2017 Writing Reflections #IWSG

IWSG Day Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Oh gosh, 2017 has been a strange year as it is. Right now I’m cursing not mentally preparing more for NaNoWriMo. I may have hit my 50K, but I haven’t reached the end of the story and all I seem to do now is pick away at it.

Of course that sets off the worry that I won’t be able to maintain my schedule.

Other than that, I’m not sure what I would have done differently. I might wish I had known some things before stumbling around in the dark for a while, but that time was spent learning things to take forward with me.

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It’s that time of year again… #IWSG

Oh, hey, I remembered to do an #IWSG post this time. The last couple of months have been a bit crazy and today starts off another level of insanity with NaNoWriMo kicking off. And the fact that this is my 11th year participating doesn’t make me sound any more sane.

NaNo-2017-Participant-Facebook-Cover

IWSG Question of the Day: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

Initially I didn’t finish my projects if I didn’t win (usually gave up somewhere along the line because life) and I still have them kicking around somewhere. And honestly, even in their incomplete state, they have served a purpose – I’ve taken ideas from them for other projects.

My wins I’ve completed within the month. It’s a hot mess, but I have the story from beginning to end. Actually, I want to say Shattered Illusions wasn’t finished, but it technically was – I ended up scrapping the ending and extending the book out more.

The last few wins have gone on to be published. Currently only Twisted Magics and Shattered Illusions are available, but Twice Cursed will be out next summer.

However, that leads into my insecurity for the month. I’m writing book 4 in the series for NaNoWriMo and I haven’t been this blank on a book since I meandered my way through the first version of Twisted Magics.

I’m not a planner by any means. Tried it once and ended up ignoring my outline, but I usually have a better idea in my head of key moments I want to hit. What if this one doesn’t work out? What if I have to delay my schedule? Is it possible to keep up this momentum?

Granted, if you saw me wrestling with Shattered Illusions, then you know I’ve been through this before. Doesn’t make it any less stressful. There may be hair pulling and copious amounts of chocolate.

And if anyone is interested, I finally started a newsletter. It also pushes to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ll have some fun stuff coming out later this month.

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The other side of writing #IWSG

Oops, almost forgot to put up something for today.

Lately I’ve been focusing more on the other side of writing, or rather, the business side. Lining up events, marketing, sending off whatever information someone needs… It’s been a bit of a whirlwind month and it’s only going to pick up from here.

Which means I’m not getting a whole lot done on the writing/editing side.

I look at my schedule with trepidation as events get closer. Facebook takeover – how do I do that? The without sounding boring part. I got some awesome advice at Library Comic Con for when I’m doing those types of events, but what about that panel coming up?

While all of that is enough to scare this introvert, I think I might be more concerned that I’m falling behind on my schedule of getting editing done on Twice Cursed. And to think, I was ahead. I’ve already pushed aside a side project that I like to work on in these couple of months leading up to NaNoWriMo while whatever book I’m working on is out to beta readers.

I guess my insecurity for the month is if I can stay on task and keep up with all the new things happening. And that’s not even counting all the personal changes that have happened lately either.

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Entertaining? #IWSG

By now a few people have heard me being excited over the 3rd book I’m working on. And surprisingly, the title hasn’t changed so it might be the one. But what entertains me doesn’t necessarily entertain the next person.

Of course, the people who have heard me talk about it at all have looked at me funny over some of the ways I’ve described things/people in that completely not serious manner. This one just really fell in place and while there’s still plenty of work left to do, I’m actually quite happy with it.

But then I come off of that excitement and worry about how it’ll be received. And only having my alpha reader to really go off of at the moment (he’s the only one to have read the whole thing), I don’t really have a good gauge. I’m fairly certain I will when I send it out to my beta readers next month.

 IWSG Day Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

I guess my biggest one that I’ve been hitting lately is way too much description. The kind where it pulls you out of the story because there’s so much of it. There’s been a few recently that I’m wondering when I’ll get back to the plot.

If it’s something I’m reading for fun, I’ll put it down and walk away if it gets to be too much. Might come back to it later and try again. If it’s something I’m critiquing, I’ll note it and keep trying to plow through. And I’m not immune to writing it myself, though I usually don’t have enough description in early drafts. I can get carried away sometimes and have someone else point out that it’s not necessary.

I think the next one is repetitive words/phrases (though there are occasions that they fit nicely). I am so bad with this on the initial draft and go nuts trying to find them during the editing process.

There are others, but it’s little things that I often pick up on because I have to look for them in my own writing.

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Lesson learned #IWSG

IWSG Day Question: What is one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing?

Yep, just answering the question this month. Figure it’s better than my fretting about pretty much the same thing I have been for months.

I guess the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I need to write what makes me happy. If I can make some others happy along the way, great! If not, well, at least it’s still my story. I went through I forget how many revisions on some projects, trying to make the massive changes people suggested and suddenly it wasn’t my story anymore and I was forcing my characters to act in ways they wouldn’t.

And of course this meant they didn’t play well with me.

In a way, I suppose this is also a lesson in finding people to look over my work who aren’t trying to change it to their story. I was losing what made it mine. I’m completely open to fixing issues and ramping things up in areas or what have you, but also in recognizing when a recommendation isn’t worth taking.

On that same note, those recommendations can shed light on an aspect I need to bring more to the forefront. While I may not take directly what is said, I do pay attention and take it under consideration.

And I’m sure my groups think me weird when my brain starts taking off on a suggestion, trying to figure out how I can incorporate what is being said.

Books are in!

 

Mock Up OneI now have physical copies of Shattered Illusions available. $9.99 each or get both Twisted Magics and Shattered Illusions for $17.99. And if you’re local in the Treasure Valley, go ahead and select pick-up and I’ll get in contact with you on where and when to meet up.

Both books are still available on Amazon and currently Rediscovered Books also carries Twisted Magics.

Crunch time #IWSG

Shattered Illusions is up for digital pre-order on Amazon. Working on getting the physical proof in (and obsessively checking the mail for it) so we can go through it quickly and I can get pre-orders started. Setting up other sales for Twisted Magics. And the list continues. I might be found tugging my hair with everything going on and worrying about how the second book will be received.

Though this month’s IWSG made me stop and think about where I am. Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I’ve given up on projects. Just stopped working. Stopped writing for a while and eventually something brought me back. There were a number of years in a row I attempted NaNoWriMo and got maybe a few thousand words in before getting frustrated at my current life situation and simply dropping it and walking away. Kept thinking I was never going to finish anything.

I actually was about to give up even attempting the challenge when I got pestered to join for another year. Figured why not? It’s a day and a half before it starts and I have half of a concept. Found a great group of people in my area also participating and I just plugged along doing my thing.

Suddenly, this world I fought with for years came to life and I had a horrible mess. But there was something in that mess. Eventually it turned into Twisted Magics and well, I’m still writing that series and loving (sometimes frustrated at) the crazy things my characters get into.

What changed that made everything finally click? I changed which character I was trying to write from and went back in time. Sounds weird, I know, but having something (even when that something was a huge steaming mess) gave me the boost I needed to get back to writing.

Now I have these two with a third being edited (and more in planning):

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