Showing posts with label iwsg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label iwsg. Show all posts

03 April 2019

Can This Book Write Itself Already??

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


Here we are again! I think I've gotten into the habit of checking in with these posts on where I am with my third draft of Uneven Lines. Last month I was on Chapter 24. Things went a little differently  than I expected because I was creating a GIANT subplot chapter, which I wasn't really comfortable with. I only have a few super long chapters in the book and they're really only that way because they take place over the course of one day. I decided to break up this chapter by scenes.

So, suddenly Chapter 24 was magically done! And I'm almost done with 25. I literally just have one snippet of a scene to finish. I think I'm struggling with it because it involves my characters playing music, which I always find very awkward . But, you know, my characters decided to be musicians, what can I do? Luckily there isn't a lot of it in this book and I don't really have to worry about it until the sequels. But for those I'll probably have to write some original song lyrics and holy crap I am not looking forward to that.

I think I have an idea of at least some dialogue to finish this scene. Basically, Jordan has a new friend Madison over (they're plotting a master scheme, as one does), and knowing his friend Eric has a crush on her, tells him to bring his guitar over and they play a few songs (possibly some horribly cliched ones). And then it goes something like this:

Madison: Can't you play something from this decade?
Eric: If you don't like The Beatles, you're not human.
Jordan: True, but I'm more of a Stones guy.
Eric: You know, I could tell that about you.
Madison: CAN'T I JUST LIKE TAYLOR SWIFT??
Jordan: .....
Eric: ......
Jordan: I also like Taylor Swift...

Or something like that? I dunno, I'll figure it out. I always do. Even if it takes me days. Or weeks. Or months. Or years. I'm not even kidding, sadly...

Anyhoo, the IWSG's optional question for this month is: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

You mean besides the aforementioned scene? Can I pick the whole rest of the book? It's not a lot, actually. No, wait! I pick the sex scene. I've already written that like three different times and I'm still convinced I'll never get it right. But I think maybe I can't picture it properly because I'm making so many changes to the end that I'm just not there yet. I have to get there before I can see it.

If I could wish the rest of this book done, I definitely would. Especially the parts I don't have figured out AT ALL. I'm definitely not an outliner, but this is basically what I have left after I finish 25:

- Wrap up Subplot #1
- MAJOR MAIN PLOT EVENT
- something something
- Wrap up Subplot #2
- something something
- something
- SEX SCENE
- Last chapter/denouement type deal

Yeah, wishing for all those something somethings to write themselves. And the sex scene. And the last bit. Because I think the very very end of the book kind of has to point to what exactly I was trying to say through the whole novel. And I feel like I got it horribly wrong in all my previous drafts. I *think* I'm still keeping the last two lines intact, and those should help me figure it out because I've always felt like they say a lot.

I think all I can do at this point is take it one step at a time. So I should probably get back to that music playing scene...

06 March 2019

Random Editing

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


I'm really quite terrible keeping up with blogging lately. I've only done IWSG posts for months. I don't know, I think partly it's a motivation thing, or it's an idea thing (or lack thereof, I should say). I don't want to stop blogging but I don't feel that drive to do it like I used to. It could just be that I want to focus on my book and can't give my attention back to blogging until it's done. That sounds like the best reason, right? I'll go with that.

This month's optional question is: Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

This is actually a tricky question for me! Not because it's hard to choose, but because I don't really give myself a choice. I always write in first person, so I'm always writing from the point of view of the protagonist. And it's been quite a long time since I've written a story with a typical villain, too. So I guess I choose the protagonist because that's the character whose head I want to be in, because it's his/her story to tell. I'm sure writing villains is fun, but I just haven't come up with a story where I needed to write from that perspective.

On the other hand, Jordan is a bit of an antihero, I suppose, so maybe I get the best of both worlds. Or maybe I just like really flawed characters...

Every month I feel like I make just a little bit more progress to update on. Last month I was on Chapter 23 and this month I'm on...Chapter 24! I'm actually more than halfway through it, so it may even be done by the time you read this post (fingers crossed!).

I've recently realized that while I'm working a lot on the book and trying to finish it, what I'm really doing is revising. I've been calling it editing this whole time but I'm a big fat liar because I'M GOING TO HAVE TO GO BACK AND EDIT THIS THING WHEN I'M DONE. Ok, ok, it's not a HUGE project like this whole third draft has been. But I still need to go through and edit my overused words and whatnot. And let's not forget SHOW DON'T TELL. I have mixed feelings about that rule. Ok, so, Jordan thinks A LOT and over-analyzes everything, so yeah, there's a lot of telling. But I do need to make sure the spots that NEED to be showing are actually doing so.

But what I have been doing to kind of keep the daunting task of editing from being too scary is keeping track of the little things I think of along the way to go back and change. The random or weird things. The things I think back on wondering why the hell I did that.

