Writing Everyday Vs. Not

I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. When I was posting on Wattpad I wrote thousands of words and popped out multiple chapters every day.

They weren’t edited and their no longer available, but I did that.
It also caused me burn out so bad that I took a year off. Not that I’m complaining. I watched a ton of really good shows that helped refill that well of inspiration that completely drained when I was doing all that writing though.

Doctor Who and Breaking Bad among some of those greats!
When I did pick up writing again I tried to throw myself back into it. Force myself to write every single day like I used to and found the more I tried to force myself to write the more I seemed to hit that famous brick wall. It would also frustrate me because I felt like I was failing as a writer and put me off of writing for the rest of the week.

Needless to say, it stopped me from being productive in any way shape or form. I’ve learned that whatever motivation burned through me all those years ago literally burned through me. Now I’m lucky if I can push out a good two-thousand a week. That’s if I’m writing every other day, or at least pushing through one good day of writing. Then I usually wind up avoiding any form of writing the next day. (I told you my motivation was shot.)

There’s an incentive to both ways.

If you’ve got multiple responsibilities, then yeah, sometimes it can make sense to only write a bunch of words in one day. Getting through your word count all at once allows you to focus on other things. Which is especially helpful if you’ve got a full-time job, school, kids, or all three. You know. Adult stuff that happens.

I especially got to give props to those people that can manage 10k in one workday. Like wow. Kudos to you.

But working on your MS in bits is just as great. It allows you to focus on smaller bits, work out the details and kinks at a much slower pace, and have a much more put together manuscript at the end of it. Kind of.
I say this only because its recently taking me 4 months to write a 24k novella and I know that if I had buckled down and really focused it would have taken me two. But oh well.

I did have other writing projects, so there was that going on.

All this to say, that there is no right or wrong way to write your story.
Smash it out in a month and edit later. Great!

Take six months to finish that first draft! At that pace, you’ll still beat George R.R. Martin so…Great!!!

You do you and don’t let anyone tell you that needs to be done any other way. As long as the words are getting written and you’re telling the story your way. Whatever works.

Keep writing.

Keep creating worlds

Until next time!

What Goals?

So, it’s a occurred to me that it’s the first full week into 2020 and I’ve yet to actually write down any goals for this new year. Which is odd for me because every year I’ve always written down my goals and have some kind of plan going forward.

This year, I know what I want to do but I’m seem to be freestyling it. And with everything that I want to do this year I know that’s not going to happen. I need to focus and to do that I don’t need some vague idea of how these things are going to happen. I need plans, charts, whole lists of thing that need to happen before other things can happen.

Example. Last year, I put “Get Stop The Raven published.”

Okay.

Fine.

That’s a long term goal that will happen one day. But what about the steps in between? Finding an agent or publisher. Marketing it, even before all of it comes out. Little stepping stones that I completely over looked last year and left me feeling deflated when my main goal didn’t happen. So now I’m taking a few steps back to make sure I’m going through the motions and not just focusing on the end goal.

The end goal is to get Stop The Raven published. The current goals is to continue to query agents/ possibly small publishing house. (I’ll get into all of that later) And focus on continuing to grow my media spaces. Like this blog.

For this year I’m gonna try really hard not to ignore this space. I’ve already gotten a series idea that I could also incorporate into my youtube channel. If I ever get brave enough to film those videos and just put them out there.

At some point, I’m going to just say fuck it and do it anyways. Come what may, at least they’ll be out there. It’s not easy when anxiety and that impostor syndrome starts creeping in. But oh well.

It’s a mute point.

The point is, to grow this blog I have some new ideas. Like a new series that I’m working on called “Authors That Inspire.” I already have the first post written, I may or may not film it, and then I’ll post it sometime in the coming weeks and hopefully continue on with this band wagon.

Other ideas, are of course to keep everyone update on what is actually going on in my writing career. I will make another post on what anthologies I’ve got stories in in the future so that you know what to keep an eye for and what other anthologies I may or may not be working on.

And other random tid-bit blog posts ideas that come at me. (I’ve already gotten another idea while writing this one.)

Another goal of mine is to get into more anthologies. I’ve found that I enjoy writing short stories as much as I do whole novels and I especially find it so much easier when there’s a theme involved. So getting into more anthologies is a definite must for me.

