04 November 2020

Making a List

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 don't know if you knew this, but sometimes writing is hard. Editing is hard, too. Rewriting is REALLY hard. When you're trying to polish a manuscript and make it as perfect as you possibly can, thinking about all of the things you still have to do can be overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like I don't know where to start. 

Luckily for me, I love making to-do lists. I rarely have a day off where I don't make a long list of tasks that I want to get done. So, when it comes to editing/rewriting, I decided I needed a list. When I was reading through UL to try to get my head back into the idea of writing, there were certain parts I knew needed big changes, others smaller ones. An awkwardly written sentence here or there can be easy to fix, but when there are entire scenes that I want to rethink, sometimes I just avoid working on them at all. 

So to ease into the process, I made a new list. I went through every chapter, noting particular moments that needed bigger rewrites than just a sentence or two. So instead of opening my manuscript and staring into the abyss, I can pinpoint where I need to start working. I know some scenes will be easier to fix than others. Some will need some extensive thinking to figure out what the story actually needs. Instead of getting overwhelmed by how much I need to get done, I can take it one step at a time, focusing on whichever part I feel I can accomplish when I sit down to write. 

I know I still have a lot to do, and I actually haven't even finished this list yet. Some of the later chapters need a lot of work. But some of the chapters don't need any work at all! I've also decided that Chapter 21 is getting the ax! There are a few moments in it that I can probably sneak into other chapters if necessary, but I like the idea of cutting down the length, especially in the third act (it's waaaaaaaaaaaay too long).

Eventually I'm hoping that every single list I could possibly create will be completed, and the story will be done. Then I suppose it will be time for new lists...publishing related lists, perhaps? I can dream...

07 October 2020

Not Enough Hours in the Day

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!

Do you ever feel like there aren't enough hours in the day? I certainly do. I work full time from 6-2:30, then after work my husband and I go straight to the gym most days, since we're really focusing on losing weight and eating healthier right now. Then I like to do at least a half hour of reading, and do a little cleaning, and DISHES so many dishes why are there so many there's only two of us??? And now it's October so hubby and I try to cram in as many horror movies as we can all month (I like to watch ones I've never seen, he just wants to rewatch the classics...guess I do have time to do those dishes...). 

Anyhoo, what does this have to do with writing? Well, basically, that I'm not. At all. I'm not even trying. I'm not even thinking about trying, because I don't know what the next step is. For a while I was rereading chapters 1-26 of UL (not 27, because 27 is a trash fire...wait, have I said that before?), doing some editing as I went and leaving notes where I wanted to change things but couldn't figure it out on the spot. Which was great! It gave me something to do. Like reading, my goal is to just spend 30 minutes every day on something writing related. 

But then I finished my readthrough, and was left wondering, "now what?" Now, if I really sit down and think about it, there are plenty of things I could tackle. I recently decided that I'm most likely cutting Chapter 21, taking any really important bits and fitting them in other parts of the story. There are plenty of editing comments throughout the Word document that I will eventually have to tackle. I want to completely rewrite Chapter 27. And then I still have to write the last two or three chapters. 

I think my problem is that I just feel overwhelmed. I don't feel like I have a lot of time to write, and since nothing I need to do is easy, I'm not able to pick anything at all. When I have a specific task in mind, it's easy to devote 30 minutes to it. But when I've reached the end of a long, demanding day, and I have to actually choose something difficult to work on? I just don't want to do it. 

I think I need a new system. The 30 minutes a day is great, but I think I need to plan way in advance what I'll be working on so that I'm not deciding in the moment. Maybe I should even spend one day a week working on a different project (one of the Sexy Fluffs, perhaps??) so that I can have something new and exciting to motivate me and keep the drive to write going. 

How do you find the time/motivation to write? Any horror movie recommendations??

02 September 2020

The Editing Storage Unit

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!

When I first moved into my apartment, I got a storage unit. I had a lot of stuff that wouldn't fit into my tiny studio apartment, so it was helpful to have a place to store all the stuff that weren't necessities but I still wanted to keep. What you may not know about a storage unit is that the longer you have it, the more they charge you. After a while, I was getting frustrated with being charged more and more and I wanted to get rid of it. So...I had to get rid of some stuff.

Unpacking that unit was not something that happened overnight. It took time to decide what I truly wanted to keep, and what I was actually ok getting rid of. It kind of happened in phases. I would sweep through the unit, finding the things I was ok tossing, bringing home stuff I knew I wanted to keep. Then I would give it some time. I found that a few months or even weeks could help change my mind about whether or not I really needed something. This continued until I was able to empty the unit, and eventually I repeated the process with all the new clutter and boxes filling my apartment. I felt like I wanted to keep something? Ok, keep it. But a few weeks later? I might just change my mind. 

What does this have to do with writing, you might ask? Well, I kind of think of all of the changes I want to make to my book as filling up a storage unit. Every big rewrite or tiny little edit jammed into a 5x5 cube (ok, probably something bigger...at least a 10x15...). Somewhere buried deep in the back is a box labeled "write Chapter 29." And to get it all done, I just have to pick away at it. 