So, of course, I've started a list! Which is equal parts useful and ridiculous. Hopefully some of these will make sense out of context, or at least be good for a chuckle:

Random Things to Edit

  • Find another word for “gorgeous” to describe Tom in Chapter One. We all know that’s Jordan’s word. 
  • Are we really supposed to believe that Tom whisks egg whites by hand for the soufflĂ© but then busts out a hand mixer to make cookies??
  • I think the “tell me you'd rather have just my lips” line in Chapter 22 would be more powerful if Tom just came out with it instead of Jordan asking it - shows desperation
  • Make sure Eric calls Jordan by his first name at least once and never by his last name
  • The “I think it’s just two” line in Chapter 7 is probably a hitting-the-reader-over-the-head-with-a-cast-iron-skillet kind of moment 
  • Possibly add more math stuff and also more cannibalistic undertones
  • Be consistent with Jordan's present tense thoughts--italicized or no? I’d rather have them not italicized even if that’s an editor’s nightmare but either way, make sure it’s consistent 
  • Make sure Brian's name is never typed as Brain...especially because he doesn't have one...

And that's it *so far*. I'm sure other ideas will hit me in the head as I go back through the story. That's after I finish the third draft. Which I'm still working on. And should probably get back to...

06 February 2019

Cookies and Cupcakes and Cake! Oh My!

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


Well, another month has gone by and....well, I actually haven't accomplished that much. Last month I was on Chapter 22 of my third draft and this month I'm on (drum roll please).....Chapter 23! Woooo...hoo? At least it's something, right? A few weeks ago I thought I'd finished 23 but decided it needed one more scene to break up all my subplot nonsense. Since this was a brand new scene that I had no idea what to do with when I started, I'm still working on figuring it out.

But since that's pretty much all I've got going on with writing insecurities, I thought I'd tackle the IWSG's option question this month, which is: Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

Writing has always been my thing since I was little, and while I have attempted other outlets throughout my life (there was that guitar I bought but never learned to play), the thing that pops into my mind is BAKING!

I've always liked baking. I took a cake decorating class when I was thirteen, so you'll never ever see me slapping frosting on a cupcake with a butter knife. I like to try new things and pretty much any time my family gets together my niece expects me to bring something (but she doesn't like cheesecake! I can't even...).

But I won't bore you with the details. Here's some pictures to get you drooling instead!

There are cookies...



Brownies...



Cake...


And my specialty...CUPCAKES!




There are a lot of baked goods in Uneven Lines, too, so I guess I merged my creative outlets! Those pink cupcakes where actually inspired by a scene. There's also a scene where one character makes chocolate souffle, which I've never tried (just watched several Youtube videos about making them). I'll let my characters be more adventurous. 

02 January 2019

To Pitch or Not to Pitch?

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


It's a new year and I've decided for once to not make any concrete goals. It never goes well. I did, however, finally accomplish my goal of watching 100 movies I've never seen before (see the list here) in 2018. For books I made it to 68/100, which is the closest I've ever gotten. I won't be trying it again this year, but I definitely want to accomplish it someday.

But onto the new year! One of the first things I wanted to do was take part in the IWSG's Twitter Pitch on January 15. Like, I took the day off from work and everything (I'm about to max out on my PTO hours so it was a good excuse to take a day), and I've always wanted to do it. But I don't know if I'll actually be ready in time.

So I've come up with a few questions to ask myself in the next two weeks in order to decide if I should pitch or not, starting with:

Did I finish the book?

Kind of the most important one. As of writing this post, I'm working on Chapter 22 of the third draft. I think there will be 26 or 27 chapters when I finally finish. If I can really motivate myself and not slack off watching too much TV or something, I think it's possible to finish in time. But honestly, if I'm only one or two chapters away from finishing, I may pitch anyway (please tell me if this is a horrible idea). Only time will tell.

Can I pick an age group?

I know I've talked about this many times before, but I still haven't quite figured it out. Genre is easier because I'd go with contemporary. But age group? Errrrrrr still deciding. I've always leaned toward Adult, even though my main character is 15, because it's not exactly a book I would want younger readers reading. But it could also be New Adult? Maybe? In my two sequel ideas my MC is 20 and 22. Those ideas feel more like NA.

Remember when I said this book is unsellable??? *sigh*

Can I actually sum up my book in a tweet?

This is a tricky one because I have a serious problem summarizing my book, particularly in a way to make it sound appealing. Remind me to never ever write about a taboo relationship ever again please. I know a lot of people in Twitter pitch parties use comp titles as well, and I don't have any of those, at least not contemporary ones. I've always called it Lolita meets the Catcher in the Rye, but am I allowed to do that? Those books are old and very good. Kinda feels pretentious. I have no idea.

Can I write a query letter?

On the off chance that one of my tweets gets liked by an agent or publisher, hey guess what the next step is??? And I do not have a query letter ready. I've tried writing one before and it did not go well (let's not talk about that again...). And if I'm spending all this time trying just to finish the novel, I probably won't get a query letter done in time as well. I try to justify this to myself by saying I could spend the next day or two AFTER the Twitter pitch doing this, but that probably won't go well for me.

And that's about it. I feel like the odds are against me! But I guess I'll just keep chugging along trying to finish the book and figure everything else out.

Are you participating in #IWSGpit? Am I completely insane???

05 December 2018

Motivation and Writing Space Stuff

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


Here we are! The last IWSG post of the year! HOLY CRAP WHERE DID THE TIME GO??? *ahem* So it's time to scramble to wrap up any goals before they get repackaged as New Year's resolutions. Again. I'm about 99% sure that I've given up on my reading goal, well, because I've pretty much stopped reading. That was a tough one since I've never made it so close (67/100), but it just doesn't seem possible to finish in less than a month. I thought if I spent all my time reading, then I definitely wouldn't finish the third draft of my novel, which may or may not happen before the year is over. 