I’ve seen people make some crazy goals of like 100 or 200 stories in different anthologies in a given year…and while it’s possible (Stares at fellow authors in a certain anthology group) I know me. I know my limits and I know at some point in the middle of this year I’m going feel the burn out and I’m going to work my ass off in making sure that doesn’t happen.

So I’m going to say like 10 stories in various anthologies for this year. Not sure if I should count the short stories yet to be published in the upcoming months as part of that goal seeing as I wrote them last year, but we’ll aim for 10 unwritten stories in different anthologies. That’s realistic. ( I think)

There’s also a novella that I’ve been working on for the last half of 2019 that I finally made the first round of edits to. Think IT X Stranger Things. I don’t know. I just threw that out there because its basically like all those 80’s films where the kids are going up against the scary monster. I may have been inspired by those two films at the time and I quite enjoyed working on this particular story.


So, I’m looking to publish that one as well. Probably self published unless I get lucky some where else, Crossing my fingers here it’s going to be good when it does come out.

So yeah. Writing wise those are my goals. That’s what I wish to succeed this year. Personal goals wise.

My husband and I are looking to buy a house. That’s moving forward quite nicely as of right now.


I do wish to lose another 20lbs this year. Last year I managed to lose 15 and though I didn’t brag about it much on social media, I was stoked that I was able to accomplish even that. So this year, I’m raising that bar and going to work twice as hard.

Also wish to have more family time. Something else that we’re already incorporating into our weekly schedules. Watching more movies with kids. Enjoying more television series with the husband and playing some board games as a family.

Small things. Thing that will mean something in the years to come. So those are my goals.

Part of the reason why I couldn’t think of anything was because I was already working on these things in 2019. Their not anything new but I guess their still things I hope to accomplish for the rest of the year.

I hope everyone is having a happy new year so far and remember you won’t accomplish anything this year if you don’t show up and do the work.

Til next time!

2019 in a nutshell

2019 in a nutshell

2019 was an interesting year. I can honestly say nothing really exciting happened and something exciting did happen. Let me break that down a bit for you because I know I’ve lost a few people there.

Personal life wise, nothing exciting happened. I wrote my stories, posted videos and worked on the weekends. Held on to a few goals that I’ve been talking about achieving for the past couple of years.

Example….I kept promising myself I would workout and lose some weight. While my aim was 30lbs this year, I still managed to lose 15lbs and kept most of that weight off despite falling off the workout wagon.

I also managed to purchase my website this year. A goal that I’ve been putting off for a couple of years now. It feels weird not having .wordpress.com at the end of my domain name but something I can for sure get used to having.

I also managed to spend most of my year writing. In 2019 I wrote 1 novel, 1 novella, 6 short stories and several different drabbles for various genres.

And the biggest thing to happen for me this year is I did manage to get published.

Was it the Stop The Raven novel that I wanted to see in print everywhere? No, but I have five drabbles published in various books from the Dark Drabbles Series from Black Hare Press and I have three of those six  short stories set to be published in 2020 along with several more drabbles. I also published two more short stories on site under the “shorts” link. Feel free to check them out.

That 6th short story is somewhere up in limbo waiting for the Dark Lords of submissions to say yay or nay. Crossing my fingers here

Yes, 2020 is looking to be another great year for publishing small works. Maybe even that novella I mentioned, and dare I say it, Stop The Raven. It’s looking to be a bright year and it’s all because of the stepping stones that were placed in 2019 and the years before.

Like I said, not a wholly exciting year as far what adventures I had, but definitely great enough for the writing career that I’ve been trying to build up for the past three years!

Especially since I discovered Black Hare Press at the beginning of this year and have since met some amazing people that I look forward to continue working with in the New Year!

Here’s to a great 2020 and all it’ll bring about!

The Perfect Writing Day

One thing we all think about when we first start writing is that perfect schedule. How we would run our days if we were to become full time writers. So here’s a run down list of what my ideal schedule could be. (Or would be if I buckled down and actually stuck to this kind of schedule.)

Think of this as an experiment to see how well this would work out.

6:30 AM – Wake up, get kids ready for school.

