The only way to deal with the polar vortex
Oh, it was cold here this week. I think it got down to -29, without the windchill. And, yes, the only way to handle the polar vortex is to bundle up and nap.
In writing news this week, I have the edits back for The Trouble with Necromancers. So I’m switching gears to work on that because the changes I make in the first book will naturally spill into the second.
The changes I need to make? Ahem. I need to make sure the story in my head is actually on the page. To solve this issue, I asked myself: What if Poppy (the main character) knew something about the antagonist from the very start of the story?
The single question opened up not only this novel but the entire series. I’m so excited to dig in and make those changes. In related news, I now have a post-it note next to my computer that says:
Stop being sneaky.
Here’s the thing about getting an edit. You don’t necessarily need to take the editor’s suggestions (although you may want to). You do need to look at the issues and address them in some way. Maybe that way is not to delete or change but amplify. A good edit helps you see your blind spots.
In audio news, I think I’m a step closer to securing the narrator I want for Coffee & Ghosts. More on that when it’s official.
It’s so very cold here, so very, very cold. And it’s going to get colder before it gets warmer.
So we’re just going to bundle up here, read and write and hope for the best.
In actual writing news, I’m making progress turning the novella into book two of the series. This isn’t a super speedy process, but it seems to be working, and I’m pleased.
I also have some samples to review for the audio version of Coffee & Ghosts, and I’m so excited. I can’t wait to get the entire series into audio format.
As I mentioned last week, the draft of The Trouble with Necromancers was finished, minus giving it some chapters. I’m happy to report I have done just that and sent the manuscript off for editing.
Then I jumped right into organizing the expansion of the novella The Trouble with Doppelgangers into an actual novel. There are several threads I can weave into the narrative. I created a book map for the existing story, looked at where I could expand or add, and brainstormed three major plot threads.
In this coming week, I will tackle … well, I’m not really sure what I’ll tackle. Something related to the novel, I’m certain. It’s a check-in with a cliffhanger. You’ll have to come back next week to see what I accomplished.
Even though it’s 2019, I’m still rounding up some of my favorite things from last year. I didn’t discover podcasts last year, mind you, but I truly embraced them in 2018.
My favorite writing-related podcasts of 2018:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tea & Sorcery in 2019
So, this week, I formatted all the Coffee & Ghosts books for large print. And if not for that incident at Bowker, I’d have a block of ISBNs, and the titles would already be available for purchase rather than sitting on my hard drive.
I consolidated my notes on the manuscript revision, wrote out questions I need to answer, and now I’m banking it for later. Why?
Well, I’ve gone as far as I can for the moment. Also? It’s been exactly three months since I finished the second draft of The Trouble with Necromancers. It’s time to start again and get this new series out the door.
That’s right, 2019. I’m looking at you.