I think my main problem with writing is MOTIVATION! Sometimes even when I want to write, even when I have ideas, even if the scene seems easy, I just can't make myself start working. Ok, part of the problem may be that I'm always tired, and sitting around watching TV just sounds a lot better, but even when I make plans to write (especially on a day off), I still don't get a lot done. It's like there's something holding me back. Is it the fear of finishing? I'm not sure. If it is, it's probably subconscious. It could just be laziness and procrastination. It could be a mixture of all these things! But I do want to finish this damn book, so I'd better make with the motivation pretty soon.

This month, I thought I'd answer the IWSG's optional question, which was: What are five objects we'd find in your writing space?

Ok, so I'm cheating a little on this one. I'm gonna reuse an Instagram post from earlier this year, and it's more than five objects, but they are things that are usually useful/necessary for writing. I have a very very very small apartment, so I don't actually have a writing space (like an office or even a desk). I just write on my bed. So here are the things that usually find their way onto the bed during writing time: 


1. Laptop (for the writing of the words), and headphones (inspiration music is entirely necessary and not at all distracting)
2. Notebook & pens for brainstorms/free writes/whatever, my red 3rd draft binder, research books (or writing reference books, or sometimes just a book I'm reading), and a chocolate offering to the muse (he has a sweet tooth)
3. Wearing gray! (Absolutely essential...I'm not weird or anything...) And comfy pillows
4. Sleeping cat not required but usually present 

Just like I may or may not finish my novel, I may or may not write another blog post this year, so I think I'll say Happy Holidays and Happy New Year now!

What's in your writing space? How do you stay motivated? 

07 November 2018

End of the Year Push

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


How is it November already???? I think I say pretty much the same thing every month. Time just seems to fly by and I never feel like I get as much done as I'd like. So, with less than two months left in the year, I want to see how much I can push myself to get done before making brand new goals (probably just the same ones over again...) in the new year. 

So the goals that I still care about are:

1. Finish the third draft of Uneven Lines. 

How have I not finished this???? I really hope every book I plan on writing doesn't take me as long as this one has. In my defense, it's SUPER complicated and it's been difficult to write, but I still refuse to give up somehow. The good news! I think the end of the book is going to be a lot shorter than I anticipated. As I try to conceptualize the ending and how it needs to be different from the first two drafts, I'm realizing that things need to move a lot faster. I think the end of the book used to drag but now I feel like things will happen very fast and hopefully be exciting. So...it could happen before the year is over? Maybe?

2. Read 100 books

Oh, this one. I make it every year and never come close. My monthly themes idea hasn't been as easy as I'd planned, but I could probably spend an entire post talking about that. Honestly, this goal is probably the one that I'm least likely to accomplish. I'm currently at 67 books (see my Goodreads challenge), which is 17 behind schedule. I think the only way to salvage this is to read a lot of shorter books. I've still got a lot of blogger buddy books on my Kindle and a lot of them are short. But I'm also trying to stick to my monthly themes, and I'm on Anne Rice right now, which (you guessed it), is going slower than I'd thought. But this is the closest I've ever come to my 100 goal so I guess either way I've read more books this year than any other year, even if I don't make it there.

3. Watch 100 new movies

This is another one I make every year but never seem to get. You'd think since I have HBO and Netflix and Amazon Prime AND I live above a freakin' movie theater (I'm not kidding), it would be easy. I think it's just a time thing. I get way too restless to just sit there for two hours (especially in a theater). I like to multitask. But! I think this goal is doable. I'm currently at 78 movies (see my IMDb list!). 

Do I think I can get all three goals done? Uhhh...probably not. I think if I really tried to get the reading goal done, I wouldn't have time to finish the writing goal. But if I come up short on the reading goal because I was too busy finishing my third draft, well, I wouldn't exactly be disappointed. But I would be very disappointed if I didn't get either of them. So I'll just keep trying and see what happens. 

Do you have any end of the year goals? Would you rather get writing or reading done?

03 October 2018

Derailed (Also, Back Up Your Work!)

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


I should probably start with some good news! At the time of last month's IWSG post, I'd just finished my Chapter 16 edit. Since then, I've also finished 17, 18, and 19! Weird, right? I really felt like I was on a roll, like I couldn't be stopped....

but then...

Last Wednesday night, I went to turn on my computer. And nothing happened. It wouldn't turn on. Now, my laptop was probably at least 6 years old and the internal battery was useless, but it still worked fine with an adapter. It hadn't shown any signs of anything being wrong with it so I had no idea why it wasn't even turning on. My husband took it to some guys he knows at a computer repair place (that was closing in about a half hour) and they said they'd look at it. 

And so I was derailed. Like, I was a train riding smoothly along the track and suddenly I'm crashing down a cliff. Thursday was my day off and my plans of writing all day went right out the window. And before you say "well, just write by hand" I'll just say I DON'T THINK SO. I always write on the computer AND a huge chunk of dialogue I'd already written for Chapter 20 was on my flash drive. I hadn't printed it yet so I had no way of looking at it. 