7 AM – Spend 15 minutes on social media before taking the kids to school.

8 AM – The dog’s gone for a walk, which allows me a stretch, and my coffee is poured. This means WRITING TIME!!!! Well, time to work on my blog anyways. With any luck this won’t take the whole hour, but who knows. (This blog post is currently taking almost two hours. Have I mentioned I’m the procrastination queen?

9:30 AM – Hubby goes to work and when I return home it’s work out time.

10 30 AM – More writing! This time I work on either a short story or edits or another project that I’ve got going at the moment. (So many projects, so little time.)

12 PM – Lunch and probably some time to chill and watch a couple of videos on youtube. (Also the dog is probably bugging me to go outside again.)

2:45 PM – Time has gotten away with me and it’s now time to pick up the kids….

I kid.

Seriously, let’s jet back to fantasy land here for a moment.

12:15 PM – More writing! I’m really hoping with all this writing I can get a good chunk of this short story that I need to write before November finished.

1:15/1:45 PM – At this point I need to stretch and so that means some quick pick up around the house before it’s time to get the kids. Also dog.

2:45 PM – Seriously time to pick up the kids! That means sitting in the car line for 30 minutes and read. My current read is The Shining by Stephen King. This is my second attempt to read this book, I was reading it a couple of months ago and got interested in another story and this got put on the side burner, but I’m back at it and still enjoying it.

3:30 PM – From here my day descends into chaos. Kids are wanting snacks, homework needs to be finished. (Bursts into rendition of NeverEnding Story.)

4:30 PM – Kids are settled, homework is done, and they’re probably already playing their video games. If nothing happens I could write for another 30 to 45 minutes.

5 PM – Cook dinner, eat, clean up.

6:30 – Time to pick up husband, come home. Baths…Dog needs to go out for the 4th or 5th time this day and it’s probably going to be a longer walk to calm him down for the night along with the kids.

7:30/8 PM – More writing? Possibly. At this point it would make sense since everyone is quieted down for the time being.

10 PM – Bedtime / Some mindless TV or reading. Depends. My husband is wanting me to watch an anime called Hunter X Hunger, so probably a couple of episodes of that before bedtime.

So there it is. My perfect writing. Was it all spent writing? No, probably because I find that if I spend exhaustive long moments in front of the computer I get angsty and need to get up and move. Include the kids in that mix with all their needs and after school activities and if I don’t dedicate the morning hours to writing and partial of the evenings I don’t get a lot of writing done. Also, I’m good at procrastinating, as I’ve mentioned, so to achieve this I would have to turn off social media so…

I’m going to attempt this kind of a schedule in a vlog on my youtube channel. If you want to see the results of that, head on over there. Should be going up about the same time as this. And let me know what you think?


What is your ideal writing schedule? Obviously, if I didn’t have kids I would definitely devote whole days to my characters, but alas, I enjoy being a mom and wouldn’t change this schedule for anything.

Also in case you didn’t know. I have another drabble coming out in Black Hare Press Beyond Anthology next week. Sept. 17th. You can pre-order it here . There’s a 100+ stories from various different author’s from all over the  globe. So buy it. Enjoy it. Review it. All that good stuff.

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Until next time!

The Process of Querying: Tools I’ve Used and How It’s Going.

Querying can be tough. Writing a short, maybe three paragraph, explanation of your 500 page book sounds like an impossible tasks. How are you supposed to get all the super cool characters and plot points that made the book worth writing squeezed into three paragraphs?

The problem is, you don’t. You take your main character, maybe one extra side character (Love interest if you have one), your antagonists, and go over the biggest hurdle in your book. That’s it. It’s that easy and that hard.

At least it’s not the elevator pitch. (Don’t get me started on that monster)

Everyone says writing the book is the easiest part. I beg to differ. When I first started looking over the querying process I realized I would need to start writing my query before I even finished my book. So, I worked on it in pieces. I wrote a first draft, because yes this is going to be done in drafts as well, and then I rewrote it.

I wrote down all the notes and possible suggestions for how to make a great query. Hint: look up Jane Friedman’s The complete guide to Query Letters and Query Shark. Both are literary agents that offer some sound advice when it comes to writing queries and sometimes do query critiques in their blogs.

