WIP Wednesday

Writing Process

Is anyone else having a heart attack over the fact that it’s already May? Sometimes it terrifies me how fast time moves when you’re not really paying attention and now that I’ve been living in the real world post-graduation for a while I can absolutely see how so many people forget to not only stop and take a vacation but to just stop and breathe. I had a lot of things planned for the month of April and while I did manage to accomplish some things, Spring has been less about rushing for me and more about slowing down. Not in the way I work but more so in the way I approach it. I shifted things around heavily this month, something I anticipated doing even back when I was writing February’s check-in, and have finally come to the conclusion that having a little breathing room is good not only for my creativity but just my psyche in general.

Book 4 is still where it was last month but I’ve set a deadline and plan on completing the FINAL draft in about six weeks, so…mid-June I’ll finally have something amazing to celebrate.

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I’m still waiting on notes back for book 5 but hope to have them by the end of this week, which means the fourth draft should be/might be completed by the end of the month.

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The second draft of book 6, and the third novel in my YA series, has been sent off to one of my alpha readers and depending on how quickly I get a response and/or how atrocious they thought it was I’m hoping to have those edits done by the end of the month as well.

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It’s no secret that my 7th novel, which is also my latest Contemporary NA has been…a struggle to say the least. But luckily I managed to mostly stick to my word count goals this month and have brought the first draft up to almost 60k! There are still about six chapters that need to be written but I’ve decided that regardless of how short I am to my overall goal, I have to let this project go at the end of the week. I really feel like I hit my stride in the past couple of weeks and I’ve made some huge developmental progress but this manuscript is still a complete mess–one I won’t have the time to sort out until my YA series is closer to completion. So, that being said, I’m going to let this novel sit for a while and will hopefully start the first round of edits sometime at the beginning of August.

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Book number 8 is finally underway! HALLELUJAH! The first 20k-30k of every first draft I write tends to move at lightning speed and this one is no exception. It’s not as clean as the other first drafts I’ve written for this series but at least it’s something. I’m planning on this novel being sort of epic, both in scale and in length, which means I’m devoting some extra time to it through the summer. Right now it’s sitting at about 26,000 words and if I can keep up with this pace hopefully I’ll have the first draft done by the end of June.

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Bringing so many things to an end this summer is no doubt going to be exhausting both emotionally and mentally but it’s also going to be incredibly gratifying. It’s easy to get distracted by the end goal and to get so caught up in the anticipation of it that I forget to live in the moment and/or I prolong the moment altogether by just avoiding writing out of fear. But finishing shouldn’t be something to fear, nor should the possible potential of failure. Like I always say, they’re inevitable in some form or another but I can’t let that get in my way. At this point I can’t let anything get in my way. I’ve spent too much time and energy and it’s time to do this. To really do this. Wholeheartedly, epically, bravely, definitely. I will finish and by the end of the summer this dream won’t be just a dream anymore.

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WIP Wednesday

Writing Process

April is all about fresh starts for me. I’ve disappeared from blogging for a while and living 24/7 in the world of my upcoming YA series but this month it’s time to start something new, and not just the FINAL book in the series but…wait for it…a New Adult Contemporary Romance that already has me terrified at all the feels I’ll be experiencing during the actual writing AND a brand new series. Something equally as terrifying but also really exciting because I don’t plan on working on it alone. It’ll also be my foray into “Dystopian-esque” territory, yet another genre I can’t wait to knock off my list.

But first it’s time to celebrate March’s accomplishments! There weren’t many but at least my progress is steady. First up, book 4 is still waiting for it’s FINAL copy-edit. I suppose I could crank out the changes that need to be made whenever I feel like it but every time I think about opening up the document I have all of this anxiety. I’m about to start the final book in the series and the fact that this project is actually nearing the end is really scary for me. Maybe that’s why I’m holding off on those copy-edits until the last minute. I just can’t bare to think about parting with that first book just yet, let alone the entire series. Which means this fall is probably going to consist of many tears and many binges on cheesecake and peanut butter cups.