I was also in slight panic mode. Most of the time I save my writing directly to my flash drive. Trust me, anything related to Uneven Lines, including all of the nonsense I've written for my two sequel ideas, is safe. I'm not a COMPLETE idiot. I back up my flash drive regularly on my computer, I print out finished chapters. I probably should back it up to some type of cloud thing (I'm super with technology as you can see) since now I'm even more paranoid. My blood, sweat, and tears have literally gone into this and I'll be damned if anything was going to make me lose it all (literally? ok, maybe just the tears). 

It was the other ideas. The shiny stories. Shiny New Story, to be specific. But also a fantasy novel idea that I'd only recently started actually writing instead of just playing scene ideas in my head.  I'd put a lot of work into Scrivener files for those ideas. And I'd never backed them up. They were only on my laptop, which was now in laptop limbo. 

Was it the end of the world? No. I hadn't exactly written pages and pages in these stories. But I'd written some good stuff. I'd done a lot of outlining, too, which I never do. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to rewrite those scenes and have them be as good just from my memory. So I was really kicking myself.

Did it all turn out ok? Mostly! The bad news was that my laptop was officially dead. I was advised not to put any money into it. The good news was that they could save everything from my hard drive. They sold me a used computer that was similar and transferred all of the files onto a folder there. It took me some time to reclaim my Scrivener purchase (because I was definitely not paying $40 for something I already had) and redownload it onto my new computer, but once I did, there they were! My shinies!!! Alive! And not lost! 

So the moral of the story is, BACK UP YOUR DAMN WORK! But I guess my bigger problem now is, I still feel derailed. I lost that drive I had when I was busting through chapter edits. And maybe part of the problem is that my latest chapter isn't actually an edit. It's a brand spankin' new chapter that I've never written before. But I think if the laptop fiasco had never happened, I wouldn't have fallen into this rut so easily. 

But I digress. Back up your work, people!

05 September 2018

My Unsellable Book

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


Here we are at another IWSG day! I feel like I've lost my writing mojo. It went from not having the time or energy to write, to just not wanting to write at all. I did finish my Chapter 16 edit earlier in the month, though! So that's good. I also have a long staycation after this week (starting Friday at exactly 2:30, thank you very much) and I really hope I can get lots of writing done. We'll see.

Don't even get me started on my reading goal! I still have two Harry Potter books to read and I'm only on my FOURTH blogger buddy book (and I started with the shortest ones!!!!). Now I'm into September which was supposed to be Banned Books. I haven't even picked what books to read. But hey, Banned Books Week isn't until the 23rd, so....plenty of time, right???

Anyhoo, I decided this month to utilize the IWSG's optional question, which is:

What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

This is a tricky question, but basically I'm considering any and all publishing paths, especially for Uneven Lines. In an ideal world, I'd like to be traditionally published, but I'm not so sure if it's in the cards for this particular book. Why? Well.......because it's probably unsellable. 

Man, I've really dug myself into a hole with this one. I mean, I knew before I started that it was a controversial topic. I wanted to write about a relationship between a teenager and an adult. I can only blame myself for this. But once all the details started filling themselves in, I fell in love with the thing. And it's been a struggle, but I've worked so hard on it, making it complicated, trying to make every line meaningful and mutli-layered and I really think if someone would give it half a chance they would actually enjoy it. 

A big part of the problem is finding a way to describe the book in a query letter or even a blurb that will get someone to actually be interested and not immediately turned off. I haven't quite figured that out yet. Well, mostly because I'm still working on the book. It's one of those I'll cross that bridge when I get to it kind of things. I did write a query letter for it once (for that pitching thing that must not be named) and I vaguely remember (because I've blocked it out of my memory) one of the mentors saying that the relationship came off as predatory. IN THE QUERY LETTER! I was like, huh? Clearly I did a terrible job on this letter if you have zero clue about the personalities of my characters and are jumping to conclusions. So in order to sell this book my query letter is probably going to have to be just as complicated as the book itself. 

But I digress...there's also that whole I don't know if its YA or NA or Adult thing. But...yeah. Basically, if I ever actually finish this book to the point where I think it's ready to be published, I'm going to try to get an agent and a publisher. But I am mentally preparing myself for it not to happen. I don't have too much of an idea of where to start for self-publishing, but that's just another bridge, I suppose. 

First I gotta finish the book, amiright?????

01 August 2018

Falling Behind

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


Another IWSG day and I still feel like I'm in a rut. I feel like a broken record sometimes with these blog posts. I really want to start blogging more, too, but it's hard to come up with ideas. I do have a lot of vacation time coming up so maybe I can spend some of that planning some posts. And I may or may not force a certain someone to write a post for next Monday. 

Anyway! Some good news! I FINALLY finished my Chapter 15 edit! That I more or less have been working on since February. And by more or less I mean I spent most of that time avoiding it. But it's done! And it was the last really in depth make out scene in the book so I'm really glad because I seriously ran out of ways to describe kissing. 

Now I'm onto Chapter 16...which, as usual, is going slower than I'd hoped. But this time it's more of a time/energy/enough coffee deal than me avoiding it. There is a lot of potential symbolism in this chapter that I'm just NOW realizing I really didn't explore enough. On the third draft. I make so much sense. 