Also feel free to sign up for Query Tracker. It’s a great resource for when you’re in the query trenches and need a way to keep up with your queries, it’s a year subscription that costs $25. Not to shabby for all it provides. Also there’s a great forum that you can join that allows you to post your query for review and fellow writers will give you advice to make it better.

You will have to actually look over other queries and maybe give some opinions of your own to get advice on yours, but it’s still a great community, and plenty of other topics you can look over. Everything from querying etiquette to tips on author platform can be found inside those forums.

Definitely worth a look at if you’re feeling a little loss on the whole process and just want some advice from fellow writers.

My own querying process is feeling a bit stale.

Think

tenor

and

giphy (1)

I’ve done the write, rewrite, have people read it, pay an editor to look over your query and write it again and……giphy

I’m trying a thing….I’m thinking it’s the first chapter so I’m going to try and rewrite it so that the second chapter (?) is the first chapter and see how well this works out. This also means I’ll be looking for people to beta read and tell me if it is actually my original first chapter and if the second chapter works better as my first chapter.

 Though, I’m hesitant because I have so many balls up in the air right now, that going in and rewriting my first chapter and what not in this MS seems a little insane but if there’s no interest it just makes sense to try something different.

Do I really know what I’m doing? No

Does any of us? No.

Why? Because the market is so subjective that what works for one person may not work for another. There’s no concrete formula that will get you that perfect agent and grand publishing deal, so we’re all just rowing down this creek with only one paddle and hoping for the map you were given isn’t completely useless.

For those concerned about rewriting this while I have queries out. Their just queries. Not whole or partial requests that agents are looking over. And if someone does show interest in what I have now I will send them the MS as is without the changes…maybe mention that I was considering the changes but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

So, I’ve gone on long enough about how querying is working out for me. Let me know if you’re going through the same process. How is it working out for you? Has it worked out for you? I want to hear all about your victories, even the smaller ones like you’ve finally gotten it written. Because any small step is still a step closer to your own success!

Until next time!

UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS!!!

I know it’s been a hot minute since I last posted on here. My apologizes in advance. I focused a bit on my youtube channel, which I ask that you check out for more content. I’ve also been focusing on writing and querying and that seems to take up a good bit of my time. 

So, without further ado I’ll get into the announcements.

First off, I’ve got a small piece recently published in the ANGELS: A Divine Microficition Anthology by Black Hare Press

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It’s currently available on Amazon and you’re welcome to check it out to find my piece as well as over 100+ other author’s. It’s already topped as a #1 Best Seller in it’s category and isn’t looking to disappear anytime soon.

That being said, I also have another bit of drabble coming out soon in their Beyond Dark Drabbles #4 and is up for Kindle preorder and is due to be released in September.

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So keep an eye out for further updates on that.

Now on to other news.

I’m still querying STOP THE RAVEN the stats for that are as followed.

22 Queries sent out

17 Rejected.

0- MS Requests….

I’m really beginning to think that I need to take a look at my first chapter and maybe the query and synopsis but I’ll wait a bit longer to see what happens. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic here and a tad stubborn but I’ve seen worse odds. So….To each his own, right?

Though I have already started plotting out how I can make the first chapter far more interesting and possibly even change the plot all together but that whole bag of worms will wait until I’ve reached a few more rejections.

On the writing front I am currently working on another story. Think IT where a bunch of kids are fighting a monster lurking in the woods. I’m enjoying it. For the most part. It’s giving me some trouble as far as not wanting flow as easily as I hoped it would but it’s only in first draft mode and not looking to meet public eyes anytime soon.

Maybe if I put myself on some kind of deadline I can get this thing finished and edited and figure out how I wanna publish this thing. That will be a problem for another day though.

I’ve also have several short story ideas building up for submissions to anthologies. If you write speculative fiction and are looking for a place to submit your work feel free to check out Black Hare Press. They have more drabbles looking for submissions as well as their new Seven Deadly Sins series that just opened for submissions as well as several others.

If you’re a reader, still check out their content because they have some amazing anthologies coming out.