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The third draft of book 5 is finished! And it is now in the hands of one of my trusted beta readers. Once I get her feedback I’ll be ready to tackle the 4th draft and then send it off to a few more sets of eyes.

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As for book 6, which is the third novel in my YA series, I’ve been working on the 2nd draft for the past three weeks and I’m so relieved to say that I should have everything wrapped up by Friday! It’s not perfect yet by any means, but it is decent and decent for a 2nd draft is all I can ask for. I plan on contacting a few initial alpha readers soon to have them read over this early draft and hopefully I’ll be able to dive into the 3rd draft sometime in mid-May.

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My 7th novel, which is also my latest Contemporary NA, is now sitting at just under 34K, which is not quite my target of 40K but it’ll have to do. I struggled with being loyal to this project last month. I’d designated weekends specifically for working on it but I recently started a new job that requires me to work on Saturdays and come Sunday it was just really hard to feel motivated. Especially when every day that passes I’m getting closer and closer to finishing this series, which means lots of planning and stress and anxiety and just freaking out in general. But I had a breakthrough in the past couple of days, probably because my main characters finally started kissing, so hopefully it’ll be smooth sailing from here and finger’s crossed the first draft will be done in a couple of weeks.

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I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the end of March without having to totally re-work my timeline but despite a week of near collapse and totally blowing off every responsibility I had including cleaning and bathing and many days eating, I’m right on schedule. Which means that at the end of this month I’ll still be able to start the LAST book in my YA series as well as dive into some other genres–one that I’ll always have a soft spot for and another I can’t wait to make my own. And the best news is this month didn’t kill me like I’d feared it would! Unfortunately April will be a totally different story and since I’m working two jobs now AND planning on starting so many new projects at the same time, this month will definitely be all about balance. I just hope that I can find it before I end up face first in a bowl of chocolate pudding. Actually that sounds kind of awesome.

WIP Wednesday

Writing Process

NaNoWriMo is finally over and you’d think that I’d be hibernating somewhere or nursing a four-week-long hangover but alas I’m hard at work on revisions and hoping to carry all of that great juju into December.

First up, I started the millionth round of revisions on book 4. You’ll notice my fancy progress meter says I’m chipping away at the fourth draft but it’s a liar. I have re-worked this novel so many times that I’m beginning to despise it much sooner than usual, which is not good. But, luckily, then a beta reader will send me a really awesome email and I decide that I can stand it for a bit longer. Speaking of which, I know I’ve made this plea several times before and will probably make it again in the future, but if anyone out there wants to swap YA or NA projects at the end of this month let me know!

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After this round of revisions for book 4 are complete, I’ll be revising its sequel, which was also my Nano project. I came in just 6K shy of my goal but I still ended up with almost an 80,000 word manuscript which will be such fun to rip apart this month! And that is only me being partly sarcastic. Depending on my mood, sometimes actually having something to work with is such a relief. Other times it can be like sifting through muck. Muck filled with needles and…concrete. You get the picture. I just hope I’m in the ripping apart and stitching back together kind of mood or else this month will be hell.

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And speaking of hell I’ll be starting TWO new novels this month. Yes, I said two. I don’t know why I thought this would be a good idea. I’ve never worked on more than one first draft at a time. But, despite my schedule already being set in stone, I got this idea a few nights ago and every time I think about it, I get this strange sick happy feeling that it could be…the one. So I’ve decided to give myself some time to explore it a little more and see how it goes.

But I’m not pushing myself to the brink of insanity for naught. This will probably sound strange, but I have this wonderfully terrifying feeling about 2014. Like maybe it’s supposed to be mine. My year to finally discover a way to do this whole writing thing for real. And while I’m planning to write until my hands are numb in a desperate attempt to chase down whatever success might be waiting for me, there is also a tiny part of me that is afraid. Not of failing, my dreams slipping through my fingers yet again, but of them actually coming true. Because sooner or later, I know they will.