I'm also waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind on my reading goals. July was my Harry Potter reread month, and I'm still on Prisoner of Azkaban. Yeah. In my defense, I started very late...because I was behind on my June books...because I was behind on my May books. You get it. August is supposed to be my blogger buddies' books month! Because I have so many on my Kindle! That means if you're reading this and you have a book published, there's a good chance your book is on my list! But I don't know if I should finish Harry Potter first, put HP aside to start the blogger buddies, or try to read both simultaneously. 

I am seriously doubting if I'll actually make it to 100 books this year. But I'm not giving up. I've still read a lot more books than I have in any previous year. 

And that's about it. Next week is my birthday (!) and I am a) not working after Monday, b) going to see Moulin Rouge (the musical!), and c) having lots of time to myself because hubby is going to Boston Comic Con for three days. So hopefully that will be lots of reading and writing time. I also get to cheat on my diet. 

Are you behind on any goals?

03 July 2018

Ramblin' Time

**It's the first Wednesday TUESDAY! (silly holidays) of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!**


It's one of those days where I don't know what to write about (every day??). I'm not sure if I have no ideas or too many ideas. So I apologize if this post ends up being filled with rambling. 

The IWSG Twitter Pitch is coming up aaaaaaaaaaaaaand...there's no way I'll be participating, even though I really wanted to. For multiple reasons, but the main one being, MY BOOK ISN'T DONE. Probably not a good idea to pitch a book that's not done, right? Just ask...oh, yeah, me when I tried PitchWars *shudders*. Never again. Oh, and I'm still stuck on Chapter 15 for those of you keeping score at home. I'm lucky if I can get one sentence written a day.

My other big reason for not doing the Twitter pitch is that I'm still not quite sure on what age range to pitch my book to. It's complicated. I've gone back and forth between thinking it was YA and then thinking it should be Adult, and then changing my mind again and again and again. So the book is front the point of view of a fifteen-year-old, and it does have some coming of age elements, but I'm not entirely sure this is a book should be marketed to minors. I'm also not so sure if adults would even want to read it, though. Basically, I've written an unsellable book. I don't think, "I swear it's good!" is a great selling point.

But maybe when I actually finish the thing I'll let some people read it and get their input. 

And now for something completely different...

This month's optional question is: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

I guess my goal has always been to publish a book, so that has never changed. But I think the goals change depending on the WIP. For UL, obviously the first step would be to publish it. Then comes the movie deal, of course. Ok, not really (but maybe). Then I would want to figure out if my sequel ideas are actually worth pursuing. Aaaaaaaaand that's pretty much it. Then there's other story ideas, of course (shiny!). 

All right, I'm done rambling. For now.

06 June 2018

Blog Post Scrambling & Title Struggling

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

So, a funny thing happened to me at work today. There I was, walking around, minding my own business, when it suddenly hit me that a) it was already Wednesday, and b) I FORGOT TO WRITE MY BLOG POST!!!! I've come close to forgetting before, but I've never actually forgotten. So now that I am home from work I am scrambling to write it, and hopefully I'll still have some time and energy to get around to some other blogs. (If not, tomorrow's my day off so I'll be playing catch up!) 

Anyhoo, since I'm scrambling, this is a perfect opportunity to utilize the IWSG's optional question of month! Which is: What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names? 

This is an easy one for me. BOOK TITLES. *cough* Definitely book titles. Book titles are a serious struggle for me. They can take years. Character names, on the other hand--piece of cake! Most of the time it's like I'm not even naming them at all. It's more like their names just pop into my head, like the characters are telling me the names they already have. 

Example time! When I first started writing Uneven Lines, once I figured out an idea of who the characters were, their names pretty much popped into my head instantaneously (clearly Jordan is the type of pushy character who would name himself). 

The title on the other hand, took a loooooooooooooooooong time. When it was originally a short story, it was called "Saying Yes," which did work considering some of the elements in that story. But when I started adapting, I changed a lot and that title just didn't work anymore. So it went to titleless. About two years later I came up another title, The Formula. It kinda sorta worked and I did like it but it just didn't feel good enough. It was boring. 

About eight months after that I finally settled on my current title, but not without some struggling. The words actually came to me individually. I'd always felt "Uneven" should be in the title, because that's representative of a lot of aspects of my characters' relationships. Then eventually I realized "Lines" was also a good fit, because there's actual math in the book, as well as a hell of a lot of figurative lines (like, lines being crossed in particular). And so I finally had it! And it's been over four years without a change. 

So, long story short, I struggle way more with book titles than character names. Shiny New Story is still called Shiny New Story. Pretty much all of my other book ideas are titleless, including the potential sequels for UL. But character names? Usually all I have to do is listen. 

02 May 2018

Try Something Shiny

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


So here we are at another IWSG day...and I feel like I'm in the exact same place I've been in for the past two months. I just don't have much of a desire to work on my novel. I desperately want it to be done, but I don't want to work on it. Solid logic, right?

Anyway, I decided to change my strategy (you know, doing absolutely nothing), at least for a little while. Take the pressure off a little. So I let my mind drift to a different story. Shiny New Story, to be specific (which will get an actual title at some point). And then eventually my fingers drifted as well. As in actual writing. Real life words! Not just random ideas I punch into my phone at 3 AM. Like, paragraphs! Dialogue! Stuff happening!

I think there were a lot of factors that made it easier to work on SNS. Just because it was something different. Because it's a first draft and I can write really crappy sentences and not care. Or even care if everything is making complete sense, because I can fix it later. And the main parts I worked on were particularly suspenseful, which was a fun change. Not all of my story ideas always involve suspense, but I do really enjoy it, so it was fun to work on.