My current reading lists includes:

Angels – because I do wanna read some of those other stories. I got glimpses of titles and they all look so amazing. Can’t wait to dive into that.

and

Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – I’ve followed her on twitter and love her enthusiasim for writing and traveling and have been meaning to get into one of her books. I’m not even disappointed by the story thus far and am looking forward to finishing this series off.

Otherwise summer has been filled with kids, camping, and an upcoming water park trip. Woohoo! Yeah, it’s been going by pretty fast and the end of the year is just around the corner.

So what things have you been up to? Achieved any major goals? Read any good books this summer?

Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you guys.

Marching Goals

Of course it would in the shortest month of the year that I manage to complete 80% of my to do lists. Especially since most of the time I manage to only check off maybe one or two items and everything else tends to gets pushed forward to the next month.

Maybe. Hopefully.

There in lies my problem. I keep hoping to do stuff and maybe I’ll get to it later.

Here’s a goal for next month, so going to push to try harder and actually get this stuff done. Not let motivations, or lack there-of, get in mine way. Lol

But anyways, I’m here to let you know how exactly did February go for me?

Let’s get started.

February Goals –

Edit & Post short story – complete. It can be found under the shorts tab on my blog/webpage.

Lose 5lbs- Complete!

Start editing sci-fi novel – nope, but I’m starting on this this month. Promise.

2 youtube videos – Yes!

Blog bi-weekly – No, unless you want to count the youtube videos. When I can posts my youtube videos on my page then it’ll start counting, right?

Read 1 book – Yes. I completed Bethany Atazadeh’s Evalene’s Number. Excellent read if you’re looking for something to pick up in the dystopian future type novels.

Clean Closet – Yes! Semi-funny story here. My husband lost a couple of videos games and proceeded to clear and reorganize our closet in his attempt to find his games. Didn’t find them, but the closet got cleaned out so there’s that check mark.

Like I said, I did manage to get a good portion of my goals completed and I’m super proud of everything that I did so I’m looking at March and thinking I can so complete this lists items that are getting added on.

March Goals!

So, March is a bit longer but it’s also my anniversary with my husband and a handful of birthdays, so here we go and I know that by the time that this is posted I’ll be a week in March and should be fully on the way to completing some of these goals but look at who’s blog you’re reading here. Lol

So list of things I’m looking to achieve this month.

Write and Edit another short. – At typically 5,000 words I think this achievable.

Start Edits to Sci-Fi Novel – Again achievable if I start today.

2 youtube videos – not an insane amount and completely doable going by past months.

Read 1 book – I need to either decide on a book I already own or buy a new one first but still.

Lose another 5lbs – Going to achieve this one!

Start streaming on twitch – I know it seems like I’m giving myself another way to procrastinate on writing, but it’s something I wanna try and see I’ll enjoy it.

Blog 2 times this month – Hey, I’ve already got one blog down.

Query more Agents – Since January I’ve been querying 2 or 3 agents a month and tapping my finger for the rest of the month (hence why the streaming is coming in to keep me busier)

How I plan to achieve these goals?
1. Write a thousand words a week. Yep, we’ll get through this somehow.
2. Edit for 2hrs a day (probably at night when kids go to bed)
3. Film 2 videos at beginning of month (With computer currently down editing anything is going to be rough, but filming is still a possibility.)
4. Read 20pgs a day
5. Stream in the mornings Monday through Thursday!

A Balancing Act

You can’t do a good job, if your job is all you do.” – Unknown

Like everything else you need a balance between writing and life. It’s a proven fact that too much of a good thing can be lethal and that goes for spending all your time writing as well. You sit behind that desk, pouring out word after word and eventually the well runs dry.

It can also hurt you in the other sense as well. You spend so much time digging around in your work and you wind up ignoring your family and friends. Before you know it you’ve isolated everything and your kids are probably screaming for your attention.

When my kids were younger (I’m talking terrible two and troublesome threes stages) I found that it was a literal circus trying to spend time with them and finding a moment to write. Back then it was a hobby and not so much something I was looking to make a career, so it was easier to push aside the writing and focus on the family.

Mostly by writing down a few words while the kids were napping or when they were distracted and didn’t need my immediate attention. Which wasn’t often but like I said, the writing was more of a hobby then and not such a big deal.