WIP Wednesday

Writing Process

The blog tour for Breathing Ghosts is officially over! Almost 20 blogs participated by hosting spotlights, interviews, and giveaways, one of which is still open! So hop on over to Katelyn’s Tales of Books and Bands to get an exclusive look at music that inspired Breathing Ghosts and enter to win 1 of 5 FREE e-copies of the book! I just want to say thank you again to everyone who helped make this happen. The online reading/writing community is so incredibly generous and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to introduce myself to so many new readers!

Now that the tour is over, I’m officially forbidding myself from obsessing about Breathing Ghosts for even one more second and am successfully distracting myself with NaNoWriMo. But before I could even think about attempting Nano, I had to finish the latest round of revisions for book 4.

As most of you know by now, a few weeks ago, right after I’d just sent out book 4 to my first alpha readers, I had an epiphany and decided to (yet again) change the story drastically, practically re-writing it from scratch (AGAIN!). Those were some painful revisions but they’re finally complete and now the latest version is out to a new set of alpha readers, some of whom have already sent in their feedback. Luckily it’s looking like this manuscript is finally in decent shape so I can take a much needed break from it and start working in its sequel.

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Book 5 was already sitting at about 30K last month before I decided it would be my Nano project but before you call me a cheater, I’m expecting this story to be at least 80K so I’ll still be shooting for the same word count goal as everyone else. Not to mention, I still have a lot to cut from that initial word count considering all of the changes I made to book 4.

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And in other news…my sabbatical officially ends tomorrow. It was an amazing three and a half months and I’m so sad that it’s over. But the good news is that I found an opportunity to work part-time from home so I’ll still be writing every day and probably just as much as I was before. I truly feel so lucky that writing can remain my main focus for the time being and that I can continue to live out this dream. And who knows, maybe the next six months will be all it takes to finally conquer total obscurity and finally start getting my books into the hands of the masses!

WIP Wednesday

Writing Process

BREATHING GHOSTS. IS. FINALLY. DONE!!!!! And if you’re feeling generous or just feeling my pain, please hop on over to Amazon and get a copy here! Also, a big thanks to those of you who already have!! I started this story back in July of 2012 and it feels so good to finally be done with it. Usually this is the point at which I finally let myself switch my focus but BG is still front and center as I’m planning a blog tour this month to celebrate its release. (More info on that tomorrow.)

I usually avoid marketing. With my first book I attempted soliciting reviews and sent out about 150 emails. About 30 people replied and only about 15 of those actually put up a review. It was incredibly time consuming and when it came to my second book I just couldn’t bring myself to go through the process again. So I didn’t. I also didn’t sell very many books. This time around I decided to give it another go and after spending weeks compiling a loooong list of book reviewers (approximately 500 to be exact) I spent four days from sun up til sun down sending out emails. And now all I can do is wait.

It was exhausting but hopefully it’ll pay off. I’ve been refreshing my email pretty much every five minutes waiting for the responses to trickle in, which isn’t exactly productive but it’s either that or eat an entire cake using a fudgsicle as a spoon. Which sounds like the more appealing alternative, actually.

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Onto book 4…well…it’s in decent shape. I’m planning on doing one more read through this weekend and then it’ll be ready for alpha readers!! The only problem is I don’t have many alpha readers. So…anyone out there write YA and have something they need critiqued? My email address is on my bio page if anyone might be interested in swapping. Please? Anyone???? Just kidding. I’m not that desperate. Okay. I am that desperate. *crickets*

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Book 5. Now this one hurts. I spent the last month working on it, seven days a week, eight hours a day, and I flew through those first 20,000 words. And then I got stuck. And then I got sick. In the past couple of weeks I managed to force out 10,000 more but it’s still nowhere near close to my goal. I wanted to have the entire first draft done by this Friday but an unexpected trip home on top of all of the formatting I had to do for Breathing Ghosts sort of derailed that plan. But also, this being the first sequel I’ve ever written, I’m incredibly anxious to get feedback on the first book and a part of me feels like I can’t continue with the next one until I at least know its predecessor is heading in the right direction. After this crazy week is finally over, I hope to get back to it better and even more focused than before. But for now I’m just trying to go with the flow and not obsess about whether or not this sabbatical was technically a success or just a big waste of time.

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