, but one that I think makes more sense. I forgot to use that technique that I always have to Google to spell. Most of my time, until about one o’clock, was spent reading. But I think I’ll continue with the technique tomorrow and Friday. So, I’m pretty pleased with the progress I’ve made since lunch time but disappointed it took so long for the read through, especially since I’ll definitely have to do it again.
Anyway, that’s the update for today. Lots done, lots to do. But, good news, I’m pretty confident that it’ll be ready by Friday. Then I have to go through the excruciating process of letting people read it. Beta reading is rough. I’m so thankful to those who have stepped up to help me with it. If any of you are reading, you’re amazing.
Thanks for reading!
Well. Day one is on the books.
I’m not sure how to gauge my success. I think I got a lot done. First chapter (that dreaded first chapter) is done and I’ve gotten through about half of my critique papers. I’ve made a list of everything that needs changing/fixing/adding/deleting. There’s a lot. There’s still four days, but there’s a lot.
I’ve also eaten a lot of chocolate raisins.
I kept track of my word count and have determined that to be, unsurprisingly, a poor indicator of progress. I have increased my word count by a whole 65 words! For those keeping track at home, that’s like, a third of this post. That means some additions, but also some subtractions. I got a late start this morning, totally my own fault, then spent more time than I should have on various social media sites (*cough TUMBLR cough*).
I think tomorrow requires more of a plan and more structure. The first thing I’m going to do is sit down and schedule out the day. I’m not going to go too nuts with it and schedule to the 15-minute chunk or something, but I think general goals will be helpful. If you have any suggestions for productivity apps, I’d be happy to hear them! One thing I might try that’s been floating around my job-type blogs is the Pomodoro Technique. I’ve heard good things. What techniques do you use to keep yourself on track and not distracted? Just turn the damn internet off, right?
All right, dudes and dudettes. I’m off to melt my brain with television until it’s time to go to bed. Then, all this all over again! Thanks for sticking around.