Now a days, I’m looking to publish my first novel and trying to perfect my WIP to be that novel, while still maintaining family and friends. The kids are older and are in school most of the day and the husband now works mornings. So I split my time. Mornings are for house work and blogs. Writing is for the afternoon, when I have a couple of hours before I have to pick up the kids. Evenings are for families. It’s when the kids and husband come home and we focus on homework and other such things.

Friends get mixed in there somewhere in the evenings and I only work full time on Saturday and Sunday. I’ve got it nicely blocked out and the only thing that sucks away my time is my ever persistent procrastination. It’s getting a bit out of hand, and I’m in search of a way to keep myself accountable. This blog helps, but once the blog is written and posted there’s still all that time to do nothing but binge watch TV.

That’s a discussion for another time.

For now, here’s a few tips that might help you (and myself) to keep from tipping the scales.

 Schedule your day: 

Blocking out your time is always an option. Either through your phone, computer, or (my personal favorite) inside of a little notebook. Spend the night before setting up some sort of schedule that goes through your typical day: work, family, etc. Map it out to know when you have those empty slots that you can fit a bit of writing in to. This is particularly useful if you have a family and full time job, or are going to school.

As I’ve mentioned above, having kids makes this all the harder to do because we never know what those tiny creatures have planned, but you can still find ways to push in time for your writing without the kids screaming at you for attention.

Make a day of it.

If you have that option.

Take a day out of the week, let everyone know that you have plans, and focus solely on your writing.

Point is, make your writing a priority and schedule it into your day like you would anything else of importance. That’s going to help you figure out when’s the best time to focus solely on writing that and then allow you to move on to something else for the day. It also helps you create the habit of actually sitting down to write when your suppose to.

Let people know

If writing is more then just a hobby, or you really enjoy your writing time. Let people know what you are doing and ask them to get back with you at another time. The point of finding balance is to make time for everyone and everything in your life. As much as possible anyways.

If they’re friends, they’ll understand.

Treating your writing time like a normal work schedule and informing others lets them know you are serious about your work and allows for less unwarranted distractions to pop up.

Sometimes it’s unavoidable

Life Happens. Things are going to come flying at you and some times they are unavoidable. You have to put something one the back burner to focus on what’s more important. Rather that’s crunching out the words for a deadline that is steady looming over you, or closing the word document so that you can focus more on your family and friends.

In either case, don’t feel guilty. It’s life. And it’s all a balancing act.

Until next time.

Review and Onward

Past three months have been interesting. Somewhere between wanting/needing to get stuff done and slowly realizing that time is slipping by. I only just realized it’s the end of March and Easter is on Sunday.
Go figure.
That being said, I haven’t been idle. Going through my previous goals I’ve managed to mark off a handful and also added some more.
I tend to keep these goals few and short because I know my attention span and tendency to do nothing.

1. Beta reads/ Revisions (Completed the Beta/CP reads and have started on revisions. I’m only on chapter two and have been sitting on it for a month. Hence why I try to keep things short.)
2. Researching Agents and Publishers (Sort of finished. I’ve looked into websites to find agents, and have made a list of do’s and don’ts for querying.)
3. Blog Regularly (I’ve done this. Admittedly, not the two times a week as I said, but at least once a week. I know I missed a couple of days but I’m getting better.)
4. Buying a camera (Surprisingly, I have a camera being shipped in the mail as I write this and hopefully be able to get back to vlogging.)
5. Staying regular on Social Media. (This could go back with the blogging, but being active on social media. I think I’m getting better at this, probably not, but I’m still trying.)
6. Eating healthier and being more active. (Definitely an off and on thing going on here. I’ve been trying to stay consistent and am doing better.)

Those are the goals that I placed at the beginning of January and you can see that I’ve got most of them at least half-way done. Some of them are going to be put on hold, others are going to be a ‘to be continued’ type thing. So here’s a list of things that I plan to work on work on in the next quarter.
1. Finish revisions on Stop the Raven. ← Yes, still a work in progress.
2. Start finding agents that would be interested in STR.
3. Start Vlog back up. ← with a camera this will be easier.
4. Work on a new series for my blog.
5. Look into making the new series as a hashtag for Twitter. ← we’ll see about this.
6. Save for a trip with the kids. ← Got to make those memories with the kids.
7. Game night with kids. ← We started a game night with some friends and my oldest has been interested in doing the same at home.
8. Read at least three books. ← Considering I haven’t read one book in three months this might be pushing it.
9. Continue eating healthier and being more active.
10. Push husband to start up his own gaming stream, and join him on some games. ← this is something he wants to do and I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out.