Some things are easy to fix right away. A word choice here, an awkwardly written sentence there (I write "AWK" in the margins just like my AP English teacher. She'd be proud). I just go through each chapter, fixing what I can in that moment, skipping what I can't. I figure if I just give it time, I'll be able to eventually figure it out. 

If I can someday clean out every single item from that storage unit, then maybe I can say the book is done. And it's a good thing it's a metaphorical storage unit and I won't miss my rental payments, because I don't think anyone on Storage Wars would be interested in bidding on my edits.

22 August 2020

Influenced Release Day

Happy Saturday, everyone! Today's a special day because it's the release day for Patricia Josephine's new book, Influenced! Read all about the book and check out an excerpt below! 

There is no Light without Dark.

Influencers are the voices that whisper in our ears. Tiny Angels and Devil sitting on our shoulders and guiding our choices. They are sworn to thwart the other. It is their duty.

Or so they thought…

Nothing is as it seems and questions are piling up. Do Kale and Ariel have the strength to face the truth? Will Antonia and Landon be forced to choose a side? Can Soleil break through to Kemuel? Three tales, three choices: Light. Dark. Or the shades of gray between.

Which one will win?

*  *  *
“Hey, Dad?” Jimmy dropped his backpack by the front door and bounded through the house. He paused in the empty living room. The kitchen was vacant as well. A note pinned to the refrigerator let him know his dad had gone to his aunt’s, so he had the house to himself. He could play his music as loud as he wanted and not get yelled at. He pumped his fist in the air.

“No, you are to respect your father’s wishes,” Tony scolded. God, she sounded like her siblings. A white sheep following the pack blindly.

But doing her job was the best way to keep Landon off her mind. As long as she focused on what Jimmy did, her mind wouldn’t stray to the devilish blond hiding out of sight.

Jealousy aimed at Jimmy gathered in her stomach. It must be nice to be a mortal. Oblivious to the war raging around them. No cares in the world. Letting the little voices in their heads help them make decisions. Tony wished an Influencer would whisper in her ear to to make her stop thinking about Landon.

As if on cue, Landon appeared. “Hey, Tony.”

The way Landon rolled her name around his mouth made Tony tremble. She hunched her shoulders and brought her knees up to her chest. “What do you want?”

Landon sat next to Tony. His long legs dangled over Jimmy’s shoulder. “I can’t come over and say hi?” Innocence dripped from his voice.

Tony eyed him. “We’re supposed to be enemies. Not besties.”

Landon slung his arm around Tony. The warmth of his skin seared her.

He snorted. “Who is going to know? The angels and demons don’t care about us. We’re pawns in their silly, little war.”

Tony blinked. “You think the war is silly?”

“Don’t you?”

Tony opened her mouth but then shut it. Before she could answer, music began playing. The Influencers looked at Jimmy.

Headphones covered his ears snugly, and music blasted in them. The sound was muffled, though, despite how loudly Jimmy had it. He played his guitar along to the tune, but the amp wasn’t on.

Tony turned back to Landon to see the Dark Influencer frowning.

“What?” she asked.

The frown morphed into a smile. “What?”

Now, Tony scowled. “What are you doing over here?”

“Nothing. I’m bored on my side.”

“Riiiiiight. You’re not doing your duty?” The last word came out acidic.

Landon stared at Tony with wide eyes. “Come on. Why would I lie to you about being bored?”
Tony fell silent a moment. Then laughter burst from her. Landon laughed at well. The grin on his face said he was pleased with her reaction.

“You’re funny,” Tony said, shaking her head.

Landon waggled his eyebrows. “I’m being my charming, devilish self.”

Charming wasn’t the word Tony would pick. She cocked her head. Her heart thumped nervously. She had never met someone who doubted the war. “Do you believe the war is pointless?”

Landon dropped his gaze to his hands. His voice softened. “Honestly, I’m not sure. I was told never to question it and to just do my job.”

“I know that feeling.” Tony sighed. “The angels wouldn’t give me a straight answer, or they’d get mad at me for asking questions. Sometimes I’m not even sure they know why they’re fighting.”

Landon nudged Tony with his shoulder. “Our friendship could convince them to stop.”
Friendship… The word echoed in Tony’s head.

Was that what Landon wanted? All she wanted? Disappointment stung Tony. As much as she knew she shouldn’t, something pulled her toward Landon. And she wasn’t sure she wanted to resist it.

                                                                          *  *  *

About the Author
Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow. 

05 August 2020

IWSG and Keep Writing with Fey Blog Hop

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!

What am I insecure about this month? Well, I've just recently (like the past two days) been getting back into working on my flat character arc for Jordan, and it's led me to the conclusion that the third act of my book is WAY too long. I know I'm going to have to cut some things, and I do have a few ideas that immediately jump out at me, but I know it's still going to be a grueling process. But I'll just take it one step at a time. 

Today is also the day for the Keep Writing with Fey Blog Hop to celebrate the release of Chrys Fey's new book! We're supposed to share a story about writer's block, depression, and/or burnout, and how we overcame it or what we are currently doing to heal. 