I'm not entirely certain this completely reinvigorated my desire to write. I was hoping after indulging for a while, I would eventually get back into editing UL. That still hasn't happened. But it was nice taking a little break and to actually get some writing done instead of just avoiding everything.

At least I know when I'm struggling to write/edit, I always have something shiny to distract me.

04 April 2018

Same Old, Same Old

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


So here we are again at IWSG day aaaaaaaaaaaaand....I feel like I am in the exact same spot I was in last month. I haven't written a blog post in a month. I'm still working on Chapter 15. I have no idea why it's taking so long (I'll get into that later). According to Goodreads, I am 12 books behind my goal of 100 for the year. Last month I only read half of the books I planned on (my books made into movies category), so I plan on continuing with those books while also reading poetry books for this month. Also because I think if I'm not reading a novel I may go insane. 

Anyhoo, back to the Chapter 15 woes. This is once again a chapter I thought would only take me a day or two to edit, and now it's been over a month since I started working on it. However, in this case, it's more like I just can't motivate myself to work on it, rather than it being more difficult than I expected. It's not that difficult. I mean, editing anything has its challenges, but this isn't a chapter that needed a lot of huge changes.

There are only two scenes in this chapter. There's a lot of dialogue, and brief make out scene (don't judge me). There's some backstory for both characters, and a secret is revealed that I've been keeping for the whole book. Sometimes I worry about that secret, that by the time it's finally revealed, the reader won't actually care (since it's about a subplot, so it wasn't something that was constantly brought up).

Is any of this the reason why I can't finish this chapter? Uhhhhh....not really. Except maybe I think I've used up every way I can possibly describe a kiss.

I honestly don't know why I can't finish it. I think I'm just tired when I come home from work and I don't really want to do anything. That's a big part of it, at least. I think I need a new routine that works in writing and reading time (and hopefully some gym time, too).

So hopefully by my next IWSG post (and hopefully it's not my next blog post), I'll have at least finished this chapter. More would be nice. But I'll settle for one.

07 March 2018

Securely Insecure (or Insecurely Secure?)

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It happened again! I went a whole month without a blog post! Bad! I haven't even been reading other people's blogs. Double bad! I don't even really have a good excuse besides laziness (or maybe just being tired).

At the very least, I thought I'd write a post just to brag about how I managed to see all nine Best Picture nominees before the Oscars this past Sunday. Well, I guess I'm bragging about it now! It helps that I live above a movie theater and my husband's friend is in SAG and lent us some screeners (shhhhh just don't tell anyone). I really liked all nine, which is unexpected. But they were all good and deserved the nomination in my opinion. Just don't ask me to rank them! You can probably guess my heavily biased I've read the book like three or four times favorite...if you pay attention to my usual nonsense 'round here.

Anyway, I'm rambling again. On to the insecurity!

Actually, you know what? I'm not really feeling that insecure lately (besides the not blogging thing). Well, I'm not fully secure either. At last month's post time, I was still stuck on Chapter 13 of my third draft. It was definitely grueling, but I got through it! In the last draft, this chapter was 3 1/2 pages. Now it's 8 1/3! I think it came out so much better than before.

And guess what happened after that? I FINISHED CHAPTER 14, TOO!

Ok, so this isn't happening at the speed of light, but it's much faster than my usual pace. So now I'm on Chapter 15, which I haven't looked at in a couple days but once I actually sit down and do it, shouldn't take too long (yeah, yeah, we've heard that before, Sarah). I'm actually surprised at how much I've had to change as I'm writing this draft. It's a lot of new stuff.

What I am a bit insecure about is that the closer I get to the last third of the book, the more work will be needed. I basically have to completely rewrite that last third, minus a couple scenes (maybe just one, actually). I thought editing the first two thirds would be easy, and I was so, so wrong. I already know that last third will be difficult, so it'll probably turn out to be impossible. Or maybe it'll be the opposite and be surprisingly easy. I can dream, right?

Does editing ever turn out to be harder (or easier) than you expected? Did you see any of the Best Picture nominees?

07 February 2018

Fizzling Out

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Somehow it's February already. And despite all the motivation I had at the beginning the year, I don't really feel like I've accomplished much. It seems all that motivation fizzled out rather quickly, and I'm trying to find ways to get back on track.

So how did January go? Well, so so, I guess. I started off strong with social media, taking part in challenges on both Twitter and Instagram. About halfway through the month, I pretty much gave up on the Instagram ones. I knew I would skip days here and there if I didn't have things to post for those particular days, but at a certain point I just stopped doing it. I think it was equal parts not having good ideas for the posts and just not having the motivation to do it.

I did, however, stick with #WIPjoy on Twitter right until the end, so that was great! I've always wanted to do it and it was a lot of fun. I probably won't do it again with the same WIP, but definitely with a different one.

Reading has also been so so. I'm a little behind on keeping up with my yearly goal of 100 books. I only read 4 books in January, and only two of those books were from my "Clear the Bookshelf" theme. So, the bookshelf is still pretty full. I did finish another book today and am close to finishing my 6th, but I haven't started my February romance books yet. However! I'm at 5 books which is waaaaaaaaay ahead of any previous year's reading. I probably haven't finished 1 book in the past few Januarys, so I'll count that as a win (sort of).