 

Those are my goals for the next three months. Again, nothing extremely hard, most of it continuations of what I’ve already been doing. Let’s see if I get more productive. I’ve started keeping a schedule to stay on track and it’s working in other bits of my life, so hopefully, it’ll start working in my writing career as well.
June will be my check-in time, so until then, I’ll continue my regular postings.

Til next time.

Easing into Revisions

     

      Reworking your MS is never an easy feat. I’ve been through 3(?) revisions now. If you’re wanting to count the time I tore my MS to shreds and started over. Every time you would think it get’s easier. That this time around you’ll pull it all together and dive right in no questions asked.

It’s a lie we tell ourselves to make it easier, cause revising never get’s easier.

Even if it’s just doing simple grammar and spelling checks, it’s still a daunting task because you know you’re going to have to comb through 60.000 + word to find the ones that stick out like a sore thumb, and then do it again to find the ones that remained hidden from plain sight.

Not an easy task at all.

Especially when you want to throw in the rules of grammar that say ‘you can’t do this unless it’s after this….’ yada, yada, yada.

I hate grammar. I loved English class in high school because they would hand me a book and tell me to read, but otherwise, I hated it. Go figure I would find myself wanting to do something that requires I brush up on those skills. Which, after a recent bout of feedback, I am currently looking for ways to do so on a budget. Spending $100 some odd dollars on an online course that may or may not teach me anything useful is a bit questionable for me at the moment.

So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

That being said, I have gone through the revisions process a few times, and though my grammar suffers, I’ve learned a few ways to go through this process without so much hassle.

First off, you have to have a game plan. Rather it is a simple start at point A and slowly migrate to points, B, C, and D, or writing out endless tasks lists with each every step spelled out for you is up to you.

Me, personally, I prefer the tasks list. I like having something tangible that I can look at. See where my big problem areas are and cross it off as I go. That’s why this time I’m doing my planning in my Bullet Journal. With lists, and collections and day to day tasks that need to be completed before I can move onto the next step. Ambitious, I know, but somethings got to work somewhere. Might as well start mapping it out and building up that plan to find out if it’ll fly or perish.

(probably perish, in a mountain of hot lava, never to be seen again.)

Once you have that extremely long list sitting in front of you or burned somewhere in your brain, you may find that the biggest issues are a bit too much to take on at the moment. That’s fine. Nobody said you had to work this thing in order or take on the biggest rewrites firsts. Start small, go over those pesky grammar spots, and cross those off your lists. Searching out inconsistencies, a name change here or the change of color to Micheal’s hair there. You know those small things that may or may not drive the readers mad. I for one am a sucker for consistency. If you have a dogs name as Louis on page four, it’d better not be Lenny or Barker on page sixty.

Then move to the bigger stuff. Those whole scenes that require you to completely rewrite, or that character that needs their head screwed on straight through the entire story. Those things can come later, when you are far more comfortable with making changes in your MS. Like being able to delete whole chapters, or characters, or whatever it is that’s going to make your story better. If you can’t make those major changes that you know will make your story ten times better just because you really love a particular scene, or line then you’re going to have problems. You have to be able to sacrifice your favorite scenes for the overall outcome of the book.

It’s one of those ‘Go big or go home’ scenarios that we find ourselves in from time to time.

All that being said, sometimes it’s better to just take a step back from your MS. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Taking time away from any project can give you a better perspective. Getting feedback on your story and knowing what needs to be changed is no different.

Yes, after that initial read through of the all the feedback you may just want to shred your MS and delete every single string of its existence, but don’t.

Let it sit. Give yourself time to think of what needs to be done to improve the story and who knows, sometimes that time gives you a chance to think up better scenarios. Way to make the plot points stronger and far more exciting. Just give yourself some space to think and then, again, come back with a fresh head and willingness to work on something that you know is going to be great someday.