If I'm being totally honest, I think I'm experiencing some form of writer's block or burnout right now. I've kind of had to force myself to do anything writing related. None of my ideas have excited me lately. I've just had no desire to write. 

It's tough because I've been working on one book for so long and it's taken so much to figure things out, and I'm still not done (see above!). Plus I constantly think about how when I actually DO finish this book, no one will want to read it. I don't think an agent or publisher would touch it with a ten foot pole. So why do I keep going? Maybe because I've come this far, I can't just give up. I have to see it through to the end, no matter what that end may be. 

My strategy with pretty much everything, like I said above, is to take it one step at a time. If you try to pile on too much or think too far ahead, it can get overwhelming. I just like to focus on one thing at a time. Right now, it's to make myself work on something writing related every day. This can be working on my character arc, brainstorming, or editing. If I don't want to actually write, it's ok. I just want to be able to say I did SOMETHING. 

Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!


When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:


·        Writer's block

·        Depression

·        Writer's burnout

·        What a writer doesn’t need to succeed

·        Finding creativity boosts


With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.





Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo / Goodreads


Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips on how to reverse writer’s burnout. https://www.chrysfey.com/

01 July 2020

Falling Flat

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 mentioned in my last post that I was having some health issues, but I got everything checked out and it's all good. Not really sure what was causing my head pain but it seems to have gotten better on its own. I have a few theories, including having to wear a mask for eight hours in a hot kitchen or maybe my hair is just too long. But I digress...

Getting back in to writing is still pretty difficult. I was doing a lot of editing just to be doing SOMETHING. Mostly getting rid of unnecessary and overused words. I know a big project is to rewrite Chapter 27, so I'll probably get to that soon. But the ending of the book still doesn't feel quite right. 

I've been trying to figure out character arcs. As I've learned more about them (thanks to a book we read for the IWSG book club!) I've felt that UL has more of a flat arc. I say "more of" because, well...it still doesn't feel quite right. Maybe that's part of my problem? But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

One of the main aspects of the flat arc is that the main character doesn't change, but changes the world and other people around him. This is where I think UL fits in the most (with some exceptions, but more on that in a bit). By the end of the book, Jordan is pretty much in the same spot he was in the beginning. The last line of the book really hammers that home. 

The only exception would be one of the subplots, which definitely has its own arc, and this one's positive. I guess the discord is partly coming from the idea that in the subplot, Jordan does go through changes and ends up in a better spot than the beginning of the book. I think this can still work even with a flat arc in the main plot. He's changed in some ways, ways he actually always knew he needed to change. But in some ways, he hasn't changed at all. 

I guess where I'm struggling is the idea of a character's "truth." In a flat arc, the main character already believes a truth and uses that to overcome the world's lie. My problem here is that all I can really come up with is that Jordan's truth is, "I can get whatever I want if I try hard enough/manipulate people in just the right way." The "lie" would be something like, "society has rules that need to be followed." Which isn't really a "lie," right? Or maybe in the context of this book, it is, because Jordan knows he can get around rules to get what he wants. He's a bit of an antihero, so his truth isn't going to be some righteous quest that's going to change the world, after all. 

Am I answering my own questions? Maybe I just want someone else to tell me that this actually does work. I'm going to try to map it out, either way, and see if that sparks any ideas or changes. 

03 June 2020

Real Life Gets in the Way

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!

This month's optional question is: Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

I don't *think* I have any real secrets. If they were reading Jordan's book, they may be surprised that I am literally his polar opposite. No idea how that guy came out of a shy nervous wreck's brain. Actually, I think this works more in reverse. If a lot of the people I know in real life read what I wrote, they wouldn't believe I wrote it. Plot, characters, genre, language--all of it. They never would have guessed this was what I was writing.

Well, I gotta be honest, I haven't been doing much writing lately. I really was on a roll for a while, mostly with editing UL (since I still haven't quite figured out those last two chapters...). But real life kinda slapped me in the face and I've got some health issues to deal with now. I started having pain in my head, right where I had a shunt put in when I was an infant. It's never hurt me my whole life so I knew something was wrong. And trying to get to a doctor right now is a PROCESS, let me tell you. The good news was that it got me to get a physical for the first time since I was a teenager (yeah, I'm one of those people who avoids the doctor until absolutely necessary). I have a virtual appointment with a neurosurgeon on Friday. I'm just really worried because I'm sure if something is wrong, I'll most likely need surgery. But one thing at a time, right?

I've just been really exhausted lately between being in pain and my anxiety going through the roof pretty much nonstop, plus still working at a hospital full time. So my writing hasn't even been on my mind. I kinda wish it was because I could use the distraction, but I just don't think my brain works that way. When I'm worried or dreading something, that's all I can think about.

This afternoon I'm getting together with some coworkers for some kind of social-distancing-around-the-pool-party, so that should be fun, at least. I may be late getting around to other blogs (unless your post is up at 4 AM EST because I try to read some before work like the psycho that I am). Hope everyone is doing well!