Writing? Hahahahaaha. Yeah, bit of an epic fail there. I haven't gotten anything done. I still haven't finished my Chapter 13 edit. It's just turned out to be so much more complicated than I thought it would be. Which will be great once it's done. It'll be a really interesting and complex chapter, where I thought it was super simple to begin with. But...I have to actually finish it first.

The good news? I have the next four days off from work (I have waaaaay too many PTO hours and we can max out so I have to use them!) so that means lots of time for writing and reading!! Let's just hope I actually do it.

03 January 2018

2018 Goals & Chrys Fey's Flaming Crimes Blogfest

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


Ok, so I don't really like making resolutions, but I just can't help myself. I suppose I would like making them if I actually accomplished them. But they tend to fizzle out. But like every year, I've made a list again of what I'd like to get done this year!

1. Write, dammit! So the real goal is to finally finish the third draft of Uneven Lines. But first, I just have to actually write. And keep writing. This book ain't gonna write itself, otherwise it'd be long done by now.

2. Read, dammit! I once again have made it a goal to read 100 books this year. I really just want to do it once and then I will never try it again, I swear. Hopefully my monthly themes will help me get this done.

3. Be more active on social media. I feel like I haven't been doing a lot lately, and that includes blogging. I want to blog once a week and post more often on Twitter and Instagram. I'm already doing some challenges this month to help me out with this.

4. Watch 100 movies I've never seen before. I can't believe I didn't get this done in 2017! But I did get closer than ever before with 87 movies. I was purging my Netflix list at the end of the year because a lot of the movies were leaving but I still didn't make it to 100. I know I can actually do this one if I just try!

And now for something completely different...


What is something ridiculous you would save if there was a fire?

Well, my cat is ridiculous, but it certainly wouldn't be ridiculous to save him! XD

Ok, so I approached this question this way: after my husband and cat are ok, and I have my wedding rings, important papers, & my flash drive (all my writings!)...what would I grab next? What's not quite so important but I still wouldn't want to leave behind?

My Playbill binder!


This has the playbill for every musical and play I've ever been to. From My Fair Lady (first live musical ever!)...


...to Hamilton!

And I probably won't be adding to it for a while because I do not have theater money right now. Is this something I couldn't live without? No. But it's not something I'd really want to lose, either! I love musicals too much!


Series: Disaster Crimes #4
Page Count: 304 
Digital Price: 4.99 
Print Price: 16.99
Rating: Spicy (PG13) 

BUY LINKS:

BLURB: Beth and Donovan are now happily married, and what Beth wants more than anything is a baby. Her dream of starting a family is put on hold as fires burn dangerously close and Donovan becomes a victim of sabotage.

Donovan escapes what could've been a deadly wreck. Their past enemies have been eliminated, so who is cutting brake lines and leaving bloody messages? He vows to find out, for the sake of the woman he loves and the life they're trying to build.

Amidst a criminal mind game, a fire ignites next to their home. They battle the flames and fight to keep their house safe from the blaze pressing in on all sides, but neither of them expects to confront a psychotic adversary in the middle of the inferno.

Their lives may just go up in flames…

About the Author: Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:

06 December 2017

The Year of Not a Whole Lot

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I almost forgot to write this post! That's what I get for procrastinating. Luckily the IWSG provides an optional monthly question we can answer, which is always great when I'm in a rush and can't think of an idea. This month's question is:

As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Speaking of procrastination...

I did not get a lot done this year. Definitely not as much as I'd hoped. I really wanted to finish the third draft of Uneven Lines, actually much earlier in the year. But it looks like it's not going to happen again. There's just still so much work to do and not enough time to do it. 

I made some good progress in the beginning of the year. Not fantastic, but at least I had a steady pace going. I haven't had a good momentum since the end of July. I've only finished two chapter edits since then. There's just always something getting in the way - work, vacations, errands, a sick cat. And usually after all that I'm too tired to do much writing. 

I also just tend to avoid editing if I know it's going to be hard. I put it off. I know I just need to tackle it but it's hard to motivate myself. 

On the other hand, this novel has always been a bit of a slow process, but with some good results. It's extremely complicated and I've needed the time to figure things out. I also don't think I'd have the same story if I had gotten it done years ago when I first thought of it. I do think all the changes will make it a better story.

But still, I just want the damn thing done! I feel depressed sometimes that I'm not working on it, but then it's hard to work on it because I'm depressed and...it's a vicious cycle. 

I think if I can finish the current chapter I'm on I can bust through at least 3 or 4 more before getting to some really difficult editing. But usually even when I think a chapter will be easy, it turns out to need more work than I imagined. 

I think for next year I'd just like to do more. I'd like to spend less time doing nothing. If I can say I worked on writing every day, even if it's just for a few minutes, I'd take that as an accomplishment.

01 November 2017

Why Didn't I Realize This Sooner?

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I'm somehow equally secure and insecure about the same thing lately. Well, I figured something out, which is great. Fantastic. Wonderful. It's just...it's something I could have, should have realized a long time ago. So while I'm glad I'm starting to figure things out about my book, I'm still left shaking my first and screaming "WHY DIDN'T I REALIZE THIS SOONER???"

