Category Archives: Weekly Writing Check In

Weekly writing check-in: and that’s a (final for now) draft

I have a draft! Well, actually, I had one before. This is a draft that other people can read. Or will be as soon as I add in the chapter breaks.

But wait! Doesn’t it all ready have chapter breaks?

Um, no. About that …

This is an odd thing I do. I write in scenes. Once the story is done, I look at what I have and figure out where I want the chapter breaks to fall (usually on some sort of cliffhanger). So I need to do that, get the manuscript into the proper format, and send it off.

In other news, the Dating on the Dork Side promotion went very well. As a lovely bonus, author Allison Rhodes featured the book on her website, in a post that highlights what she loves about the first page or so. It’s a cool feature on her blog, and if you’re a writer, you might want to check it out.

And … Prolific Works saw fit to feature In a Manner of Speaking as well this week and created a spiffy graphic for it as well. If you haven’t grabbed your free copy yet, head on over. But I warn you: this is most likely the saddest story I’ve ever written.

 

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Weekly writing check-in: 2018 in review

I am charging through the read-through of The Trouble with Necromancers. Once that’s done, and I do a quick check for grammar and typos, I’ll send it out for editing.

That makes now a good time to review 2018.

2018, by the numbers:

2018 was a strange year, for so many reasons. For me, one of the main ones was losing my good friend and writing BFF, Darcy Vance (you can read my tribute to her here). She died about a year ago, and navigating my creative life without her has been difficult. For a bit, I thought I would stop writing altogether.

I didn’t, obviously. Darcy wouldn’t want me to. Still, this year was full of me trying to find my way again, on my own.

Writing. Eh. Not as much as I wanted to or would have liked. That being said, I started the year with an unfinished, very thin draft of The Trouble with Necromancers, and I ended up with something I think/hope works as a series starter, along with ~six books planned.

I switched gears early in the year. I was thinking of focusing on a fairy tale series, but the world building wasn’t there. I switched to a contemporary story because that would be “easier” (ha, ha). What I think happened is I learned a lot about building a series and world from scratch.

I do plan to return to the fairy tale series, but probably not this year. (Then again, when it comes to writing, I never say never.)

I also wrote a novella (soon to be a full-fledged novel) in the Tea & Sorcery series. I also had the chance to write a story that takes place in one of my favorite series. The author extended the invitation, so essentially, it was fan fiction. It was also a lot of fun to do (and necessitated rereading the entire series, of course). I’ll let you know if/when it’s published.

Submissions. I sent out 25 submissions this year. I didn’t write any new stories for the short fiction market, so most of those were either stories I haven’t sold yet or reprints.

I made two sales:

I’m still waiting on a handful of 2018 submissions as well.

Books. I published one book, Straying from the Path. This is my fairy tale compilation, and I was so certain I’d follow it up with more fairy tales. And … someday I will.

What I did do this year is rebrand all my offerings. In doing so, I managed to snag a BookBub Featured Deal for Coffee & Ghosts 1: Must Love Ghosts. That was a big deal. That was a very big deal.

I’m pleased I took the time and effort to re-do all the covers. It really made a difference in the next category.

Money. I’m from the midwest. We don’t talk about money, at least not willingly. But in full transparency mode, how is this indie publish thing working out for me?

Pretty okay. This is the second year in a row that I’ve made five figures. Not living-wage five figures, mind you. Still. Enough that this is certainly worth my while. Plus? It’s fun.

But this whole money thing brings me to my goals for 2019:

More books, new books, new formats (audio, large print, and so on). But especially new series and new things for people to read. That’s really been my goal all along: things for people to read.

Let’s see if I’m up to the task in 2019.

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Weekly writing check-in: third draft!

Just a quick post–and a day late–to say that I now have a third draft! I used all my free writing time this week, my blogging time, and time I’m not sure I really had to do a deep dive into the manuscript itself.

I ended up in another one of my Jo March writing tears. Although without the hat. I really need to get a hat.

More next week. I hope to recap 2018, such as it was.

Happy New Year!

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Weekly writing check-in: excavating plot threads

Kitty, taking a break between reps, asks the eternal question: do you even lift?

Some progress this week. I started work on a short story. I also did some serious work on the Tea & Sorcery series. I added to my character connections chart and created a new one for plot threads. Oh, but I have a lot of plot threads. My backstory has backstory.

But it’s coming together. I discover something new each day (and that’s a lot of fun). It’s like being an archeologist on a dig, uncovering something that’s been there for ages rather than making things up in my head (although, technically, I am).

I’m pleased. I’m also relieved. There’s a reason I haven’t made a lot of progress in actual writing lately. I needed to follow all these story threads to where they begin so I can figure out how they all come together in the end.

It feels very much like a holiday gift.

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Weekly writing check-in: the one with the tree

Not a lot of progress this week. I did a great deal of thinking about both the novel and how I might expand the novella, and what the best way to do that is. (Apparently, thinking is part of my writing process–I just go with it these days instead of trying to force things.)

But! The tree is up. Not only that, but the tree is up, and the cat has not scaled it (yet).

Of course, she still has time.

Not sure how much progress I’ll make next week, but we’ll see. I may surprise myself.

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Weekly writing check-in: novella into novel

Quick check-in and a day late. Not a lot of progress this past week, but I did have a major revelation. The novella, which was supposed to be a giveaway for signing up for my mail list, is now going to be a novel. To be precise, the second book in the series.

The story contains a crucial thread for the overall series. And yes, I could weave that into the series, I feel it’s better if I simply expand the novella into an actual novel.

Once I made this decision, half a dozen plot threads popped into my mind. It’s not only doable, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

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Weekly writing check-in: weaving a tangled web

Bowker is up and running again, and I have a new block of ISBNs. I’ve started the process of getting the large print versions of Coffee and Ghosts into the system. The interiors are done, but I need to adjust the covers because more pages = larger spine.

This week, I worked on the revision to The Trouble with Necromancers. I made a chart with all the main and secondary characters and then went through and detailed how each character interacted with Poppy (the main characters) and each other, along with other details–what nefarious plans they have, where they’re going (or think they’re going), any ties between them.

I have somehow come up with a story that, while contemporary, has a number of threads that start in the past. I need a chart to keep this all straight.

I also read somewhere that the protagonist’s journey should be strong enough that it prompts a change in the other characters in the story. I don’t think this needs to be heavy-handed. But I think it’s something to keep in mind, especially for a series.

That’s it for this week. Now, back to charting.

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