Ahem. So last week I (vaguely) talked about having a bit of an epiphany about the last third of my book, which I've been trying forever to figure out and rewrite. Basically I realized Jordan (the MC of my WIP for those of you who are new here) wasn't acting like himself and that it was making the story weaker. If he stayed truer to his character, it would make more sense going forward and I could eventually bring the book to its conclusion without losing tension (I hope).

Well, I'm still figuring out more things that I should have already figured out. I've talked before about a "twist" that happens at the end of Chapter 17. Well, it'll probably be Chapter 18 now because my editing has added a chapter, but that's not the point. I've always been a bit psychotic about how much I love this twist. I wouldn't say it's a complete plot twist, it's more that one character does something you wouldn't expect, the other character is basically smacked in the face by it, and things get all messed up for a chapter or two before getting resolved.

I love, love, love this moment when it happens. It's intense. It's kind of heartbreaking. But what I did afterward always worried me. I kind of smoothed things over really quickly. In the next chapter, actually. Basically the character who did the bad thing explains why he did it and my characters more or less make up and everything's back to normal. I've always worried that I kind of made that awesome twist irrelevant by sweeping it under the rug.

OR DID I??? (DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUN.)

Well, this is what I'm realizing. In relation to my last post, this is basically the moment in the story where Jordan realizes he's letting his emotions get the better of him. He basically makes a big emotion-based decision, tries to act on it, and gets blindsided by the results. I wouldn't say he gets heartbroken, but close. SO. This is the point where he decides he's never going to let his emotions dictate his actions again, because the one time he does it backfires on him.

So this thought process will continue throughout the rest of the book! So while he does make up with the other character and things seemingly go back to normal, underneath, he has completely changed because of the twist moment.

You're probably thinking, that's great, Sarah, why would you be insecure when you're finally figuring the end of your book out? Because I could have figured it out sooner! All the puzzle pieces were there, staring me in the face, and I just couldn't put them together. Oh well. What can you do? Just keep writing, I suppose.

Have you ever realized something about a WIP that you should have realized sooner? 

04 October 2017

Showing off the Insecurity

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It's a busy day so I'll spare you all my personal nonsense (mainly that my poor Gizmo is sick AGAIN and I really can't afford to go to the vet right now...wait, this isn't sparing you, is it?) and dive right in...

First up, this month's optional question is: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose? 

Kinda sorta. I think I sometimes create characters who are versions of myself, or who share some personality traits. Jordan's best friend, Eric, is a lot like me. He's shy and awkward, and what ends up happening to him in the book kind of reflects some things that I went through with friends in high school. But it's very, very different, too, so it's not too obvious. 

I did, however, recently come to realize something about a major character that I also recently discovered about myself (what that is may be a little TMI for this post...perhaps another day!). It kind of makes a complicated character even more complicated, but I think it actually makes sense for the way I've written him. It kind of explains any unanswered questions. But I just kinda like how it was something I discovered about myself and the character! Like I had created this trait in him that I didn't even know was in me. 

And now for something completely different...


Today is also the day for the Show Us Your Writer Insecurity contest! Don't ask me why I decided to take part, I'm the least photogenic person on the planet (why does my forehead always look 10 times bigger than it does in real life???), but here goes nothin'...


Here's what you need to know about this photo:

1. I'm rockin' the IWSG swag with my sweet new notebook and mug (I love mugs!)
2. I'm also rockin' my math leggings (aka editing pants)
3. The red binder holds the third draft of Uneven Lines (so far...still only up to Chapter 12)
4. Yup, that pen on the binder is the OG FFP (I'm not lame, I swear...)
5. Coffee is life (especially when trying to edit) 

Ok, I'm done. Big shout out to my hubby for taking this photo (and the dozens of shots taken before this one that I didn't like).

06 September 2017

A Surprise Genre

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I feel like I'm having deja vu from last month's post because once again, I am so busy I barely have time to write this post! Because I'm going on another vacation in a few days. Hubby and I are going back to Las Vegas for our first wedding anniversary (today is actually our dating anniversary--ten years!). I haven't started packing. I've been preoccupied because Gizmo was sick last week with another stress related UTI (I tried to change his food to a gentle formula...big mistake!!!). He's doing much better now, but I've had to clean EVERYTHING and do so much laundry.

*deep breath*

So, needless to say, I've been doing zero writing. And of course I'll bring some work on the plane but I'll probably just end up watching TV.

I think this month I'll defer to the optional question (I don't usually like to do them because EVERYONE does *shrug* but I also liked this month's question a lot): Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?

OH GOOD LORD YES.

*cough*

Let me put it this way: did I anticipate finding a very strong POV voice in a slightly sociopathic gay teenage boy? GOOD LORD NO. Literally none of those things. The only part of that I was familiar with was the teenager aspect. All my other narrators had been teenage girls. Jordan was a HUGE leap from anything I'd ever written. And it was scary as hell. But sometimes you have to go with your gut.

My story and I have been through hell and back but I love it to death. And Jordan has sunk his claws so deep into my brain that all my new story ideas have gay main characters, too, and I'm just fine with that. It was weird and unexpected at first, but now it kinda makes sense to me. I found a genre that fits. Now if I could just finish writing those ideas................

I'm hoping to get back into some kind of writing/blogging routine when I'm back from my vacation. I need to finish this damn book, after all.